Biblia Americana 978-3-16-150190-6 - Mohr Siebeck

Cotton Mather

Biblia Americana

America's First Bible Commentary. A Synoptic Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. Volume 1: Genesis
Ed., with an Introduction and Annotations, by Reiner Smolinski

[Biblia Americana. Der älteste amerikanische Bibelkommentar. Band 1: Genesis.]

2010. XIX, 1337 pages.
219,00 €
including VAT
ISBN 978-3-16-150190-6
Published in English.
Volume 1 of Cotton Mather's Biblia Americana (1693–1728) contains an extensive commentary on Genesis. Its Puritan author engages some of the central theological debates of his period that are still relevant today such as creationism vs. science, or verbal inspiration vs. historical criticism.
Scheduled to appear in 10 volumes, this scholarly edition of Cotton Mather's Biblia Americana (1693–1728) makes available for the first time the oldest comprehensive commentary on the Bible composed in British North America. Combining encyclopaedic discussions of biblical scholarship with scientific speculations and pietistic concerns, Biblia represents one of the most significant untapped sources in American religious and intellectual history. Mather's commentary not only reflects the growing influence of Enlightenment thought (Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Newton) and the rise of the transatlantic evangelical awakening; it also marks the beginnings of historical criticism of the Bible as text in New England.
Volume 1 (Genesis) of Cotton Mather's Biblia Americana is particularly valuable because Mather addresses some of the most hotly debated questions of his age: Are the six days of God's creation to be taken literally? Can the geological record of the earth's age be reconciled with biblical chronology? Were there men before Adam? How many animals fit into Noah's Ark? Was Noah's Flood a local or global event? Why are the religions of the ancient Canaanites, Egyptians, and Greeks so similar to the revealed religion of Moses? Did God dictate the Bible to his prophets, and how many (if any) of the books of the Pentateuch did Moses write? Such questions were as relevant during the early Enlightenment as, indeed, they are to many believers today. Edited, introduced, annotated, and indexed by Reiner Smolinski, Mather's commentary on Genesis is as rich in its critical texture as it is surprisingly modern in its answers to many central concerns of the Christian faith.

Cotton Mather (1663–1728) The leading New England theologian of his period, Mather was both a defender of Reformed orthodoxy and an intellectual innovator, who propagated the Pietist renewal of Protestantism and embraced ideas of the early Enlightenment. Best known for his Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), he published more than 400 works in various fields including church history, natural theology, and medicine.

Reiner Smolinski Born 1954; 1987 Ph.D in English/American Studies from The Pennsylvania State University; Professor of Early American Literature and Culture at Georgia State University (Atlanta).


The following reviews are known:

In: International Review of Biblical Studies — 56 (2009/10), 1973
In: Nederlands Dagblad — 17. September 2010, S. 4 (Beilage) (Herman J. Selderhuis)
In: Journal for the Study of the OT — 35.5 (2011), S. 139–140 (K. Möller)
In: Revue Théologique de Louvain — 43 (2012), S. 112–114 (Pierre-Maurice Bogaert)
In: Zeitschr. f. Kirchengeschichte — 122 (2011), S. 406–407 (David W. Kling)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 138 (2013), S. 1361–1364 (Markus Wriedt)
In: — 9. Februar 2011, S. N4 (Johann Hinrich Claussen)
In: Choice — 48 (2011), No. 10 (B.M. Stephens)
In: Religious Studies Review — 37 (2011), S. 232–233 (Douglas A. Sweeney)
In: Westminster Theological Journal — 73 (2011), S. 390–393 (Randall J. Pederson)
In: Catholic Biblical Quarterly — 74 (2012), S. 137–139 (Thomas H. Olbricht)
In: Early American Literature — 47 (2012), S. 228–233 (Robert Middlekauff)
In: The New England Quarterly — 85 (2012), S. 355–358 (Mark A. Noll)
In: Fides et Historia — 45 (Summer/Fall 2013) (Steven R. Pointer)