By James Montgomery Boice
3.2 (Fall 1992) : 217-218
The author is senior pastor of the renowned Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. His three-volume work is a valuable tool for any student working his way through the Book of Genesis. It is not a critical commentary, but provides three things that any Bible student will appreciate in studying this book. The first and most evident contribution of this work is its detailed study of the entire book. A good number of chapters center their attention on a single verse. Other chapters or groups of chapters concentrate on some very significant subjects. One of these is the discussion of covenants in chaps. 19-23, vol. 2. Even those who may not share all the author's views on covenants will find his discussion of "God's Covenant Children" (chap. 23) of interest, especially the reminder to parents at the end of the chapter.
Another factor that makes this work valuable is that Boice does not skirt major issues or problems. Neither does he simply give his own view with support. Instead he devotes a great deal of space giving a fair representation of other views with their support. This is evident even in such chapter titles as "Are There Two Creations?" and "Is the Fall a Fact?" Five chapters deal with different "Views of Creation." He covers evolution, theistic evolution, the gap theory, sixday creationism, and progressive creation. Another chapter discusses the problem relating to "Sons of God/Daughters of Men" (Genesis 6). As stated above, it is commendable that he gives a full and fair presentation of views which he himself does not endorse.
Another valuable contribution is Boice's weaving in of practical applications throughout the work. He carefully deals with the exegetical difficulties, but having reached a conclusion on what the passage says, he then deals with the practical implications. The chapters "The Gift of Forgetting" and "No One Loves Me, This I Know" are examples of this. He also has a section in vol. 3 about Joseph and his brothers, which he entitles "God and the Conscience." Subheadings for this subject include (1) The Pinch of Want, (2) The Pain of Harsh Treatment, (3) The Press of Solitude, (4) The Proof of God's Presence, (5) The Pattern of Necessity, (6) The Power of True Affection, and (7) The Purge of Self-Confidence.
Because of the beat of this pastor's heart and the scholarship that is evident throughout, these three volumes will prove valuable to anyone studying Genesis. The blending of an analysis of the text, a careful attempt to deal with major problems, and the practical applications all make these three volumes extremely helpful.