on January 6, 2004
You'd think that this book only covered the first 2 chapters of Genesis from reading the reviews. Debating aside, I think everyone ought to read the book of Genesis all the way through. It is truly a book of beginnings, and the human experience. There are many interesting explanations presented here, such as the "closing signatures" of each section "these are the generations of <>" fill in the person who wrote that portion. There is the novel explanation of Abraham and Sarah's bodies being miraculously rejuvenated back to youth to have Isaac, instead of the usual picture of two elderly parents. Then there is a long section on Jacob and an attempt at a scientific explanation of the spotted/speckled recessive traits and the striped rods being some kind of cattle and sheep aphrodisiac. The section on Joseph is rich and full of interest, with a detailed analysis of the brothers' two trips to Egypt and how Joseph's harsh questioning and tests brings them to repentance and finally reconciliation. So there is a lot to this book than just the 6 days of creation, if people would read further, they'd find many interesting interpretations to help them gain a better understanding of the events in Genesis and hence the Bible.
Morris does tend to explain away some of the doubtful behavior of the main characters which differs from other commentaries. For example, he excuses Jacob and Rebecca's deception on Isaac as saying that perhaps they thought to save his life, for had he blessed Esau against God's will, maybe there would be repercussions. He also explains Rachel's theft of her father's idols as perhaps it was a way for her to lay claim to any inheritance she felt was due. Meanwhile Dr. J. Vernon McGee tells it like it is in his "Chicken's Come Home to Roost" sermon series where he talks about Jacob's trickery being revisited on him at Uncle Laban's School of Hard Knocks. Dr. McGee doesn't excuse Jacob's behavior nor put on a false-pious veneer. But rather shows how God works with Jacob to bring him into spiritual maturity, by teaching him lessons.
Highly recommended, if I got through this book by reading a little every day on the Stairmaster, you can too.
on July 16, 2002
Please ignore all of those bad reviews!! I thought this book was marvelous and I soaked up every page, loving it all the way! I thinks it's the best book I've ever read!
It is a detailed commentary that is most excellent for illuminating bizarre and difficult passages in Genesis, doing it in a language that will not loose the average Joe. I particularly enjoyed the beginning chapters addressing creation, but also loved the journeys of the patriachs through to the beginnings of the nation of Israel.
I now have a special love for the book of Genesis, the book that the entire Bible is based on. I certainly now weight it's importance at the equivalence of any other book in the bible.
I find myself reaching for it often to witness to others and remind myself of answers to tough questions. I am now trying to read a commentary on Exodus, and miss the marvelous writing style of Henry! It just doesn't compare!! I'm attempting to get my hands on his other commentaries, particularly, the Revelation Record. God truly blessed Henry with wisdom and a grounded unshakable faith, not to mention a big brain!!
The Genesis Record is a must read for any Christian who likes to think deeply and who wants answers for many tough questions that come out of the Genesis story.
FYI, I believe that Jesus is God, is the Creator, and saves my soul through the work on the Cross! I believe that the triune God created the universe in 6 days.
The Genesis Record puts up a very good argument against Christian thinking that Genesis can include evolution theories and allegories. Now you can believe that every word and story actually happened and have the scientific logic to back it up! How on earth did all those animals fit on the ark?
Why not believe God at His word? If you can't believe every word in Genesis, then can you believe the rest of God's Word? Get to know the infinate wisdom found in the book of beginnings. You will be caught up in awe at the perfection of God's word, and will praise Him for His ominescent power.
To understand this book is to understand God's overall purpose in a deeper way. It is a good grounding to understand your salvation from the perspective of Genesis. Jesus and the disciples referenced Genesis many times!
Read the following quotes from the book's introduction:
"No other book of the Bible is quoted as copiously or referred to so frequently, in other books of the Bible, as is Genesis" - it is a foundational authority! "There are at least 165 passages in Genesis that are either directly quoted or clearly referred to in the New Testament. Many of these are alluded to more than once, so that there are at least two hundred quotations or allusions to Genesis in the New Testament." "It is significant that the portion of Genesis which has been the object of the greatest attacks of skepticism and unbelief, the first eleven chapters, is the portion which had the greatest influence on the New Testament. Yet there exist over one hundred quotations or direct references to Genesis 1-11 in the New Testament. Furthermore, every one of these eleven chapters is alluded to somewhere in the New Testament, and every one of the New Testament authors referes somewhere in his writings to Genesis 1-11. On at least six different occasions, Jesus Christ Himself quoted from or referred to something or someone in one of these chapters, including specific reference to each of the first seven chapters. Furthermore, in not one of these many instances where the Old or New Testament refers to Genesis is there the slightest evidence that the writers regarded the events or personages as mere myths or allegories. To the contrary, they viewed Genesis as absolutely historical, true and authoritative. It is quite impossible, therefore, for one to reject the historicity and divine authority of the Book of Genesis without undermining, and in effect, repudiating, the authority of the entire Bible."
Amen to that! This book will leave you with a faith that is deepend and strengthend, and you will want to praise your Creator! It did for me!! Surely, "scientific & devotional" sums up this book well. It has my rave review, 10 out of 10.
on July 19, 2002
This book must be hitting home judging by the incredibly intemperate reviews by professing Christians. Clearly some people can't tell the difference between allegories and alligators.
As Morris points out, everywhere else in the Bible where Genesis 1 is quoted, including by Jesus Himself, it is quoted as straightforward history. The Hebrew of Genesis 1-11 it very clear, with the frequency of the vav consecutive and other features of the verbs pointing to historical narrative. Conversely, if it were Hebrew poetry there would be lots of parallelism, which there is not.
One must also wonder about professing Christians who, in effect, say Jesus was wrong when he said "Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35), quotes Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 to assert that people were made male and female "from the beginning of creation" (Matthew 19:3-6, Mark 10:4-6), and that the Flood and Ark were things that really "occurred" in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26-27).
It's also absurd to use indefinite time words to overrule the plain meaning of Genesis. After all, how old is old? I think anyone over 40 is old -- it's a relative term! The words used to describe mountains etc. as "old" are always in relation to a human lifetime. 3000 years really is OLD -- it's only the indoctrination of millions of years that has persuaded people to think of this huge stretch of time as "young".
And of course, the usual SDA canard is raised. FACT: the straightforward interpretation of Genesis was the main view of the Church Fathers and Reformers, not to mention the 19th Century Scriptural Geologists. Here are just two of many quotes:
1. Basil the Great, 4th century Church Father:
`"And there was evening and there was morning: one day." And the evening and the morning were one day. Why does Scripture say "one day the first day"? Before speaking to us of the second, the third, and the fourth days, would it not have been more natural to call that one the first which began the series? If it therefore says "one day", it is from a wish to determine the measure of day and night, and to combine the time that they contain. Now ***twenty-four hours fill up the space of one day***-we mean of a day and of a night; and if, at the time of the solstices, they have not both an equal length, the time marked by Scripture does not the less circumscribe their duration. It is as though it said: ***twenty-four hours measure the space of a day***, or that, in reality a day is the time that the heavens starting from one point take to return there. Thus, every time that, in the revolution of the sun, evening and morning occupy the world, their periodical succession never exceeds the space of one day.'
2. Martin Luther, 15th-16th Century Father of the Reformation:
"We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago."
"He [Moses] calls 'a spade a spade,' i.e., he employs the terms 'day' and 'evening' without Allegory, just as we customarily do... we assert that Moses spoke in the literal sense, not allegorically or figuratively, i.e., that the world, with all its creatures, was created within six days, as the words read. If we do not comprehend the reason for this, let us remain pupils and leave the job of teacher to the Holy Spirit."
Martin Luther in Jaroslav Peliken, editor, "Luther's Works," Lectures on Genesis Chapters 1-5, Vol. 1 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1958), pp. 3, 6.
Finally, it is an outright falsehood to claim that Morris believes in the divine inspiration of the KJV, which indeed would be a belief in extrabiblical revelation. In The Genesis Record, he criticises the KJV in a few places, e.g. the "unfortunate" translation "replenesh the Earth" in Gen. 1:28, and in Genesis 1:20. Also, Morris is always tentative when discussing the "Gospel in the Stars" idea, with which I disagree also.
on March 7, 2008
The Genesis Record is possibly the most challenging commentary on Genesis you could find. I mean this in terms of it's literal approach. It goes out of its way to determine the importance of plenary verbal inspiration. Most commentaries on Genesis have to ignore certain things to make a general summary that the whole point of the book was simply to get the reader to understand that the God of Abraham was also the creator. The Layman's Bible Commentary is a good example of this. Henry Morris, however, can soundly argue the truth of Genesis from the words themsleves. He backs his claims with scripture from an internal and external authenticity. He is also quite knoledgeable in extrabiblical writing to help from a historical standpoint. Another good trait of this commentary is that it has each section of commented scripture there to read so you are able to check for yourself. It is also, in part, an apologetic book, as commentaries should be. Studying the Bible goes hand in hand with defending the Bible. If you have a collection of Genesis commentaries, this would definitely be one to add to the collection.