The Bible begins and ends with a revelation of God that gives redemption its basis. From the first verse of Genesis, the book of origins, we encounter a God of personality, character, purpose, and activity. Only in the light of what he shows us of himself as the Creator of our world and the Interactor with human history does the salvation story assume its proper context. Genesis sets things in order: God first, then us.
In the words of the general editor’s preface, “Especially after the Tower of Babel it became evident that people had forgotten who God was. They needed reminding. The moves God made were essentially concerned with putting himself in front of the world’s peoples.” Today, perhaps more than ever, we need God to put himself in front of us—to remind us who he is, and that he is.
With characteristic creativity and uncommon depth, John H. Walton demonstrates the timeless relevance of Genesis. Revealing the links between Genesis and our own times, Dr. Walton shows how this mysterious, often baffling book filled with obscure peoples and practices reveals truth to guide our 21st-century lives.
“There is nothing sinister or menacing about this chaos in Genesis; it is simply the indication that God has not yet done his work.” (Page 74)
“The offense in this passage, then, is to be found in the beliefs that resulted in the project and what it stood for in the minds of the builders. It went beyond mere idolatry; it degraded the nature of God by portraying him as having needs.” (Page 377)
“Most commentaries help us make the journey from our world back to the world of the Bible. They” (Page 7)
“In summary, the lexical information suggests that the seventh day is marked by God’s ceasing the work of the previous six days and by his settling into the stability of the cosmos he created, perhaps experiencing refreshment as he did so. By blessing it, he extends his favor to it.” (Page 147)
“In summary, the Tower of Babel project is a temple complex featuring a ziggurat, which was designed to make it convenient for the god to come down to his temple, receive worship from the people, and bless them.” (Page 374)
Dr. John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, spent 20 years teaching at Moody Bible Institute.
In his college years, he developed a passion for archaeology and Bible history. Instead of training to be an archaeologist, though, he focused his attention on studies comparing the culture and literature of the Bible and the ancient Near East. He has never lost his fascination with this subject, but comparative studies only provide one of the means by which he tries to get people excited about the Old Testament. He’s saddened by how little exposure to and understanding of the Old Testament many Christians have, but he’s passionate in doing whatever he can to remedy this spiritual and theological loss.
For 25 years, Dr. Walton was active at South Park Church in Park Ridge, Illinois—teaching at every level, from adults through preschool. He’s driven by the desire to offer people a greater familiarity with God’s Word and a greater confidence in understanding God’s revelation of himself in its pages. Since moving to Wheaton, he has gotten involved in the same areas of ministry at Glen Ellyn Bible Church.
Whether in teaching or writing, he’s constantly challenged in his own life because the material he’s presenting stretches him as much as it stretches his students and readers. Whatever he’s writing or teaching also has a way of infiltrating his family. His wife, Kim, was trained as a biochemist, which made for interesting dinner conversations—especially when he was working on his Genesis commentary. His three kids have often gotten involved in the discussions, and he’s had fun responding to them and seeing his family grow together.