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Creation and the Patriarchal Histories

Patrick Henry Reardon

The Book of Genesis is foundational reading for the Christian, concerned as it is with the origins of our race and the beginnings of salvation history. Its opening pages provide the theological suppositions of the entire biblical story: Creation, especially that of man in God's image, the structure of time, man’s relationship to God, the entrance of sin into the world, and God's selection of a specific line of revelation that will give structure to history. Early Christian writers such as St. Paul saw no dichotomy between the writings of the Law, of which Genesis is the beginning, and the Gospel. Rather, the Gospel is the key to understanding the Law. In Creation and the Patriarchal Histories, Fr. Reardon shows clearly how the proper understanding of Creation and the Fall informs all of Christian doctrine, and how the narratives of the patriarchs from Noah to Joseph pave the way for the salvation history that continues in Exodus.