Genesis 1-15: Word Biblical Commentary [WBC]
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Recent scholarship has shown a marked preference for a simpler analysis of Genesis, says Dr. Gordon Wenham, and with this trend his commentary identifies.
Dr. Wenham has a remarkable gift for clarity of expression in discussing even the most difficult problems. His terse, crisp style serves well in his interaction with the multiciplity of arguments in primary arenas of scholarly concern-textual analysis, compositional sources, chronology, theological significance. Throughout, he effectively shares his broad knowledge of current research on Genesis and provides invaluable bibliographic information.
Among the topics discussed are:
- Genesis in recent research and an evaluation of current critical positions
- An analysis of the principal source hypotheses of the early 19th century to the present
- The new literary criticism and its relationship to source criticism
- The theological relationship of Genesis 1-11 to ancient Near Eastern ideas, to the rest of the Pentateuch, and to modem thought.
It would be difficult to find a more concise yet thorough discussion of technical and textual matters. At the same time, Dr. Wenham displays unusual sensitivity to the compositional artistry of Genesis and the importance of storytelling in God's self-revelation to the human family.
Dr. Wenham shows the opening chapters of Genesis as describing an avalanche of sin that gradually engulfs mankind-the alienation of the first man and woman and their expulsion from the presence of God in the garden, mankind's near-annihilation in the flood, the folly of Babel and humanity's dispersal over the face of the globe teaching that without God's blessing mankind is without hope. "But the promises to Abraham and the patriarchs begin to repair that situation," says Dr. Wenham. "The covenant will benefit not just Abraham and his descendants, but in him all the nations of the earth will find blessing, and the ultimate fulfillment of the creator's ideals for humanity is guaranteed ... . Let us beware of allowing ourselves to be diverted from the central thrust of the book so that we miss what the Lord, our creator and redeemer, is saying to us."
GORDON ]. WENHAM is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at The College of St. Paul and St. Mary in Cheltenham, England. He is author of two commentaries, on Numbers and Leviticus, co-editor of Law, Morality and the Bible, and has written numerous articles for scholarly journals and other publications. Dr. Wenham has the B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University and the Ph.D. from King's College of London University.
RICHARD HOLTClovis, NMAge: 45-54Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5A good contribution to Genesis studies.April 9, 2011RICHARD HOLTClovis, NMAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 4Wenham is a respected Evangelical Old Testament scholar. His two volume commentary on Genesis continues his fine history of work. This commentary includes a depth of information that exceeds what is found in many others. He also uses a wider variety of exegetical tools as is typical of the Word series. For example he uses source criticism, textual criticism, fairly extensive interaction with the Hebrew, and very helpful treatment of the form, structure, and setting of each passage. The "comment" section more closely resembles what is found in most commentaries and is well written. I don't personally like his approach to the source criticism of Genesis, but he does argue in a way that is consistent with a high view of scripture. Other commentaries are more accessible, but for a detailed, scholarly treatment, Wenham's volumes are excellent.
d Weber5 Stars Out Of 5November 18, 2008d WeberThe most reasoned, scholarly yet clear presentation of Genesis that I have ever read. Wenham's humility and awe in approaching the Scriptures and the God of the Scriptures makes this book almost devotional at times. I love Jesus more because of this work.
Dan5 Stars Out Of 5March 8, 2007DanIf you can own just one commentary on Genesis this should be it. Wenham does a magnificent job of exploring the historical, grammatical, theological and literary elements of Genesis. His conclusions are well argued and founded on decades of research. This is the most complete commentary on Genesis available today!
Elwood Arbo2 Stars Out Of 5May 9, 2006Elwood ArboOverall a satisfactory work however, in the explanation section on page 40, it was very disturbing to read his conclusion on Genesis 1- 2:4. Like many others God's ability to communicate true and accurate information on His activities in His creation are called into question. Being reduced to the exegesis of the naturalistic mindset typical of the scholarship of modern and post-modern man.
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