Bellingham Bay

Studies in the book of Genesis

Welcome to my “Riffs on Genesis” page. I have been reading and studying Genesis for years. These studies approach Genesis from a literary point-of-view, taking account of their setting not only in the Bible but in the literature of the ancient Middle East. The stories of Genesis are endlessly fascinating, still important, and always instructive. Enjoy!

Riffs on Genesis: Posts

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About Me (a little more in the way of bio)

I’m Clay Libolt, a retired pastor. Genesis and I have a history together. I studied theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. After Calvin, I attended the University of Michigan, completing my Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies in 1986. A few years before I completed my Ph.D., I applied for ordination as a pastor in my denomination. A member of the seminary faculty remembered a paper I had given years earlier on Genesis. He asked me if I still held the views I held when I wrote the paper. When I said yes, my path to ordination was flagged. After a long public examination in front of a packed auditorium, the denomination decided not to ordain me because of my views on Genesis, views which are now taught in the same schools I attended. A few years later, the denomination changed its mind, and I was ordained, serving most of my ministry as the senior pastor of a single congregation in Michigan–31 years in all. All through my ministry I have been reading and reflecting on Genesis. There is always more to learn. Join me in these explorations.