Primeval History

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All sixty-six books of the Bible are God’s Word. Some people believe that Exodus, Isaiah, Matthew, John, and Romans are the five most important books of the Bible. But I believe that the Book of Genesis, and the Book of Matthew are the two important key books of the entire Bible.

Genesis means “origin”. The Book of Genesis traces the origins of all human history. Most of the major doctrines in the Bible are introduced in “seed” form in Genesis. There is nothing in Genesis to indicate its author. I believe it is safe to claim Moses as the editor and compiler of the Book. The creation story may have been received as a direct revelation from God. If Moses wrote the book, he would have completed the task at least before 1240 B.C., the latest possible date for Israel’s crossing the Jordan after his death.

Many of the great questions of life are answered in the Book of Genesis.  Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? The key Bible verses include Genesis 1:1, and 3:15.

It seems to me that the primeval history (Genesis 1-11) is a very important part of the Bible. It deals with four stories: creation (Genesis 1-2); the fall of humans (Genesis 3-5); the flood (Genesis 6-9); and the dispersion (Genesis 10-11). In the beginning, God created the entire universe. He created humanity to have a personal relationship with them. Adam and Eve sinned and thereby brought evil and death into the world. God sent the great flood to wipe out evil. The story of the flood speaks of sin, judgment, redemption, and new life. After the flood, humanity began again to multiply and spread throughout the world. All peoples are accountable to the creator.

Please note that God is always at work to redeem his creation from the effects of the fall. Ultimately, the creation will be completely restored. But this story is not told in the Book of Genesis. Genesis is only the introduction to the drama of redemption. Genesis 1-11 may be regarded as the prologue to the drama, whose first act begins at Genesis 12 with the introduction of Abraham. God would call out a special people, from whom in due course would come the Redeemer. At the other end of the drama, the Book of Revelation is the epilogue.

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