My first paper of 2011-2012… Grade received: A-
Dr. Marion Taylor
27 September 2011
Inductive Study on the Book of Genesis
Part 1: Table of Contents
|Genesis 1:1 to 11: 9||The story of the Creation and time before God’s chosen people.|
|Genesis 11:10 to 23:20||The story of Abraham, the man by whom God called.|
|Genesis 24:1 to 26:35||The story of Isaac, the promised son.|
|Genesis 27:1 to 36:43||The story of Jacob, whom God named Israel.|
|Genesis 37:1 to 50:26||The story of Joseph, who brought the people of Israel into Egypt.|
Part 2: Analysis of the Book’s Structure
The Book of Genesis, at its core, is simply a story. It is the story of how God worked and moved in history: first of all to create history itself, and then also to call a particular group of people – a family – through whom he intends to bless the world (12:3). The first section of the book provides an overview of the creation story, and certain events leading up to God choosing a particular people to bless the world. The next three sections cover the stories of the three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob whose family God chooses to work through. Finally, the last section concerns one of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt, and whose story provides a natural conclusion to “the beginnings” of the people of Israel, setting us up for the next part of their history.
This structure was chosen largely because of the promise which God makes to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This promise of land, descendants, and blessing is found in each of three divisions, as it is restated to each of the patriarchs. To Abram/Abraham, God makes this promise three times, first (as previously mentioned) in 12:1-9, then in 15:1-21 in which God formalized this promise into a “covenant”, then 17:1-14 where God also instituted circumcision as the sign of the covenant. God then restates this covenant to Isaac in 26:1-5 and Jacob in 26:10-22.