Genesis resources

Discussion in 'OT Historical Books' started by Reformed Bookworm, Mar 31, 2019.

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  1. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Happy Lord's Day, everyone. I have recently embarked on a study of Genesis. Lord willing, I will spend substantial time working through related commentaries, monographs, and sermons. As I am in the middle of a big move, I will mostly be working in Logos and transferring notes to Word.

    For anyone that has preached or worked through Genesis, what stood out as most profitable to your studies? I believe I am mostly lacking in monographs at the moment. I should probably add a more technical commentary to the lineup. Here are the resources that I will be using:

    King James (primary)
    "Genesis 1-11: A New Old Translation for Readers, Scholars, and Translators"
    JPS Tanakh
    Lexham English Septuagint

    Primary Commentaries:
    Gordon Wenham - "Genesis (Word Biblical Commentary)"
    Nahum Sarna - "Genesis (JPS)"
    U. Cassuto - Genesis commentary
    Victor Hamilton - "Genesis (NICOT)"
    Kenneth A. Matthews - "Genesis (NAC)"
    John D. Currid - "A Study Commentary on Genesis"
    John Calvin
    Keil & Delitzsch
    Robert S. Candlish - "Studies in Genesis"

    Secondary Commentaries:
    Melancthon W. Jacobus - "Genesis - Notes, Critical and explanatory"
    Jonathon Edwards - "Notes on the Bible"
    John Gill
    Matthew Poole
    Matthew Henry
    Henry Ainsworth
    J. G. Vos (An elder gave this to me. I am still deciding whether I will use this commentary)
    New Bible Commentary (Probably won't use this often. Although, the outlines are helpful)
    Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown/JFB (I may peek at this on occasion)


    IVP Dictionary of OT: Pentateuch
    Eerdman's Dictionary of Early Judaism
    Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible
    Lexham Bible Dictionary

    Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT)
    BDAG (When using the Septuagint)

    OT Introductions/Overview/Guides:
    "A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: The Gospel Promised" - Edited by Miles V. Van Pelt
    Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis

    Monographs/Misc. Books:
    Nahum Sarna - Understanding Genesis
    Jonathon Edwards - "A History of the Work of Redemption" (This counts, I suppose)
    Douglas Kelly - "Creation and Change"
    Allen Ross - "Creation and Blessing"
    Dr. Duguid - "Living in the Gap between Promise and Reality"
    John D. Currid - Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament
    Meredith Kline - "Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview" (I have yet to read anything by Kline. His works came with my Logos package)
    Meredith Kline - “God, Heaven and Har Magedon: A Covenantal Tale of Cosmos and Telos"
    Sidney Greidanus - "Preaching Christ from Genesis"
    J. Walton - "The Lost World of Genesis One" (I disagree with Walton's views on of Genesis 1)


    St. Basil - "Hexaemeron"
    Dr. Joel Beeke & Richard D. Phillip's sermons on Genesis (These will keep me inspired to keep trekking through this study and help me see the application of Genesis to the Christian life)

    Thanks in advance! I am very excited as this is something I have wanted to do for quite a long time.

    Here is a great by John D. Currid on Genesis:

    "The name of the first book of the Hebrew Bible derives from the opening word of the Hebrew text, בְּרֵאשִׁית. This word means “in the beginning,” and it is an appropriate designation because the book is about beginnings: the beginning of the universe; the beginning of time, matter, and space; the beginning of humanity; the beginning of sin; the beginning of redemption; and the beginning of Israel. By deliberating over Genesis, then, we are essentially engaging in protology, the study of first things. That the cosmos has a beginning implies that it also has an end and that everything is moving toward a consummation (the study of these last things is called eschatology). The Scriptures, therefore, present a linear history, a movement from inception to completion."

    Currid, J. D. (2016). Genesis. In M. V. Van Pelt (Ed.), A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: The Gospel Promised (p. 43). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  2. BuddyOfDavidClarkson

    BuddyOfDavidClarkson Puritan Board Freshman

    I really enjoyed Candlish's commentary on Genesis. I highly recommend Jonathan Sarfati's Genesis commentary on chapters 1-11 for a more scientific view. It's just excellent. I've read it several times.
  3. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I found a Kregel printing of Candlish a while back but have only skimmed through it thus far. Although, I did read chapter 1 on Hebrews 11 and creation. It was an edifying read. Spurgeon also thought very highly of it.

    Thank you for the other resource. I will check it out this evening.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Currid was my Genesis prof. His stuff "on the gods" is pretty good. Kline is good on technical issues, but he brings his own baggage.

    Matthews (NAC) is good. I think Hamilton (NICOT) is better.

    I realize people here don't like Waltke and Walton, but those two wrestle with some technical issues that more conservative folks really don't grasp.
    The Lexham Bible Dictionary is particularly good.

    And definitely get Gordon Wenham.
  5. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I went back and forth for some time between Matthews and Hamilton. I will probably add his volumes.

    I haven't read too much by either. I have Walton's Lost World of Genesis One. I don't agree with the thesis of the book but should still read it.

    My first foray into Waltke will be his Old Testament Theology course via Logos. I plan to start it next week. I almost got his Genesis commentary. I have read it starts out strong but takes a nose dive.

    Wenham is high on my list. I was debating between his commentary or Nahum Sarna to get a Jewish perspective.

    As always, thanks for your input.
  6. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

  7. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    I added Hamilton's two volumes to Logos. Thanks.
  8. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    A very good book was written by Dr Henry Morris on the Genesis Record, as he explains why we can see Genesis as being historical history, and not just myth/allegory.
  9. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    That whole series from P&R is good, and Duguid's contributions (he also did Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph) are excellent. They are written at a layman's level, so they move quickly and are not as technical as some of the other resources you've mentioned. I like to consult them when teaching on those passages, because they bring up good teaching points that often become the main point of my teaching.

    And if you are teaching from Genesis, and want to do it with a redemptive eye on Christ, you should consider Sidney Greidanus' Preaching Christ from Genesis. It's not just for preachers, but good for anyone seeking to find and apply the redemptive point of the Genesis accounts. I sometimes go in a different direction than he does, but his frameworks are still helpful.
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  10. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Definitely get all the Duguid volumes. I would also HIGHLY recommend, as the biggest gap I see in your volumes, Allen Ross's Creation and Blessing. Also, when you get to the Noah chapters, pick up Bruce McDowell's Noah: A Righteous Man in a Wicked Age. The best treatments of the Joseph narrative I know are by Liam Goligher and Lindsay Wilson. I enjoyed Waltke's commentary for one particular reason: he was one of the best at showing the larger structures and the intersections of the pericopes. As for Jewish comment, Sarna is outstanding, but if you want someone a bit more conservative, try to find copies of Cassuto.
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  11. gjensen

    gjensen Puritan Board Freshman

    From a layman . . .

    Consider Allen Ross, Henry Law, Derek Kidner, Walton, and Gordon Wenham. Henry Law is online for free.

    I do like Matthews. I love Calvin on Genesis. Kline's Genesis A New Commentary was interesting.

    Calvin's sermons on Genesis may be helpful to you.

    I appreciated Better Than the Beginning: Creation in Biblical Perspective by Richard Barcellos. Bavinck on Creation and the Image of God .

    I am enjoying the lesson/sermon series by Dr Ralph Davis.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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  12. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you for the response, brother. I added the Duguid volume yesterday. I often listen to his sermons so I imagine I will enjoy these little books. My goal is to balance out the technical works with some devotional materials sprinkled in. It seems this will serve that purpose.

    The Greidanus volume was included in my Logos package. I had completely forgotten about it until you mentioned it. Thank you. Can you think of a specific example of where you may have differed with him?
  13. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you for the suggestions. Ross is high on my list. It is quite pricey in Logos. I often see it recommended so I may just go for it.

    I will definitely check out Goligher and Wilson's works when the time comes.

    I have heard more than once that Waltke starts off strong but weakens as it progresses. Did you find this to be the case?

    I have almost bought Cassuto's two volumes a few times. The problem now is that I am mostly confined to Logos as I am moving to Grand Rapids in the next week or so. It will be a bit before my library and office get set back up. For now, I will go with Sarna as he is in Logos but will eventually add Cassuto.

    Have you read any good journal articles pertaining to Genesis? I know there have been unfathomable amounts of ink spilled on Genesis. The trouble is wading through it all.
  14. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    In my country I often travel back and forth for some time between Auckland and Hamilton :)
  15. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I can't think of a spot where I thought he was outright wrong, just some places I chose to take a different direction in my teaching than the one he ultimately opted for. The narrative that comes to mind is the birth of Isaac. Greidanus picks as his teaching theme/goal from that passage something like rejoice in the Lord's faithfulness to create a people for himself. That's fine, and I really like the way he includes joy/laughter. But in my own teaching I have chosen to emphasize more that we have joy in the ultimate Son of Abraham. So Greidanus emphasizes the covenant family, while I go more with the son theme. Both are valid, right?

    I could give many more examples of how he helped me hone in on themes I do use in my lessons. For instance, he started me teaching about the burial of Sarah and how it encourages us to look for the homeland that awaits us even beyond the grave. Until I read Greidanus, I had never really considered including the account of Sarah's burial in my biannual teaching trek through Genesis and Exodus (I teach children). Since then, I have always stopped there and even added it to one of my summer camp curricula.
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  16. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    Dale Ralph Davis has a series on Genesis? Also, thank you for suggestions. Calvin's sermons on Genesis are high on my list. Once I get my office and library set back up, I will add them. For now, I am limited mostly to Logos.
  17. gjensen

    gjensen Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes sir. You will find them here.
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  18. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    Brother, you know about Ainsworth; please put him on your list. On Genesis he's short and sweet and very insightful. Personally, I also really love Waltke.
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  19. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    How could I have forgotten Ainsworth! We were just talking about him in the other thread. Thanks, brother.

    Well, that is a few votes from brothers I trust for Waltke. I will add him to Logos.
  20. Aharown

    Aharown Inactive User

    I would also add large sections of Kline’s “God, Heaven and Har Magedon: A Covenantal Tale of Cosmos and Telos.” I know I have really benefited from it.
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  21. JTB.SDG

    JTB.SDG Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't believe you'll regret it. May the Lord bless your studies, brother.
  22. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    To be honest, this was true of most commentaries on Genesis. They get tired of writing, I think. There were still some good insights towards the end, as I recall.
  23. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    You know how I avoided this one issue? I started with the second half! (Life of Jacob--series title) heh heh heh

    I came back around a few years later, and preached the first half with a full second wind.
  24. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    He is really good on "heaven." Those sections were very moving. The other parts were hit and miss.
  25. Grits

    Grits Puritan Board Freshman

    I found the following books to be the most helpful.

    First, John McArthur's book, “Battle for the Beginning” is an excellent way to begin. I would read it first just to get into the right frame of mind.

    Second, Francis Schaeffer's “Genesis in Space and Time” is another excellent resource. It is particularly relevant for addressing the current devaluation of life.

    Umberto Cassuto's commentary on Genesis is excellent for disproving the JEPD hypothesis (if that is an issue). It also has some very good exegesis.

    For most of the heaving lifting, if you don't mind skipping lots of pages with JEPD stuff, Gordon Wenham's commentary on Genesis (Word Bible Commentary) is pretty useful. This is perhaps the best critical and technical commentary.

    Personally, I'd skip Meredith Kline's Kingdom Prologue. It sort of reminded me of “Theologian Through the Looking Glass.” His understanding of the first Chapter of Genesis is deeply flawed.

    Richard Phillips' sermons are outstanding. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I downloaded them, put them on a CD and listen to them over and over in the car.

    After you get by his treatment of the first chapter of Genesis, James Montgomery Boice's commentary on Genesis is very good. I use this resource for devotionals at a local nursing home.

    “Icons of Evolution” by Jonathan Wells documents the shoddy (if not intentionally misleading) textbooks being used to promote evolution in our universities. An easy read and a real eye opener.

    Allen P. Ross's book “Creation and Blessing” has excellent ideas for organizing your sermons.

    Martin Luther's commentary on Genesis has some nice quotes. It is worth reading just to get the flavor of the cosmology of the 16th century.

    I prepared one Bible study around the following theme: In Genesis 1, God repudiated the pagan mythologies and idol worship that characterized Moses' day. Beyond that, God, through Moses, also repudiated the pagan mythologies of our own day. After all, evolution is a pagan mythology. Evolution posits that something came from nothing. Genesis 1:1 corrects this error. God created (bara בָּרָ֣א) the heavens and the earth. Bara is a word only used of God; it is a work that only God can do. A good working definition of God is “one who can make something from absolute nothing.” Whereas evolution posits that life came from non-life, Genesis again uses the word bara in verse 21. God made life from nothing. Finally, evolution posits that man descended from the lower animals. God corrects this again using the word bara three times in verse 27 to emphasize the fact that man was created in the image of God. Man was created, bara, a work that only God can do. Thus, Moses, 4,000 years ago penned the refutation of modern pagan mythology just as effectively as he repudiated ancient mythology.
  26. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    To be honest, I have never been into McArthur. I appreciate him as a brother but there are other theologians that I would much rather glean from.

    Phillips is great. I often binge listen to his sermons. Today, I listened to three in his Genesis series.

    Thank you for all the recommendations you listed above as well as an example from your Bible study.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  27. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Junior

    If you enjoyed the MacArthur book, you should check out Douglas Kelly's "Creation and Change." That is another volume that I forgot to add to my above resources.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  28. Grits

    Grits Puritan Board Freshman

    While you have certainly peaked my interest, it might be a while before I get around to it. Just too many good books and so little time. I'll add it to my "to read" list. Maybe if I can just learn to get by on 2 hours of sleep a night...

    I am currently concentrating on studying each of the books of the Bible using just one or two commentaries for assistance. However, I am not disciplined enough and keep throwing in extra books - just finished one by R.C. Sproul "Are We Together; A Protestant Looks at Roman Catholicism." I found it very helpful - but, it did put me behind on my goal of studying each book of the Bible.
  29. RAR

    RAR Puritan Board Freshman

    Candlish is edifying from start to finish! You should add HC Leupold's commentary on Genesis to your list. It is considered one of the best advanced works from the conservative side. Leupold was a premier OT scholar from the 20th century. His other works include commentaries on Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah and Daniel. The work by Henry Morris is very interesting on the early chapters in Genesis, primarily the creation account, the flood and the table of nations.
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