5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Refreshing Approach,
This review is from: Genesis (NIV Application Commentary) (Hardcover)
I thoroughly enjoyed, and was challenged by this commentary.
After a 45 page Introduction and Outline, the author spends the next 200 pages in some depth on the first three chapters of Genesis.
Instead of the usual "structural" viewpoint,the Genesis Creation Account is seen as the establishing of "functions" and the installation of "functionaries", to bring order out of a non-functional, (chaotic) state. This approach bypasses most of the young/old earth creationists arguments, although with my inherent Western worldview, I found it quite difficult to stay tuned and totally lose the "structural" slant.
The author spends a lot of time comparing and contrasting the "Genesis Account" with other Ancient Near East acounts, (refered to as the genre of Myths). It is however written from a conservative evangelic viewpoint.
The author stresses that the narrative can only be understood by reading it from, as far as is possible, the original audience's point of view. This is done very well, but it does limit the possibility that God is able to have intended His message to "grow" with the understanding of the audience.
The weakest section is the treatment of The Flood narrative, which I felt left far too many questions unanswered.
Over the treatment of chapters 12 - 50 there seems to be a problem of diminishing space. The 15 chapters on Abraham are dealt with in 150 pages, the 12 chapters on Jacob in 100 pages and the final 14 chapters on Joseph only have 85 pages, one section including 10 chapters together. The commentary is 727 pages long, but 900+ would have been better.
Hence my 4* rating and not quite 5*,