Friday, January 6, 2017

Wiersbe Commentaries on Genesis

Although Warren W. Wiersbe has worked with Youth for Christ, pastored Moody Church in Chicago, written for Christianity Today, and broadcast his own radio show, he is probably most known today for his "BE" series, an explanation of every book of the Bible for laymen. I recently worked my way through his Genesis series and would like to share a few thoughts.

Be Basic deals with the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. If you are wondering why there's so much confusion and destruction in today’s world, one reason is because people are ignoring or rejecting the basics. But that’s like going on a voyage without a compass or radar, or trying to perform brain surgery without lights. Wiersbe goes on to say that to know the book of Genesis is to know the fundamental truths about God, the world, yourself and other people, law, sin, salvation, marriage, faith, and spiritual fulfillment. In addition to these are themes of God-ordained work and rest, male and femaleness, scripture as our authority, and God as covenant keeper. As always, Wiersbe combines his insights with biblical cross-references and memorable one-liners such as, We live by promises, not by explanations, and Faith is living without scheming

Be Obedient focuses on Abraham. At first I was miffed at having to buy three separate commentaries, but I see now that the life of Abraham demanded its own separate volume. Wiersbe does a great job of explaining Old Testament practices and of teaching the truths of the book being studied within the context of the whole Bible. (From page 62, Take time to read Galatians 3, Romans 4, and James 2, and you will see how Abraham illustrates salvation by faith.). A very helpful commentary and probably my favorite of the three.

Be Authentic covers the lives of the patriarchs that came after Abraham. They were "authentic" in that the Bible does not try to cover up their faults. Yet they trusted God and proved that He can use imperfect people who choose to follow Him. There was a little too much supposition about possible motives for why people did what they did, but for the most part, I appreciated his insights. Again, Wiersbe had me scurrying to read many other Bible verses to put the ones being studied into the context of all of Scripture. One of his NT cross-references which shed light on the Genesis stories was Hebrews 6:12 - It is through faith and patience that we inherit the promises.

All three of these Bible study guides were excellent. By the way, Wiersbe's commentaries cost about $10 each, but I never pay full price for them. By subscribing to e-book bargain sites such as Gospel E-books, I often get them for 99 cents or for free. At the time of this writing, books one and three are priced quite low.



Janet said...

I've heard such good things about Wiersbe's commentaries, but I haven't used any of them yet. This would be the logical one to begin with, wouldn't it? "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start."

I've read Genesis many times -- every time I've set out with determination to read the Bible cover to cover. It's not till I get to the prophets that I tend to stumble! :-)

Thanks for the excellent review and the tip about ebook sites.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I echo Janet's sentiments. Most Januarys find me in Genesis. :) I'm there now. I've read Wiersbe, but usually out of desperation because I need insight for teaching something. I think I need to get these commentaries to breathe new life into old territory I've covered year after year.

Thanks for the tip about the website!