BibleProject Torah Series - Lesson 1

The Book of Genesis - Part 1/2 - BibleProject Torah Series

In this lesson, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the first part of the Book of Genesis, which covers the foundational stories of creation, the fall, and the early history of humanity. You will explore the purpose and significance of Genesis, its literary style, the creation narratives, and the consequences of sin. You will also learn about key biblical figures such as Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, and the events surrounding the Tower of Babel.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject Torah Series
Lesson 1
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The Book of Genesis - Part 1/2 - BibleProject Torah Series

I. Introduction to Genesis

A. Purpose and Significance

B. Literary Style

II. Creation Narratives (Genesis 1-2)

A. Genesis 1:1 - 2:3

1. God's Creation of the World

2. Creation Order and Days

B. Genesis 2:4-25

1. Creation of Humanity

2. Garden of Eden

III. The Fall (Genesis 3)

A. Temptation and Sin

B. Consequences of Sin

IV. Early History of Humanity (Genesis 4-11)

A. Cain and Abel

B. Noah and the Flood

C. Tower of Babel

  • This lesson provides a comprehensive understanding of Genesis Part 1, exploring creation, the fall, and early humanity, while examining key figures and events in biblical history.
  • In the second part of Genesis, you'll explore the story of Abraham's family and witness how God works through their dysfunction to fulfill His promises, ultimately turning their evil actions into good and using them to restore humanity.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Book of Exodus, which tells the story of Moses leading Israel out of slavery in Egypt through the ten plagues and the Passover meal. Despite their salvation, the Israelites struggle in the desert, but God provides for them. The book's significance lies in its contribution to liberation theology and foreshadowing of Christ's redemption.
  • You will gain insight into the book of Exodus, its significance in the Old Testament, and its application to Christian life, emphasizing the themes of covenant, law, redemption, deliverance, God's faithfulness, and the presence of God in our lives.
  • You will learn about the book of Leviticus as a solution to the problem of living near God's holiness. Leviticus shows how Israelites can live near God's goodness without being destroyed through rituals, priesthood, and purity laws. The Day of Atonement is the center of the book, where the priests take two goats - one is killed and its blood symbolically covers Israel's sin, while the other, the Scapegoat, carries away the sins of Israel. Leviticus shows Israel's God as totally different from other gods in ancient times, providing a clear way for Israel to know they are forgiven and safe to live near His presence.

Jon: The first book of the Bible is a book you have probably heard of, it's called Genesis.

Tim: Genesis comes from a Hebrew word, it's pronounced rasheet. It just means beginning.

Jon: Now there's a lot of stories from the book of Genesis, and it's easy to just pull out a specific story and try to tell you what it might mean. But we think the best way to understand this book, is to look at the book as a whole and show you how the whole thing is designed.

Tim: The book is designed to fall into two main parts. You have chapters 1-11, which is telling the story of God and the whole world and then you have the second part which is about God and Abraham's family as chapters 12-50, and how the two of those parts relate, that's where you find the message of the book.

Jon: OK, so lets start back at the beginning. The first part of Genesis begins with the creation story where God creates everything

Tim: And how exactly that happens of course that's where all the debates come. But, He takes a dark watery chaos and He turns it into a beautiful garden where humans can flourish.

Jon: That sounds nice.

Tim: That does sound nice. In fact seven different times God says of all that He's made that it's good

Jon: And this is where we meet the first human characters in the Bible, Adam and Eve.

Tim: They're both individual characters but also representative. Adam is the Hebrew word for humanity and Eve is the Hebrew word for life and God creates them in his image, in other words, Humanity reflects or is meant to reflect the creativity, the goodness, and character of the creator out into the world that He's made. And they're supposed to reproduce, and make cultures, and neighborhoods, and art, and gardens, and everything else. But, He gives them a moral choice about how they are going to build this world. And this is what the tree of the "Knowledge of Good and Evil" is all about.

Jon: And He tells them, "don't eat of this tree or you will die." What's that all about?

Tim: Up till now God has been defining and providing what is good. And so God is the one with the knowledge of good and evil. But this tree represents a choice: will the human's trust God's definition of good and evil, or are they going to seize the opportunity to try and define good and evil for themselves.

Jon: And Adam and Eve eat the fruit.

Tim: This is the core, biblical explanation for that concept of sin, that desire to call the shots myself its the inward turn of the human heart to do what's good for me and my tribe even if it's at the expense of you and your tribe.

Jon: And the problem is humans are horrible at defining good and evil without God and so now that Humanity's made this choice, things get really...

Tim: ...really bad. So Genesis 3 through 11 is like tracing this downward spiral of all Humanity. So adam and eve, they can't trust each other anymore. and so theres a little story about how they were naked and felt fine about it beforehand, but now they feel shameful because all the sudden Adam's definition of good and evil might be different than Eve's. And so they hide from each other.

Jon: And there's another story of temptation. Cain is jealous of his brother Abel, and he gives in and kills him.

Tim: there's a story right after Cain about a guy named Lamech. All we know about Lamech is that he accumulates wives like property and he sings songs about he's a more violent vengeful person than Cain ever was and he's proud of it.

Jon: Things get so bad with the human race, that we see God decide to just wipe us out.

Tim: Yeah, we typically think of the flood story as about God being angry, but it actually begins with God's sadness and grief about the state of his world. So out of the passion to preserve the goodness of his world, He washes it clean with the flood.

Jon: But there's a glimmer of hope. He chooses Noah and his whole family and saves them on this boat.

Tim: Don't forget about the animals

Jon: Right. And the animals. So Noah and his family are going to reboot all of Humanity. He must be a pretty great guy.

Tim: But this is the story most people don't know because it's kind of weird. Noah gets off the boat, and plants a vineyard, and gets totally plastered, and then something sketchy happens in his tent with his son. It's a tragic story.

Jon: So from here, Humanity grows again and things are as bad as before. And the last story is the famous story of the Tower of Babel.

Tim: In this story you have all of the nations uniting together to use this new technology they have: the brick. They want to make a name for themselves, build a big city with this huge tower that will reach up to the gods. But God knows that this city will be a nightmare, so in His mercy, He scatters them. All of these stories underline the same basic idea: when humans seize autonomy from God and define good for themselves, it results in a world of tragedy, and death.

Jon: And all of this leaves you wondering, is there any hope for humanity.

Tim: Yes, yeah there is. It's the very next story that answers that question; it's the beginning of God's mission to rescue and restore his world.