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Genesis: A Commentary Hardcover – 2011


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Hardcover, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Zondervan (2011)
  • ASIN: B0062F3DR4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,377,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

God Bless you and God Bless Bruce....Seriously.
Micah N. Westby
In others words this commentary should not be a first choice, it's simply a filler like some bread to go with that steak and potatoes.
Blake Duckworth
This commentary on Genesis is a very helpful beginner commentary on the book.
Stephen Willcox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bielby VINE VOICE on October 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so surprised to see so many negative reviews of this commentary which I have fallen in love with, that I decided to write a review myself.

First of all, Waltke's command of Hebrew and the decision to bring out certain aspects of the Hebrew text is selective, not exhaustive. For example, he does not cover every nuance of the Hebrew text in a verse, but does cover significant issues especially with an eye towards exegetical work (so it's a great tool for pastors-cutting through the chaff and getting to the kernel of the issue). Let me illustrate by looking at Waltke's coverage of 'Book 1 of 10 in Genesis'. In Genesis 2:4a (pg 83) he says : "This the account" [toledot] (sorry I cannot make the Hebrew transliteration look like his typesetting). This word is the signal marker for the beginning of each of the ten books of Genesis. Toledot, from the root yld, meaning "to bear children" here signifies "what is produced or brought into being by someone." It is the nominal form of the root, meaning "descendants." The account pertains to what the cosmos has generated, not the generation of the cosmos.

If you desire more on this, you will have to read someone like Victor Hamilton's NICOT or any number of fuller technical works on Genesis. But for the pastor preparing a sermon, he boils it down to the essentials without TMI (too much information).

For each book in Genesis (he sees 10) Waltke follows a pattern that I find refreshing to read in comparison to fuller commentaries. He starts out with a section called "Theme of Book 1" or 2 and so on. It is a short summary in normal language of that part of Genesis. Then he gives an outline of the book. He breaks it down into Acts, Scenes and Epilogues.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By P. Duggan on May 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bruce Waltke's commentary was useful as a resource for the recent Adult Sunday School class I taught on Genesis 11-50. It doesn't go into as much technical detail as Gordon Wehnam's (Word biblical commentary section), which makes it suited for use by interested laymen who aren't doing advanced study.

Waltke makes good use of David Dorsey's structural outlines (usually chiastic) (from The literary structure of the Old Testament, which are helpful in pointing the reader to compare and contrast one section of the text with another, possibly non-obvious section of text.

For each portion of Genesis Waltke covers includes literary analysis, exegetical details, and theological reflections, which are generally Reformed in tenor. I liked how Waltke referenced God changing his mind about humanity in the flood: "The unchanging God is always pained by sin. Moreover, because he is immutable, he will always change his plans to do good if people persist in their sin: "If it [a nation] does evil in my sight, and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good that I had intended to do for it" (Jer 18:10, ...) God's change of mind about the human race at the time of the flood, is entirely consistent with his unchanging character. God is not fickle, he does not change his mind, including his mind to reconsider. People can count on God always to reconsider his original intention to do good or evil according to the human response."

Waltke follows the usual "majority report" on the impropriety of deception in Genesis, seeing Abraham and Jacob as solely negative examples. Interestingly, and in a very well-argued section, he shows how Tamar is a model of gentile faithfulness in her actions to gain her rightful offspring from fallen Judah.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Waltke has presented us with the best commentary on Genesis that I have read in a long time. As a Bible study leader this book is indispensable. He exegetes each section which he has divided up into Acts & Scenes - don't let this confuse you, it his own way of "separating" the contents. He not only give us exegetical notes but includes a theological review of each "Act". I have never read a book so designed to correctly use the Word of God. It not only is a delight to read but is a most helpful book for preparing a Bible study. His insights and high view of God are inspiring.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Randall on February 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I had a difficult decision in selecting the number of stars to give this book. Waltke is a scholar and his look at Genesis based on its narrative style gives the reader some interpretive insights that are not immediately obvious from a less literary-analytical reading. For this the work probably deserves at least 4 if not 5 stars.

That being said, Waltke's analysis is sometimes not without its weak points. He can get preoccupied with interpretive theories that he sees suggested in the literary style of the story, but aren't necessarily supported by the content; sometimes ignoring elements of content altogether. Even in the literary analysis of works of fiction (where style is sometimes the main vehicle for ideas) style criticism is a highly subjective and speculative business. It is just too easy to project our own thoughts onto the author, and find any "hidden" meaning that we set out to find. When dealing with a work where historical accuracy is primary we have to be even more cautious. It is not that history cannot be crafted to convey ideas through style as well as content. It is simply that when weighing the merit of an interpretive theory, evidence based on content must be weighted much more heavily than evidence based on style. Surely someone as generally sound as Waltke should be fully aware of this, but there are times when he doesn't seem to be. For this I would have to give the work a 1 or 2 star rating.
One example from the book serves to illustrate the point. In interpreting the story of the stolen blessing in Gen 27, Waltke concludes that Isaac is spiritually dull and much more concerned with his physical appetites than his relationship with God. He comes to this conclusion from two pieces of stylistic "evidence".
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