What Hath Darwin to Do with Scripture?
What Hath Darwin to Do with Scripture?
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: December 19, 2023
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-1-5140-0361-9
  • Item Code: A0361

Believe it or not, the book of Genesis might have been the most Darwinian text in the ancient world. And throughout the opening books of Scripture, we find ideas that would also become prominent insights of the biologist Charles Darwin interlaced with the Bible's one-of-a-kind origin story. Key plot markers come to the surface again and again, driving the history of Israel and the Jesus movement forward to its cosmic completion.

Biblical scholar Dru Johnson calls us beyond typical creation-versus-evolution debates to explore the conceptual worlds underlying both Scripture and evolutionary science. He points toward remarkable continuities and discontinuities between the Bible's central concerns and those of Darwin and modern science—ideas so fundamental that they can easily escape our notice.

The Hebrew creation accounts, Johnson argues, weave together three key themes on the origins and development of humans and animals, themes that are also essentially Darwinian:

  • the connection among scarcity, cooperation, and violence
  • the fitness of creatures to their environments
  • the genealogical aims of sexual reproduction

Can the ideas of Scripture and evolutionary science be mutually illuminating? When we enter deeply into the metaphysical imagination of the biblical authors, we discover surprising ways in which the two accounts converge—and conflict.

"In this highly readable and fascinating book, Dru Johnson offers readers an intriguing, imaginative, and eye-opening account that offers a window into two disparate worlds—a world of evolutionary science and a world of (some of) the biblical authors—while also showing them to be, in many ways, complementary to one another. What is especially laudable is Johnson's balanced approach that succeeds in being at once both cautious and creative."

Andrew Torrance, University of St. Andrews



Part 1: Two Conceptual Worlds
1. This Is Not the Creation-Evolution Debate You're Looking For
2. What Hath Darwin to Do with Scripture

Part 2: Scarcity
3. Darwin's Scarcity and the "Struggle for Life"
4. Scripture's Own Intellectual World
5. Scarcity Across Genesis
6. Scarcity Beyond Genesis
7. Between Evolutionary Scarcity and Scripture's Provision

Part 3: Fit
8. Evolutionary Fit and Location
9. Fit and Dislocation from Garden to New Earth

Part 4: Generation
10. Evolutionary Sex and Extinction
11. Sex and Generation Across Genesis
12. Generation Across the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament

Conclusions: Through Two Glasses, Darkly

Scripture Index


Dru Johnson (PhD, University of St. Andrews) directs the Center for Hebraic Thought and has been a research fellow at the Herzl Institute (Jerusalem), Logos Institute (St. Andrews), and Henry Center (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Biblical Philosophy, Human Rites, and Knowledge by Ritual. He is ordained as an EPC minister and is cohost of the OnScript podcast.