About GENESIS: the Book of Origins

Genesis is the introductory book of the entire body of Hebrew sacred literature and of revealed truth in general.


The book of Genesis takes its name from the title given to it in the LXX version, which is derived from the heading of its ten parts he biblos geneseos (Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 6:9; Genesis 10:1; Genesis 11:10; Genesis 11:27; Genesis 25:12; Genesis 25:19; Genesis 36:1; Genesis 37:2). The Hebrews call the book bere’shît, meaning “in the beginning.” The recurring phrase “these are the tôledôt of” completes the various sections and points to immediately preceding material. It does not serve as a section heading and is comparable to the colophon that ended ancient Babylonian tablets.


As the book of beginnings Genesis recounts the beginning of the physical creation of all plant, animal, and human life, as well as human institutions and social relationships. The book illustrates (as does the entire Bible) the principle of selection. Those events necessary to introduce the drama of human redemption are narrated: the creation, the Fall, the Flood, the call of Abraham, and mention of the promised Redeemer (Genesis 3:15-16; Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 49:10).

Literary Scheme

The narrative of Genesis is hung upon a genealogical skeleton marked by the phrase that occurs ten times: “These are the generations [tôledôt, “histories,” “family histories,” “narratives”] of.” So the Book of Genesis gives us an account of the families of mankind, their Creator, and God’s offer redemption from the sin that separates us from God.


Genesis leaves both the date of the creation of the world and of man an unsettled question. According to Genesis 1:1 the earth was created in the dateless past. The appearance of man upon the earth is described as accomplished by a direct act of God that occurred at least more than 4,000 years b.c. and perhaps as early as 7,000-10,000 b.c. However, any considerably earlier date for the creation of man such as the evolutionists’ greatly expanded ages is out of focus with the Genesis narratives.

Notes and Audio Lessons

Click on the links below to access notes and audio lessons on the book of Genesis.


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