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Recommended Commentaries for Genesis

I will be recommending commentaries for the book of Genesis with this post.

Genesis, by John Walton.  With many commentaries in the NIV Application series, some volumes are good and others not so good.  Walton has written a helpful commentary that provides many useful exegetical and theological insights.  If you are looking for a basic commentary on Genesis that is still rich in background, exegetical, and theological information then Walton’s work is the best out there. 

Genesis, by John Currid.  Much like his other volumes on the Pentateuch, Currid has written a short, but helpful commentary on Genesis.  In his two-volume commentary Currid approaches Genesis from a redemptive-historical perspective and offers many helpful connections to the New Testament.

Kingdom Prologue, by Meredith Kline.  Although Kline’s book is not a commentary, it is essential reading for anyone serious about understanding Genesis.  Kline gives the reader a thorough understanding of Genesis from a historical, cultural, and theological perspective.  Although Kline’s book is a hard read it is well worth the time.

Genesis 1-4, by C. John Collins.  Collins seeks to set forth a comprehensive perspective of Genesis 1-4.  He succeeds by offering a myriad of insights concerning the first four chapters of the Bible.  Collins also makes many connections from Genesis 1-4 to the rest of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

In the Beginning, by Henri Blocher.  Much like the previous two volumes, Blocher’s book is not a commentary per se.  Blocher deals with various issues surrounding the first three chapters of Genesis.  However, the real value of this book is Blocher’s work on difficulties found in the beginning chapters of Genesis by taking a different and unique approach in comparison to traditional understandings of Genesis.

How to Read Genesis, by Tremper Longman.  Longman has produced a helpful book for people wanting to get a good overall grasp of Genesis.  He touches on issues of literary, cultural, historical, and theological significance with a concluding chapter on Christological dimensions of Genesis.  While this book is helpful to pastors and students, Longman’s book would be ideal for a group study. 

The Genesis Debate, edited by David Hagopian.  Much like other counterpoint books, this book offers the three positions on Genesis 1-2 with opposing responses.  The primary reason I have recommended this book is because of the succinct, but extremely helpful essay on the Framework View. 

Genesis, by Gordan Wenham.  Wenham has written a two-volume commentary on Genesis that has many helpful theological insights.  Despite its many strengths, this commentary was not my favorite, but if you are looking for a work on Genesis that deals extensively with introductory and exegetical issues then this is the set for you. 

Genesis, by Bruce Waltke.  Waltke’s volume is my favorite commentary on Genesis.  Waltke has produced a superb work that deals with historical, cultural, exegetical, and theological issues in the text.  Waltke also deals with issues of redemptive-history, promise-fulfillment, and typology.  This is not an overly technical commentary, which may be a disappointment to some, but I found his “to the point” style helpful and refreshing.

Genesis (New Cambridge Bible Commentary), by Bill Arnold.  Not to sure about this series or its aim, but Arnold is a skilled commentator.

Genesis (Apollos), by David Baker.  Baker has written several commentaries on the Old Testament, which have been very helpful.  This new volume should be no exception.

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  1. November 7, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    I thought Walton was fairly helpful in the early chapters, and horribly brief in the later chapters. It is as if he got tired. For me, Currid was far better. Have you read Mathews? Hughes is good, as is Cassuto (though Jewish), Hamilton was far better than Wenham in my opinion. I did like Waltke very much. The best book on Joseph was Joseph: Wise and Otherwise, by Lindsay Wilson. On Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the two volumes by Ian Duguid are superb. And on the Flood, I would recommend Bruce McDowell’s book.

  2. Chad
    November 7, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I read some of Matthews, but thought he was not as decisive on some theological issues (e.g., Jacob’s Ladder and John 1). I thought it was a toss up between Hamilton and Wenham, simply because both are writing a more scholarly commentary than a theological one (although both have theological insights). I simply recommended Wenham because it is one of the most technical commentaries out there on Genesis. I agree with your comments about Duguid’s books (I simply forgot about them).

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