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Genesis 1 - 11: Continental Commentaries [Hardcover]

Claus Westermann
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No.1 In Biblical Interpertation Feb. 22 2003
By Shai
Format:Hardcover
This book and the continuing ones are the best comentery on the book of genesis - A MUST to everyone who wants to understand it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tough Reading... but Valuable Info! Jan. 30 2011
By TN
Format:Hardcover
This book is not an easy read by anyone's imagination, but it contains a wealth of information about the Bible and about Genesis, Chapters 1-11. Readers must be prepared to plow through in order to get the true value from this book.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great commentary on the early Genesis stories. Oct. 3 2000
By amanuensis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Westermann's Genesis commentary, long held to be a classic, is a valuable addition to any library concerned with serious study of Genesis. This volume, the first of three, concerns itself with the stories from creation through Noah and the Tower of Babel, traditionally called the "pre-history". Westermann carefully examines each pericope from a scholarly perspective with notes, commentary and comments. The bibliographic notes are also very helpful. His awareness of the vast amount of scholarship in this area is carefully processed to provide all but the beginning Bible students with a most valuable resource to which they will return again and again.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and Comprehensive but Difficult and often seems Misguided Jan. 28 2011
By C. Stephans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm sure Westerman certainly wins accolades in the academic world for his research and approach to Genesis; however, the usability of this book for purposes of ministry and Bible study is poor. I found it difficult to read and to find useful at all because of the complexity and many directions the author takes. I think the main emphasis is often on the literary criticism of Genesis rather than the theology, role in salvation history and usefulness for the People of God. Having said that...on the text, Westerman provides a considerable depth of research, comparative literature, origins, other views and his own conclusions.

Westerman is continually going on lengthy tangents about his justification for his documentary hypothesis and theories about authorship and influence from ancient texts. He seems to be more concerned with his theories rather than the meaning of the text which he does ultimately address in most cases.

If you are interested in hearing theories of multiple authors and external influence for Genesis and less concern for the theological significance and how the text may be significant both to ancient people and the Body of Christ today, then this is a right book for you, but it is still disjointed and difficult to peruse.

I would follow the advice of another reviewer and use Wenham's or Brueggeman's commentaries before this one.
22 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well done, Not the best for me Oct. 9 2005
By Noah G Tutak - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this commentary as well as four others for an in-depth study of Genesis. Although this commentary is well written and valuable, I am returning it after reading about 170 pages because:

1. It is superceded by newer commentaries (such as the Word commentary by Wenham) making it mostly superfluous if you have these others.

2. There is too much focus in this text on the documentary hypothesis. Although this is perhaps important in a commentary on Genesis, Westermann has made this the central focus of his commentary. Many sections are the theology of P is, J said this because, the reason E did this was... I prefer the way other newer commentaries have treated documentary hypothesis issues as part of a whole, not the focus.

Altogether it is a great commentary, i would have given it four stars if not for the other more up-to-date commentaries that offer a more balanced view of what Westermann offers plus newer material.

BTW the other commentaries I have are: Word by Wenham, Interpretations by Brueggemann, New Internation Commentary by Hamilton, and New American Commentary by Mathews. I will post reviews as I finish each volume.
2 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No.1 In Biblical Interpertation Feb. 22 2003
By Shai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book and the continuing ones are the best comentery on the book of genesis - A MUST to everyone who wants to understand it.
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