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The genius of Genesis is seen both in the way it introduces its material in strategic and clear segments as well as in the way its numerous themes are introduced in Genesis and interweaved throughout the Bible. These powerful themes strongly counter those faulty suggestions that state Genesis is a compilation of different accounts or a composite of heavily edited portions.
Genesis is the most foundational book in the scriptures and rightly described as the 'The Book of Beginnings.'
Genesis serves as the beginning of the Law or the Pentateuch: the first of five books of the Bible which Moses had written. We see this stated at the end of his life where it is written,
And it came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this law in a book until they were complete, that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you.
We get a larger picture of how Genesis fits into the whole Old Testament Cannon below. The Jews often referred to the Hebrew scriptures in three different sections: the Law, Prophets and Psalms or Writings (Luke 24:44). This three part categorization is seen in the chart below.
The greatest purpose of the Old Testament scriptures is to reveal the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Messiah is pointed toward and hinted at in many places throughout Genesis.
The promised seed born of a woman to defeat the serpent speaks of Christ, and so does Joseph on the way he saves God's people. Noah's ark represents salvation from God's judgment in Christ while Jesus was the means Abraham's promise was fulfilled. The whole Old Testament points to the great Messiah, now fulfilled in Christ Jesus.
Now let's look at the contents of Genesis through outlines and time charts. -> Go
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988