Welcome to our Bible Reading Plan! This plan focuses more on what we gain from the passage, and the connection we have with God through the passage, than on “getting through” the Bible in a year or a certain amount of time. We are beginning in Genesis and Matthew, sometimes taking a chapter at a time (especially in the Old Testament), sometimes only a few verses (especially in the New Testament). Come join us on Facebook by clicking here or on LinkedIn by clicking here. I will check Facebook more often than LinkedIn, so a discussion is more likely to happen on Facebook.
We have already begun in Genesis and have read quite a bit, but I haven’t posted the background of Genesis yet . . . hence,. this article.
The Book of Beginnings
Genesis is the book of beginnings. The first words of Genesis in English are, “In the beginning,” and the Hebrew title for the book is also, “In the beginning.” Genesis is full of stories that the entire rest of the Bible assumes we know. Sometimes in other places of the Bible authors will mention just a phrase and sometimes even a word that refers back to a Genesis story (these are called “allusions”), and we are to understand that the writer has the entire story in mind. So since the entire Bible is one unit, the more we know of these early stories, the more helpful it is in understanding the rest of the Bible.
Answers to Questions
Genesis provides some answers to such existential questions such as: Where did we come from? How did we get into this mess? How do we get out of this mess?
It also answers biblical questions such as: Where did sin come from? How did Israel get to be God’s chosen people? How did Israel get to Egypt in the first place, and what’s the story on how they got out? What was the covenant that God gave to each of the patriarchs? … and more.
Background of Genesis
Moses wrote Genesis, probably while he was a shepherd in the Sinai desert about 1500 B.C. (1500 years before Jesus). During the time that he wrote Genesis, Israel would have still been in Egypt. Moses actually wrote the book of Job during this time, too, and Job is considered the oldest Bible book written, so it would have been written before Genesis.
Blessings and promises are scattered throughout Genesis, including the promise/covenant that God gives to Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This covenant is God’s promise to make things right in the end for His people. In Genesis 3 in spite of Adam & Eve’s mistake, God promises that He will make a way out of the mess they’ve created.
Seeing God in Genesis
Watching God work with humans in the book of Genesis gives us a view of God as first creating, then being totally committed to His creation. He didn’t create us and leave us alone, but is very active with His people. He continues to promise humans that all things will come out right in the end, even when they continue to mess up. He is seen as the God who loves His creation so much that He will right wrongs and turn things around for the good. He protects. He loves. The whole message of Genesis is one of grace and salvation.
Overview of Genesis:
Genesis 1 & 2 provide the Creation story. I believe what the Bible says, that God created everything in the world in six literal days, and rested on the seventh day. God made monkeys, too — He just didn’t make me from one of them 🙂
Genesis 3 tells of the origin of sin. You may be surprised to know that the Bible doesn’t say it was an apple that Eve ate!
Genesis 4 & 5 tell a few other stories of people before the great Flood, including Cain and Abel, and Enoch.
Genesis 6-11 is the story of Noah and the biblical Flood, and the aftermath. It takes as much faith to believe that there was NOT a global flood as it does to believe that there WAS one! And since I believe the Bible, I believe that there was a flood that covered all the earth. This section also explains where all the languages came from.
Genesis 12-36 tells the story of the patriarchs, and of God’s choosing Israel as his people. Genesis 37-45 is the Joseph story, a real drama! The rest of the book is the last days of Jacob and Joseph.
If you’re just joining us in this fascinating book, you can go back and read from the beginning, then keep reading with us. Again, click the Facebook link to get the weekly readings. Hope to see you there!
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