New Blog Series: “My Top 6 OT Commentaries” (Genesis)

New Blog Series: “My Top 6 OT Commentaries” (Genesis) May 10, 2021

I (Nijay) am excited to host a new series welcoming expert OT scholars’ “Top 6” recs for OT Commentaries. First up, Dr. Richard Middleton (Northeastern Seminary). Middleton has written widely on biblical theology and Old Testament studies. Related to Genesis, I highly recommend his books: The Liberating Image and his Oct 2021 forthcoming book, Abraham’s Silence: The Binding of Isaac, the Suffering of Job, and How to Talk Back to God.

My Top 6 OT Commentaries on Genesis (J. Richard Middleton)



John Goldingay (Baker Commentary on the OT): Goldingay provides a careful, thoughtful investigation of the text, attending to translation details, literary style, theological implications, and (selectively) the history of interpretation.

Gordon J. Wenham (Word Biblical Commentary): Wenham’s classic 2-volume commentary combines close scrutiny of textual and translation details, drawing on ancient Near Eastern backgrounds where appropriate, plus excursuses on various topics. Wenham shows awareness of modern critical readings of Genesis without being constrained by them.

Victor P. Hamilton (NICOT): This careful 2-volume commentary by a Wesleyan scholar is both detailed and textual, addressing matters of literary structure and ANE background, while reflecting on the literary and theological point of the text.


David W. Cotter (Berit Olam): A beautifully written commentary by a Catholic scholar that focuses on careful literary reading, as a means to suggesting a nuanced theological sense of the text.


Walter Brueggemann (Interpretation): Brueggemann may be the most published OT scholar today. In this early commentary, we find him at his rhetorical best, challenging the reader with the demanding message of the inscrutable yet faithful God of creation and history.


Nijay’s Picks

I echo Middleton’s picks, here are a couple more that I have used and appreciated

Kathleen O’Connor (Smyth & Helwys): expert study of Genesis that is attentive to the literary artistry of this foundational OT book. Great for classroom, Bible study, and fodder for preaching.

Tremper Longman (Story of God): meant for ease of reading use for pastors and laypeople, offers a great master reading of the whole text.

Definitely keep an eye out for Middleton’s Oct 2021 release: Abraham’s Silence

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