Genesis Gems (or, the best books on Genesis, from a Genesis scholar)

With my volume forthcoming (hopefully this year) with Eisenbrauns on the Jacob narratives, I have long been immersed in the thought and theology of the book of Genesis. About two years ago–at the start of my dissertation writing–I wrote two posts (HERE and HERE) detailing 10 books in total on Genesis I could not do without. Now, with Ph.D. in hand for almost a year, and a forthcoming book on Genesis, my list has most certainly grown. Here I share what I consider to be some (this list is by not means all-inclusive, and I welcome reader suggestions as well) of the best volumes on Genesis out there. Keep in mind, my area of specialization is the Jacob narratives, or the ancestral narratives more broadly speaking. I have tried, however, in this list to include those works which have and continue to be worthwhile in Genesis research still.

Robert Alter, Genesis: Translation and Commentary

Erhard Blum, Die Komposition der Vätergeschichte

Mark Brett, Genesis: Procreation and the Politics of Identity

Walter Brueggemann, Genesis

David Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis

George Coats, Genesis, with an Introduction to Narrative Literature

J. P. Fokkelman, Narrative Art in Genesis: Specimens of Stylistic and Structural Analysis

Keith Grüneberg, Abraham, Blessing, and the Nations: A Philological and Exegetical Study of Genesis 12:1-3 in Its Narrative Context

Hermann Gunkel, Genesis

Victor Hamilton, The Book of Genesis (NICOT)

Christopher Heard, Dynamics of Diselection: Ambiguity in Genesis 12-36 and Ethnic Boundaries in Post-Exilic Judah

W. Lee Humphreys, The Character of God in the Book of Genesis: A Narrative Appraisal

Mignon Jacobs, Gender, power, and Persuasion: The Genesis Narratives and Contemporary Portraits

Sharon Pace Jeansonne, The Women of Genesis: From Sarah to Potiphar’s Wife

Joel Kaminski, Yet I Loved Jacob: Reclaiming the Biblical Concept of Election

Jon Levenson, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity

Diana Lipton, Revisions of the Night: Politics and Promise in the Patriarchal Dreams of Genesis

Kenneth Mathews, Genesis (NAC)

R. W. L. Moberly, The Theology of the Book of Genesis

Albert de Pury, Promesse Divine et Legende Cultuelle dans le Cycle de Jacob: Genese 28 et les Traditions Patriarcales (2 vols.)

Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary (OTL)

Allen Ross, Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis

Nahum Sarna, The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis

Tammi Schneider, Mothers of Promise: Women in the Book of Genesis

Johannes Taschner, Verheissung und Erfüllung in der Jakoberzählung (Gen 25,19-33,17): Eine Analyse ihres Spannungsbogens

Laurence Turner, Announcements of Plot in Genesis

Laurence Turner, Genesis (Readings)

Gordon Wenham, Genesis (WBC)

Gordon Wenham, Story as Torah: Reading Old Testament Narrative Ethically

Claus Westermann, Genesis (3 vols)

Michael James Williams, Deception in Genesis: An Investigation into the Morality of a Unique Biblical Phenomenon

Paul Williamson, Abraham, Israel and the Nations: The Patriarchal Promise and its Covenantal Development in Genesis

Ron Hendel (ed)., Reading Genesis: Ten Methods

Andre LaCocque, The Trial of Innocence, Onslaught Against Innocence, and The Captivity of Innocence

J. Richard Middleton, The Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1

Mark Smith, The Priestly Vision of Genesis 1


There are no doubt many more that I could add to the list, but these are some that have been quite seminal in my own research and work. If you have questions about any of these, or would like to add to the list, please do share!


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