The Book of Genesis, meaning "creation" or "generation," is the first book of the Bible. The book of Genesis was named by the Septuagint (LXX) translators because it gives an account of the origin of all things. Genesis tells us what God wants us to know about his creation.
The book of Genesis covers the history of earth from creation until the time of Joseph and his brothers in Egypt. The first eleven chapters contain foundational doctrines including the origin of marriage, sin, death, the beginning of God’s plan of redemption, the flood which accounts for most of the fossil record, the origin of languages and ethnic groups, and the historical background of nations.
Genesis is foundational to our understanding of reality. Genesis explains how we got here, where stars, oceans, animals, and trees come from. It tells us why there is sin and death in the world, why there are immense fossil beds, and why there are different languages and people groups with different characteristics. Genesis also establishes the basic parameters of living on God’s earth according to the precepts in his Word. It sets forth the Creator’s design and instruction for all that is, including humanity.
All major biblical doctrines are founded in Genesis. The first 11 chapters are foundational to the Christian worldview—including the saving gospel (Genesis 3:15). Here is a partial list of doctrines initially grounded in the book of Genesis:
One of the major attacks on the Bible in the past 300 years has been directed against Moses and his authorship of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis–Deuteronomy). Such attacks on these foundational books of the rest of the Bible come both from non-Christians as well as professing Christians.
There is abundant biblical and extra-biblical evidence that Moses wrote the Pentateuch during the wilderness wanderings after the Jews left their slavery in Egypt and before they entered the Promised Land (about 1450 BC). Contrary to liberal theologians and other skeptics, Genesis was not written after the Jews returned from exile in Babylon (ca. 500 BC). Christians who believe Moses wrote the Pentateuch do not need to feel intellectually intimidated. It is the enemies of the truth of God that are failing to think carefully and face the facts honestly.
The book of Genesis can be naturally divided into sections. The English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible translates the Hebrew אֵ֣לֶּה תוֹלְד֧וֹת as "These are the generations of." This phrase occurs in ten places throughout the text and forms a natural outline for the book. Biblical scholars call the divisions toledoth meaning "generations.” Here are the natural divisions in Genesis:
The first two chapters of Genesis tell a straightforward account of the creation of the earth, the universe, and everything in them. There are no legends or folklore in the historical narrative account of Genesis, which are hallmarks of other cultures’ creation sagas. The existence of other creation myths actually lends strength to the Christian case rather than weakening it. It shows that other cultures knew the truth of creation, but their stories have been altered from the correct biblical version over the centuries.
Proponents of the gap theory have reinterpreted Scripture to try to make it fit the idea of millions of years. But adding a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, or any other place in Genesis, is unwarranted. It also adds death and suffering before sin and requires a recreation or restoration of the earth before Adam was created, an idea you can’t find in the text. The gap theory does not rest upon the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture; it is founded upon the shifting sands of the ideas of those who want to believe the evolutionary teaching of billions of years as the age of the universe and earth.
When we look carefully at Genesis 1, in Hebrew or even in English, it is clear that God created everything in six literal (24-hour) days. First, we are told that he created the earth in darkness and then created light. Then he called the light “day” and he called the darkness “night.” And then we read (in the original Hebrew) “and [there] was evening and [there] was morning, one day.” The same statement is repeated at the end of the second day through the sixth day.
A common argument against young-earth creationism is that gaps exist in the genealogies listed in the fifth and tenth chapters of Genesis. The old-earth proponent assumes that if gaps exist, then one cannot claim to know an approximate age of the earth based on biblical data. But the Genesis 5 text does not allow for any gaps, since it contains the father’s age when his son was born, and then his lifespan. Additionally, other scriptures bear out the truth of the genealogies. Jude 1:14 tells us that Enoch was the seventh from Adam, just as Genesis 5 states. The genealogies in Genesis 10 do not give us father/son ages, but we know from Genesis 5-8 when Noah was born and when the flood occurred, and we know that Abraham was born c. 2000 BC, meaning that about 350 years passed between the flood and the generations listed in Genesis 10—therefore there can be no gaps in the Genesis 10 genealogies.
The temptation of Eve by Satan, the fall of mankind, the entrance of sin, and the curse on the entire creation all originated in Genesis 3. So too did the beginning of the plan of redemption. While Adam and Eve hid, God sought them out. When they tried and failed to cover their nakedness, God initiated the first blood sacrifice and clothed them with animal skins. While cursing the Serpent, God promised a future “seed of woman” who would crush Satan. This promise was fulfilled in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Did God really create everything in six literal, 24-hour days? A study of the Hebrew text and biblical teaching as a whole reveals that He did!
One popular interpretation of Genesis 1 shoehorns a millions-of-years gap between verses 1 and 2. Is this a valid interpretation?
The Garden of Eden was paradise on earth without sin, death, or suffering. Sadly, it was in Eden that man rebelled against God, bringing death as a result.
Many Christians say it doesn’t matter what you believe about Genesis and the question of origins or Earth’s age. The gospel, however, rests upon Genesis!
Different views of Genesis come from people taking outside ideas, beliefs from fallible man, and interpreting the clear words of Scripture to fit those beliefs.
There’s a problem for most parents when reading through Genesis with children.
A family devotional and commentary with answers to the most-asked questions from the first 11 chapters in the Bible
How Old and New Testament authors, Jesus, and we should understand the genre of Genesis 1–11, and why it’s vital to a proper biblical hermeneutic.
Popular interest suggests Revelation is the most important book in the Bible, but only Genesis serves as a foundation for a proper Christian worldview.
The New Testament authors demonstrate their views about Genesis 1-11 and the historicity of events a few thousand years ago.
Only those who take Genesis as literal history can explain the condition of the world today.
Was Genesis 1 written from the perspective of “God’s time,” unlike the rest of Scripture?
Accepting the Table of Nations as historical, Noah’s family possessed all of the human genetic variations we recognize today.
John Whitcomb explains the timeless truths that will help us reach the next generation with God’s message of redemption.
Today there are many professing evangelical scholars who argue that the early chapters of Genesis were influenced by ancient Near East myths.
A functional view of the image of God based on evolutionary presuppositions will ultimately have an impact on how one understands sin and salvation.
Imagine the first chapter of Genesis unfolding before your eyes.
One lecturer rejects “the most straightforward understanding of Genesis” not for grammatical reasons but to fit man’s fallible “science.”
Atheist Fibbs’s testimony is a stern reminder of the importance of showing the world they can trust the secure foundation for truth—the book of Genesis.
“In the beginning, there was water.” It’s not quite Genesis 1:1–2, but the conclusion of a new study does line up with the Genesis account.
Old-earth proponents’ own words indicate that evolutionary theories about the history and age of the earth and universe are the determining factor influencing their understanding of Genesis 1–11.
In one of the strangest news stories we’ve examined to date, an Oxford biologist declares that Genesis is incredibly accurate; then says “creationism is totally unfounded”; then admits “the first page of the Bible . . . doesn’t spell out any of the science in detail.”
Genesis should be foundational to every human society. If those truths are ignored, distorted or rejected, consequences will occur—they will be litigated and, if successful, imposed upon society.
The Religious Studies departments of secular universities almost always work hard to undermine biblical authority.
The Tulsa Park and Recreation Board voted Thursday morning (July 7) to drop the previously approved plans to add a creation exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma, USA.
The Tulsa (Oklahoma USA) Park and Recreation Board voted 3-1 last month to approve a Genesis-account-of-creation exhibit for display at the municipal Tulsa Zoo.
God was telling me 6 actual days and man was telling me billions of years. I was confused by this and couldn't read the Bible effectively.
When confronted with what the Bible says about origins, many Christians have argued that God could not have communicated that He created in this manner to people in a pre-scientific age.
My purpose in writing is to warn readers of books which appear to be evangelical but are not.
I frequently feel so frustrated when I hear people belittle a belief in creation.