Thursday, November 06, 2014

Sneak Peak

Introduction to the second edition of "First Things First: The Book of Genesis."

The Beginning

The first part of the Bible is called the Old Testament. This is the story of the beginnings of everything through the formation and fall of Israel and the prediction of the coming Christ. The Old Testament is actually thirty-nine separate books divided into five parts.
The first division is called the Pentateuch which means “five books.” Most believe Moses wrote these books and since Jesus says as much, we will accept this. The only possible exception is the book of Genesis itself. It is possible Moses compiled several more ancient writings into this one document, as I will explain later.
Some say the Pentateuch was written much later, between 800 and 600 BC. This theory would be a direct contradiction of the words of Jesus Himself and must be disregarded. Original authorship earlier than Moses does not present this problem and it is assumed Moses compiled them all into one document and possibly did some editing, making them essentially his work.
Many scholars have taken the dates of history we are sure of (Persia’s conquest of Babylon for example) and counted the ages and dates in the Bible backwards. This gives us and approximate age of the earth and dates for the events in the Bible; the only reliable dates available to us before Cyrus the Great.
This simple counting puts Creation at bout 4046BC.
The Pentateuch consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In the Canonical Bible (the “normal” order) they are in roughly chronological order.
“Genesis” means “Beginnings” in Greek and this is a good title for the first book. It tells us the beginnings of the Universe, planet, mankind, sin, and the nation Israel. A good key verse for this whole book is the very first one: “In the beginning, God…” That says it all.
The beginning of the world (Chapter 1).
The beginning of mankind (Chapter 2).
The beginning of sin and death (Chapter 3).
From the murder of Able to Noah (Chapter 4-5).
The flood account (Chapter 6-9).
The dividing of the earth (Chapter 10-11).
The story of Abraham (Chapter 12-25).
The story of Isaac (Chapter 25-26).
The story of Jacob (Chapter 27-36).

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