Genesis: A Commentary
Genesis: A Commentary

Genesis: A Commentary

by Bruce K. Waltke

4.53 Rank Score: 6.07 from 15 reviews, 2 featured collections, and 24 user libraries
Pages 656
Publisher Zondervan Academic
Published 2001
ISBN-13 9780310224587
This landmark commentary marshals the vast experience and brilliant insights of one of today’s most revered Old Testament scholars. To those familiar with the work of Bruce K. Waltke, the significance and value of Genesis will be instantly apparent. Others who are unfamiliar with Waltke have only to read the first few chapters to understand why he has earned the reputation of a scholar’s scholar, and why this masterful volume stands like a monolith among Old Testament commentaries.

Exploring the first book of the Bible as "theological literature," Waltke illuminates its meanings and methods for the pastor, scholar, teacher, student, and Bible-lover. Genesis strikes an unusual balance by emphasizing the theology of the Scripture text while also paying particular attention to the flow and development of the plot and literary techniques—inclusion, irony, chiasm, and concentric patterning—that shape the message of the "book of beginnings."

Features of this commentary include:
  • Models the way to read and interpret the narratives of the book of Genesis
  • Provides helpful exegetical notes that address key issues and debates surrounding the text
  • Includes theological reflections on how the message addresses our contemporary theological and social issues, such as ecology, homosexuality, temperance, evil, prayer, and obedience
  • Addresses critical interpretive issues, such as authenticity, date, and authorship
For all the author’s formidable intellect and meticulous research, Genesis is amazingly accessible. This is no mere study tool. Lucidly and eloquently written, it is a work of the heart that helps us not only to understand deeply God’s Word in its context, but also to consider how it applies to us today.


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Warren Truesdale Warren Truesdale March 6, 2019
It’s truly astounding just how much depth Waltke and Fredericks communicated in this one volume commentary. You’ll learn something on almost every page. It is semi-technical with all of the Hebrew transliterated. The strengths of this commentary are manifold. Practically, it’s affordable, relatively short (600 pgs.), and in a user friendly format. [Full Review]
Jeffrey Jeffrey September 12, 2015
Solid commentary from an exceptional student of Hebrew Scripture. Many very helpful explanations to some difficult problems in Genesis
G Ware G Ware September 9, 2015
I am not a fan of the structure of this one. Most of the content is fine, but it is hard to find what one is looking for. Also a tad light on detail.
Andrzej Stelmasiak Andrzej Stelmasiak June 17, 2015
Similarly to Wenham, Waltke as an theistic evolutionist does not hold to literal view of Genesis 1
Joel R. Beeke Joel R. Beeke April 15, 2012
Hebrew and Old Testament expert Bruce Waltke looks at the book of Genesis as a work of theological literature. Thus, he focuses on primary aspects of the story (narrative), including characterization, plot, theme, scene, structure, foreshadowing and irony, and balances these issues with an emphasis on the theology of Genesis which both shapes and is shaped by the narrative. He looks at the ten divine initiatives in salvation history, each delineated by a “toledot” heading (“the account of the line of…”) followed by a transitional linkage. Waltke interprets the text using twelve levels of signification (sounds, syllables, words, phrases, clauses, sentences, frames/speeches, scene parts or incidents, scenes or episodes, acts or phases, sections/cycles, book/composition), and takes the best of form, source, narrative and literary criticism to offer readers one of the best looks at the theological and literary value of Genesis, the book of beginnings.
Ben_Harvey Ben_Harvey February 27, 2012
This has become the first Commentary that I turn to, for preaching and writing exegetical papers. Waltke has written this commentary in a manner that is easy to understand, and gives a great amount of revenant information, without getting stuck on matters that are not worth the time. If I had one Commentary on Genesis it would be this one, even over Wenham mainly because of how user friendly it is.
Peter Krol Peter Krol June 5, 2010
It doesn't get any better than this if you want a commentator sensitive to literary devices. Although I found myself disagreeing with Waltke at a few points, I really wanted to agree because he demonstrated everything so well from the text. If you want something more than word studies and ancient near eastern parallels - that is, if you actually want to understand Genesis and what the original author was trying to communicate to his audience - this is the commentary for you.
dr. tom dr. tom June 8, 2009
This is a concise work that does a good job of covering the material. It is not as involved as NAC or NICOT, so it can be very useful when you do not have "digging deep" time.
John Glynn John Glynn September 20, 2008
Bruce Waltke had a set of exegetical notes he would distribute to his Genesis seminary classes, and one of his former students, Cathi J. Fredericks, talked him into letting her edit them for publication. He did expand on them in places, but these are mostly brief exegetical notes with theological summaries for each unit he discusses. I generally find his exegesis to be the best of any of the Genesis commentaries I've looked at, but there isn't a lot of detail here on historical background, language, and many other things you might expect to look to a commentary to help you understand. The book is uneven, having much more discussion on the parts he chose to expand on and much less of insight on the notes he chose to leave as they were. Waltke is a conservative evangelical, and he's also known for some excellent commentaries on Proverbs (NICOT) and Micah (Eerdmans). [Full Review]
A competent Evangelical commentary emphasizing theological insights. [Full Review]
Unnatributed-d Unnatributed-d May 20, 2008