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eBookBeginnings eBook • $8.99
Here’s the story: a reverend and a rabbi start a blog. In 2008, Baptist minister Michael Smith and Jewish rabbi Rami M. Shapiro began a virtual conversation via blogspot.com. Called “Mount and Mountain,” the blog recorded a long-running dialogue between Mike and Rami in which the pair interpreted, argued about, and interrogated key texts drawn from the canons of their respective religions: the Ten Commandments from the Torah, the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of St. Matthew, and now, in their newest collaboration, the stories of Genesis.
Editor Aaron Herschel Shapiro describes storytelling as an “infinite game” because stories “must be retold—not just repeated, but reinvented, reimagined, and reexperienced” to remain vital in the world. Mike and Rami continue their earlier conversations, exploring the places where their traditions intersect and diverge and listening to each other as they respond to the stories of creation, of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Jacob, and Joseph. Mike and Rami change the stories by interpretation as they themselves are changed by story and interpretation. And as we read with them, we too respond and interpret and change.
Beginnings: A Reverend and a Rabbi Talk about the Book of Genesis will make you want to be friends with a reverend and a rabbi, so that you can be part of this kind of conversation. My favorite books need bigger margins for the comments I write as I read. This book needs bigger margins.
McAfee School of Theology
. . . [A ] challenging read that forced me to think hard about the biblical stories and my own life. I am deeply grateful for a Christian pastor and a Jewish rabbi who have the kind of relationship that can produce this level of honest, confessional, and interactive conversation. Their obvious love of the conversation, and the insights that are gleaned from it, are a gift to all who read.
Director of the Baugh Center for
Mike and Rami present the best that biblical scholarship, pastoral care, interfaith dialogue, and loving friendship can offer. When these two come together, they invite us to a fresh conversation with Genesis with two friends as our guides. . . . Our faith in God is challenged, deepened, and strengthened by their study of Genesis.
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of