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Creation and the Patriarchal Histories:
Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Genesis
by Patrick Henry Reardon

Creation and the Patriarchal Histories: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Genesis by Patrick Henry Reardon
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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.

The Greek and Latin Fathers of the Church found the revelation of creation, the fall, and the covenantal promises in Genesis immensely enlightening. Evil and sin were not due to human nature but to a prideful flight from the offer of friendship with the Transcendent God who created the universe and, even after the fall promises a redemptive Messiah. Patrick Henry Reardon’s commentary conveys central aspects of this enlightenment, showing that is as relevant today as it has ever been down the millennia.”

Rev. Dr. Matthew L Lamb, Chairman of the Department of Theology at Ave Maria University, Florida


In Christian catechism the questions begin with inquiries about who is God? The next questions ponder who is Man and for what was he created? It is in Genesis where we Orthodox Christians find the answers to these universal questions. Archpriest Patrick Henry Reardon has given us a new map to find the time tested answers that are part of the treasury of the rich Tradition of the Orthodox Church. This trenchant commentary is indeed a new gem to be added to the library of those who love Holy Scripture.”

— The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, NY


Genesis needs to be freed from some broad cultural assumptions that color our reading of it argues Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon in Creation and the Patriarchal Histories. We must unshackle Genesis from the strictures of philosophical materialism (evolutionary theory and its flip-side: scientific creationism), and rediscover its literary character to discern its deep theological penetration into the nature of the creation. All too often Genesis is dismissed as ‘unscientific’. Both conclusions miss the point. Genesis, Fr. Reardon teaches, reveals that the creation is logo-centric — it was created by the Word of God, and it is held together by the Word of God's power. The word of Scripture, then, is primarily a literary text, not history (itself a narrative) or a scientific tract. Only by first approaching Genesis as literature can the theological content of the book (which Fr. Reardon provides in this commentary) be properly discerned, and only then will Genesis’ rightful place as the foundational narrative of Christian culture and civilization be restored. Any serious student of scripture and culture will benefit from reading the book.”

— Fr. Hans Jacobse, editor of


About the Author
Patrick Henry Reardon is the pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and a senior editor at Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. He was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (KY), St. Anselm's College (Rome), The Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome), the University of Liverpool (England), and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary (PA).

Book Details

  • Publisher: Conciliar Press; 1st edition (June 15, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1888212969
  • ISBN-13: 9781888212969
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 160 pages
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