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Publication Date: 2011
Series: NIV Application Commentary
John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament; Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context; Covenant: Gods Purpose, Gods Plan; The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; and A Survey of the Old Testament.
The NIV Application Commentary Series doesn't fool around: it gets right down to business, brining this ancient and powerful word of God into the present so that it can be heard and believed with all the freshness of a new day, with all the immediacy of a friend's embrace.
The NIV Application Commentary Series helps pastors and Bible teachers with one the most neglected elements in good preaching--accurate, useful application. Most commentaries tell you a few things that are helpful and much that you do not need to know. By dealing with the original meaning and contemporary significance of each passage, the NIV Application Commentary Series promises to be helpful all the way around.
James Montgomery Boice
Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, PA
This series promises to become an indispensable tool for every pastor and teacher who seeks to make the Bible's timeless message speak to this generation.
Here, at last, is a commentary that makes the proper circuit from the biblical world to main street. The NIV Application Commentary is magnificent gift to the church.
College Church, Wheaton, IL
Here at last is a commentary which is not only academically well informed but which helps the contemporary reader hear God's word and consider its implications; scholarship in the service of the church.
If you want to avoid hanging applicational elephants from interpretive threads, then the NIV Application Commentary Series is for you. This series excels at both original meaning and contemporary significance. I support it one hundred percent.
Howard J. Hendricks,
Dallas Theological Seminary
This is the pulpit for the 21st Century
George K. Brushaber,
President, Bethel College & Seminary
It takes more than interpretation of God's word to change lives, it takes application. Application is the bottom line in teaching and preaching. Without it, we've missed the point of the Bible. The NIV Application Commentary is an outstanding resource for pastors and anyone else who is serious about developing "doers of the word".
The NIV Application Commentary Series shares the same goal that has been the passion of my own ministry--communicating God's word to a contemporary audience so that they feel the full impact of its message.
Willow Creek Community Church
This series dares to go where few scholars have gone before--into the real life world of biblical application faced by pastors and teachers everyday. This is everything a good commentary series should be.
Pastor, Wooddale Church
Some commentaries build walls that isolate you back in the ancient world. The NIV Application Commentary builds bridges that make the Bible come alive with meaning for contemporary life--and the series do so concisely, clearly, and accurately. No wasted words or academic detours--just solid help and practical truth.
Warren W. Weirsbe
ThankfulLaguna Hills, CAAge: 55-65Gender: male3 Stars Out Of 5What to Think?September 20, 2015ThankfulLaguna Hills, CAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 1This will be an atypical review of an odd editorial choice. Anyone familiar with John Walton would find it questionable that he would be selected to write a commentary focused upon application, as the title of this series suggests. His theories of creation have been thoroughly discussed within the scholarly community, but for typical Bible readers, he is an acquired taste. And I don't know anyone who would describe his writing as practical. For him to have attempted such an endeavor is quite noble. But the results have been predictable, as evidenced by the wide range of reviews on this site.
I love this work. Walton is unique in insight and gifted in presentation. For me, this is a five star book.
But to ask him to focus on applicational opportunities is akin to forcing the round peg into the square hole. He gives it a go, but he is what/who he is. Those disappointed with his effort have unmet expectations based upon the stated purpose of the series. Hopefully the publishers have taken this to heart.
So, a five for the material and a one for meeting the expectations of the readers adds up to a three.
Carlos CosendeyRio de Janeiro, BrasilAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5July 1, 2013Carlos CosendeyRio de Janeiro, BrasilAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 5Excellent! The book is informative, detailed and very apropriate for those wich like study commentaries.
Jamie MGender: Male2 Stars Out Of 5Not the "indispensible tool" it claims to beFebruary 16, 2013Jamie MGender: MaleQuality: 2Value: 3Meets Expectations: 1I've had this commentary on my shelf for about 9 years now. Of all the commentaries I use in sermon preparation and study of Genesis, this is frankly my least favorite and least helpful resource. Here's why:
1) The format is NOT user-friendly. If one is looking for a verse-by-verse exposition of Genesis, this commentary is not for you. That's because the NIVAC tries to be all things to all people with its "original meaning," "bridging contexts" and "contemporary significance" sections, and as a result ends up being weak on all three, especially original meaning. A pastor would be far better off going with the 2-volume New American Commentary on Genesis by Kenneth Matthews, along with "Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Exposition of Genesis" by Allen P. Ross and "The Pentateuch as Narrative" by John Sailhamer.
2) Walton does NOT follow the text of Genesis very well. He's far too busy delving into ANE backgrounds and hypothesizing how he thinks ancients understood their world. Walton pushes his unique view that the seven days of Genesis 1 have nothing to do with the development of the material world (that happened long, long, long before). Rather, Genesis 1 describes the inauguration of the world as a fully-functioning "cosmic temple." So, for example, Genesis 1:9 is not about dry land appearing for the first time in the material world, but God causing the dry land that already existed to "function" as a room within His cosmic temple. This artificial dichotomy between the material and functional world continues at great length, often at the expense of getting to the point of the passage under review.
3) The endorsement by Billy Graham on the back cover was NOT for this commentary. It was for the NIVAC on Philippians by Frank Thielman whom Billy Graham has known since childhood. I point this out because I find it bothersome that the publisher would use snippets out of context to make buyers think this volume in the NIVAC is on equal footing with the likes of Wilson (Psalms), Bock (Luke) and Blomberg (1 Corinthians). It is not.
As a pastor, I have not found John Walton's commentary the "indispensible tool" it claims to be. Rather, it is a soapbox for novel interpretations that essentially reduces the book of Genesis to another form of ANE mythology. In my opinion, Walton's commentary on Genesis is a source of confusion that will not prove helpful or useful to most pastors and expositors.
Dave KilpatrickNorth Syracuse, NYAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent source of in formation on GenesisAugust 6, 2012Dave KilpatrickNorth Syracuse, NYAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have Genesis commentaries by Wenham (WBC) and Hamilton (NICOT). Both are excellent. Walton provides much more information to help understand the Ancient Near Eastern Background of the book of Genesis. He provides sensible interpretations to some of the trickier portions of Genesis, particularly in the earlier chapters.
This is my first volume in this series, and I read it cover to cover. I found the "Original Meaning" sections EXTREMELY helpful. The "Bridging Contexts" sections were mixed, sometimes bringing out more significance of the original meaning, and for this reason, I'd recommend not skipping these sections. However, the "Contemporary Significance" section, while intelligently written, seemed quite remote from the text.
HOWEVER, because the Original Meaning and (often) the Bridging Contexts sections are so valuable, I recommend this commentary highly, even if you don't read the "Contemporary Significance" parts.
Dan ParkerAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Amazingly ValuableMay 8, 2012Dan ParkerAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I thoroughly read this book and found it to be the most authoritative and well written research I have ever read on the ancient world of Genesis. John Walton brings that prehistoric world and its practices into focus revealing what people may have understood in that era, and thereby shining light on the significance of what God was doing - for example regarding the Tower of Babel. With my comfortable chair in the highly privileged western world, I am led on a pilgrimage into another time, far removed from what I could even consider until reading this. Many seem to prefer a Sunday School approach that simply relates to and highlights the wonderfully familiar stories of the patriarchs that my parents and teachers taught me in early childhood. I am grateful to those faithful ones who gave me a basic understanding, even though that led me to many questions about meanings and practices of those early times. This book is not for those who simply want comments and expansion on that with which they are already familiar. This one-of-a-kind book reveals significant research and findings that I would not otherwise have at my disposal. If it's a Sunday School commentary you want that simply expands upon your favorite characters and happenings, buy some of the other plentiful volumes out there. If you want a valuable journey into ancient realities that lie beyond anything we may have imagined, buy this priceless commentary and enjoy what is revealed through the sacred research of a true scholar.