Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

BHB001 Genesis



"The Creation of the world and the birth of the Hebrew Nation."

Key verse:

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God........."

Key word :


Key Themes:

  1. Creation.
  2. The fall into sin.
  3. The promise of Salvation.

Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch, its importance cannot be estimated or valued as it provides very important information that creates a foundation for the rest of the scriptures to build on. Magnificiently it describes the days of creation, the fall of humankind into sin, divine judgement through the flood, divine salvation through Noah`s Ark and the dispersion of the nations across the face of the earth. The life and times of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph are recorded in detail for our understanding and spiritual insight.

Outline of Genesis.

Ch.1:1-2:4           The story of Creation.

Ch.2:4b-4:26       The Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve into sin.

Ch.5:1-32.           The Patriarchs ruling before the flood.

Ch.6:1-11:9         The flood and its consequences.

Ch.11:10-26        The Patriarchs after the flood.

Ch.11:27-25:18.   Abraham, his life, faith and family.

Ch.25:19-37:1.     Jacob, his life, faith and family.

Ch.37:2-50:26.     Joseph his life, faith,and family.


The book of Genesis is primarily about the "history of the redemption of humankind" and in the re-calling of that history four great events and four great people are highlighted. The first eleven chapters lays a solid foundation upon which all the writtings of the Old and New Testament are built and the story of "Salvation history" is revealed in its embryonic state.  

Great Events.

1. Creation.

There is no ambiguity in the creation story, it begins by saying that, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." All existence is understood to have its origin in the creation activity of a Sovereign God.           

2. The Fall.

The fall of humankind into sin reveals the moment that Adam and Eve chose to destroy their relationship based on obedience to God`s word by an act of disobedience, thereby creating the environment whereby all future generations of humankind would experience the curse of being born with a fallen and disobedient nature. In the light of the fall into sin, Genesis 3:15 indicates that God responded by creating an opportunity to be saved from sin through the promised hope of a Saviour being born of a woman.

3. The Flood.

The flood was the judgement of God on the fall of humankind into sin and disobedience. As sin developed in the heart and mind of mankind, the influence of disobedience was such that God`s judgement fell in the form of a flood. The only exception was Noah and his family who lived obediently before God and so in judgement of the world God was disposed to save Noah.  

4. The Nations.

In the book of Genesis we discover something of the unity of the human race. In Adam all found life and judgement because of sin, in Noah hope of salvation is clearly to be seen. When humankind united itself at the tower of Babel, God stepped in and scattered the nation to the furtherest corners of his world, creating a world of nations, cultures and languages.

Great Personalities.

There are four important people who lives, ministries and families would become a special blessing to the world. Genesis (ch.12-50) reminds the reader that great spiritual hope would come through them to all the nations of the world in a very special way.


In Genesis 12 we read of his call by God to service, he would become the father of the nation and also the bearer of great spiritual blessing to the world. God gave Abraham three promises which encompass land, descendants and blessing. The fulfillment of these blessing would be experienced worldwide as the salvation of God. Abraham`s faith is tested on many occasions but the greatest test of his faith is seen in God calling him to offer his son his only son as a sacrifice, while God eventually hindered Abraham from doing this, we see in the story a pale shadow of God offering His own son in reality as a final and perfect sacrifice for human kind`s sin.

2. Isaac.

In the story of the life and ministry we will see Abraham`s covenant blessings being passed down to his son Isaac and he charged with the responsibility of carrying that covenant truth into a new generation of people.


Jacob  through all that he suffered learned how to trust and serve God with diligence. The out working of his life and ministry caused God to change his name from Jacob to Israel. He became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel.

4. Joseph.

Joseph, who suffered greatly at the hands of his own brothers, was enslaved in Egypt, eventually through the sovereign action of God was raised from a slave to a son of Egypt, he was able to save the very people who had tried to destroy him i.e. his family.

Book Title.  

The title, "Genesis" (bereshith) simply means, "in the beginning, origin, or source."


Debate has raged over the authorship, but much of the internal evidence would indicate Moses. The collection of many of the stories may well be through the oral method of transmission i.e. one generation passes on the events to another generation. Family records were certainly available to Moses this is clearly seen in passages such as Genesis 5:1, 10:1, 25:19 and that would have been a clear source for the compilation of this book. The record of Moses`s death is a scribal inclusion. 

That information may well have been carried down into Egypt by Joseph.(Gen 46). Part of the records contained in the book where directly revealed to Moses by God, the ten commandments are a good example of this. In Peter`s second letter he reminds his readers that Moses was guided by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21. Jewish tradition suggests a mosaic authorship. In the Talmud a number of passages concur with this belief. ( Deuteronomy 1:8, 2 Kings 13:23 and 1 Chronicles 1:1.)


Moses could have written the Genesis text while in Egypt or even when he was in Midian. If that were the case then one could assume that date of 1445 B.C. would be a realistic one. Genesis is a book that ends in the need of Redemption from sin and hope for the future, Exodus will help us to journey towards that hope.

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