New beginnings bring an air of excitement and freshness. The book of Genesis is taken from its first words, “In the beginning.” Genesis is the beginning of everything. It is the beginning of creation, human history, life, death, and so much more. Before we launch into Genesis let’s answer some basic questions about the Book.
Who wrote Genesis? Was it God or Moses? Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit that has breathed inspiration into the writings of the entire Bible [2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21]. However, the Holy Spirit used human authors to pen truth-filled words and sentences, which make up the narratives, letters, songs and stories within the Bible. When it comes to Genesis it is not easy available who wrote the stories catalogued in its 50 chapters. Unlike the letters of the New Testament or prophecies of the Old Testament there is no specific mentioning of Genesis’ author. But Jesus does say that Moses wrote the Genesis [Matthew 19:8; cf. 2 Kings 14:6]. I suppose that is adequate, since Jesus is God.
Who was Moses writing Genesis for? Was it for Jews or all people? Moses’ immediate audience is more than a million refugees trying to walk home to the land God promised. The Jewish people were slaves in Egypt, but God liberated them so they could have freedom to worship. They had wandered around the wilderness 40 years because of their sin. Now Moses is writing to these Jews and to people from other nations who joined them [Exodus 12:38].
What is Genesis about? The theme Genesis is God, “In the beginning, God.” The book is about God. All the books of the Bible are about God. All of history is about God. Everything is about God. Genesis is not exhaustive; it does not tell us everything about God. The book of Genesis covers about 2,000 years of human history. It covers as much history as all of the rest of the Bible combined. Genesis is a selective telling of history by Moses. He gives the things that you need to know because they are most important and most related to our understanding of God. This leads you to what Genesis tells you about God.
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