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Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Hardcover – January 1, 1986

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He is the world's leading interpreter of the Old Testament, and is the author of numerous books, including Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination and Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes.
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Product Details

  • Series: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary
  • Hardcover: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (January 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080423101X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804231015
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you are searching for a commentary on the book of Genesis to help in private study, or for preparation of teaching, then you have probably been frustrated by the blizzard of books on the subject which are either too lightweight, too evangelical, or too technical. Dr. Brueggemann's learned book delivers where the others fail. His prose is lively with penetrating insights into the text of Genesis that make you sit up, and say "Oh yeah! I never thought of that before!" The author is internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on the Old Testament, so you don't have to worry about buying a book with bad scholorship. And thankfully, the good professor keeps the lay audience in mind and does not indulge the academic penchant of catalogueing each verse as being composed by one of the "JEPD" schools. In summary, this is a very good book (although the section on Joseph is a little weak on insight) for the person who is seeking a readable, enjoyable, and illuminating commentary designed to help the layperson apply the book of Genesis to their own lives, and to prepare lessons in that regard.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a lay Sunday school teacher of adult classes, and I was searching for a commentary that was balanced yet understandable. This book met my needs and helped me convey some of the difficult passages to a diverse audience. One of the best elements of the book is the structural overview of each major section of Genesis and the increasingly more focused analysis thereafter. All in all this was a great guide on my spiritual journey.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No other commentary I have read on Genesis has caused me to spontaneously want to praise God upon reading it.
Although some of Walter Brueggemann's positions on textual integrity are a bit more liberal than I would be comfortable with (example: doubting Mosaic authorship for the book of Genesis), he nevertheless has an incredibly sound exposition of the text as it stands in its canonical form.

The exegetical insights are keen, the theological and practical implications are sharp and invigorating, and his writing style is lively and creative.

The one thing I appreciate most about Brueggemann's treatment of Genesis is that he allows the text to speak without softening its edges. When he comes across a passage that is problematic or difficult to interpret in our "civilized" Western culture, he does not excuse the Scriptures with a milder interpretation. He instead assumes the Scriptures have a reason for why they are written the way they are, and that we must grapple with these difficulties, not as problems to fix, but most likely as the entry point into our way of thinking which God wants to change and redeem.

As said in the title, this is a MUST for any expositor of the book of Genesis.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best commentaries I have ever read and by far the best I have read on Genesis. Like all the commentaries in the series, this is a preaching commentary and I find his handing of the creation narrative as a proclamation of sovereignty to be excellent. I wish I had found this commentary much earlier in my journey.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent, in-depth commentary on the Book of Genesis. Dr. Brueggemann is particularly helpful in bringing new insights into very familiar stories. This book is an invaluable aid for anyone teaching a class or just studying on his own.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fabulous commentary -- one of the very best I've ever used. Brueggemann is careful to do the "critical-historical" work, but he also brings a narrative sense -- and a preacher's sense -- to the interpretation of the text. His goal is to enable today's church to access the book of Genesis for its proclamation and ministry. (I'm amazed and disappointed that Doulos couldn't do that! Some people really are blinded by philosophy!)

Would that all biblical commentaries were as well-done, as relevant, as powerful as this! High recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although his commentary is now over 26 years old, it still speaks with a fresh voice into the situation of the modern church and society. If you read Brueggemann you should expect to receive political as well as theological insight. While I know that some can find that frustrating, I personally find it refreshingly poignant. Brueggemann does not get bogged down in a historical reading of Genesis, but reads it as a theological document. "This story is not concerned with historical data but with the strange things which happen in the heart of God that decisively affect God's creation" (74). This commentary is not a verse-by-verse commentary, but tackles narrative chunks. Because of that, it is very helpful when preparing for sermons of a thematic nature. It also is very well organized for a personalized reading through Genesis with Brueggemann's commentary as a beneficial guide.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Firstly, I am glad I opted for a theological commentary over an exegetical for my first take at reading Genesis seriously. I cannot begin to imagine reading footnote after footnote about this particular word and this particular source and the dating the of the book of Genesis. Secondly, I am glad I did not choose a author who would try to convince of an early dating for Genesis or the historical-scientific proofs for a six day creation. I honestly didn't know where Brueggemann stood on such issues, but I was prepared to disagree with him.

It may seem obvious to those who studied Genesis in detail or who had more than a cursory reading when trying desperately to finish reading the Bible in a year, but to those of us finally coming into our studies, the names of each of these books is so important to how one studies them. As Brueggemann points out, Genesis is about the genesis of a world and a family. It is about giving a history for a people in exile. That being said, Brueggemann does get into some historical-critical discussions, but these are never the focus of his writing. He'll often mention sources that we are familiar with like J, E and P but this is usually in passing as if the reader already assumes such sources.

Genesis, according to Brueggemann, can be taken into two halves: the cosmological genesis and the anthropological genesis. The latter genesis can then be broken into four sections: the Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph cycles. Chief among them is the promise of Abraham which pervades the three remaining cycles is the also that which propels the other cycles into the book of Exodus. Brueggemann argues that we must follow the title Genesis even along to the end which is really not an ending, but really is a beginning that takes us to the Exodus story.
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