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Continental Commentary Series: Genesis 12–36 (CC)

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Overview

The second volume of Westermann’s commentary on Genesis expounds on the patriarchal story—the figures of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their significance not only for Israel, but for human history. Their stories deal with the beginnings of human society, and of the family in particular. Through them, God reveals his action in families, politics, lifestyles, and social norms, making these stories fundamental for understanding both God and ourselves. Westermann also outlines the theological implications of the patriarchs, and implores modern readers to discover their implications for theology in the church today.

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Top Highlights

“The disposition and collation of these three cycles took place at a time when the family had expanded to clans and tribes, and the tribes had passed through tribal unions to become a people and a state.” (Page 23)

“We must acknowledge here a parallel between ancestral traditions and the traditions of Israel such as are found in certain aspects of the God of the fathers (Lit. B, Tradition, A. Alt [1929] 95).” (Page 25)

“There is, on the one hand, the shaping of the individual patriarchal stories into a whole and its insertion into the traditions of Israel and, on the other hand, the varied presence of the fathers scattered across the traditions from the earliest times through the postcanonical writings into the New Testament.” (Page 26)

“There has as yet been no study of the relationship of the patriarchal story to the cult of ancestors. It is possible, however, that some expressions of ancestor cult are linked with narratives about the ancestors. Parallels to the patriarchal stories, therefore, should not be excluded. Such a study would be worthwhile.” (Page 25)

“Paradoxically, Abraham remains father from generation to generation.” (Page 25)

Claus Westermann's commentary on Genesis is one of the really great commentaries—great in size (three large volumes), great in comprehensiveness (covers all aspects of the text and has massive bibliographies), and great in theological perception.

—C.S. Rodd, Expository Times

  • Title: Continental Commentary Series: Genesis 12-36
  • Author: Claus Westermann
  • Translator: John J. Scullion S. J.
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 1986
  • Pages: 608

Rev. Dr. Claus Westermann was an Old Testament scholar. He was born on October 7, 1909 in Berlin. Prof. Westermann taught at the University of Heidelberg from 1958 to 1978. Born to African missionaries, he finished his studies in 1933 he became a pastor. During his theological studies he started studying the Old Testament, and became particularly interested in the content of the Psalms.

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  1. Reuven Milles

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