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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fairly easy-going writing style but still covers almost every theological angle, 24 Aug 2006
By 
Chris Of The OT (South West of England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary) (Hardcover)
In his original preface of 1987, Wenham notes that `on many passages [of Genesis] as much has been published since 1970 as in the previous seventy years!' This emphasises how much Old Testament study has progressed. Wenham's commentary still feels fresh and relevant and although he writes as a scholar, he is clearly aware that the rest of us are not! Thus his work is accessible while still covering almost every theological angle.

So we start with a general `Introduction' to Genesis, in which Wenham addresses such issues as overall form, the traditional sources, various forms of critical analysis, dating, Genesis in its Near Eastern context, etc.

The commentary proper begins after this thirty-page general introduction. Wenham typically takes a chapter or two of Genesis at a time - e.g. `In the Beginning (1:1-2:3)' - offers a monster Bibliography (I counted fifty authors in the bibliography for the first chapter alone) before his own translation of each chapter based on the Hebrew (Masoretic Text). After this, the `Notes' section of footnotes to the translation `discusses... textual criticism and points of Hebrew syntax'. (It sounds dreadful but is often surprising and interesting!)

There then follows `Form/Structure/Setting', a section where Wenham has `surveyed and... evaluated the various [theological] positions currently advocated'. This section can be the most demanding but it's well worth the effort. The chapter continues with a `Comment' section which is usually the longest. This follows the more familiar commentary style - verse by verse - so seems slightly easier to digest visually; and each chapter ends with an `Explanation' section were Wenham draws his conclusions and `relates [the biblical text] to wider theological discussion'.

Though this is a title aimed at the academic market, it is certainly not a dry, laborious read. Wenham manages to show some personality through his academic prowess which makes his writing enjoyable, even if the topic is comparatively heavy at times.

The only area of criticism I have - as with many theological books - is that the layout is somewhat tired. If Microsoft Press can present the most tedious topics in the world in an attractive, user-friendly fashion, so should theology publishers (or, as I have said before, phone Lion Publishing)! But Word Publishing have at least made a some effort in this area: different type-faces, indented text (for `Notes') and accurate page headings all help you navigate this title.

In the end I recommend these two volumes without reservation. It is an academic title, but Wenham's style is still reasonably comfortable. A tremendous asset for biblical study and a wonderful achievement for Gordon Wenham.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars word biblical commentary, 21 May 2009
By 
Cjbevan "CJBevan" (Monmouthshire, Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary) (Hardcover)
Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary)
An excellent companion to Genesis, including theological, linguistic and interpretive notes. My own interest in buying this was stimulated by a need for a useful commentary on the Hebrew text to accompany my own Hebrew studies. The only books of comparable usefulness i have found are Gesenius', and Snaith's, the latter of which is limited in coverage and long out of print. I would commend Wenham's WBC Genesis 1-15 as an excellent resource.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, comprehensive and sensible, 9 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. T Holton "Tim" (Warwickshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary) (Hardcover)
I referred to this book as I was preparing a sermon recently and found it to be extremely helpful.

The bit I was particularly interested in was Gen 1 to 3 which is a key focus for the book. So I had to read a good few pages in the introduction and main chapters to get what I needed. But it was easy to get into (college-level) and contained many good references to take things further and/or convince you that he knew his stuff. I enjoyed the way he dug into the literary qualities but personally found this to be spiritually beneficial. He discusses J, E, P sources (and other proposals) in an open and critical way which gives me confidence in his scholarly approach.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent commentary on the first chapters of Genesis, 25 May 2010
By 
Carmen Zammit - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary) (Hardcover)
Currently I am studying theology at university. This book has been an excellent help, both with regards to my studies on the Pentateuch and on the Book of Genesis in particular, as well as with regards to my studies in Biblical Hebrew. In this book there is a detailed exegesis of each of the first fifteen chapters of Genesis, inluding the parsing of the original Hebrew text, the structure of each section, a detailed commentary on its content and its message.
I am sure that I will continue using this book as a reference book in my studies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary) (Hardcover)
Excellent in every respect
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Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary)
Genesis 1-15 (Word Biblical Commentary) by Gordon J. Wenham (Hardcover - 1 Oct 1987)
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