Genesis 1–11 contains some of the best-known stories in the world. To modern Westerners they may look like no more than entertaining tales that children can enjoy, but modern adults cannot take seriously. However, when read in the context of the ancient Orient, Genesis 1–11 looks very different. It turns out to be a truly revolutionary document. In retelling the history of the ancient world, it puts a new spin on it by introducing an all-powerful, all-knowing, unique God whose greatest concern is human welfare.
The God who appears in Genesis 1–11 is the God presupposed by all the Old Testament writers, indeed by the New Testament as well. The gripping tales of Genesis thus provide the theological spectacles for a sympathetic reading of the Bible. They are the gateway to a valid understanding of its message and can even help modern believers construct a worldview that integrates both the discoveries of modern science and the insights of Christian theology.