The first in our series of the 66 books of the Bible is centered in the book of Genesis. This is a very complex book, yet at the same time very simple in nature.
The easiest way to do this is the method I learned in school. I will give you the who, what, where, when, why, and how of each book. Buckle up, this ride will be fun.
By the way, each book of the Bible will have its own controversies. These brief articles are designed for information; especially for the novice in the Bible reading realm. Controversies are something educated people create and promote when bored with their life. The Bible is God's Word, end of story. Peter made it clear that it was not "open for private interpretation".
Who - Who wrote Genesis? The book of Genesis was written by Moses. Moses is the most venerated man in Jewish history, rivaled only by maybe Abraham. There are three distinct sections of time in Moses' life. The first 40 years were spent in the Pharaoh's palace. He was adopted by Pharaoh's daughter. The second 40 years he was on the run for murdering an Egyptian. He was in a place called Midian which was many miles from Pharaoh. The third and final forty years he was leading the Jewish people out of Egypt and through the wilderness. He wrote this book about 1,688 b.c.
What - What happens in the book of Genesis? Turns out quite a bit. God gives us a look at how He created everything. These are the first two chapters. We then get to see the "fall of mankind" and Adam's sin. This is chapter three. Chapter four shows what anger can do as one brother kills another and is punished by God Himself. Chapter five is a summary of the generations of Noah. For more insight into this list of names, click here. Chapters six through ten give the story of Noah, the ark, saving the world through a flood, and the generations of the sons of Noah. Chapter eleven is about the Tower of Babel. Chapters twelve through fifty are the story of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the fathers of Judaism.
Where - Where did all of this take place? While most of it is obvious, the general location would be where the Middle East is today.
When - When did all of the events in this book take place? Make sure you are sitting down. Estimates have this time frame took about 2,371 years. Keep in mind that our calendar did not have 365 days in it until about 45 b.c. The book of Genesis covers more time of history than any other book in the Bible.
Why - Why is this book significant? The theme of Genesis is simple. It is the creation, the fall, and the redemption of the human race through Jesus Christ. Genesis is the seed-plot of the entire Bible and is essential to proper understanding of every part of it. Every doctrine of scripture finds its roots in Genesis.
How - How should I read Genesis? With all of the Bible, you should pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you into whatever truth He has for you on that day. My suggestions are as follows:
- Chapters 1-2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6-9
- Chapter 10
- Chapter 11
- Chapters 12-24
- Chapters 25-28
- Chapters 29-38
- Chapters 39-50
Remember to not be in a hurry. These are categories and do not need to be read all at once. Take your time and meditate on what is being said to you in each verse.
The book of Genesis is an amazing compilation of history mixed with all of the information needed to take you into the rest of the Bible. Do not be afraid to use a "concordance" to look up difficult words. I suggest www.blueletterbible.org although there are many good ones that are free to use.
Interesting facts about Genesis -
- It is the first book of the Bible
- It has 50 chapters
- It has 1,533 verses
- It has 38,267 words
- It has 1,385 verses of history
- It has 148 questions
- It has 123 verses of fulfilled prophesies
- It has 23 verses of unfulfilled prophesies
- It has 95 distinct messages from God
- The events of Genesis end about three centuries before Moses was born
- Genesis covers more time than the remaining 65 books combined
- About 2,000 of the 2,371 years covered are from chapters 1-11