Book of beginnings

 

Preface

Genesis is not a science book, nor is it a history book.49 It is an introduction to who Yahweh is.

As we study the book of Genesis we will not impose any modern issues on the text. We will be studying from the point of view of the ones it was first written to and from; therefore, we will have to have some understanding of how the ancients saw their world and where the information for the book came from. We know that Moses wrote it, but where did Moses get his information?

Moses was an educated man. He would have had the writings from the entire known world to study and compare. It is possible that he had access to records brought to Egypt by his ancestors. Perhaps Abraham brought them from Ur. Or, God could have dictated them to Moses. That; however, will not be our focus as we study this book of beginnings.

In the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth and the Word – that Word that later became flesh and dwelt among us – was with Yahweh – and he was Yahweh. Yahweh is the third person of the verb heyah “To Be”. Whether in the first or third person the word expresses our God as THE (one and only) Self-existent One responsible for all existence including his own –the great I AM.

“All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.”1


Things to think about.

  1. God’s name, Yahweh, is transliterated Jehovah in the King James Bible. It is how I AM is translated in two different ways. Do you think the way God’s name is spelled makes a difference in who he is? Remember Yahweh is the third person of the verb heyah “To Be”. Whether in the first or third person the word expresses our God as THE (one and only) Self-existent One responsible for all existence including his own –the great I AM.
  2. Do you think the first people who read the book of Genesis were interested in scientific theories about how everything started?
  3. Do you think it mattered to Moses’ early readers where he got his information about the beginning?
  4. Why should we care that the things we are told have reliable sources?
  5. How do you think the people who first read the book of Genesis knew that they could trust what Moses was telling them?
  6. Where does faith come into what we believe about Genesis?
  7. John said that in the beginning Yahweh created the heavens and the earth and the Word – that Word that later became flesh and dwelt among us – was with Yahweh – and he was Yahweh.
    “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.” Think about that.
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