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Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary Paperback – September 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
I am an Evangelical Protestant Christian, so I come to a book like this with some presuppositions about the inspiration of Scripture. Traditionally, our perspective has focused on the words - or "verbal" inspiration. While I remain convinced the whole Bible - from Genesis to Revelation - is uniquely inspired by God, it seems our focus on "verbal" inspiration has created a blind spot; we seem to miss the literary forest for the lexicographical trees.
This commentary is very helpful in this respect. Collins does not dispense with nor disregard the traditional views, but believes they need to cooperate with the Hebrew literary conventions of the time when Genesis was written. He remains true to the traditional view of Mosaic authorship, but cautions us to understand the concept of "authorship" in a broader sense, for which he shows evidence even within later Scripture. He interacts with the "documentary hypothesis" (the idea that Genesis was "stitched" together from disparate sources) and shows convincingly (and helpfully from an Evangelical perspective) that regardless of the provenance of the stories, what we have before us is a highly unified, artistically stylized text. He argues we should be less concerned with what can only be a speculative enterprise (the form of the putative "original" sources) and more interested in the literary art of the whole.
The two things I did not like about the book (and thus 4 stars and not 5) were:
1) As a reader of commentaries, I expect a certain structure to them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book as part of my research for my "One Verse Podcast."
However you understand Genesis 1-4, C. Read more
Some good insights into the biblical text. His focus on intent of author and trying to determine what the text meant to its original intended audience is helpful. Read morePublished 17 months ago by amanuensis
This is an excellent work, thorough, insightful, relevant and I believe an honest exegesis of the text.Published 18 months ago by Tim Dubber
This book is a great tool for pastors lay people and also theologians. It is very well organized and instructive.Published 21 months ago by Jesus Duran
John Collins, High View of Scripture yes. Holds to Infallibility? No. I'm reviewing part of this book because there's more to come. Read morePublished on July 30, 2014 by j
C. John Collins provides one of the best ever looks into the linguistic, cultural, structural, thematic, and historical studies of our time. Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by Lauren V.
While the creation account has long suffered, being at the heart of concentrated attacks from liberal critics, here Collins yolks it to new hermeneutical beginnings. Read morePublished on December 10, 2012 by Jacques Schoeman