I was going to hammer out a brief exegesis of the creation of humanity (Gen. 1:26-28), but I thought that would be less productive because it would have represented my viewpoints on it, which most likely don’t jive with correlation and would also appear terribly non-Mormon.
Instead, I’m offering here a list of good go-to sources for an in-depth look at the book of Genesis. These are sources that I’ve enjoyed using in my study of the book. I took an advanced Hebrew reading of Genesis this last semester and found a number of great monographs and commentaries which will help us with this wonderful book. Feel free to add others you’ve encountered as well! Note: none of these are Mormon.
Several scholars through the years have stated that if the theologian (which in academic circles I admit I’m not) gets the book of Genesis wrong, everything else will follow suit. That’s a strong statement, but the book does contain key topics that will play major roles for Israel in its salvation history. Some of these are creation, theodicy, the Fall (and, by extension, redemption), covenant, land, and chosenness (or, election). I’ve also heard that no book has received more scholarly attention in all the Bible than Genesis. Not sure if this is true, but there is a lot out there on it. So here are some of my favorite sources for Genesis:
Arnold, Bill T. Encountering the Book of Genesis. Encountering Biblical Studies. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998. An undergraduate-level look at the book, and a good place to start. This book is somewhat conservative (he’s a Methodist trained by a Jewish Yeshiva), so that should sit well with most in the bloggernacle (I think).
Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. Interpretation. Atlanta: John Knox, 1982. A fairly decent commentary given its age. Brueggemann is a genuis.
Carr, David M. Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches. Louisville: WJK, 1996. For source-critical theory. Carr’s is a standard work in this.
Davies, Philip R., and David J. A. Clines, eds. The World of Genesis: Persons, Places, Perspectives. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament: Supplement Series 257. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998. Anything by these guys is worth a peek. Tough to find, however.
Fokkelman, Jan P. Narrative Art in Genesis: Specimens of Stylistic and Structural Analysis. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 17. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1975. Great for discourse analysis, and complementary to Carr’s work.
Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis. 2 vols. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990-1995. Sometimes laughably conservative, but this Brandeis-trained scholar has some good intersection with the ANE (see also his Handbook on the Pentateuch in the Genesis section).
Hartley, John E. Genesis. New International Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament 1. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2000. The nice thing about this one is that its recent.Rad, Gerhard von. Genesis: A Commentary. Translated by John H. Marks. Rev. ed. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1972. Von Rad’s seminal work. He’s a form-critic, but a good one (next to Gunkel, probably the best). Also see his Old Testament Theology, now available as two volumes in one from cbd.com.
Rendsburg, Gary A. The Redaction of Genesis. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1986. A look at how the final text was sifted, edited, and compiled. Very theoretical, but illuminating.
Sarna, Nahum M. Genesis: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation. JPS Torah Commentary. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1989. Has both the Hebrew and the English with commentary and notes. The JPS translation of Genesis 1-2 is my favorite English translation. Very expensive, but worth it.
Turner, Laurence. Genesis. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000. Another recent work worthy of attention.
Wenham, Gordon J. Genesis. 2 vols. Word Biblical Commentary. Waco, Tex./Dallas: Word, 1987-1994. Wenham’s is very popular. The WBC series is widely used and fairly easy to understand. I use it in conjunction with the Hermeneia series whenever possible. There are some real dingers in the set though (like the book of John — very poopy!), but this one and others do a fairly good job. I usually stick with monographs and avoid commentary sets, but this one and Hamilton’s are worthy of a peek.
Westermann, Claus. Genesis. Translated by J. J. Scullion. 3 vols. Continental Commentary. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1984-1986. This work is very extensive and deep. Westermann is still respected in the field.
This is just “the beginning” (pun intended) of a larger list I compiled and used; mostly works that stood out to me as worthy of anyone’s attention. Logically, there are many, many others which may be equally good. There are also several monographs which treat topics in Genesis that are worth a read (such as God’s name, covenant, etc. etc.) but for the sake of space I omitted them. Another note: I love bibliographies, but only if they are annotated bibliographies. I hate it when a teacher dumps five pages of biblio on me and doesn’t explain why each work merited his/her consideration. I hope my brief notes here help.
Any more books to add?