Survey of Genesis
Genesis means “origin”, and as such is a fitting name for the book. It is the history of all humanity. Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch. This portion of scripture covers the beginning of creation, sin, civilization, and Israel. Genesis is comprised of a series of short stories that cover a time period prior to Adam to the death of Joshua in Egypt.
Genesis is commonly referred to as the first book of Moses. Moses is accepted as the author of the five books of the Pentateuch. There are several scriptural references in both the old and the new testaments that refer to Moses as the author even though the book itself is anonymous in origin. It is believed that Moses wrote the book drawing on oral traditions and historic writings of his time, under the divine inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
The book of Genesis can be divided into two general parts. The first portion describes the early history of mankind and his relationship with God. The second portion gives specific examples of individuals whom God chose to reveal himself to. Both sections show the divine grace God has shown to man both as individuals called and as a whole as His creation. Genesis shows how God has always had a plan for mankind and that man was created with a specific purpose for God.
Important theological themes of the book of Genesis include the following doctrines:
- A living, personal God
- Man being made in the image of God
- The fall of Mankind and Original Sin
- The anticipation of the redeemer
- The covenant promises with Israel
The reoccurring pattern in shown in Genesis is one of (1) Sin; (2) Judgement; (3) Grace of God; and (4) the consequences of sin. Of importance to note is that God always provides mercy and grace even in judgement.
Genesis covers a long time period in history and begins with the story of Adam and Eve and the fall of mankind. Then moves through the stories of Cain and Able, Noah, and on up to the patriarchs of Israel. These include Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the covenants God made with them to secure a people devoted to Yahweh. Genesis warns us of the dangers of sexual immorality and the evilness that can lurk in men’s hearts. Genesis concludes with the provisions God made for the growth of Israel from a tribe to a nation under Joseph and the Egyptians.
- The Beginnings (1-11)
- The Story of Abraham (12-25)
- The Story of Isaac (25:19-26;35)
- The Story of Jacob (27:1-37:1
- The Story of Joseph (37-50)
King James Easy-reading Study Bible. Goodyear, AZ, 2002. Print.
Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Ryrie Study Bible: King James Version. Chicago: Moody, 2008. Print.
Longman, Tremper. “The Book of Genesis.” Introducing the Old Testament: A Short Guide to Its History and Message. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. N. pag. Print.