‘Reading Genesis’ With Marilynne Robinson | Sojourners

‘Reading Genesis’ With Marilynne Robinson

The acclaimed author invites us to return to often oversimplified stories from the Bible's first book.
The image shows the cover of "Reading Genesis" by Marilynne Robinson
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 

MANY YOUNG CHRISTIANS grow up with special “adventure Bibles” composed of a curated selection of Genesis stories. Featuring colorfully illustrated characters and simplified, “age-appropriate” plot lines, these stories are admittedly easier for children to absorb. Take, for instance, the adaptation of Genesis 3 found in Zondervan’s The Beginner’s Bible: We meet Adam and Eve walking the arcadian Earth. Their bodies are hidden behind carefully placed branches and auburn waist-length hair. Acting alone, Eve takes a bite of bright red fruit and loses paradise. It’s a simple story. It’s also inaccurate.

Marilynne Robinson’s Reading Genesis presents a much more complicated portrait of the first book of the Bible. She invites us to return to these ancient tales and allow the figures to re-introduce themselves. In Robinson’s telling of Genesis 3, Eve is much more dynamic. She is “the mother of all living” who, alongside Adam, “disobeyed, doubted, tried to deceive,” and as a result, brought about “human agency, responsibility, even freedom.”

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