first book of the Bible Genesis is concerned with 'beginning' or
'origin'. A majority of scholars accept that Moses penned much of
the first five books (the Pentateuch) but, of course, under divine
Whilst it is easy to accept that Genesis is concerned with the beginning
of man's history, it is more important to realise that it is God's
revelation on how the world was created, how man was created, how
man sinned and how redemption is made possible.
Genesis is not just a history of man from creation to Jacob, it
is God's account of the way He made a promise after Adam's sin which
would enable man to be redeemed. The promise is made in 3:15. At
some time in the future the seed of the woman (Jesus) would bruise
the head of the serpent (sin). The book follows with the story of
man's fall and the way redemption was pursued - Enoch, Noah, the
call of Abraham and the renewing of the promise (12:1 - 3), Isaac
and the reminder of the promise (21:12 - 13), Jacob and another
renewal (28:13 - 15, 35:9 - 12).
Genesis sets the scene for the essential framework of Scripture
- creation, sin, judgement, redemption or deliverance and new creation.
This theme is found in miniature in the episode of Noah where one
family was saved from the surrounding sin by the Ark and baptism
(1 Peter 3:20 - 21) and in the beginning of the account also the
nation of Israel's freedom from the bondage of Egypt, (Acts 13:17).
Underlying the theme is the implication of God's love, that even
though man was disobedient, God in His love and mercy made provision
for man's hope of eternal life.