David P. Diaz compares the Old Testament to a “vast historical novel.” But in The Genesis Labyrinth, he restricts his focus and approach to the Book of Genesis’s first 11 chapters, which span “the beginnings of the universe and of all living things.” He goes deep and wide by tackling the age-old questions of mankind to provide a fresh perspective.
The author examines the controversial positions taken by other biblical scholars in response to the universal questions, shares his own in a “nonthreatening way,” and bids readers to weigh the alternative views and decide for themselves what they believe about “the ultimate questions of life: Where do I come from? Why am I here? Does life have purpose? or, [sic] Is this all there is?” As he takes readers on a journey through what he calls the “labyrinth” of “ponderous questions posed by” Genesis, he defines terms for readers that are familiar but not necessarily understood: for example, “create,” “sin,” “Satan,” “cosmology,” “natural laws” and “spiritual laws,” and the “Dead Sea Scrolls.”
The book is packed with intriguing alternatives to traditional understanding of scriptural topics in Genesis—subjects like the reliability of the Old Testament as historical truth, miracles, the origin of the universe, the length of time it took for creation (should the purported six days be taken literally?), and the scope of Noah’s flood—and backed up with meticulous attribution. The author clearly states his personal positions and perspectives and generously shares others’ research to provide a “diversity of viewpoints.” While there exists the potential to overwhelm readers with too many possibilities, most will appreciate the wealth of ideas provided.
Overall, this work is scholarly yet immensely readable—even personal. Although the trend in our culture is for small bites, Diaz lays out a feast for us, resulting in a book that is highly recommended for readers who hold a biblical/Christian worldview and other laypersons motivated to learn.
Also available as an ebook.