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
This landmark commentary marshals the vast experience and brilliant insights of one of todays 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 scholars 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 authors 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 Gods Word in its context, but also to consider how it applies to us today.
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.