OceanSide church of Christ
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INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS
Victor M. Eskew
A. The book of Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible.
1. It is impossible for one to reject the historicity and divine authority of the book of Genesis without undermining and repudiating the authority of the entire Bible.
2. The atheist, skeptic, modernist, and humanist understand this concept. Thus, they attack the book vehemently, especially the first eleven chapters of Genesis.
B. The book of Genesis gives the only correct view of the origin of all things.
1. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit were all at the beginning.
a. Father and Spirit (Gen. 1:1-2)
b. Word (John 1:1-3)
2. One’s belief concerning his origin will inevitably determine his belief concerning his purpose and his destiny.
a. A naturalistic, animalistic, concept of beginnings specifies a naturalistic, animalistic program for the future.
b. An origin at the hands of an omnipotent, holy, loving God necessarily predicts a divine purpose in history and an assurance of the consummation of that purpose.
I. THE NAME OF THE BOOK
A. The Jews are known to refer to the book by the title, “Bereshith,” the very first Hebrew word of the book meaning “in the beginning.”
B. The name universally used is Genesis.
1. This is a transliteration of a Greek word.
2. The name means “origin, source, or generation.”
C. In Talmudic times it was also called, “The Book of the Creation of the World.”
II. THE AUTHOR OF THE BOOK
A. The book was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:21).
B. Who was the “holy man” who was the instrument in writing Genesis?
1. Genesis contains no direct statement as to whom the author was.
2. Leviticus – Deuteronomy are attributed to Moses (Exo. 17:4; Lev. 1:1; Num. 1:1; Duet. 1:1). Thus, it is only reasonable to conclude that Moses would have written this book also.
3. The New Testament supports Mosaic authorship.
a. Luke 24:44
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
b. Acts 26:22-23
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
III. THE DATE OF THE BOOK
A. The books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers were written after the fashion of a journal.
B. This would suggest that the introductory work could have been written during the time of the Wilderness Wanderings.
C. Before 1240 B.C., the latest possible date for Israel’s crossing the Jordan after the death of Moses.
IV. THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
A. The book relates how Israel was selected from among the nations of the world to become God’s chosen people through Abraham.
B. The book gives a brief survey of the history of the divine relation from the beginning until the Israelites were brought into Egypt.
V. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BOOK
A. The book offers the only correct and satisfactory information that we possess concerning prehistoric times and the history of primitive ages.
B. Without the book of Genesis, the rest of the Bible would be incomprehensible.
1. Adam is mentioned in Deuteronomy, Job, I Chronicles, Luke, Romans, I Corinthians, I Timothy, and Jude.
2. Noah is mentioned in I Chronicles, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hebrews, I Peter and II Peter.
3. Abraham is mentioned by name in 15 books of the OT and 11 NT books.
4. Jacob is named in 20 books of the OT and in at least 17 books of the NT.
5. In a special sense, every mention of the people or nation of Israel is an implicit acknowledgement of the foundational authority of Genesis, since Israel was the new name given to Jacob, and his twelve sons became the 12 tribes of Israel.
6. The NT is, if anything, even more dependent on Genesis than the Old. There are at least 165 passages in Genesis that are either directly quoted or clearly referred to in the New Testament.
C. The book of Genesis gives the only true and reliable account of the origin of all the basic entities of the universe.
1. The Universe (Gen. 1:1)
2. Order and complexity (Gen. 1)
3. The solar system (Gen. 1:14-19)
4. Atmosphere and hydrosphere (Gen. 1:6-8)
5. Life (Gen. 1:11-12, 20-21, 24-25)
6. Man (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7)
7. Marriage (Gen. 2:18-24)
8. Evil (Gen. 3)
9. Language (Gen. 11:7-9)
10. Government (develops throughout the book )
11. Culture (Gen. 4:20-22)
12. Nations (Gen. 10)
13. Religion (Gen 4:3-4)
14. The chosen people (Gen. 12:1-3)
15. The week (Gen.1:1 – 2:3)
VI. THE CRITICISM OF THE BOOK
A. Most so-called liberal theologians and commentators have followed the theory that a number of unknown writers and editors, ruing the period of Israel’s history from about the time of King Hezekiah to that of Ezra the scribe, compiled and edited several old legends and traditions, verbally transmitted not only by their own Israeli ancestors but also by the Egyptians, Babylonians, and others, into the book of Genesis.
B. Presumably they then allowed the story to be circulated that these had come down from Moses in order to invest them with the authority of the law-giver.
C. Names of the theory.
1. Documentary Hypothesis
2. J,E,D,P Theory
VII. ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK
A. The book of Genesis can be divided into the names of its major characters.
B. The book is naturally divided by the phrase, “…the generations of…”
1. Then generations of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 2:4)
2. The generations of Adam (Gen. 5:1)
3. The generations of Noah (Gen. 6:9)
4. The generations of the sons of Noah (Gen. 10:1)
5. The generations of Shem (Gen. 11:10)
6. The generations of Terah (Gen. 11:27)
7. The generations of Ishmael (Gen. 25:12)
8. The generations of Isaac (Gen. 25:19)
9. The generations of Esau (Gen. 26:1)
10. The generations of Jacob (Gen. 37:2)
VIII. THE BOOK ANTICIPATES ETERNITY
A. Adam and Eve were created and put into a “paradise” on earth. They lost this paradise due to sin. We find that it is regained in the book of Revelation.
B. A comparison
1. Man in a prepared garden (2:8-9) 1. Man in a prepared city (21:2)
2. River out of Eden (2:10) 2. River from the throne (22:1)
3. Gold in the land (2:12) 3. Gold in the city (21:21)
4. Tree of life (2:9) 4. Tree of life (22:2)
5. Bdellium and onyx stone (2:12) 5. All manner of stones (21:19)
6. God’s presence (3:8) 6. God’s presence (21:3)
IX. INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BOOK
A. Key Verse: Gen. 1:1
B. Key word: generations (used 19 times)
C. Chapters 1 – 11 cover about 2000 years of history. Chapters 12 – 50 cover about 400 years.
D. Christ in the book of Genesis
1. Major prophecies
a. The seed of woman and crucifixion (Gen. 3:15)
b. Abraham’s seed would bless all nations (Gen. 12:3)
c. Septre would not depart from Judah (Gen. 49:10)
b. Animal sacrifice
A. We will be studying the book of Genesis, chapter-by-chapter.
B. You will be required to do three things to each chapter each week.
1. Title the chapter
a. As you read ask: What is the main subject of this chapter?
b. Make certain that if someone were to read your title, he/she could understand why that title was chosen.
2. Outline the chapter
a. Look for the main sections within the chapter
b. Put a title on each section
3. Find the lessons that we can apply to our lives from the chapter.