One of those is Mark S. Smith's new book The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1, newly available from Augsburg Fortress.
The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1
by Mark S. Smith
Format: Paperback 176 pages
Item No: 9780800663735
Publisher: Fortress Press
Release Date: Monday, October 26, 2009
Online Price: $25.00
For many readers, Genesis 1-2 is simply the biblical account of creation. But ancient Israel could speak of creation in different ways, and the cultures of the ancient near east provided an even richer repertoire of creation myths. Mark S. Smith explores the nuances of what would become the premiere creation account in the Hebrew Bible and the serene priestly theology that informed it. That vision of an ordered cosmos, Smith argues, is evidence of the emergence of a mystical theology among priests in post-exilic Israel, and the placement of Genesis 1-2 at the beginning of Israel's great epic is their sustained critique of the theology of divine conflict that saturated ancient near eastern creation myths. Smith's treatment of Genesis 1 provides rich historical and theological insights into the biblical presentation of creation and the Creator.
This book is definitely going to be essential reading for my research on creation in the Hebrew Bible (even though I'm not focusing on Genesis 1 per se, it's essential background). I look forward to picking up a copy in a few weeks.