The stories in the Book of Genesis have been studied intensely for more than two millennia, providing a virtual mountain of commentary on every aspect of the narratives contained therein. Viewed from a traditional perspective, the stories related in Genesis are essentially graphic philosophical and theological narratives designed to convey profound ideas and insights that would otherwise be found only in tomes designed for students of philosophy and theology. A close substantive examination of these narratives, as presented in the Masoretic text, but often lost in translation where the subtleties of the Hebrew wording are glossed over, will reveal a treasure trove of insights into the fundamental issues of religious belief, the divine-human relationship, free will and determinism, the complex nature of humankind, and theodicy. The present work contains six ‘deep dive’ studies of selected narratives in the book of Genesis that continue to address questions of theological significance in addition to the relationship of man to the Creator, as well as to his fellow man. The first study in this collection focuses on The First Verse of the book of Genesis and explores the vast implications of its seven Hebrew terms, as considered by commentators for two millennia. The second, The Garden of Eden, deals with the moral implications of the relationship between man and God. The third, The Covenant, deals with the reasons why Abraham was chosen to be the progenitor of the civilization ultimately destined to change the course of human history. The fourth, Jacob’s Dream, explores the symbolisms and implications of this tale of interaction between man and the celestial world. The fifth, The Joseph Saga, probes the question of man’s free will and divine providential intervention in human affairs. The sixth, Jacob’s Final Days, examines in depth the Patriarch Jacob’s reflections on the legacy he leaves behind as he departs the scene.
It is the hope and expectation of the author of these studies that the reader will come away from them with even more questions about the biblical texts than they had before. As will be seen there has always been little consensus over the centuries about the meanings of these essentially ‘right brain’ texts, primarily because they are constructed and written in a manner that tends to challenge ‘left brain’ analysis. Nonetheless, their study remains intellectually important because the topics they deal with are of great pertinence to contemporary society.