The Beginning and the End

A summary page for my reading of Genesis's stories and Revelation's visions...


Pahl, Michael W. The Beginning and the End: Rereading Genesis's Stories and Revelation's Visions. Eugene, Ore.: Cascade, 2011.

 
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Description
 
Have you ever wondered if there might be more to Genesis than fuel for anti-evolutionism? Or have you ever thought, "Revelation has to be more than simply a roadmap for the future of the Middle East"? You're not alone.
 
In The Beginning and the End Michael Pahl surveys the opening chapters of Genesis and the concluding chapters of Revelation, taking seriously both their historical and literary features as ancient texts and their theological purposes as inspired Scripture. The result is a reading of the first and last books of the Bible that sketches out, from beginning to end, a story of God, humanity, and all creation—a grand narrative in which we are placed in the middle, and which calls us to live in a particular way as our identity and our values are shaped in light of our origins and our destiny.
 
 
Endorsements
 
"Pahl leads his readers through a historical, literary, and theological look at the controversial-and commonly misunderstood-bookends of the Christian Bible. He does so not as an academic exercise, but as a faith-building journey. Pahl shows his readers that God's story ends where it begins. And that makes all the difference in how we see our own place in God's story."
- Peter Enns, The BioLogos Foundation
 
"Can my students and other thoughtful believers be delivered from misguided misunderstandings of absolutely key texts in Genesis and Revelation? They can, if they are presented with a crystal clear, compelling, faithful alternative. That's what Michael Pahl gives us here. This little book will become a core text in my Theology of Creation course, and I hope also a core text for bible study in many, many churches."
Douglas Harink, The King's University College 
 
"The beginning and ending of the Christian story are perhaps the most hotly contested parts of our canon. Michael Pahl cuts through the morass of distracting debate, laying out an accessible approach to the narratives of creation and consummation. In doing so he also demonstrates how historically sensitive readings can feed the faith of God's people. The church needs this book."
- Daniel Kirk, Fuller Theological Seminary
 
"This is biblical theology at its purest. Without imposing preconceived questions upon the text, Michael Pahl walks his readers through a discovery process leading to theological truths that directly impact our faith journey. This book honors the sacred text by embracing the fullness of its humanity, carefully considering issues of genre, historical background, and literary complexities. Readers will be intellectually challenged and spiritually enriched."
T.C. Ham, Cedarville University 
 
 
Contents
 
Beginnings and Endings and Where to Find Them
 
IN THE BEGINNING...
Reading Ancient Origins Stories
A Story of Creation (Genesis 1)
A Second Story of Creation (Genesis 2)
A Story of Sin's Curse (Genesis 3)
IN THE END, A NEW BEGINNING...
Reading Ancient Apocalyptic Visions
A Vision of Jesus' Coming (Revelation 12)
A Vision of Jesus' Return (Revelation 19-20)
A Vision of New Creation (Revelation 21-22)
The Beginning and the End