I am posting some commentaries on Genesis in light of the sermon series that I will be beginning this coming Lord’s Day. I must say, I am thrilled with the number of individuals who are studying along with the sermons on Sunday mornings. I hope these resources will benefit you as you seek to understand the message of Genesis. When studying a book, commentaries are useful tools to consult after reading a passage and making your own initial observations and study of it. Commentaries will sometimes point out things that you did not notice or explain things that you do not understand.
Biblical commentaries come in all shapes and sizes, so to speak. Usually each has a slightly different perspective and purpose. I have divided my recommendations into three categories since readers of this blog will be coming from all different backgrounds. The “Technical” section assumes a knowledge of the original languages and will be most useful to pastors. This is not easy reading. The “Semi-Technical” section is designed to highlight a middle-of-the-road kind of commentary that is very thorough, yet more understandable than the former. Finally, the “Expositional/Devotional” section is helpful in understanding the text of Genesis, typically easier to read, and has more emphasis on application. A brand new Christian can benefit from these just as much as a more mature Christian.
Wenham, Gordon. Genesis 1-15. Insightful regarding the overall structure of Genesis and consistently judicious in handling the grammatical issues. This volume will be most helpful to pastors and to those who know some Hebrew.
Currid, John. Genesis: Volume 1, Chapters 1-25. Solid conservative Reformed commentator with meaty exegesis that doesn’t gloss over difficulties in interpretation. Combination of serious scholarship and Christian devotion. Wise explanations of the text while conscious of the implications of Genesis for Christian doctrine and personal worship. Excellent.
Calvin, John. Sermons on Genesis Chapters 1-11. Classic pastoral exposition of Genesis. Slightly more emphasis on “exhorting” than “explaining,” though both are present. For the opposite emphasis, see his also excellent commentary on Genesis. Proponent of a young earth.
Hughes, Kent. Genesis: Beginning and Blessing. Very readable explanation and application of Genesis by a contemporary evangelical pastor. Helpful in seeing how the sovereign grace of God is worked out in the lives of his elect.
Morris, Henry. The Genesis Record: A Scientific & Devotional Commentary On the Book of Beginnings. Includes a helpful introduction which relates Genesis to the Old & New Testaments and also contemporary worldviews. He has a scientific background which gives his comments on his young earth convictions and the universal flood a unique flavor. Very readable.