Genesis: A Commentary
Buy Item $22.99 Retail: $39.99 Save 43% ($17.00)
In Stock
Stock No: WW224586
Zondervan / 2001 / Hardcover

Add To Cart

Add To Wishlist
eBook $26.99 View Details

Add To Cart


Genesis: A Commentary

Zondervan / 2001 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW224586

  • Other Formats (2)
Other Formats (2)
  1. In Stock
    Retail: $39.99
    Add To Cart
  2. In Stock
    Add To Cart

Product Description

Hebrew and Old Testament expert Bruce Waltke looks at the book of Genesis as a work of theological literature. Thus, he focuses on primary aspects of the story (narrative), including characterization, plot, theme, scene, structure, foreshadowing and irony, and balances these issues with an emphasis on the theology of Genesis which both shapes and is shaped by the narrative. He looks at the ten divine initiatives in salvation history, each delineated by a "toledot" heading ("the account of the line of...") followed by a transitional linkage. Waltke interprets the text using twelve levels of signification (sounds, syllables, words, phrases, clauses, sentences, frames/speeches, scene parts or incidents, scenes or episodes, acts or phases, sections/cycles, book/composition), and takes the best of form, source, narrative and literary criticism to offer readers one of the best looks at the theological and literary value of Genesis, the book of beginnings.

Overview of Genesis, by Bruce Waltke:
  • Theologically moderate
  • Uses the author's own translation from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
  • Technical (knowledge of Hebrew is necessary)
  • A verse-by-verse exposition of the theology and literature of Genesis
  • Models ways to read and interpret the narratives of Genesis
  • Reflects on how the message of Genesis can address our contemporary theological and social issues, including ecology, homosexuality, temperance, evil, prayer and obedience
  • Addresses critical interpretive issues including authenticity, dating, and authorship
  • Innovative separation of Genesis into books, acts, and scenes, which aids in the understanding of both the structure and flow of Genesis
  • Geared for all educated Christians interested in a deeper understanding of this masterful piece of theological literature

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 656
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.25 X 1.25 (inches)
ISBN: 0310224586
ISBN-13: 9780310224587
UPC: 025986224585

Related Products

  1. Genesis: JPS Torah Commentary
    Genesis: JPS Torah Commentary
    Nahum M. Sarna
    Jewish Publication Society / 1989 / Hardcover
    $54.49 Retail: $75.00 Save 27% ($20.51)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
  2. Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Hardcover)
    Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (Hardcover)
    Walter Brueggemann
    Westminster John Knox Press / 1984 / Hardcover
    $36.00 Retail: $40.00 Save 10% ($4.00)
    3.5 Stars Out Of 5 6 Reviews
  3. Genesis: The Story We Haven't Heard
    Genesis: The Story We Haven't Heard
    Paul Borgman
    InterVarsity Press / 2001 / Trade Paperback
    $15.99 Retail: $22.00 Save 27% ($6.01)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
  4. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament
    The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament
    John Walvoord, Roy Zuck
    David C. Cook / 1985 / Hardcover
    $25.49 Retail: $49.99 Save 49% ($24.50)
    5 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews

Publisher's Description

This landmark commentary marshals the vast experience and brilliant insights of one of today’s most revered Old Testament scholars. To those familiar with the work of Bruce K. Waltke, the significance and value of Genesis will be instantly apparent. Others who are unfamiliar with Waltke have only to read the first few chapters to understand why he has earned the reputation of a scholar’s scholar, and why this masterful volume stands like a monolith among Old Testament commentaries. Exploring the first book of the Bible as "theological literature," Waltke illuminates its meanings and methods for the pastor, scholar, teacher, student, and Bible-lover. Genesis strikes an unusual balance by emphasizing the theology of the Scripture text while also paying particular attention to the flow and development of the plot and literary techniques--inclusion, irony, chiasm, and concentric patterning--that shape the message of the "book of beginnings". Genesis Models the way to read and interpret the narratives of the book of Genesis Provides helpful exegetical notes that address key issues and debates surrounding the text Includes theological reflections on how the message addresses our contemporary theological and social issues, such as ecology, homosexuality, temperance, evil, prayer, and obedience Addresses critical interpretive issues, such as authenticity, date, and authorship For all the author’s formidable intellect and meticulous research, Genesis is amazingly accessible. This is no mere study tool. Lucidly and eloquently written, it is a work of the heart that helps us not only to understand deeply God’s Word in its context, but also to consider how it applies to us today.

Author Bio

Bruce K. Waltke (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary; PhD, Harvard Divinity School), acknowledged to be one of the outstanding contemporary Old Testament scholars, is professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and professor emeritus of biblical studies at Regent College in Vancouver. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, commentaries, and articles, and contributed to dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Cathi Fredricks (MCS, Regent College) lives in London, where she is an executive assistant at the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.

Product Reviews

4.3 Stars Out Of 5
4.3 out of 5
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.5 out Of 5
(3.5 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
Page 1 of 2 12 Next
  1. The Geeky Calvinist
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A Narrative Commentary
    December 1, 2017
    The Geeky Calvinist
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    The Book of Genesis is one of the most studied books in the entire Bible. Not only due to its sheer size, nor its placement in the pentateuch, but to the theological that is found within its pages. Therefore there has always been a disproportionate amount of commentaries about this first book of the pentateuch. Yet out of all of these commentaries very few are considered worthy of her preachers time and study. One of these such commentaries is Genesis: A commentary, by Bruce K Waltke. Waltkes greatest asset to this commentary is its format. For he embarks on a study on the Book of Genesis in narrative theology. This is important to note since the genre of Genesis is narrative. Unfortunately not many commentators realize the importance of narrative theology and seem to miss the overall structure of the book as a narrative unit with separate narratives in between.

    This book is superb and its analysis of seems, motifs, and textual analysis, unfortunately the shortness of this commentary is a downfall. That is not to say that what is found within this 600 page commentary is not phenomenal, rather the work leads you begging for more exposition of this type. I look forward to using this commentary in conjunction with others as I preach through The Narrative of Abrahams life soon.

    Another point of note, it is the authors dedication to reformed theology. Waltke, when writing this work, was a professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, a in this work he held tightly to the notion of Gods absolute sovereignty in His redemptive historical plan for salvation. Furthermore in this work the Covenant theological structure is emphasized, and covenant theology itself is at the forefront.

    Lastly there is a extremely important issue in this work which I and others take issue with, this is in regard to Waltkes usage of framework theory in analyzing the creation account. While, as stated, I do not hold to framework theology, Waltke does a wonderful job in explaining it without forcing you to accept it. Furthermore while he does argue for in this text, the rest of the commentary is not affected by his view of creation. Also Waltke does argue for a historical Adam which keeps this work solidly within Christian Orthodoxy. I therefore recommend this work to pastors who seek to have a narrative theological exegesis of Genesis, though I do suggest this work being used in conjunction with a more thorough exegesis of the Hebrew text.

    This book was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
  2. Dave Randall
    Skowhegan, ME
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Fresh insites but can get carried away
    February 1, 2012
    Dave Randall
    Skowhegan, ME
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I had a difficult decision in selecting the number of stars to give this book. Waltke is a scholar and his look at Genesis based on its narrative style gives the reader some interpretive insights that are not immediately obvious from a less literary-analytical reading. For this the work probably deserves at least 4 if not 5 stars.

    That being said, Waltke's analysis is sometimes not without its weak points. He can get preoccupied with interpretive theories that he sees suggested in the literary style of the story, but aren't necessarily supported by the content; sometimes ignoring elements of content altogether. Even in the literary analysis of works of fiction (where style is sometimes the main vehicle for ideas) style criticism is a highly subjective and speculative business. It is just too easy to project our own thoughts onto the author, and find any "hidden" meaning that stike our fancy. When dealing with a work where historical accuracy is primary we have to be even more cautious. It is not that history cannot be crafted to convey ideas through style as well as content. It is simply that when weighing the merit of an interpretive theory, evidence based on content must be weighted much more heavily than evidence based on style. Surely someone as generally sound as Waltke should be fully aware of this, but there are times when he doesn't seem to be. For this I would have to give the work a 1 or 2 star rating.

    One example from the book serves to illustrate the point. In interpreting the story of the stolen blessing in Gen 27, Waltke concludes that Isaac is spiritually dull and much more concerned with his physical appetites than his relationship with God. He comes to this conclusion from two pieces of stylistic "evidence". First, the story notes that Isaac is physically blind, which Waltke sees as intended to be a metaphor for spiritual blindness. Second, the words "savory food" (or the like) are repeated several times in the discourse. This Waltke interprets to mean that physical appetite was a dominant feature of Isaac's character. This in turn is the reason that Isaac intends to bless Esau rather than Jacob. If there were no other content-based explanation for these supposed stylistic elements, or better yet if there was specific content-based corroboration for this interpretation, Waltke would have a case, though not and open and shut one. However, viewing the narrative from its content tells a different story.

    First, Gen 27:1 states that Isaac "called his eldest son Esau" to be blessed. This is a much more obvious "stylistic" clue to Isaac's reason for blessing Esau. Giving first place to the first born was a powerful custom, as well attested both inside and outside the Scripture. We really don't need to look further for veiled evidence of another motive. In the specific commentary on this verse Waltke makes no mention of the normal priority of the first born. He even omits the word "eldest" altogether, loosely quoting the verse to say only that Isaac "called his son". I hate to think that this was a deliberate omission to strengthen his point.

    Second, the mention of Isaac's blindness and the repetition of the food references are more obviously explained as necessary for the reader to understand the story. Without these story of Jacob's deception would make no sense at all. Thus there no need to see these as stylistic elements rather than simply factual.

    Third, there is specific evidence in the content that Isaac was far from spiritually blind. His blessing is clearly prophetic, not just a father's fond hopes for his favorite son. When the deception is revealed Isaac immediately affirms that the blessing still stands. Had it been based on his own intent, the blessing would have been nullified by the deception. But, Isaac knows that the blessing is from God, not himself, and God cannot be deceived. Finally the author of Hebrews makes it clear that "by faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even concerning things to come". Thus the evaluation of the event from the New Testament is that it was an act of faith, not spiritual blindness, on Isaac's part. (Notwithstanding that Isaac was unaware of God's election of Jacob at the time.)

    In short Waltke is worth reading. I am not necessarily sorry I bought the book, and I would recommend it with one qualification. Sometimes we scratch our heads and ask, "why did the author include this in the story?" Analysis of stylistic elements can open up possible explanations that aren't immediately apparent. However, beware of interpretation, however elegant and well crafted, that is based on subjective analysis of stylistic elements, when a more apparent interpretation based on plain content is available.
  3. Bill Wade
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 8, 2010
    Bill Wade
    This is a well written commentary on the book of Genesis. The authors have done an excellent job in explaining the text such that both scholar and layperson may equally benefit from the rich messages found in this great book of the Bible. The only criticism I would give of this volume is that it lacks depth in describing select verses. However, I would still highly recommend this commentary for anyone studying the book of Genesis.
  4. The Rev'd William Klock
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 7, 2006
    The Rev'd William Klock
    I've been preaching through Genesis since Advent 2005 and have found this commentary to be excellent. I bought a stack of commentaries in preparation for the series and this has been one of three that I've continued to use heavily. I was a student of Waltke's at Regent and Cathi Fredericks was a classmate. Waltke's incredible Christian knowledge, wisdom, and thoughtfulness show through wonderfully and Fredericks does a great job of bringing it all down to earth and making it immensely readable and practical. Waltke has a knack for showing the deepest and most profound of applications for even the driest of parts of Scripture and making it accessible and useful to the ordinary Christian. This commentary would be worth it at ten times the price.
  5. Eddie
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 1, 2003
    I've been using this commentary by Waltke for the past couple of months and I must say I have never enjoyed reading a commentary so much in my life before! Really! It is just filled with amazing insights into the text and written in an easy to read style that totally feeds the mind, warms the heart, and ignites the soul. A commentary with spirituality (hey, he's from Regent College) He gives a great overview of the passage, explains key words/phrases of the text, and reviews with key theological reflections on the "scenes". While most commentaries are a bit 'dry' and a challenge for me to get through, I cannot wait to read what's next in this one! I only wish he would have written a commentary like this on the whole OT! I would totally eat it up. If any of you works for Zondervan or has connections, please encourage him to write more! If you can't tell already, I STRONGLY, STRONGLY, RECOMMEND THIS ONE!
Displaying items 1-5 of 6
Page 1 of 2 12 Next

Ask a Question

Find Related Products

Author/Artist Review


Ask a Question

What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next 24-48 hours.

If you need immediate assistance regarding this product or any other, please call 1-800-CHRISTIAN to speak directly with a customer service representative.