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Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875526195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875526195
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

C. JOHN COLLINS (PhD, University of Liverpool) is professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St Louis. With degrees from MIT and Faith Evangelical Lutheran Seminary, he pursues such research interests as Hebrew and Greek grammar, science and faith, and biblical theology. He is the author of The God of Miracles.

Customer Reviews

Many good insights and applications.
Carnation Bob
Again, I highly suggest that a true scholarly student of Genesis should pick this book up.
Amazon Customer
Thanks to John Grotenhuis for providing me a copy of this book.
Jacques Schoeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Wesley L. Janssen VINE VOICE on March 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having just begun a study of Genesis when I purchased this book, I must say that it was money well spent. Collins is the general editor of the Old Testament translation of the English Standard Version (ESV), a newer and highly 'literal' Bible. His proficiency in ancient languages and literature, philology, theology, exegetics, source studies and theories, and biblical scholarship generally (ancient, modern, recent, and current) is evident throughout this volume and is consistently a necessary antidote to dogmatic and sometimes reckless expositions by supposed experts of both the conservative and liberal varieties. At once Collins is orthodox, cautious (appropriately tentative), informed (scholarly), and given to carefully analyzing the interpretational assertions and shortcomings of all commonly touted exegetic and scholarly schools. Most importantly, he rightly asks that we not defer so readily to our post Enlightenment expectations of 'normal' narrative and instead cooperate with evidences of the author's intent.

There have always been questions and disagreements as to the correct understanding of these texts, and, for the last two centuries, questions and disagreements as to the sources and motives involved in the texts. For Collins, all of these issues, as they relate to the chapters being studied, are scrutinized. After explaining why we must reject the expositional assertions of some readers and scholars--that these texts not be viewed through the lenses of subsequent ancient writers, Collins examines the "allusions, echoes, and reverberations" relating to these texts that we find in later Old Testament, inter-testamental, and New Testament writings.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By David W. Opderbeck on April 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Collins has produced a truly scholarly and masterful exegesis of the opening chapters of Genesis. With careful attention to the language and conventions of the text, and with an eye towards historic Reformed theology, he argues that the narrative is an "exalted prose narrative" that is at once historically grounded in and analogical to the ordinary human experiences of the text's original readers. This is a useful corrective to those who insist, for example, that the "days" of creation are "ordinary" days, as well as to those who hold that the text is merely mythopoetic. He does this while addressing other views critically but respectfully. Whatever position you hold on the meaning of the Biblical creation narrative, you should admire Collins' work for both its substance and spirit.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jay W. Richards on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was privileged to read this book in manuscript form. In this commentary, Collins follows up on his intriguing insights developed briefly in his previous book, Science and Faith: Friends of Foes? For anyone searching for a thoughtful, informed, orthodox, and persuasive explanation of the first four chapters of the Bible, this book is simply the best there is.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Paul R. Bruggink on November 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
C. John Collins (Professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary) has written an excellent study of Genesis 1-4. After introductory material and a description of his methodology, the heart of the book is a chapter each on The Creation Week, The Garden of Eden, The Fall, and After Eden. Each of these four chapters includes sections on translations & notes, literary-theological exposition, extra notes, and reverberations (ways in which the material from Genesis has been taken up in the Psalms and the New Testament). Extra Notes include topics like creation from nothing, "evening and morning," the meaning of kind, the image of God, use of the words create and make, the goodness of creation, what were the two trees, how long was the creation week (he favors the analogical days interpretation), was Adam made mortal, the curse and nature, are Adam and Eve the parents of all mankind,where did Cain's wife come from, etc.

These are followed by chapters on Sources, Unity & Authorship (in which he discusses the arguments for the Documentary Hypothesis, then gives his reasons for concluding that Moses is the primary author), The Communicative Purpose, questions of history & science, and appropriating Genesis 1-4 today.

He even explains why he chose to include Genesis 4 in this book about "The Beginning." I found Genesis 1-4 to be a well-documented, well-reasoned study that is eminently suitable for a layman like myself.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jason G on November 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. 'Jack' Collins, a professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO., has made accessible to laity and laymen alike, a very sound explanation and commentary on perhaps the most important chapters of the Bible. Writing from a conservative, Reformed viewpoint and with an eye of assisting pastors, other scholars and the layman who wishes to educate himself with a sound interpretation of the text, Collins is careful to avoid extremes and his writing is balanced. As he indicates in the introduction, he could have made a very long volume with his notes, but his text is tightly written, with an outstanding bibliography for those who want to dig deeper on the subject.

Collins writes about the Biblical text from what is called a discourse-literary approach, which he judges to be his most important contribution to this first section of the Bible. He wants to show how the ancient languages and literature apply to not only us today, but especially to their first audience, how it fits within the whole of the Bible's canon and what its theological point is. In a sense, he writes and explains the Genesis 1-4 as a story, told to a particular people, with certain language markers that would have mattered greatly to them. This book would fall under the category of Biblical rather than Systematic theology, regarding the text.

It is absolutely essential for the reader to grasp the first section of the book, where Collins explains why and how understanding the literary nature of the text matters. Collins does spend about 200 pages specifically interpreting the text of the four chapters, which makes up the middle section of the book.
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