Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults


Genesis 1 - 2

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - The Fall into Sin (Genesis 3-4)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever. Psalm 148:5-6

Opening Prayer

    First 5 books of the Bible give history of Israelites and a legal code given to Moses by God
    Why did the Jews call this five volume set of books the Torah?
      Luke 24:44 = The Law of Moses - Hebrew for Law is Torah
      Greek name for first 5 books is Pentateuch ("five books")
    The Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek in 300 BC by 70 scholars
      Called Septuagint (Latin for "70")
    Hebrew name for first book is Bereshith (Hebrew for "In the beginning") = Title is first word
      Greek name is Genesis ("coming into being", "origin") = Title describes contents

Who Wrote Genesis?
    Jews and Christians have historically named Moses as author & compiler of the Pentateuch
      Most of Genesis clearly originated around 2000 BC (time of the patriarchs)
    Though never directly stated, what Bible verse is used to suggest that Moses wrote Genesis?
      Acts 15:1 = circumcised ... the custom taught by Moses - refers to Genesis 17

    Scholars over the last 300 years have divided the Pentateuch into 4 sources, 3 in Genesis
      J - 50% of Genesis, Compiled & written during the reigns of David & Solomon
        J sections use YHVH as name for God (Jehovah or Yahveh)
      E - 35% of Genesis, Compiled & written 100 years later in the northern kingdom
        E sections use Elohim as name for God (God)
      P - 15% of Genesis, Compiled & written by priests during Babylonian exile
        P sections added to J & E and used to feather together our current Genesis
        Large blocks of P include chapters 1, 5, 17, 23 & 36
    What are a couple of examples that point to involvement in Genesis after Moses' time?
      Genesis 35:20 = ... to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb
      Genesis 36:31 = ... before any Israelite king reigned

    Recent scholars argued for one skillful author who purposely used repetition & variation
      Much of the E document has been eliminated in favor of the J document
    Does it matter who wrote Genesis and when?
      2 Timothy 3:16-17 = No, God breathed (inspired) it for the purpose of teaching us
    Should we be concerned that some parts might have been added or changed?
      2 Peter 1:20-21 = No, it was written by God as He wanted it despite who & when

    What do the first few words of Genesis tell us?
      - In the beginning = Before everything we know, no start time, always has been
      - In the beginning God = One divine God, not gods, there always
      - In the beginning God created = Purposely originated, no random chaos or big bang
      - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth = Everything we know

The Song of God's Creation
    What is the literary style of Genesis 1:1 - 2:3? = Poetic prose; not pure poetry, not narrative
      See the text formatted at end of lesson
    What is the message of each verse part?
      - "And God said" (Psalm 33:6-9, John 1:1-3) = All it took was God's Word
      - "Let there be" (Isaiah 55:11) = God wanted what he was creating
      - "And it was so" (Jeremiah 10:12-13) = No question of God's power
      - Particulars are restated
      - God gives names or blessings (Psalm 145:17) = God loves & owns his creation
      - "And God saw that it was good" (Psalm 135:6) = Creation is good, God is pleased
      - "And there was evening and there was morning" (Isaiah 25:1) = God's plan steps

The Days (Genesis 1:1-25)
    Where did God get the original matter for creation?
      Genesis 1:1 = He created it
    How is the earth described in its beginning?
      Genesis 1:2 = Formless & empty
    How did God give form to the chaos to create order? = Complete days 1-3 of chart
      Genesis 1:3-5 = Separated light from darkness
      Genesis 1:6-8 = Separated sky from waters
      Genesis 1:9-13 = Separated land from sea
    How did God fill His creation? = Complete days 4-6 of chart on board
      Genesis 1:14-19 = Populated lights in day and night
      Genesis 1:20-23 = Populated birds in air & fish in sea
      Genesis 1:24-25 = Populated animals on land



    1 = Light / Darkness
    = Lights in Day / Night
    2 = Sky / Waters
    = Birds in Air / Fish in Waters
    3 = Land from Sea
    = Animals on Land

    What does this pattern say about God and His creation?
      Isaiah 14:24 = He had a plan, didn't just haphazardly put things together
    Was the order important?
      Psalm 104:13-14 = Yesterday supports today's creation; created laws of nature
    What is significant of "according to its kind" in verses 11, 21 and 24?
      1 Corinthians 4:7 = God made diversity on purpose

Man (Genesis 1:26-30)
    What else did God create on the sixth day?
      Genesis 1:26-30 = Man, the crown of His creation
    What does it mean to be created in God's image?
      Ephesians 4:24 = be like God in true righteousness & holiness
    Why is man's life so sacred?
      Genesis 9:6 = for in the image of God has God made man
    Why did God say "Let us make man in our image"? = Triune God; royal "we"; angels
      Isaiah 64:8 = God our Father is the potter, we are the clay
      John 1:1-3 (Eph 3:9; Col 1:16) = Christ was with God, thru him all were made
      Genesis 1:2 = The Spirit of God hovered over formless earth

Creation Completed (Genesis 1:31-2:3)
    What purposes did God give to ...
      - the sun and moon (16-18) = Govern day & night
      - the animals (22) = Be fruitful & increase
      - man and woman (26,28) = Be fruitful; fill, subdue & rule earth
      - plants (29-30) = Provide food for man & animals
    How did God feel about His creation after it was finished?
      Genesis 1:31 = It was very good, perfect, as He desired
    How did God celebrate His creation?
      Genesis 2:1-3 = He rested
    How do we remember this today?
      Exodus 20:8-11 = We rest on 7th day just as God, Keep it holy in remembrance
    What is missing from the last stanza? = there was evening & morning
      Why? = There is not a 2nd week. Creation is complete.

Purpose of Genesis 1
    Is Genesis 1 intended to explain the details of creation?
      Ecclesiastes 3:11 = No, man cannot fathom or begin to understand what God did
    What is the purpose of Genesis 1?
      Deuteronomy 3:24 = To show God's majesty and supreme power & love
    How is Genesis 1 used to dispel beliefs of other religions?
      - There are many gods
      - There are male and female gods
      - Gods evolved or were created by other gods
      - Creation resulted as offspring from gods
      - Creation occurred violently
      - Creation is chaotic
      - Creation is evil
      - Sun, moon & stars are gods or are holy residences of the gods
      - Man was an afterthought of creation
      - Man was made to be slaves, servants or pawns of the gods
      - Man "worships" to influence the gods
      - Order relies on man's rituals to encourage gods

Man's Role in Creation (Genesis 2:4-17)
    What is the literary style of Genesis 2? = Phrase starts new family histories in Genesis (10)
      Genesis 2:4a = Narrative; Belongs more with Chapter 3 than Chapter 1
    How much of the creation story does Chapter 2 repeat?
      Genesis 2:4b-7 = Zooms through it and focuses on the creation of man

    How do we see the special love and concern that God had for this creature?
      Genesis 2:8-9 = Built a garden just for man, land later called Eden (2K19:12...)
    Where was this beautiful garden? = Eden is Hebrew for delight or enjoyment
      Genesis 2:10-14 = Fed by 4 major rivers - points to southern Iraq, some say Turkey
    What was man to do in this magnificent creation? = freedom within limits
      Genesis 2:15-17 = Take care of it, anything he wanted except eating from 1 tree

Man is a Social Creature (Genesis 2:18-25)
    What was missing in God's perfect creation?
      Genesis 2:18 = A partner for mutual support and companionship
    How did God show the need to Adam (the man) before just filling it?
      Genesis 2:19-20 = Paraded all of the animals before him to be named
      Note: Adam is Hebrew for man. Adamah is Hebrew for ground.

    How did God make a helper that Adam would accept as equal and not just another animal?
      Genesis 2:21-23 = He made Eve from Adam - flesh of my flesh, same as me
    What are the three parts of God's plan for man and wife? = 1 flesh to 2 to 1
      Genesis 2:24 = Leave his father & mother; Be united to his wife; Become one flesh
    How did these partners relate to each other at the beginning?
      Genesis 2:25 = There was no shame because there was no sin

Closing Prayer

The Song of God's Creation

Genesis 1

1 In the beginning
    God created the heavens and the earth.
    2 Now the earth was formless and empty,
      darkness was over the surface of the deep,
    and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3And God said,
    "Let there be light",
      and there was light.
    4 God saw that the light was good,
      and he separated the light from the darkness.
    God called the light "day",
      5 and the darkness he called "night".

    And there was evening,
      and there was morning -
        the first day.

6And God said,
    "Let there be an expanse between the waters
      to separate water from water."
    7 So God made the expanse and separated the water
      under the expanse from the water above it.
    And it was so.

    8 God called the expanse "sky".

    And there was evening,
      and there was morning -
        the second day.

9And God said,
    "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,
      and let dry ground appear."
    And it was so.

    10 God called the dry ground "land",
      and the gathered waters he called "seas".
    And God saw that it was good.

11Then God said,
    "Let the land produce vegetation:
      seed-bearing plants
      and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it
        according to their various kinds."
    And it was so.

    12 The land produced vegetation:
      plants bearing seed
        according to their kinds
      and trees bearing fruit with seed in it
        according to their kinds.
    And God saw that it was good.

    13 And there was evening,
      and there was morning -
        the third day.

14And God said,
    "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky
      to separate the day from the night,
    and let them serve as signs
      to mark seasons and days and years,
    15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky
      to give light on the earth."
    And it was so.

    16 God made two great lights -
      the greater light to govern the day
      and the lesser light to govern the night.
      He also made the stars.
    17 God set them in the expanse of the sky
      to give light on the earth,
      18 to govern the day and the night,
      and to separate light from darkness.
    And God saw that it was good.

    19 And there was evening,
      and there was morning -
        the fourth day.

20And God said,
    "Let the water teem with living creatures,
      and let birds fly above the earth
        across the expanse of the sky."
    21 So God created the great creatures of the sea
      and every living and moving thing
        with which the water teems,
        according to their kinds,
      and every winged bird
        according to its kind.
    And God saw that it was good.

    22God blessed them and said,
      "Be fruitful and increase in number
        and fill the water in the seas,
        and let the birds increase on the earth."

    23 And there was evening,
      and there was morning -
        the fifth day.

24And God said,
    "Let the land produce living creatures
      according to their kinds:
        creatures that move along the ground,
        and wild animals,
      each according to its kind."
    And it was so.

    25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds,
      the livestock according to their kinds,
      and all the creatures that move along the ground
        according to their kinds.
    And God saw that it was good.

26Then God said,
    "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness,
      and let him rule
        over the fish of the sea
        and the birds of the air,
        over the livestock,
        over all the earth,
        and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
    27 So God created man in his own image,
      in the image of God he created him;
      male and female he created them.

    28God blessed them and said,
      "Be fruitful and increase in number;
        fill the earth and subdue it.
      Rule over the fish of the sea
        and the birds of the air
        and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

    29Then God said,
      "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth
        and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.
        They will be yours for food.
      30 And to the beasts of the earth
        and all the birds of the air
        and all the creatures that move on the ground
        - everything that has the breath of life in it -
        I give every green plant for food."
      And it was so.

    31 God saw all that he had made,
      and it was very good.

    And there was evening,
      and there was morning -
        the sixth day.

2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
    2By the seventh day
      God had finished the work he had been doing;
    so on the seventh day
      he rested from all his work.

    3 And God blessed the seventh day
      and made it holy,
        because on it he rested
          from all the work of creating that he had done.

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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