THEOLOGICAL & HISTORIC STUDIES
Carlos Padilla, October 2013
Genesis is the book of the beginnings, of which, its first
eleven chapters form an amazing introduction to the Scriptures.
Without these first chapters, many of the fundamental theological problems would
remain without a satisfactory answer.
The doctrines of creation, the fall of man,
election, and providence, appear in a clear way. If the interpreter could
understand the theology of Genesis it would bring to light the majority of
the great doctrines of the Bible. It is also interesting to realize that only
this book covers a larger period than the rest of the Bible, all together.
The Jews divided their sacred books in three
sections: the Law, the Prophets and the Scriptures. The Law belongs to what we
call "Pentateuch", the first five books of the Bible. The rabbi used to call the
first of these books "Bereshith" (In the beginning), which is the first Hebrew
word in the book. Our term comes
from the Greek through Latin, and implicates the idea of "origin" or
ORIGIN OF GENESIS AND ITS
Moses acted as a compilator, as interpreter
–guided by the Holy Spirit– of all the pre-existent material that came to his
hands, and from before his time, including oral and written form.
Genesis is the first of the books of the
Pentateuch, and of the entire Bible. The name of the book comes from the Greek
version "Septuagint" and it means "origins, or generations". In Hebrew, the name
is "toledot" which means "origins" as it is one of the subjects of the book.
As well as the meaning "origin" the name is
ideal to refer to the origins of many sciences, which see, in it, their beginning:
Theology or science of God; Cosmology or science of the universe; Anthropology
or science of man; Sociology or science of society; Hamartiology or science of
sin; Ethnology or science of ethnics or razes; Soteriology or science of
salvation. All of them start at the beginning, at the origin of the Creation of
God, of the history of humanity. But the most relevant of those sciences, and
what they cover, is the foundation that they reinforce with regards to
fundamental doctrines of the Bible; doctrines that find their culmination and
understanding in Jesus Christ, in the New Testament.
THEOLOGY OF GENESIS
Theology is completed when we know Jesus
Christ, who is the Way to the Father. Cosmology is understood better when we
know that there will be new heavens and new earth, where justice dwells, when
Jesus Christ returns at the end of times. Anthropology and Sociology are
understood well when Jesus Christ reveals to us how the first Adam, the firs man
is, and how the second Adam -Christ- the second man to which we aspire to become
through the power of the Holy Spirit. Hamartiology is understood through the
message of the "metanoia", the repentance or change of mind, and way of life, that
only in Christ is possible; which is found in the Church in a new Ethnology based
in the fact that salvation does not depend of lineage but on faith. And Soteriology is
received in the person of the Son of God, through faith in His work, without our
merits, through the grace of God.
Genesis presents man made to the image of God,
an image that refers to our spiritual capacity for love, justice and holiness.
We rule the world, over animals and over creation, we represent God on earth.
Redemption provides that our image will be again like God's through Christ, as
we read in Romans 8:29, Colossians 3:10 and 1John 3:2.
Without doubt, Genesis includes a vast list
of jewels of faith, and of history, that we only find in this book, the first in
the encyclopaedia that the Bible is; the first of them. But last and
prophetically, we find the foundation of the introduction of the Messiah Jesus
Christ, Yahshua, and a complete battery of verses that include the doctrine of
salvation in the person of the true "Liberator",
a type of Moses, but this time, not only to Israel, but to everyone that, in the
faith of Christ, from any nation, longs to be free of the slavery of sin and of
From Gn. 3:15 where we find the announcement
that the Messiah would be the seed of a woman, to the coming of "Shiloh" the
Prince of Peace in Gn. 49:10. Or His linage: Seth, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob
and Judah in Gn. 4:25, 9;26, 12:3, 25:23 and 49:10 respectively. Or in different
kinds of people and stories like: Noah's arch (Gn. 7:13-23 and 1Peter
3:20-21); Isaac and the ram, figure
of Christ in our place (Gn. 22:13-14); Adam in 1Corinthians 15:45; Melchizedek
"without father, without mother..." in Gn. 14:18-20 in Hebrews 6:20; and the figure
of Joseph, who; was loved by the Father, rejected by his brothers; under plot to
kill him; in the pit; sent to the gentiles and received there and blessed;
received a gentile wife; forgave his brothers reconciling with them and
providing them their needs. All of it in Gn. 37:3-4-20-27-28, 39:1-6, 41:45 y
HISTORY OF GENESIS
About the period of time that the book of
Genesis covers, we find that the data in it provide us a date of beginning of
4004 B.C. until 2360 B.C. divided in: 4004 for the date of Adam until the call
of Abraham, in 2000 B.C. and 360 years more until Joseph, in 1860 B.C. in the
times of the slavery of Israel. A relevant detail is that Genesis covers
approximately the same amount of time than the rest of the books in the Bible;
2360 years until Exodus, and 2360 years from Exodus until Revelation.
The structure of the book is understood better
in two parts. The first comprising chapters 1-11, and the second comprising from
the 12th to the 50th. In the first part we find the period from Adam to Abraham,
and in the second, from Abraham until his chosen descendants, Isaac and Jacob,
and takes us to Joseph in Egypt. There, Joseph would be a kind of saviour,
because being prime minister –after he has
been sold to Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh's guard, and going through struggle–
he would get to rule and control the food and the land, while hunger was hitting
the rest of the inhabited areas.
The subject, then, of the book is God's
election. God is sobering and therefore elects a lineage, a man called Abraham, to
whom He promises to be father of nations, when he was an elder, and so was his
wife, the sterile. From them Isaac and Jacob "Israel" would be born, the
linage of the Messiah Jesus Christ. God's
election is also found in Creation,
where God chooses to create, and in the flood, where God chooses to judge the
lack of mercy of the human raze.
The historical purpose of the book of Genesis
is to prove God's mercy to Israel in the midst of slavery, showing them whom
they were, and God's plan for their liberation. In the doctrinal purpose we
find, first of all, that God is the only God, the Creator; omnipotent,
omniscient, just, and merciful. Secondly, Genesis includes the doctrine of God's
fidelity to His promises, which become fulfilled in His chosen, who are the chosen
by His grace, not by their own merit.
ORIGINS OF CREATION
Genesis introduces us in a subject of great
relevance today, about the scientific models of the origins, as it presents
"Creationism" which works well with "Intelligent Design", and which opposes
frontally to "Evolutionism".
Scientific discoveries have put down the
postulation of the Darwinian theory that the origin of species was through
natural selection of the more apt, through mutations. Neither embryology, nor
genetics are based in this concept, and in addition, no fossils have been found,
nor transitional species. These discoveries have concluded with many scientists
abandoning the theory.
There are four areas in which the theory of
Darwinian evolutionism does not seam to match with scientific evidence:
The fist area is genetics (inheritance), where
"natural selection" presupposes that mutations can be useful for "macro
evolution" (the change from one species to another), an impossibility proven by Mendel's experiment with
peas, because they where still
peas, not another species. With animals the case is the same. Also Lamarck's
experiments about inheritance characteristics, have proven that Darwin was
The second area is embryology, where Darwin
would say with fallacy, that the foetus of many species where the same, and
their development the species would become evolved species, where each of them
would take parts from the previous, for its composition. The surviving of the
more apt has never been proven.
The third area is "natural selection" which
has not been proven as the cause of adaptation, because there are not seasons of
transition. There are no findings of transitional fossils of one species to
another, and many centuries of archaeology have past.
The forth area is the present rejection of the
Darwinian theory, and the adopting of a new theory called "quantum of emergent
evolution", something like saying that species appear magically, which leaves
evolution as a philosophical theory more than a scientific theory, through the
lack of evidence.
To go deeper on this subject you may read
and Science and Intelligent Design at
includes: The story of the beginning of creation, the creation of man to the
image of God, and the election of a people of God, they that would fulfil His divine
plan, and Who's descendant, Yahshua, the Son of God, would bring the redemption
of man of any origin and nation, through faith, the gift of grace from God.
These characteristics make it unique. Includes the seed of the great doctrines
of the Bible; subjects that will not be dealt with until the New Testament.
another evident detail of great relevance is the relation between Genesis and
Revelation –first and last books of the Bible– with regards to prophecies and
symbolic figures that appear, it is providential, especially taking into account the
distance in time between one book and the other.
presents man in Paradise, with access to the Tree of Life. The fall of man in
sin –specifically because he preferred his own source of knowledge, before the
Tree– which ended in a bad fruit, the loss of the personal relationship with God,
and the construction of Babel. Revelation presents the history in reverse. The
fall of Babylon –Babel, the world made by man. Man salvation to return to
Paradise, and access to the Tree of Life; symbol of the living Christ.
conclude with the Biblical Text of the apostle Peter, in his second letter,
regarding heaven and earth, and the new heavens and earth:
the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which
the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are
therein shall be burned up. 11Seeing then that all these
things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy
conversation and godliness, 12Looking for and hasting unto the coming
of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13Nevertheless
we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14Wherefore,
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found
of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 2Peter 3:10. Amen.