New Genesis Commentaries in the Works! (and an ‘insider scoop’ on them)

I’m excited.  In a geeky kind of way.  The website bestcommentaries.com, which is a helpful resource in and of itself, also has a page discussing forthcoming commentaries.  There are some errors and absences on the page: for example, Walter Brueggemann is writing the two volume NCBC on the Psalms with my teacher, Bill Bellinger, and not with Patrick Miller as the site notes.  Also, it doesn’t mention that my other teacher, James Nogalski, is slated to write the NICOT commentary on a segment of the Twelve (I’m sure Roy can tell me which books exactly).  But regardless, it is a valuable site for those nerds among us who love commentaries.

My attention was naturally drawn to the volumes on Genesis.  I was very pleased to see that many of the main series, such as the Old Testament Library (OTL) and Anchor Bible (AB), were being rewritten.  These are in desperate need of being updated; the Speiser volume in the current AB series is so beholden to the Documentary Hypothesis it is almost unusable by modern standards.  Von Rad’s OTL volume is surely dated, but still helpful in various aspects and has stood the test of time much better than Speiser.  Anyways, here are the ones that caught my eye:

*Ronald Hendel (Berkeley), two volumes (Gen 1-11, 12-50), Anchor Bible.
He has told me he is still a few years away from completing the first volume on the Primeval History.  Knowing Hendel’s work elsewhere, this should be a very fine, balanced contribution!  Check out his The Epic of the Patriarch if interested in his work.  Or almost any issue of BAR.  Top notch.

*David Petersen (Emory), Old Testament Library.
Petersen has disclosed to me that he has a good amount of the Abraham material written and is currently working on the Primeval History.  Jacob, he said, “awaits.”  And if his closing note to me that Genesis is a “book” and not a random compilation of various sources stringed together is any indication, then this will be a very fine commentary indeed.

*Kathleen O’Connor (Columbia), Smyth & Helwys.
No projected end-date, though she did express interest in using various parts of my dissertation possibly in the commentary.  Oh yeah!  Having worked on the S&H commentary on the Psalms with Bill Bellinger, I can attest to the amount of work this series entails.  It is, though, well worth it; the images and sidebars contribute very much to the final product.

The website also lists the Hermeneia commentary (Fortress) as being written by the esteemed Richard Clifford, S.J., though in a recent correspondence I had with him he told me that unfortunately he has had to give up the project due to a taxing schedule.  As far as he knows, and I know, the volume has not been reassigned.

According to my discussions with each of those I list above, none projects to have the volume done by the time my dissertation is done (i.e., Spring 2010).  Each has also expressed interest in both my article and larger dissertation project, for which I am thankful.  How cool would it be to be cited by these modern giants of the field in these seminal series?  Too cool!  I can hope!

Honorable Mention (or, I’m interested to check it out, but not salivating over it like I am those above!).
Erhard Blum, Historical Commentary on the Old TestamentTheodore Hiebert, Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries

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6 thoughts on “New Genesis Commentaries in the Works! (and an ‘insider scoop’ on them)

  1. Richard says:

    I am looking forward to Blum’s and Petersen’s. I have found myself reading more of Genesis since I came across your blog and am making my way through Carr’s Fractures which is really quite good. I have also been bitten by the Brueggemann bug! 🙂

  2. Jim says:

    You need to add Chris Heard’s forthcoming two volume magisterial work. Knowing those you’ve listed, and him, his will be the best of the lot.

  3. John Anderson says:

    Richard: Blum is a bit outside the work I do, methodologically, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned much from his writing. Just the title of that series gives me pause. Petersen’s will no doubt be top notch.

    Carr’s Reading the Fractures of Genesis is indeed a very fine volume. Thorough. It is also unique in his discussion of P and non-P and their relation, namely the one trying to reign in and neutralize the other (I don’t recall the trajectory off hand). And count yourself lucky to have been bitten by the Brueggemann bug! I’m glad to hear it.

    Jim: Thanks for reminding me. Yes, Chris Heard’s two volumes for Blackwell Bible Commentary Series will be very good. Only glitch is they will focus on reception history and not (and please correct me if I am wrong here, Chris) present Chris’ own arguments, at least not in any detailed manner. It’s more a history of research on how Genesis has been read, which is of great value inandof itself. I do look forward to them.

    My understanding is the Gen 1-21 manuscript is due for him in 2011, and the Gen 22-50 manuscript in 2015. I look forward to them!

  4. Roy "Eli" Garton says:

    John, regrettably, I’m not exactly sure which books of the B12 that Dr. Nogalski is covering for NICOT. I’ve been so busy working with him on his Smyth & Helwys commentary that the subject hasn’t come up recently. I’m fairly positive, however, that its supposed to cover just four books, which leads me to believe that he’ll be covering the Book of the Four: Hosea, Amos, Micah, and Zephaniah. But like I said, I’m not entirely possitive on this one. 😦

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