Genesis 3: 22–24: The Expulsion Narrative

Peter Thacher Lanfer

in Remembering Eden

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926749
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950591 | DOI:
Genesis 3: 22–24: The Expulsion Narrative

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Chapter One outlines the sources, methods, and goals of this project. Firstly, this chapter argues against the marginality of the expulsion narrative in early Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Garden of Eden narrative, and sets guidelines for the inclusion of a wide variety of citations and allusions to the expulsion. Secondly, this chapter proposes a methodological pluralism to examine the source text of Gen 3:22–24 and the later texts interpreting the expulsion. This use of multiple methodologies is essential to avoid privileging a theoretical “urtext,” or eliminating divergent interpretations as eisegetical. Finally, this project argues for the composite character of the redacted Garden of Eden in which the expulsion serves an ideological corrective to the independent pursuit of wisdom over and against the adherence to covenant and cult. The chapter argues this ideological insertion of the expulsion narrative is preserved as a foundational dialogue of the redacted text of Genesis 2–3, and provides a reasonable constraint to interpretations of it.

Keywords: expulsion from Eden; translation and interpretation; wisdom and immortality; reception history; history of scholarship; freedom and constraint; methodology; marginality; iconography

Chapter.  12437 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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