The Legends of Genesis

The Legends of Genesis – Hermann Gunkel

Are the narratives of Genesis history or legend? For the modern historian this is no longer an open question; nevertheless it is important to get a clear notion of the bases of this modern position. This work offers insights regarding the significance, the scope, the varieties and the development of these legends.

The Legends of Genesis

The Legends of Genesis

Format: Paperback.

The Legends of Genesis.

ISBN: 9783849674205.

Available at and other venues.


Biography of Hermann Gunkel (from

Gunkel was born in Springe, Kingdom of Hanover, where his father and grandfather were Lutheran pastors. He studied at the University of Göttingen and the University of Giessen. He eventually taught at both universities in addition to those of Berlin and Halle.

Gunkel started his career in New Testament studies at Göttingen in 1888. However, he was soon transferred to Halle (1889-1894) and told to concentrate on the Hebrew Bible by the Prussian academic appointments authority. He went on to teach in Berlin (1894-1907), where he made many inter-disciplinary contacts. His 1895 book, Creation and Chaos in the Primeval Era and the Eschaton, compared the symbolism in Genesis and Revelation 12. In 1901, he produced the first of three editions of commentary on Genesis, Genesis Translated and Explained.

In 1907, Gunkel finally obtained a full professorship at the University of Giessen. There he produced the third and final edition of Genesis in 1910 and The Prophets in 1917. He moved to the University of Halle-Wittenberg in 1920. He published another standard work, his commentary on the book of Psalms, The Psalms: Translated and Explained in 1926. Introduction to the Psalms was his last major project, brought to completion by his student Joachim Begrich in 1933.

Gunkel founded the series Research into the Religion and Literature of the Old and New Testaments (1903-) with Wilhelm Bousset. He also co-edited with Leopold Zscharnack the second edition of the German religious encyclopedia Religion in History and the Present (1927-1931), in which he authored over one hundred articles.


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