Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Genesis 1-4

C. John ("Jack") Collins--professor of Old Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary--has a new commentary out. It's 352 pages, but only covers the first four chapters of the Bible. It's called Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, And Theological Commentary.

I haven't yet seen the commentary, but when I do, I may try to post a review. Some readers may recall that last year I posted a lengthy entry on how I view the creation narrative in Genesis. My thoughts were-and still are--largely dependent on Collins' exegetical work.

According to material on the web, Collins' commentary

follows a literary-theological method informed by contemporary discourse analysis, in order to arrive at an integrated reading of each segment. In order to explore the connections of the Bible's parts I look at how the passages from Genesis have shaped subsequent material--especially in the OT, Apocrypha, and NT.
Here are some blurbs:

“What does it mean to be human? Why are we here? What’s wrong with us and our world? How can things be made right? And what’s God got to do with the whole business? Collins demonstrates that the opening chapters of Scripture are crucial in answering these worldview questions, and thus essential to a faithful engagement with life in God’s world. He gives us a commentary that is both exegetically exacting and theologically relevant for the modern church.”
-Michael D. Williams

“From every standpoint—methodological and theological, structural and syntactical, linguistic and literary, apologetic and worldview—this expository survey is a model of ‘good reading’ of the text. Here you have a landmark treatment of Genesis 1-4 as canonical communication from God, a work of detailed scholarship that no serious student or honest teacher will henceforth be able to ignore.”
-J. I. Packer

“Jack Collins is a most promising candidate to provide wise guidance in the interpretation of Genesis 1-4. He brings to the discussion a background in science and text-linguistics, advanced degrees in theology and the languages and literatures of the Bible, and a long-standing involvement with the early chapters of Genesis. The result is a clearly written and insightful treatise on this crucially important part of the Bible.”
-V. Philips Long