Why Study Genesis

Evolution has caused tremendous damage to the Biblical
account. Not so much the actual theory which can be studied and subsequently
denied (or supported) depending on how you lean with the evidence. I mean in
the sense of what it has done to studying the Bible.

Often when a teacher has to do a study on Genesis, the
teacher winds up spending an inordinate amount of time discussing how evolution
is wrong in light of the Biblical data. They sift through the verses and show
how each word is in contrast to some evolutionary tenet. Sadly enough a study
of Genesis often starts with an apologetic and ends in typology ignoring what
the book actually says. Indeed, ministries like Answers in Genesis seem to
revolve more around an apologetic defense of the Biblical account in
contraposition to the Naturalistic understanding—and in that effort they color
the entire field black or white.

It is with this in mind when I begin to look at the book of
Genesis that I choose to temporarily ignore any discussion or thoughts on Evolution.
I feel completely capable of discussing those things but I fear it would
detract from the study of Genesis and specifically why the writer has decided
to put these things in the book to begin with.

After all, sometimes people take it for granted that the
stories in Genesis are located in the book of Genesis at all—in other words, if
the story of Joseph was located in another book it would be fine because it was
such a great story! That, I believe, is erroneous thinking specifically because
God has worked and Men have worked in the careful planning and placing of the
information into a book. That being the case it is always helpful to look at
the stories in any particular book and how they stand therein before drawing
conclusions on why they’re located in the book at all.

I know, this is probably going against some method that folk
used of discovering the author’s purpose and seeing how the stories support
that purpose. That method is good when the author sees it fit to reveal his
reason for writing (cf. {{John 20:30, 31}}) but in the narrative stories of the Old
Testament it is helpful to let the stories stand on their own , then see how
they fit together and finally settle on how they reflected the author’s purpose
in the setting of his life.

But even in such a study one can approach each section and
learn some basic lessons: (1) What does the passage teach about God’s Person
(2) What does the passage teach about God’s Purpose and (3) what does the
passage teach towards a God-Fearer’s Practice? Some passages may be stronger in
one rather than the others, but I believe that when studying the Scriptures we
may be able to come across all three.

That being said for an introduction, let’s begin a study in
the book of Genesis. I’ll only post one of these every couple of weeks with
Romans taking primary focus.

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