Noah as a mediator between a Universal and an “Israelite” reading of Genesis 1-11

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This paper reconsiders the relation between the Primal History told in Gen 1-11 and the stories of the Patriarchs starting from Gen 12 and onwards. In biblical theology, two different approaches have developed. The majority follows the great German scholar Claus Westermann, who emphasises the universal aspect of Genesis following from is starting chapters, while a minority, headed by the equally renowned Gerhard von Rad, focusses on the Israelite character of the whole book of Genesis, including the first eleven chapters.
The second part of the paper shows how the biblical character of Noah can help to reconcile this apparent contradiction, by showing how in biblical stories often the chosen one represents all, 'pars pro toto', in this way combining a particularist and a universal approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnd God Saw That It Was Good (Gen 1:12)
Subtitle of host publicationThe concept of Quality in Archaeology, Philology and Theology
EditorsPetr Sláma, Filip Čapek
Place of PublicationWien
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783643961853
ISBN (Print)9783643911858
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameBeiträge zum Verstehen der Bibel / Contributions to Understanding the Bible


  • Bible
  • Old Testament Exegesis
  • biblical theology


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