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Michiana Adventist Forum Presents: Brian Bull and Bernard Taylor

Michiana Adventist Forum Presents:

God, the Misreading of Genesis, and the Surprisingly Good News


Brian S. Bull, MD
Professor of Pathology and Human Anatomy
Loma Linda University School of Medicine


Bernard Taylor, PhD
Research Professor of Religion-Theological Studies
School of Religion
Loma Linda University School of Religion

Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
October 13, 2018

Newbold Auditorium
Buller Hall
Andrews University
Berrien Springs, MI

About the Speakers:

Dr. Brian Bull is the author (with Dr. Fritz Guy) of the forthcoming book, God, the Misreading of Genesis, and the Surprisingly Good News which attempts to take the modern reader back into the conceptual world of the first 11 chapters of Genesis.  He has written or edited three previous books on Genesis: Understanding Genesis: Contemporary Adventist Perspectives; God, Sky & Land: Genesis 1 as the Ancient Hebrews Heard It; and God, Land, and the Great Flood: Hearing the Story with 21st-Century Christian Ears.

Dr. Bull is professor of pathology and human anatomy at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in California, where he served as dean from 1994 to 2003. He has authored 200 scientific publications and edited the international hematology journal Blood Cells for nine years.  After graduating from medical school at Loma Linda University, he pursued postgraduate training at Yale University, the National Institutes of Health, and the Royal Postgraduate Hospital London.

Dr. Bernard Taylor is research professor of religion at Loma Linda University. A graduate of Avondale College, he earned a master of arts degree in biblical languages from Andrews University and masters and doctor of philosophy degrees from Hebrew Union College. The latter saw Taylor become the first non-Jew to teach biblical Hebrew to rabbinic students.

Taylor combined scholarship with pastoral ministry between 1985 and 2013, including 23 years as Scholar in Residence at Loma Linda University Church.  He specializes in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament used by Jesus and the apostles. Taylor translated 1 Samuel and substantial sections of 2 Samuel and 1 Kings for the New English Translation of the Septuagint. His most important work, Analytical Lexicon to the Septuagint, is an essential reference tool. He has served various academic societies as an editor and chairman.

His hobbies include amateur radio and marathon running.  Supporting Taylor during his career have been his wife, Alyna, son Clynton and daughter Danelle.

About the Subject:

Probably nowhere has the Bible been more consistently misread — by translators, scholars, serious Christians, and casual readers alike — than in the first few chapters of Genesis. This unfortunate misreading of the text has resulted in a wholly unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, and resources in trying to make sense of the ancient text (as if it were a modern one) in the 21st-century world. The good news is that the misperception need not continue and that the necessary correction is simple and straightforward. But it will take determined and persistent effort to overcome the influence of long-standing assumptions about the nature of the Genesis text.

A useful approach is to recognize Genesis 1-11 for what it is — theology — not for what to many readers it has appeared to be — science. Genesis 1-11 consists of language about divine intention, action, and accomplishment. “Retrotranslation” is our word for the process of taking the modern reader back (“retro”) to the conceptual world in which an ancient document originated, in order to recognize the document’s original (and thus authentic) meaning, unprejudiced by modern (and much later) understandings.

When they are read not as science but as theology, the Genesis narratives will achieve in the 21st-century the purpose for which they were written close to 3,000 years ago. That purpose was to convey theological understandings — understandings of humanness in relation to God.

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