Genesis: NIV Application Commentary [NIVAC]   -     By: John H. Walton
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Genesis: NIV Application Commentary [NIVAC]

Zondervan / 2001 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Genesis [NIVAC] traces God's mastery in creation, covenant, and history while applying the lessons learned to modern Christian life. Preeminent scholar John Walton, the author of numerous commentaries and books on Genesis and ancient intellectual conceptuality, provides compelling and provocative interpretations of Genesis that are firmly rooted in the historic Christian faith and yet take account of modern intellectual advancement with skill, wisdom, and discernment.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 752
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2001
Dimensions: 9.19 X 6.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0310206170
ISBN-13: 9780310206170
Series: NIV Application Commentary

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Publisher's Description

The Bible begins and ends with a revelation of God that gives redemption its basis. From the first verse of Genesis, the book of origins, we encounter a God of personality, character, purpose, and activity. Only in the light of what he shows us of himself as the Creator of our world and the Interactor with human history does the salvation story assume its proper context. Genesis sets things in order: God first, then us. In the words of the general editor’s preface, “Especially after the Tower of Babel it became evident that people had forgotten who God was. They needed reminding. The moves God made were essentially concerned with putting himself in front of the world’s peoples.” Today, perhaps more than ever, we need God to put himself in front of us—to remind us who he is, and that he is. With characteristic creativity and uncommon depth, John H. Walton demonstrates the timeless relevance of Genesis. Revealing the links between Genesis and our own times, Dr. Walton shows how this mysterious, often baffling book filled with obscure peoples and practices reveals truth to guide our twenty-first-century lives. Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip from our world to the world of the Bible. But they leave us there, assuming that we can somehow make the return journey on our own. They focus on the original meaning of the passage but don’t discuss its contemporary application. The information they offer is valuable—but the job is only half done! The NIV Application Commentary Series helps bring both halves of the interpretive task together. This unique, award-winning series shows readers how to bring an ancient message into our postmodern context. It explains not only what the Bible meant but also how it speaks powerfully today. 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. Billy Graham The NIV Application Commentary is an outstanding resource for pastors and anyone else who is serious about developing “doers of the Word.” Rick Warren, Saddleback Valley Community Church

Author Bio

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: God’s Purpose, God’s Plan; The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; and A Survey of the Old Testament.


The NIV Application Commentary Series promises to be of very great service to all who preach and teach the Word of God.
J.I. Packer
Regent College

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.
Eugene Peterson,
Regent College

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.
Billy Graham

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.
Kent Hughes,
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.
Arthur Rowe,
Spurgeon's College

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".
Rick Warren,
Saddleback Church

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.
Bill Hybels,
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.
Leith Anderson
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

Product Reviews

4 Stars Out Of 5
4 out of 5
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.4 out Of 5
(3.4 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 13
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  1. Laguna Hills, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    What to Think?
    September 20, 2015
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This 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.
  2. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 1, 2013
    Carlos Cosendey
    Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Excellent! The book is informative, detailed and very apropriate for those wich like study commentaries.
  3. Gender: Male
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not the "indispensible tool" it claims to be
    February 16, 2013
    Jamie M
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 2
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I'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.
  4. North Syracuse, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent source of in formation on Genesis
    August 6, 2012
    Dave Kilpatrick
    North Syracuse, NY
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I 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.
  5. Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazingly Valuable
    May 8, 2012
    Dan Parker
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I 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.
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Ask Christianbook


Q: Is there an Old Testament set available? I know that you can order the entire NIV Application Commentary set for the New Testament, is there a set for the Old Testament? Looking through it seems like there are books that haven't had a commentary written for them.


As of August 2012 some of Old Testament commentaries have not been released, so the complete set is not available for purchase at this time.


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