1. Michael James Williams, Deception in Genesis: An Investigation into the Morality of a Unique Biblical Phenomenon. Studies in Biblical Literature 32; New York: Peter Lang, 2001.
Lipton's volume is perhaps little known, which is unfortunate given that its content is replete with great insight and depth. She treats five dream texts in Genesis--Abimelech's dream (Gen 20); Jacob's Bethel dream (Gen 28); Jacob's dream about the spotted and speckled sheep (Gen 31); Laban's dream (Gen 31); and the covenant of the pieces (Gen 15)--in the attempt to demonstrate how these dreams seek to revise the reader's understanding of events. I have yet to finish the entire volume, but her analysis of Jacob's dream in 30:10-13 coheres very well with what I argue to be the relationship between the seemingly incompatible chapters 29 and 30 (see my forthcoming article in PRSt). Given also my view of these dream texts as ultimately 'theophanic' texts and thus of decisive importance for interpretation of the Jacob cycle as a whole--more particularly YHWH's role within the cycle--I am appreciative for Lipton's sustained treatment of these narratives in a single volume.
I would contend that next to Brueggemann's commentary on Genesis in the Interpretation series (see below), very few books on Genesis focus on issues of theology or of the divine. Humphreys goes one step further, reading God as a literary character in the book of Genesis. The opening chapters offer a helpful orientation into matters of literary characterization, and Humphreys' ensuing, synchronic treatment of the Genesis text highlights God's characterization from two sources: the narrator's own statements about God and what other characters have to say about God. Against this backdrop, the diversity and ever-changing role(s) of God are discussed: designer, destroyer, patron, parent, etc. And, as has perhaps become the norm in all of these volumes discussed here, while I do not agree with Humphreys' characterization of God in relation to the texts of deception, his careful attention to the non-static roles God plays throughout the text make this work an important one with which all students of Genesis should be acquainted. I will be posting a more thorough review of Humphreys in the next few weeks.
David M. Carr, Reading the Fractures of Genesis: Historical and Literary Approaches. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996.