Where Sin Abounds: The Spread of Sin and the Curse in Genesis with Special Focus on the Patriarchal Narratives
Gonzales, Robert R.
"The habit of all too many Old Testament scholars is to limit the discussion of sin and the Fall to the first three chapters of Genesis, with perhaps a nod to the Flood narrative. In this thoughtful and persuasive work on the subject, Gonzales has brought to bear the best in exegetical and theological method to make an arresting case for the ongoing permeation of sin and its after-effects into the human experience, evidence for which is exhibited in the patriarchal narratives that tell the rest of the Genesis story. An important implication of his thesis is that it launches a trajectory into the New Testament and beyond, demolishing at once the idea of human perfectionism and putting in bold relief the need for a Savior."See All
Eugene H. Merrill
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
"Although my library shelf holds many commentaries on Genesis, I eagerly anticipate turning again and again to Where Sin Abounds by Robert R. Gonzales Jr. In a fresh, comprehensive, and detailed theological exegesis, Gonzales empowers the patriarchal narrative, as well as the so-called primeval history, to express the spread of sin, its varied nature, and the divinely imposed consequences. Here is a monograph that the contemporary evangelical church, corrupted by the Marcionite heresy, needs desperately to hear."See All
Professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary
Nearly all scholars divide Genesis into primeval and patriarchal history, though they debate the precise point of division. One reason advanced to justify the division is a thematic shift. In primeval history, the narrator focuses on the origin and spread of sin, as well as God's consequent curse and judgment on humanity. In patriarchal history, however, the spread of sin theme falls off the radar of most scholars. But these analyses of the primeval and patriarchal narratives are simplistic and inaccurate. In fact, the theme of human sin and the divine curse not only serve as the main themes of the Fall narrative, but they also continue to function as major themes in both the primeval and patriarchal narratives that follow. More particularly, human sin appears to increase at both individual and societal levels. Moreover, just as the primordial sin threatened to derail the advance of God's kingdom and fulfillment of the creation mandate, so the spread of human sin in postlapsarian history threatens to thwart God's redemptive plan, which consists in the restoration of his original creational intentions for divine and human eschatological fullness. This proves true even in the patriarchal narratives where the sins of God's chosen often threaten the very promise intended for their ultimate good. These facts, which the author attempts to demonstrate in the monograph, not only have important ramifications for the unity of the Genesis corpus, but they also have important implications for the doctrines of sin, justification, and sanctification.
Published January 2010
About the Author
Robert R. Gonzales Jr. (Ph.D., Old Testament Interpretation from Bob Jones University) is Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament Studies for Reformed Baptist Seminary and also serves as adjunct Professor of Old Testament Studies for Midwest Center for Theological Studies. He is an Associate Editor of and contributor to the Reformed Baptist Theological Review (RBTR), and a member of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Bob and his wife, Becky, have five children and reside in South Carolina.