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The Book of Genesis (New International Commentary on the Old Testament Series) 1-17 Hardcover – October 31, 1990

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Each commentary opens with an introduction to the biblical book, looking especially at questions concerning its background, authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. A select bibliography also points readers to resources fore their own study.

About the Author

Victor P. Hamilton (PhD, Brandeis University), now retired, was professor of Bible and theology at Asbury University for more than thirty-five years. He is the author of major commentaries on Genesis and Exodus as well as "Handbook on the Historical Books."
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Product Details

  • Series: New International Commentary on the Old Testament
  • Hardcover: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (October 31, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802825214
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802825216
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
No doubt Wenham and Hamilton have written the best conservative's commentary on Genesis. Longman said that "between Wenham and Hamilton, Genesis is well covered."

But to have both means you must buy 4 volumes because both Wenham and Hamilton separated their commentaries on Genesis into two volumes (Wenham: Genesis 1-15 & 16-50; Hamilton: Genesis 1-17 & 18-50).

I have read all of the four volumes and found that for the first part of Genesis, Hamilton tend to be more conservative than Wenham (e.g. compared their interpretations on the "spirit" in Gen. 1:2), but for the second part Wenham has given me more insight (He always can find fresh meanings and applications from the famous Christian stories that I have been reading since I was in the sunday school!).

My suggestion is if you have enough money buy all, but if you don't buy the first book of Hamilton and the second book of Wenham.buy all, but if you don't buy the first book of Hamilton and the second book of Wenham.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the finest commentary on Genesis in my library. It is a 2 volume set.

Hamilton deals with a wide array of issues. His work reflects later scholarship than Wenham's Word Biblical Commentary, and his conclusions are more convincing than Wenham's when they differ (in my opinion). For example, Genesis contains the Hebrew 'TOLeDOT' in 10 locations. Hamilton reviews Wenham's (and others) idea that 'TOLeDOT' in Genesis 2 is a conclusion for the first chapter. He then goes on to reject that idea because the 9 others are clearly introductions to the following material. He then goes on to explain how it should be seen as the introduction to Genesis 2:4 ff. He goes further than commentators like Waltke on this, by offering a significant grammatical point on this as well. Wenham does not talk about it at all. Wenham bases his argument on context only with a leaning towards the meaning of the words themselves. This affects how one sees the entire book of Genesis. Wenham does not see the ten divisions of Genesis. Hamilton includes the ten divisions as part but not all of his reasoning. Waltke concurs with Hamilton, and I have to say that Hamilton's argument is far superior in my view.

It's not just another point in the exegesis of the book. This particular point is crucial to how you see Genesis as a whole, and its parts. It even can affect how you view the authorship of Genesis (hodgepodge or a whole composition).

Unfortunately, Hamilton does not contain information that deals with chiastic and alternating structures. He should.

I've found his commentary is usually full and helpful as well as readable. Every part of every verse provides reflection on the hard issues and the easy ones.
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Format: Hardcover
This excellent work treads the line carefully, taking into account Textual Criticism, Ancient Near East backgrounds and parallels, New Testament Appropriation of texts and critical scholarship in a way that leaves the reader well informed on issues. Sometimes comes to "interesting" conclusions, but if not near a reference library, this is the commentary on the book to have (over Wenham, Spieser, or Westermann). Especially helpful to have 1 more if possible (I'd take the JPS Torah series to get a solid Jewish and historical approach) to compare against, but Hamilton is solid and orthodox in his conclusions, avoiding straying too far from either extreme, though leaving ultra-conservative evangelicals out in the cold with some of his statements. (see esp. Gen 1-3; Oi)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really good two volume commentary on Genesis. I like it better than Gordon Wenham's two volume work for several reasons: 1) It is easier to read. 2) There are many points where Hamilton focus on applying the text to the New Testament and to the practical Christian life, 3) you don't have to have a knowledge of hebrew to access this mammoth work. So if you're doing a Bible study on Genesis or if you're preaching through it, then this is the top of the line.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
* Many authors suppose to write for scholars, pastors and laymen, yet few accomplish their goal. Hamilton succeeds. This commentary is of sufficient depth and technicality for scholars and students. The introduction in particular does a wonderful job of addressing theological themes within the book. One very useful feature, not usually found in scholarly OT commentaries, is a section on 'New Testament Appropriation" at the conclusion of every few chapters. Hamilton also includes useful applicatory points and easy-to-read and understand chapter and section summaries. IMHO this is the best commentary on Genesis.
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Format: Hardcover
Hamilton's outline and word study allows the reader to determine for themselves the best interpretation of verses under challenge. While focusing on the Biblical evidence, Hamilton shows varying opinions on specifics and then challenges each with other areas of Scripture. The format, and easy-to-read structure make it a must for any Old Testament library.
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Format: Hardcover
In my humble opinion, Hamilton’s commentary on Genesis is the best there is. It is even better than Wenham’s commentary (which many consider the best). I think Hamilton is better in a number of ways:
1. It is more readable, both on a practical level and on a layout level. Wenham’s layout is tedious and at times confusing.
2. It is more conservative in its view than Wenham. I find that when the two conflict (i.e. Gen. 2:4), Hamilton’s answers are more consistent and in line with the text.
3. Knowledge of Hebrew is not demanded as is Wenham. Thereby making itself more useful to both Pastor and layman.
4. It is very detailed in its treatment of the text and less confusing than Wenham.
5. He applies the text in light of the New Testament, which makes it helpful for the preacher and teacher in a local church setting.

However there are some slight weaknesses, such as he sometimes is weak on Christological passages. But his treatment is sufficient in his comments on this area. Overall, this has become my go to commentary on Genesis and supplement Wenham and others works. It is a great commentary and the best I have found. I have both Wenham and Hamilton, but if you can only get one, I would recommend that Hamilton be your first choice. You will not be sorry.
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