GENESIS: INTRODUCTION, PART 1
This is the first Study Guide (SG) in Genesis, copyright 2019 by JWA. Not every program will have an accompanying SG, but only those that contain information that is unfamiliar to the majority of our TFW radio audience. Pastor Jim usually refrains from giving much detail about words in the original languages (e.g., Hebrew & Greek) or from using technical terminology. However, there are times when he feels this is necessary.
The purpose of this SG is to help the listener absorb the content with a minimum of distraction from a significant amount of new information. It has been adapted from Pastor Jim’s sermon notes, and it only contains the necessary content for the average listener to comprehend the passage. For more help, consult a study Bible (avoid the 2011 NIV version due to gender-neutral language).
“Let’s first talk about Genesis as a book. Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament (called The Pentateuch or The Law).”
“The Hebrew word bereshith and the Greek word genesis both refer to the same thing—a beginning.”
“The Greek exegesis means ‘to dig out the true meaning.’”
“A genre is a literary category; Genesis is in a literary genre by itself (sui generis–Latin). Chapters 1-11 are not myth, yet they are not intended to be a precise, scientific account either. Nor is it a historical description in the ordinary sense. It is not exactly poetry, but more like elevated prose that has a theological purpose.”
“The commentators Keil & Delitzsch [p. 39], list 3 competing cosmologies (theories of origins) among secular scientists and philosophers:
The hylozoistic view held that the source of life was some pre-existing primeval matter. (Darwinism follows this track somewhat.)
The pantheistic view held that the whole world emanated from a common divine substance, so that ALL is God or All is God. (Eastern religions such as Hinduism and some schools of philosophy are on this page.)
The mythological view sees the origins of gods and men as emerging from ‘rival forces’ colliding in primeval chaos or alternatively, like a chicken, from a world egg. (The Big-Bang Theory shares commonality with this school of thought.)”
In Genesis 1-11, some things in these chapters are paradigmatic (meaning the content serves us as timeless models or patterns of certain realities – the tactics of Satan, the outcomes of sin, etc.), some are aetiological (meaning they are intended to clue us about the source or origins of peoples, practices or behaviors or cultures, etc.), and some are foundational (intended to establish the historical basis or authority for an institution, e.g., marriage).