Welcome to Discipleship 101 Week 1. Read Genesis 1-24 and discuss the following questions.
The Hebrew word for God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim. The BDB Lexicon calls this a plural intensive. The ending “im” is normally plural. Because this plural word for the one God is only found in Hebrew and not other Semitic languages what could it possibly be hinting at? Could “let us” in Genesis 1:26 be hinting at the same thing?
Early Church Fathers asked: How literal did God intend the creation account to be? Moderns ask: How do we harmonize Genesis and geology? What are some strengths and weaknesses of various creation theories believed by Christians? What about the literal-day theory? What about the day-age theory? What about the gap theory? What about theistic evolution? What about old-earth versus young-earth theories of creation? What is intelligent design? Could Genesis 1 be majestic prose? Is it possibly a polemic (a strong attack) against pagan gods? What could reproducing “after their kind” mean for macroevolution (change to new kinds) and microevolution (change within a kind)? There may be more questions than answers, but Christians agree that God created everything.
What does God resting teach us? How are male and female perfect for each other? How is the blame game that Adam and Eve played unhelpful? Seven times in Genesis 1 creation is called “good.” Was our created human nature also good? Humanity is called “very good.” Is sin more powerful than God, turning “very good” into “total depravity?” Are we blemished because of Adam’s sin or our own? Is God’s “very good” creation still found in every human being, even if it is tarnished by our sin? Write an outline of Genesis 1-24 using the headings from Genesis 2:4; 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27.
After the overture in Genesis 1:1-2:3 we come to the genealogies. What do they teach us? Are they complete? Even after Adam and Eve sinned, did God still show grace to humanity? Is the ability to have children one way that God shows grace? What are some others? If angels cannot marry and have children, who were the giants (Matthew 22:30)? Does the medical condition of giantism still exist today?
What is the most important legacy that we can leave behind? What moral lessons can we learn from their mistakes and devotion to God? Who was Melchizedek? What analogies to our lives are there in these family stories? What should a rainbow remind us of? What about eternity do we learn from creation, a seven day week, the failures and successes of these families? How is Jesus pictured in the stories of Genesis — a son to be sacrificed, a miraculous birth (3:15; 22:1-18)? Was Jesus there (Matthew 1:23; John 1:1-3, 10)? How does Rebecca picture the Bride of Christ, the Church?