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The Geeky Calvinist5 Stars Out Of 5A Mid-Level CommentaryApril 21, 2018The Geeky CalvinistQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5One of the hardest books to preach through is the Book of Genesis for its length and rolling narrative makes it hard to preach only a section without preaching the entire book as a whole. It is therefore extremely helpful that Zondervan Publications has put out a commentary on the Book of Genesis in the NIV application Commentary series. This commentary is well-known and respected in both popular and scholarly circles. For the NIV application Commentary series truly helps the exegete understand the original context of the text as well as its contemporary significance.
This commentary is written by fame theologian John H. Walton. His background and his deep understanding of the historical books of the Old Testament combine to make a phenomenal work on the book of Genesis. With regard to the introductory section to both of the books inside this work I found the introductory section on the Book of Genesis comparable to most mid-level commentaries diving into both composition purpose as well as a few biblical theological components.
In dealing with the commentary proper, the textual commentary is written in pericope sections rather than dealing with a verse by verse exegetical study. This is the form at which the NIV application study commentary, is exclusivity written init was therefore not a surprise, but it is something that a reader should expect. This does not negate in any way this commentaries usefulness rather it enhances a preachers focus on seeing the forest through the trees. I therefore recommend this commentary wholeheartedly as a useful tool to both the preacher, teacher, uneducated laymen, and Sunday school teacher. I do suggest though that this commentary be paired with a more solid one that deals exegetically with each verse.
These books was provided to me free of charge from Zondervan Press in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
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.