Wednesday, August 04, 2010

John Goldingay's Genesis for Everyone

Rating: 4

Goldingay, John. GENESIS FOR EVERYONE: PART ONE AND TWO. Westminster John Knox Press, 2010. 197 and 186 pages respectively. Paper. ISBN 978-0-664-23375-4 and 978-0-664-23375-7

N.T. Wright's popular The New Testament for Everyone series is now followed by an ambitious project, John Goldingay's The Old Testament for Everyone. These are commentaries written with a lay audience in mind, integrating personal stories and contemporary illustrations with exegesis of the biblical text. Goldingay wisely devotes two full volumes to Genesis, and then finishes up his commentary on the Penteteuch with two other volumes, Exodus and Leviticus for Everyone, and Numbers and Deuteronomy for Everyone. Because Goldingay intends to write commentary on the entire Old Testament, libraries may want to wait and purchase all the volumes as a single set (a format that is now available for N.T. Wright's commentary on the New Testament, ISBN 978-0-664-22851-4). On the other hand, churches that lack commentaries designed for lay readers may want to purchase these immediately, because they are certainly some of the best work out there written for a lay audience, and would be incredibly useful for small group bible study, personal devotions, and other contexts.


  1. If Goldingay's commentaries are half as insightful as Wright's, folks should buy them up. Despite being ordained, I found myself turning to Wright's commentaries often for a bible study on Acts and preaching the Galatians texts this summer.

    I do find it odd though that Exodus gets lumped in with Leviticus. I would think Exodus would rank its very own commentary... I understand with all of the laws in the two there is some logic with this. I am just a little surprised with that though.

    Thanks for bringing those commentaries to my attention.

  2. Brian, you make a good point. Many would even consider Exodus to be the key book of the entire Old Testament, so it would deserve its own commentary. However, based just on the depth an breadth of stories that need to be exegeted, I see why they did two volumes on Genesis and then shortened up for the other two.