Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good Commentaries on Genesis

A reader of Just Genesis has asked which books would be worth acquiring for his library.  I have listed the commentaries on Genesis that have merit here.  I've also reviewed numerous commentaries, including: Martin Luther's, John Calvin's, John Wesley's, Herman Gunkel, Leon Kass' and Patrick Reardon's.

Here is what the reader asks :

I'm now officially addicted to your web site! Have you written any books?

I'm working on my book - The Ancestors of God. However, I need time to finish it. I teach 8 classes a semester so you can imagine that time to write isn't something I have in abundance, especially this time of the year with final exams and final papers.

I'd like to ask you for some book recommendations (aside from the Bible!). I'm interested in all good history books relating to the Bible, from Genesis through the 3rd or 4th century AD, that you might recommend. I know there's probably not one single book that gives an in depth discussion of such a vast time - I'm slowly building a library, but I'd like to buy books with merit. What I've been finding are either very high level books that leave me with more questions than answers, fundamentalist books that teach a hyper-literal reading, or seemingly scholarly books that teach a biased history bent on tearing down the faith, not illuminating it.

What an accurate description on the available literature!  I couldn't have written a better rationale for the material presented at this blog. It fills the gap. I hope a potential publisher is reading this!  : )

Here is a list of books that I recommend as the 'first purchase' books to build a good library on Genesis. A more comprehensive list is here.

Creation and the Patriarchal Histories
Patrick Henry Reardon
Ben Lomond, California: Conciliar Press, 2008.

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Vol. 1
Andrew Louth. ed.
Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2001.

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, Vol. 2
Mark Sheridan, ed.
Downer's Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2002

Commentary on the Book of Genesis, Part 1 (Adam to Noah)
Umberto Cassuto
Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press, 1961.

Commentary on the Book of Genesis, Part II (Noah to Abraham)
Umberto Cassuto
Jerusalem: Hebrew University Press, 1961.

(This volume includes a Fragment of Part III. Cassuto died before he was able to complete his Commentary on the Pentateuch.)

In the Beginning: The True Message of the Genesis Origin Stories
Lawrence R. Farley
Ancient Faith Publishing, 2018

The Legends of Genesis: The Biblical Saga and History
Hermann Gunkel; William Herbert Carruth
New York: Schocken Books, 1970.

The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate
John H. Walton
Downer's Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009.

I hope this is helpful, and thanks for your support!

May your Nativity Feast be blessed.

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