Introduction to Genesis 1-11 (Part 1)

This material is an UNOFFICIAL study guide to Kenneth A. Mathews, The New American Commentary, vol. 1a, Genesis 1:1-11:26 (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 1996). ISBN 978-0-8054-0101-1.


PART 1 – Introduction & Commenting on Genesis

The Book of Genesis is filled with all sorts of stories: from creation of the world to the annihilation of civilizations—from the destruction of two cities to saving the ancient Middle East from famine. We read not only of early mankind and their struggles and triumphs but, more importantly, we read of how God has worked throughout history and His plan for our future.
These stories are amongst the most well known from the entire Old Testament. They seem to be so far removed from us today that most of us do not give them a second thought. They are good or interesting to read, but they also have theological, philosophical and moral truths.


Opening Discussion

I. As a child, which stories from Genesis did you learn in Sunday school?

II. Which characters have impacted you the most? The least?

III. As an adult or youth, how do you see the stories differently?

IV. What passages in Genesis 1-11 do you find difficult to understand or come to term with?

V. Let us discuss the assigned reading, use the following questions and/or open to questions and comments.

Points to consider. Read pages 22-24; then answer the following:


A. “Introduction”

I. Think of the Scripture as a whole, what importance does Genesis have in the grand story?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

II. “Our Christian proclamation of hope” is first found in Genesis. What are they?
1. ___________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________

III. “Although in Genesis we discover the embryonic stages of God’s _______________ plan for all humanity, it is left to the unfolding revelation of God to _________ and _________ the outworking of that divine _________ by means of historic Israel and its Greater Son, _______________, our _______________.”

IV. Whether we are pastors, parents, or lay-leaders we all have a responsibility to those God has placed under us. Beginning with Genesis, what truth of the gospel is it “imperative” for us to “impart” to them?
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________

V. What are the five “theological substances” mentioned in the last paragraph?
1. ___________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________
5. ___________________________________________________________

VI. What are other names or terms for Genesis given in the commentary?
1. ___________________________________________________________
2. ___________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________


B. “Commenting on Genesis”

I. “No attempt will be made here to untangle every _______________ problem… Rather, a middle course will be taken to confront the _______________ concerns…”

II. What “permits the text…to dictate the meaning” of Genesis?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________

III. What are the goals of the authors of this commentary?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________

IV. What is Moses’ role in regards to Genesis?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________

V. List the two stages of interpretation being used:
1. ____________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________

VI. What is the intention of the “Introduction”?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________

VII. What major “inescapable problems” arise with Genesis? What does the author call them?
_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________


FOR NEXT WEEK

Please have “Literary Genesis” (pages 25-41) read and answer the questions. We will go through this together. Please read Genesis 1-11 in a translation you are not too familiar with. Take notes on any new insights, a fresh understanding or questions you have.

CLOSE WITH PRAYER

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