Bryan’s Teaching Series on Genesis

keystone.png As I mentioned previously, I am teaching a seminar on the book of Genesis this winter and spring at New Hope Church in the Keystone Biblical and Theological Seminars for Men.

This should be an interesting series for a variety of reasons—not least of which is that I am no expert on Genesis and have unsettled views on several contentious related issues.  Also, it will be interesting to see if anyone crashes the party who just wants to debate dinosaurs.

If you’d like to be a part of the Keystone Seminars, please join us at 7:00pm on Mondays in the Ministry Center at New Hope Church.  If you cannot make it, but would like to keep tabs on what’s happens, feel free to download the class audio and notes here.

A few key quotes and points from Monday night:

“‘The early chapters of Genesis had arguably a greater influence on the development of Christian theology than did any other part of the Old Testament’ (Louth).  Early Christian writers, following the lead of the NT, drew heavily on the opening chapters of Genesis to explain the doctrines of creation and the fall.  The typology of Christ as the second Adam, who triumphed where the first Adam failed, was very important in patristic theology.  Vital too was the understanding of humanity created in the image of God.  Though this image was marred in the fall, God’s ultimate purpose was its restoration in the new creation.”[1]

“By its very position as the first book of the Bible, Genesis (Greek: ‘origin’) has been the focus of more attention than most other parts of the OT. It sets the scene for the rest of Scripture and is one of the books most quoted by the NT.  Genesis orients the reader to study the following books with appropriate assumptions about their context and theology.  Its narratives have been an inspiration to countless authors and artists.  Even in today’s secular West, its stories and themes are still familiar.  But familiarity is no guarantee of interpretive integrity. Texts used out of context are liable to be misunderstood and misused.  …The aim is to understand Genesis both as a text of its time and as a key witness in the canon of Holy Scripture.”[2]

What Does It Mean to Study Genesis Well?

1. Genesis should be read sympathetically.

2. Genesis should be read according to its historical context.

3. Genesis should be read according to its genre.

4. Genesis should be read eschatologically.

5. Genesis should be read descriptively.

6. Genesis should be read meditatively and devotionally.


[1] Gordon J. Wenham, “Genesis,” in Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, edited by Kevin Vanhoozer (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 246.

[2] Ibid.

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