Gunkel's commentary on Genesis is a classic in the field of Old Testament studies. This translation makes it available in English for the first time. Gunkel's familiarity with the religious and folk literatures of the world especially of the ancient Near East, provides the context into which he sought to situate Israelite religion and literature. Although he employed source- and form-critical methods, he brought a fine literary and cultural sensitivity to bear on the question of the interpretation of the text in its final forms. In fact, many who now criticize late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century scholarship for its atomism and aridity (Gunkel himself, expressed an awareness of these dangers) will be surprised to find Gunkel's literary reading of Genesis and his engagement with the text inferior to none based on modern approaches. Many of the critical issues with which Gunkel grappled in his commentary continue to commend the attention of Genesis scholarship: the nature of patriarchal religion, the interrelationship between documentary sources, oral tradition, and editorial activity, the antiquity of Israel's eschatological hope, and much more.