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Commentary-Genesis-Leviticus (Expositor's Bible Commentary) [Hardcover]

By Tremper Longman III (Editor), David E. Garland (Editor) & John H. Sailhamer (Contribution by)
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Item description for Commentary-Genesis-Leviticus (Expositor's Bible Commentary) by Tremper Longman III, David E. Garland & John H. Sailhamer...

This is a complete revision of the Gold Medallion-winning commentary series. It is up to date in its discussion of theological and critical issues and thoroughly evangelical in its viewpoint.

Publishers Description
Continuing a Gold Medallion Award-winning legacy, this completely revised edition of The Expositor s Bible Commentary series puts world-class biblical scholarship in your hands. Based on the original twelve-volume set that has become a staple in college and seminary libraries and pastors studies worldwide, this new thirteen-volume edition marshals the most current evangelical scholarship and resources. The thoroughly revised features consist of: * Comprehensive introductions * Short and precise bibliographies * Detailed outlines * Insightful expositions of passages and verses * Overviews of sections of Scripture to illuminate the big picture * Occasional reflections to give more detail on important issues * Notes on textual questions and special problems, placed close to the texts in question * Transliterations and translations of Hebrew and Greek words, enabling readers to understand even the more technical notes * A balanced and respectful approach toward marked differences of opinion"

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   825
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.31" Width: 7.56" Height: 1.65"
Weight:   3.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2008
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Edition  Revised  
Series  Expositor's Bible Commentary  
ISBN  0310230829  
ISBN13  9780310230823  
UPC  025986230821  

Availability  2 units.
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More About Tremper Longman III, David E. Garland & John H. Sailhamer

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Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies and the chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, where he lives with his wife, Alice. He is the Old Testament editor for the revised Expositor's Bible Commentary and has authored many articles and books on the Psalms and other Old Testament books.

Tremper Longman III has published or released items in the following series...

  1. Bringing the Bible to Life
  2. Expositor's Bible Commentary
  3. Expositor's Bible Commentary (Revised)
  4. Story of God Bible Commentaries
  5. Story of God Bible Commentary
  6. Zondervan Beyond the Basics Video
  7. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament

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Books > Bible Study > Commentaries > Old Testament

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Reviews - What do customers think about Commentary-Genesis-Leviticus?

What If They Do Not Listen To My Voice?  Oct 9, 2009
'History, at once the scandal and the uniqueness of biblical faith, is the sphere of God's revelation.' p 349

The investigation into divine redemption using the ancient text as primary source has sparked much discussion more recently, especially as to how the historical writings were created. The grammatico-historical hermeneutic does not lend itself to biblical-theological reflection of promise and fulfillment, but focuses mainly on the literary structures that were employed by the original author of the book. This respect for historical method allows Scripture to speak for itself. It is also the task of the grammatical-historical exegete to engage in the two areas of form criticism and source criticism and the problematic 'origins' of these ancient writings, which have their limitations: 'While such approaches, used with appropriate care, may shed some light on the process by which the present text was formed, they can never explain fully the meaning of the text as it now stands.' Desmond T Alexander, He Swore an Oath, ed. Gordon Wenham p 8. Sailhamer, Kaiser and Hess argue for a single authorship for the Pentateuch, and present their evidence for this through competent textual criticism by way of a composite narrative exposition.

In presenting Exodus and the primary defense of a single authorship Walt Kaiser Jr enters the debate and rejects an alleged J tradition, an E source and a P document. 'Thus by Semitic usage it may be said to belong to all three without always stopping to distinguish between primary and secondary causes and users.' This interpretative method suggests a positive use of textual criticism by the commentator, encouraging for those who cannot bear the thought of denying God's authoritative communication to man, which many have done under the pretext of improved results. Walt Kaiser has elsewhere raised the concern of the irrelevance of the original author's message to a modern audience: 'Whatever an author may have meant or intended to say by his or her written words is now irrelevant to the meanings we have come to assign as the meaning we see in that author's text! On that basis, the reader is the one who sets the meaning for a text.' Preaching & Teaching from the Old Testament p 191. Endeavoring to avoid the interpretive grid of subjectivism, Kaiser embeds his own findings in historical exegesis that is supplemented by sources known for their faithful scholarship, as reflected in his bibliography. By means of the highest principles of interpretation, Kaiser faithfully battles for the original intent of the biblical author.

God commissions Moses and Kaiser brushes up our knowledge of biblical history in reminding us that 'Israel is to be confronted by God through the 'voice' of His word and the 'voice' of His miracles.' In answer to Moses' question Yahweh replies, 'If they will not listen to your voice and will not listen to the miracles...' Ex 4:9 Kaiser comments that this 'makes plain that just as Moses' 'voice' in verse 1 is a sign to be believed, so the three miracles likewise have 'voices' that also speak to the people if they will hear them.' p 378

Heb 'qol' : a noun meaning 'voice' = a verbal public proclamation

Gk 'kerusso' : a verb meaning 'preach' = a voice that is being carried

As to the standard of the commentary on Exodus itself, Kaiser is a master at preaching the great historic acts of redemption. He supports his contentions with breathtaking exegesis and exposition. I am not reluctant to endorse this kind of scholarship.
Very Helpful For Sermon Prep  Nov 24, 2008
Since I'm a pastor who is using this book in a current sermon series, and am planning to use it for another one next year, let me focus my review on how helpful this book is for sermon prep. I suspect it would also be very helpful for students working on a research paper, since the author brings together many (100+) sources from the ancient world and other scholarly works on Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus.

I'm currently focused on Genesis. I've been using several full technical commentaries and some shorter ones as well. I've found that this commentary invariably adds something to my exploration of the text and comments about it that the other commentaries did not focus on. This authors strength lies in his ability to see how Genesis is tied to other parts of the Pentateuch. Sometimes this brings out themes that are not in any other commentary. For this reason, I believe this commentary should stay in your book bag as you do your study. For pericope after pericope I've found it worth consulting. It should not be your only commentary on these books because his perspective seems to be intentionally limited to the narrative view.


Abbreviations contain 11 pages. Extensive ancient literary references and journal references provide a gold mine of potential links.

Introduction: After studying Revelation commentaries three years ago, and finding some fantastic introductions, I've become a big fan of extensive introductions. This volume has only 23 pages or so of introduction. Some of this is a relatively short bibliography (less than one page) with a reference to Sailhammer's other book titled "Pentateuch as narrative". A pastor friend recommended that book to me when he saw I was working through Genesis, and my search for that book enabled me to find this one. Both of them are valuable tools. I borrowed Pentateuch as Narrative and bought this one. I will probably purchase Pentateuch as Narrative for my Exodus series (next year I think). A glimpse at Sailhammer's portion on Narrative Typology shows his view of Genesis...from page 37

"A small narrative segment that has attracted an extraordinary amount of attention over the years is the account of Abraham's visit to Egypt in Genesis 12:10-20. (he actually types out Genesis when it is in a sentence-refreshing eh?).The similarities between this narrative and that of Genesis 20 and 26 are well known. Such similarities are most often taken to be a sign of historical and literary dependency. Another way to view the similarities is to see them as part of a larger typological scheme intending to show that future events are foreshadowed by events of the past. (see quote by Cassuto in the commentary Ge 12:1-10). In fact, many of the similarities in the patriarchal narratives may have originated out of such a strategy of narrative typology."

In essence this shows you what Sailhammer is going to bring out in the text. His whole thing is bringing out the theory that Genesis is part of a narrative that flows through to the end of Deuteronomy. He continually contends for this throughout his material. I think he's on to something, but there are other things that ought to be examined as well.

Outline: Some commentaries (like Waltke and Greidanus) bring out alternating patterns and/or chiastic designs or concentric patterns in Genesis. This is helpful to show emphasis and plot lines, comparisons of accounts and to show the key point in say the accounts about Joseph as a whole. Sailhammer does not do this. Instead his outline resembles a story line. To me it reminds me of a commentary on the Acts of the Apostles or maybe even a Gospel. It's clear that his view of the Pentateuch as Narrative flows through to every part of this commentary. I think this is good because it gives a consistent alternative view to Genesis than any of the other commentaries I've consulted.

For older Evangelicals this whole approach may present a problem. For it used to be promoted heavily as a counter to Pentecostal theology that one ought never draw doctrine from narratives. But for Pentecostal and Charismatic Evangelicals and for others who have rejected that view, this approach creates no tension at all. If anything it supports (in a round about way) the notion that all scripture is useful for doctrine, even if it is narrative in essence. One just needs to be careful to handle narrative as narrative and not as one would handle poetry or apocalyptic literature. Sailhammer doesn't explore this issue.

He gives the text (his own) set apart nicely in a shadow box. Then his commentary follows. For example on Genesis 12:1-9 he gives five pages of comments and two pages of notes. His comments are a pleasant read (absent of ancient language like Hebrew or Latin characters). His notes however contain the Hebrew textual terms he discusses, a transliteration of the term, and an English translation. Bravo!! This enables those of us who read Hebrew to enjoy the Hebrew, those who are not very good at Hebrew to identify it quickly and everyone else to know what in the world he is talking about. I wish every commentator did it like this!

Now, however, he does something that I don't like. He does not mark the verses up as he comments on them. So to find the comments on say just Genesis 12:3, you have to start reading the whole five pages because he gives his comments on Genesis 12:1-9 as a whole.

Other authors like Greidanus encourage pastors to preach on Genesis 12:1-3 as a unit because there is so much there. In fact, Genesis 12:3b is a sermonic text in and of itself. So if you use a number of resources and want to check Sailhammer on just a bit of his work, you will be frustrated at this. If you take the time to dig though you will find that his cross references are heavy in the Pentateuch (surprise!!) So as he discusses the term seed and the promise it begins to reveal to us, he will cite it's use in the Pentateuch and it's significance in the Pentateuch with references that I missed in other commentaries, but then only say that the NT sees this as fulfilled in Christ, but doesn't even give the reference for that!?! (pg 151).

So his strength of showing how this commentary ties into a literary strategy is wonderful, but the limit in focus to that is the reason why this should not be your only commentary on Genesis that you consult. He has a specific vantage point that is very interesting and very helpful. I love this tool. But it is limited in perspective. I've found this to be true of all my other commentaries as well. I find nuggets in many of them. Often Sailhammer's stuff is not duplicated in my other works. Therefore I give this volume a five star and recommend it to any pastor who is studying Genesis for sermon development. Since the job of a Christian pastor/preacher (in my opinion) is to show how the bible presents Christ and the glorious gospel, I think other aids to Genesis like Greidanus or Hamilton or Waltke which give more linkage to the NT are more helpful in sermon development once you catch on to the narrative theme in the Pentateuch (and for that Sailhammer is the best). But we must go beyond this to reveal Christ and Him crucified whenever the Old Testament testifies to this coming glory (Romans 3:19-21 & Luke 24:27). So, Sailhammer will help you bring out the Pentateuch and he will help you adjust your view of Genesis or Exodus or Leviticus. Just be careful to add to this tool others to round it out.

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