I was really impressed with the richness of this book. Bruce Waltke's goal in writing this book is to help Christians understand the OT, understand God's plan for them, understand how the OT relates to the NT, and how it relates to their lives today. Bruce assumes the authority of the 66 books of the canonical Protestant Bible. He teaches that the Old Testament's main storyline is about the kingship of God, God's kingdom as it breaks into our world (I disagree, I think it's about God's plan to redeem the world).
Waltke adopts a Reformed, covenant approach to interpreting scripture, rejecting the dispensational approach of his youth. He divides the Bible into several blocks of writing: the Primary History (Genesis-2 Kings) Wisdom Literature, and prophetic literature.
There is a great chapter on narrative theology, addressing the different points of view in the text (God, the human characters, the narrator). I also loved the chapter on poetics and intertexuality. The beautiful symmetry and chiasm in Genesis 1-11 sheds much light on the interpretation of this passage. He also discusses typology and how some texts evoke and alude ot others within the canon.
In the Primary History section of the book, Waltke discusses the gift of the cosmos, how God overcame chaos and darkness to create a habitable world. He contends that Genesis 1 is designed to counter pagan ideas about the construction of the world. The world itself is not divine, God is.
He also discusses the literary form of Genesis 1-2:4a, contending that it is narrative history, not myth, and that it reflects an Ancient Near eastern Comogeny, an example of God's accomodation to the viewpoints held by the people of the time.
There is a discussion about the gift of Adam, or mankind. He believes that the "us" in 1:26 refers to the heavenly court, not to the second person of the Trinity. He mentions that Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2:5-10 are reflections on Genesis 1:26-28. There is also a discussion of theological anthropology: the Hebrews words of body, soul, heart, spirit, and life.
Waltke also teaches that men and women are equal in creation, parenting, worship, prayer, and giftedness, but that the male is the hierarchical, government head, just as the Father as the governmental head of the Trinity.
Waltke also defends the essential historicity of the events in the Garden of Eden, the life of Abraham and the Exodus, as well as the fall of Jericho. For Waltke, Genesis-2 Kings really lays out the central theme of the OT.
I loved this book. I gained a lot of insight from the text from Waltke's exegesis. I highly recommend it.