Genesis. In Greek it means “origin.” In Hebrew it means “In the Beginning.” Traditionally, like the rest of the Pentateuch, has been ascribed to Moses (challenged later on). Envision these stories being read to the people at the great festivals in Jerusalem, or recited by visiting Levites in the villages throughout the land. Christians call the first 5 books “the Pentateuch,” Jews call them “the Law” or “torah.” The overall theme of the Pentateuch is God’s covenant with Israel through Moses, which established Israel as a theocracy (a nation where God’s directives rule the civil, social, and religious spheres) for the sake of the whole world. Genesis is foundational to the Pentateuch and the Pentateuch is foundational to the Bible.
Divided into two major sections (1) primeval history of the world before Abraham; (2) history of the patriarchs. As Genesis describes how the earth’s population increases over many generations, the reader’s attention is constantly being directed toward one particular person in each generation and his descendants.
The theme is creation, sin, and re-creation.
Grasping the big picture of Genesis is very important. Central to this picture is the family line that forms the backbone of the entire book.
With the coming of Jesus Christ, the national theocracy of Israel is replaced by an international royal priesthood that includes, Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles (1 Peter 2:9).
Intro talks about how long a “day,” back in the day…my interpretation of what they are saying, “it doesn’t matter.” Frequently, readers may ask questions, legitimate in themselves, that are not answered by the text. Genesis does not tell, for instance, how the serpent came to be God’s enemy or where Cain found a wife. Consequently, one’s natural curiosity must be correctly channeled, for the inspired author of Genesis intentionally communicates only certain things. Yet the text does not cease to be the Word of God simply because it is limited in what it tells the reader, it need not be exhaustive in order to be true.
The modern reader receives Genesis best, then, when he or she cooperates with Moses’ own purpose in writing the book. It is the front end of the grand narrative of creation, fall and redemption. The story is of a good world made by a good God and man’s role in that world, the story of how the stain of sin affects everything, the story of how God intends to reverse those effects.