The Plot-structure of Genesis Todd L. Patterson argues that Genesis is organized by a development from complication to dénouement. The question 'Will the righteous seed survive?' drives the narrative to climax. Gen 4 sets up the complication. Cain and Abel are the seed of the woman who should lead humanity back to God's creation-sanctuary. Because Cain does not master sin, his unrighteousness threatens the survival of the seed. Each narrative
tôlĕdôt division develops this theme until dénouement in the Joseph narrative when God ensures the survival of the promised seed.
By showing how plot integrates with the widely recognized
tôlĕdôt structure, prominent motifs, and enigmatic features of the text, Todd L. Patterson provides a surprisingly novel interpretation of Genesis.
Todd L. Patterson, Ph.D. (2012), Trinity International University, is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.
Acknowledgements List of Tables List of Abbreviations
Introduction: The Story of Plot and the Book of Genesis The Story of Plot
The Moral of the Story of Plot
Two Criteria for Assessing Plot-structure
The Plot of Genesis
What is Righteousness?
A Muthos-logical Reading Strategy for Genesis The Tôlĕdôt Headings and the Plot-structure of Genesis
Thomas’ Ready-made Solution? The Influence of Genealogy on the Macrostructure of the Text
Steinberg, Tengström, and Koch and the Genealogico-narrative Arrangement of Genesis
A Suggested Macrostructure for the Book of Genesis
A Summary of the Approach
In the Beginning: The Return to God’s Creation-sanctuary Genesis 1: The Sanctuary as the Controlling Metaphor for Creation
Genesis 2–3: Can Humanity Return to God’s Creation-sanctuary?
Comparing and Contrasting Genesis 3–4: Delineating Two Lines of Seed
Summary: The Complication that Drives the Narrative
The Noah Plexus: The Undoing of the Undoing of Creation The Structure of the Narrative
The Creation Allusions in the Flood Narrative
Parallels in ANE Literature
A Thinking Together of the Flood Narrative
The Shem, Ham and Japheth tôlĕdôt
The Noah Plexus Summary
The Terah Plexus: Testing the Righteousness of Abraham The Structure of the Narrative
Enigmatic Features of the Terah Tôlĕdôt Strand
Abraham as the Promised, Righteous Seed
Who is the Heir? The High Point of Confusion is the Turning Point of the Narrative
Abraham’s Lack of Righteousness Threatens the Survival of the Seed
Confluence of the Righteousness and Seed Motifs and the Climax of the Plot
The Terah Plexus Summary
The Isaac Plexus: Whatever Happened to the Righteousness of the Seed? The Structure of the Narrative
The Development of the Plot of the Isaac Tôlĕdôt
The Isaac Plexus Summary
The Jacob Plexus and Dénouement: God Will Ensure the Righteousness and Survival of the Seed The Structure of the Narrative
Identifying the Plot of the Narrative: Cain and Abel Redivivus
Conclusion: Plot-structure in Genesis and Beyond The Paradigm Shift of Muthos-logical Reading
Evaluating the Plot-structure with Two Control Questions
The Implications of Plot-structure in Genesis and Beyond
All interested in literary interpretation and the plot-structure of the book of Genesis as well as plot as the organizing principle of narrative and biblical theology.