Remembering Eden: The Reception History of Genesis 3: 22-24

Hardcover | August 16, 2012

byPeter Thacher Lanfer

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There are few texts as central to the mythology of Jewish literature as the Garden of Eden and its attendant motifs, yet the direct citation of this text within the Hebrew Bible is surprisingly rare. Even more conspicuous is the infrequent reference to creation, or to the archetypal firsthumans Adam and Eve. There have also been few analyses of the impact of Genesis 2-3 beyond the biblical canon, though early Jewish and Christian interpretations of it are numerous, and often omitted is an analysis of the expulsion narrative in verses 22-24. In Remembering Eden, Peter Thacher Lanfer seeks to erase this gap in scholarship. He evaluates texts that expand and explicitly interpret the expulsion narrative, as well as translation texts such as the Septuagint, the Aramaic Targums, and the Syriac Peshitta. According to Lanfer, these textualadditions, omissions, and translational choices are often a product of ideological and historically rooted decisions. His goal is to evaluate the genetic, literary, and ideological character of individual texts divorced from the burden of divisions between texts that are anachronistic ("biblical"vs. "non-biblical") or overly broad ("Pseudepigrapha"). This analytical choice, along with the insights of classic biblical criticism, yields a novel understanding of the communities receiving and reinterpreting the expulsion narrative. In addition, in tracing the impact of the polemic insertion of the expulsion narrative into the Eden myth, Lanfer showsthat the multi-vocality of a text's interpretations serves to highlight the dialogical elements of the text in its present composite state.

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There are few texts as central to the mythology of Jewish literature as the Garden of Eden and its attendant motifs, yet the direct citation of this text within the Hebrew Bible is surprisingly rare. Even more conspicuous is the infrequent reference to creation, or to the archetypal firsthumans Adam and Eve. There have also been few a...

Peter Thacher Lanfer is Lecturer in Hebrew Bible and religions of the Ancient Near East at University of California Los Angeles and Lecturer in Hebrew Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Early Christianity at Dartmouth College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:August 16, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199926743

ISBN - 13:9780199926749

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Table of Contents

1. Genesis 3: 22-24: The Expulsion Narrative2. The Tree of Life3. Wisdom and the Expulsion from the Garden4. Access to Eden and the Hope for Immortality5. Eden and the TempleConclusionNotesBibliography