This morning I watched St Swithun's 'traditional' service. The one I attended for many years, many years ago.
There was an interview with one of the scripture teachers at nearby Turramurra High School. She mentioned that year 8 works through Genesis.
So, I wondered, how would I 'work through' or teach Genesis.
Its a challenging book on one level, but on another is a piece of great literature with an enthralling sweep of a story.
I would start with asking the students to read through the book as quickly as they could. Not like 'speed reading', but read it like a book. That way you get the whole picture and it hangs together as a story, almost like a saga. Which it is. But a real saga.
Then we would talk about the story for a few lessons.
After that we'd talk about the historical setting, just so we didn't make any anachronistic mistakes (like, 'Why didn't they text each other?')
Then we'd look at a couple of other pieces of literature that purported to address the same events. The Gilgamesh epic and extracts of the tedious Enuma elish. We'd compare these with the Genesis accounts, particularly noting the mythic elements of both stories.
Perhaps we might also look at the Story of Wenamum (Egypt) and the Lament for Ur, noting language, style and subject.
Then we'd look at the biblical theology flow of Genesis. Now we are getting serious: it's about God's interaction with his people through history, as we guided events to repair the damage of the Fall and bring his creatures to a condition of fellowship and knowledge of God and his love.
Finally we'd look at the creation account in Genesis 1-3, culminating in 3:8, of course where the breach of the relationship is shown.
Then we'd study the theology of the account, it's structure, its place in the biblical flow, its place in the pure historical flow of human history and the structure and language that drives the theology.
Of course this would lead us to a critique of the materialist basis of modern intellectual life and its parlous consequences for relationship with our Father in heaven and conduct and understanding of life in general.
We would also need to deal with a couple of popular misunderstandings of Genesis 1. Most prominent at the moment tends to be the so-called 'Framework Hypothesis', discussed by Pipa and McCabe's more detailed paper and blog. Walton's fanciful approach is also takes an approach that denies the direct meaning of Genesis 1 and obstructs its theology of contact.