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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Early Christian interpretation of Scripture on the theme of creation not surprisingly gave considerable attention to the Genesis account of the origins of the world, in part to counter the claims of Graeco-Roman cosmology, but more importantly to expound the latent theological meaning of the many details of the biblical cosmogony. But patristic exegetes were also keen on the fact that ‘creation’ in the Bible implied far more than beginnings; indeed, it designated the whole economy (oikonomia) of the Creator’s ongoing relation to the creation as set forth in sacred history and as requiring the further interpretative lenses of Christology, soteriology, and eschatology. Early Christian interpreters plumbed a wide variety of Old Testament texts beyond Genesis (especially the Psalms, Deutero-Isaiah, and the Wisdom literature). In their New Testament commentary they focused on such motifs as the subjection of creation to ‘vanity’, the work of Jesus Christ in recapitulating God’s creative purposes, and the eschatological renewal and transformation of the created universe in its relation to human salvation.

Keywords: Adam, cosmogony, cosmology, creation, Creator, economy (oikonomia), Genesis, new creation, providence, recapitulation

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