Well, today we have begun a new verse-by-verse study in the book of Genesis – the beginning and foundation of the Bible.
In these blogs over the coming weeks, I will include the study notes that accompany the teaching sessions (which can be found in the ‘Teaching & Audio > Sunday Morning Studies’ section of this web-site.
I hope and pray that (if you are a Christian) you are encouraged, edified and strengthened in your faith; and if not, that you would come to see that the Bible really is God’s Word – provably so – and that the greatest privilege of all is to know Him!
Introduction to the book of Genesis
Surveying the Landscape
As we start a verse-by-verse study of this book I am filled with a profound sense of unworthiness to undertake this task. Whilst to many the book of Genesis is irrelevant, or simply a combination of myth and legend; to those who have discovered what the Bible actually is, the task before us is like standing on top of the world’s tallest mountain and trying to summarise in words the breathtaking beauty of all you can see. Genesis is just such a mountain, and also serves as the foundation of the entire Bible; from here we can see all the incredible landscape of scripture. The name ‘Genesis’ is derived from the Greek version of the Hebrew word ‘toledah’ that first occurs in Genesis 2:4, and occurs a total of 14 times in the book. Genesis / toledah means ‘beginnings’ and this book is certainly the book of beginnings; it is the key that unlocks the rest of the Bible, and without which, much of the rest of scripture would be without context, for all the major issues and doctrines that are developed in the rest of scripture are begun here. The Hebrew name for the book is ‘Beresheet’ from the first word in the book, literally ‘in the beginning’.
Genesis explains the origin of space, time, matter, energy, the universe, stars and planets, earth, the seas, life, man, animals, vegetation etc., and the beginning of nations, languages, government, culture, cities, music and various occupations etc. Of particular importance, Genesis brings us face to face with the beginning of sin, death, murder, rebellion and defiance against God, and sees the birth of false religion – mans attempt to cover his sin and get right with God by his own efforts. It introduces us to the first world-dictator and world-government – something that is destined to be repeated in our time. However, it also reveals God as a knowable God, a God of love and mercy, and yet a God of justice. It reveals the necessary step that had to be taken in order for God to have a people who would walk with Him for eternity, He being their God and they His people (Rev 21:3). It demonstrates the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. It sees the first blood sacrifice as an atonement for sin, and the promise of a Saviour who will redeem mankind. It ultimately answers the fundamental questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? What am I doing here? What happens when I die?
The rest of the Bible is built on this foundation. David said: ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ (Psalm 11:3). It is therefore hardly surprising that Genesis – its credibility and reliability – is frequently attacked by those who are simply blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4); for ‘the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned’ (1 Cor 2:14).
When we look at a painting, we appreciate the skill of the artist and notice the depth and use of colours to create the appearance of an extra dimension.
Certain animals cannot understand two-dimensional images, thus when they look at a painting they cannot appreciate it; and so it is when a ‘natural man’ looks at the pages of scripture; he has no capacity to see the incredible depth that tells of dimensions beyond the natural.
Genesis is actually the third longest book in the Bible (excluding Psalms) and yet it is the opening chapters that are often the major focus of attention. Most people are aware of the controversy and debate between ‘science and religion’. It is not uncommon to hear news reports of ‘fundamentalist Christians’ who have dared to challenge the status quo, and the danger these so called ‘extremists’ pose to the education of young people – Richard Dawkins aligns the teaching of Biblical Creation with child abuse! Repeatedly the populace are told via the news media that the ‘Big Bang’ and theory of Evolution are scientific facts that we don’t need to challenge but simply accept. So why is the book of Genesis so vehemently attacked by its detractors? For the simple reason that it offers the only viable alternative regarding our origins. The problem is that this ‘alternative’ requires belief in a supernatural God – something that many scientists struggle to accept (apparently they prefer to believe that ‘in the beginning nothing…’ then, that this nothing exploded and became everything! Apparently that is a more ‘scientific’ explanation!??).
Sadly, many Christians have been duped into believing the lies and deceit propagated in the name of science that broadly fall under the banner of ‘the theory of evolution’. We will deal with this in subsequent weeks as we go through our study.
A Major Problem
One of the reasons so many sincere believers have abandoned a belief in the early chapters of Genesis in favour of an ‘evolution-guided-by-God’ view*, is that they no longer have confidence in the Bible itself.
*The inconsistencies of this position we will explore more fully in future weeks.
It is no wonder this situation has occurred when countless ministers and church leaders, (themselves the product of liberal Bible Seminaries) have undermined the inspiration and authority of the Word of God
This is just a vicious circle; people reject the authority, accuracy and integrity of scripture because they have been convinced by the media, so-called scientists and ‘ministers of religion’ that it is not trustworthy. They don’t trust it because they have been taught to doubt its authority.
As we begin a study in Genesis, this issue is of the utmost importance; either the Bible is the inspired Word of God – all of it – or it isn’t. There is no middle ground. For if Genesis contains errors and factual inaccuracies about our origins and the history of man, it cannot be the word of a supernatural and all-knowing God. If the Bible merely contains the words of God, then it becomes subjective, and who is to say what are God’s infallible words and what are the words of fallible man?
This is, in many respects, the crux of the matter; but once we understand just what the Bible is, these, and almost all other problems, disappear.
Extra Terrestrial Message
It is no secret that vast sums of money are spent on the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. To date they have found nothing, despite hundreds of thousands of man-hours being spent searching. In September 1971, 84 of the world’s top scientists gathered at the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, Yerevan, Armenia, for a conference on Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CETI), jointly sponsored U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the SSSR (it’s Russian counterpart). A formula was devised to work out the possible number of existing civilisations in the Milky Way Galaxy at or beyond our level of technological advancement.
Various factors were taken into account, such as the rate of star formation, averaged over the supposed lifetime of the galaxy (R*); the fraction of stars which have planetary systems (fp); the number of planets that would be able to support organic life (ne); the number of such planets on which life may actually occur (Fl); the fraction of these planets that after the spontaneous origin of life, intelligence in some form arises (fi); then the fraction of these planets where life could originate that could then go on to develop the ability to communicate (fc); and finally the mean lifetime of such technical civilisations (L). Thus the formula was:
Given all of these factors, it was concluded that the number of planets in the Milky Way Galaxy that are able to support life, where life could be found, where that life had developed the ability to communicate, was just one – Earth!
(Dr Chuck Missler, from his book: Cosmic Codes, ISBN 1-57821-255-3)
The impossibility of the odds that life exists elsewhere in the universe has still not deterred them from looking – however they may just be looking in the wrong place!
The question needs to be asked, what are they looking for, and how will they know when they find it? It goes without saying that such a discovery would be one of the greatest discoveries ever made by mankind; a discovery that would change forever the outlook of those who had made it. Ultimately, for a message to be accepted as genuine, it would have to be provably extra-terrestrial in origin.
“It seems a strange irony that an extraterrestrial message has been received from beyond our space-time, and it appears in the most ubiquitous of all the books in the entire world – the Bible. It has from the beginning, maintained that its origin was from outside the space-time of Planet Earth.”
(Dr Chuck Missler, from his book: Cosmic Codes, ISBN 1-57821-255-3)
66 Books From Outside Our Space-Time
I am deeply indebted to the teaching and scholarship of Dr Chuck Missler, who brings to our attention the fact that the Bible is not just a collection of ancient writings, but is 66 books written by around 40 authors, over a period of approximately 2000 years that we can demonstrate is one integrated message system that has its origin from outside our time domain. In other words, because the Bible is so integrated and does what no other book in the world can do – tell the future before it happens – it cannot be merely the work of men, no matter how brilliant, but has to be the work of someone who is not confined by time itself, but is outside of time and is able to ‘tell the end from the beginning’ (Isaiah 46:10). This is one of the greatest discoveries that an individual can ever make. Indeed, over 300 times the Bible claims to be the word of God to His creation; and Paul reminded Timothy that ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ (2 Tim 3:16). Isaiah records that ‘The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever’(Isaiah 40:8). David said ‘For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven’ (Psalm 119:89).
Thus, that which we hold in our hands is no mere book, but a supernatural message that cuts through time and space to reveal our past, present and future, and most importantly, our own connection with eternity.
When we understand that, we have no problem putting complete trust in the Bible.
God said it; I believe it; that settles it!
It is really not hard to take the book of Genesis, indeed all scripture, seriously. If it comes down to the word of Charley Darwin – who wasn’t there and couldn’t observe or record the events taking place at the creation of the world – or the Word of an infinite God, who was there and has given us a written account, signed with His own finger (see Exodus 31:17-18), there really in no debate.
As to the question of science versus religion, the simple fact of the matter is that God has given us a reasonably detailed account of what happened, and when it took place. True science will therefore never be in conflict with the Bible. And let us not forget that science itself has limits, it deals with the present and not the past, it requires investigation and observation using one of more of our five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell & sound).
All we know about the past is from inference based on what exists in the present. Fossils, for example, exist in the present, not the past. Our assessment of how a fossil was formed will be based on our belief about the past, not science. Even if today we saw reptiles evolve into birds*, that doesn’t prove it happened in the past, only that it happens in the present. We may conclude that it is likely that it happened in the past because we see it happening in the present, but that becomes a statement of belief, not fact.
* NB: as an aside, it is completely impossible for a reptile to evolve into a bird – that is not just a belief, but a statement based on observable scientific fact. For more on this see One Small Speck – the evolution myth, by Dr Vij Sodera. can i order viagra from canada
Again, there is no contention between the Creator and His creation, the Bible and science. The contention comes when an ‘unproved and unprovable’ manmade theory tries to account for all of creation without acknowledging the Creator.
Despite the propaganda we so frequently hear, it is evolution, rather than Biblical creation, that is in conflict with science.
Introduction to Genesis
Genesis can be divided into two sections: Chapters 1-11 and 12-50.
Chapters 1-11 deal with the creation and beginning of everything. The first man (Ch 1), the first marriage (Ch 2), the first sin and the first blood sacrifice (Ch3), the first murder (Ch4), the first Rapture (Ch5), the first worldwide apostasy (Ch6), the first global judgment (Ch 7-9), the first world dictator (Ch10) and the dividing of the nations and languages (Ch11).
The second section of the book (Chapters 12-50) focuses on one man and his family, namely Abraham. We will see God call this man and explain to him that the Seed of the Woman, as promised to Eve, will come through his family, and as a result, all the families of the earth will be blessed. The rest of the book will chart the intrigues and struggles, as this family becomes a nation whom God will watch over and protect for eternity.
Author: Moses – how do we know? Because Moses, Joshua, David, Ezra, Daniel and Jesus all said so. “If you don’t believe what Jesus said you’ve got much bigger problems than the authorship of Genesis!” – Chuck Missler
When was it written?: Around 1600 B.C. – either when Moses was tending sheep for Jethro his father-in-law, and/or at Sinai as an introduction to the Law (Israel were camped there for two years). Originally, the first five books of the Bible (known as the Pentateuch) were one writing in five sections. The separation into five books did not occur until around 300 B.C. cialis 20mg lilly anwendung
Theme: “the creation, the fall, and redemption of the human race through Jesus Christ. Around this centres all divine revelation and scripture truth. The book is the seed-plot of the entire Bible and is essential to the correct understanding of every part of it. Genesis is the foundation on which all divine revelation rests and on which it is built up. Not only that, but it enters into, and forms a very integral part of that revelation. Every great doctrine of Scripture finds its roots in germ, type, or simple revelation.” Finis Jennings Dake
Statistics: buying viagra chemist
1st book of the Bible;
1385 verses of history; buy real viagra online
123 verses of fulfilled prophecy to date;
23 verses of unfulfilled prophecy to date;
95 distinct messages from God.
(Source:, Finis Jennings Dake Annotated Reference Bible)
Scope: The largest time span of any book in the Bible: 4000? B.C. to 1600 B.C.
Main characters: Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.
Things to look for: Models, patterns and types; all of which point to Jesus.
Adam is a type of Christ – giving himself for his bride (1 Tim 2:14).
The Ark (chapters 6-9) is a type of Christ – all who enter in are safe from God’s judgment. tadalafil online
Melchizedek (chapter 14) is a type of Christ being a priest who has no beginning or end.
Isaac is a type of Christ, being willingly offered by his father, and eventually being united with his gentile bride.
Joseph (chapter 39-50) is a type of Christ in that no sin is recorded or him; he was rejected by his brethren; cast into a pit but then ‘raised up’ to deliver all who came to him. In fact, we will explore over 100 different ways that Joseph is a type of Christ.
Check back later this week to see the study notes for verse 1! – or if you follow us on Twitter you will automatically be notified when new posts are added.