Top Commentaries on Genesis

Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Genesis are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Genesis that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)



Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Genesis



Genesis 1-15 and 16-50 (Word Biblical Commentary) by Gordon J. Wenham


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Genesis (tied)

Tremper Longman: “one of the finest evangelical commentators today…shows his high level of scholarship and his exegetical sensitivity”

John H. Walton and Andrew Hill: “A sound presentation of modern evangelical interpretation.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Genesis, “Wenham writes from a generally conservative evangelical viewpoint. His exegesis is careful and detailed and always worth consulting.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.



Genesis 1-17 and 18-50 (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Victor P. Hamilton


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, interprets “the text in a positive way as well as handling the difficult questions of the book”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Genesis, “Hamilton writes from a generally conservative evangelical perspective”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.



Genesis 1-11:26 and 11:27-50:26 (New American Commentary) by Kenneth A. Matthews


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: scored 4.5 out of 5 stars, “an excellent study of the primeval history with an emphasis on the text as literature and theology”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Genesis, “another outstanding contribution” from the NAC series

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.



Genesis (New International Version Application Commentary) by John H. Walton


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “stimulating and well written”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Genesis, “does not get into as many technical issues, but it excels in terms of bridging the gap between the original audience and the contemporary world”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis by Allen P. Ross


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “a running exposition with an emphasis on theology…often insightful nd helpful”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Genesis, “an invaluable resource for expositors,” “if you are a pastor, you should not be without this book”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: Creation and Blessing is an exceptionally helpful guide for pastors and teachers. Its literary, exegetical, and theological analyses will enrich any exposition of Genesis. The author’s purpose is to “help the reader appreciate the major literary and theological motifs that form the theological ideas in the narratives, and to demonstrate how these theological ideas can be developed into clear and accurate expository ideas.” To accomplish this goal, he divides Genesis into more than sixty units, discussing each unit’s theological ideas, describing its structure, and synthesizing its message, as well as providing an exegetical outline, an expository outline, and a bibliography.”



Genesis (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Derek Kidner


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “an excellent commentary…written from a solidly conservative standpoint”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.



Genesis: A Commentary by Bruce K. Waltke


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “exegetically insightful and theologically rich”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Waltke illuminates its meanings and methods for the pastor, scholar, teacher, student, and Bible-lover. Genesis strikes an unusual balance by emphasizing the theology of the Scripture text while also paying particular attention to the flow and development of the plot and literary techniques–inclusion, irony, chiasm, and concentric patterning–that shape the message of the book of beginnings.”



Genesis (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary) by James McKeown


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4.5 out of 5 stars, “interesting and competent”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Two features distinguish The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection…The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus.” See more about the Two Horizons Bible commentary series.



Genesis (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by John Sailhamer


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Genesis (tied)

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.



Genesis (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by John E. Hartley


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “offers a clear and straightforward analysis of the book of Genesis”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



Genesis (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Walter Brueggemann


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “concentrates on the final form of the text and focuses principally on the theology of the book”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.



Genesis (The JPS Torah Commentary) by Nahum M. Sarna


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “studies the text in a verse-by-verse, virtually word-by-word manner”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field. Every page contains the complete traditional Hebrew text, with cantillation notes, the JPS translation of the Holy Scriptures, aliyot breaks, Masoretic notes, and commentary by a distinguished Hebrew Bible scholar, integrating classical and modern sources. Each volume also contains supplementary essays that elaborate upon key words and themes, a glossary of commentators and sources, extensive bibliographic notes, and maps.” See more about the JPS Torah commentary series.



More Expository Commentaries



Genesis 1-11 (The Bible Speaks Today) by David Atkinson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



Genesis 12-50 (The Bible Speaks Today) by Joyce Baldwin


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.



Genesis (Focus on the Bible) by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their speciality subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.” See more about the Focus on the Bible commentary series.



Genesis (Brazos Theological Commentary) by R.R. Reno


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.



Genesis: A New Commentary by Meredith G. Kline


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Many of Kline s former students, as well as many pastors and laypeople in the Reformed community, consider his work to have had a transformative effect on their faith and thinking. His teaching and writings (he wrote seven books and more than seventy articles) were filled with fresh, insightful interpretations.”



Genesis (New Cambridge Bible Commentary) by Bill T. Arnold


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The NCBC aims to elucidate the Hebrew and Christian scriptures for a wide range of intellectually curious individuals…[volumes] do not assume the reader has a great deal of specialized theological knowledge or an impressive command of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or biblical Greek… Utilizing recent gains in rhetorical criticism, social scientific study of the scriptures, narrative criticism and other developing disciplines, this series intends to provide a fresh look at biblical texts, taking advantage of the growing edges in Biblical Studies.”



Technical Commentaries on Genesis



Genesis (The Old Testament Library) by Gerhard Von Rad


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.”  See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.



Genesis (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by E.A. Speiser


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.



Genesis (A Continental Commentary) by Claus Westermann


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: This series “makes leading critical biblical scholarship from German and French scholars available to the English-speaking world. This series combines scholarly excellence with academic rigor to benefit pastors, students, and scholars of both the Old and New Testament…Each book in the Continental Commentary Series includes comprehensive introductory material, including an explanation of narrative themes, an overview of the historical and cultural context, an analysis of textual traditions, and an evaluation of recent literature. The remainder of each volume is divided according to each pericope of Scripture, with each section containing a summary of secondary literature, a fresh translation of the text, an evaluation of the literary form and the setting in life, and a lengthy commentary. Each volume also contains indexes on Hebrew words, subjects, names and authors, and other material.” See more about the Continental Commentary series.



Classic Christian Commentaries



The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings by Henry M. Morris


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: “A prolific and influential scholar known to believers and skeptics alike as “the father of modern creation science,” Dr. Henry M. Morris truly was a man of science and a staunch man of God. He was even said to have set the terms of debate about evolution for the second half of the 20th century by one Pulitzer Prize-winning academician. Dr. Morris began his serious study of the Bible in the 1930s and authoring books in the 1940s, but it was his landmark work, co-authored with Dr. John Whitcomb, titled The Genesis Flood in 1961 that influenced generations to begin discovering the fallacies of evolution and the biblical truth of creation.”



Genesis (Crossway Classic Commentary) by John Calvin


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “For hundreds of years Christendom has been blessed with Bible commentaries written by great men of God highly respected for their godly walk and their insight into spiritual truth. The Crossway Classic Commentaries present the very best work on individual Bible books, carefully adapted for maximum understanding and usefulness for today’s believers.”