Welcome to our new study, The Women of Genesis! Over the next few months, we’ll read through the entire book of Genesis, stopping along the way to give special attention to women like Eve, Sarah, Rachel, and others. We’ll examine their roles in biblical history, how their stories point us to Christ, and what we can learn from them as Christian women, wives, or mothers today.
Many thanks to those who worked so hard on their entries for our title pic contest. I’ve selected the lovely image above, by Cheryl Toepfer, as the official title picture for this study. As Cheryl explains:
When I took this photo, my thought was that no matter the photo subject, the light is always the star of the show…If you notice the petals on the flower, they are marred. One is torn. But the light in the photo makes this daisy pop right out of the frame, and it’s easy to ignore its imperfections. That’s how I see the women in Genesis: marred and torn by sin, but made beautiful and useful because of their faith in God. Which is our story today as well! We are lights in the world because of Christ’s saving and sanctifying work in our lives–in spite of our sin nature!
Thanks also go to these two “honorable mention” entries:
by Trace Hanson
by Augusta Lee Branch
Introduction to The Women of Genesis
Before we begin studying a book of the Bible, it’s very important that we understand some things about that book. We need to know…
Who the author was and anything we might be able to find out about him or his background.
Who the audience of the book is: Jews or Gentiles? Old Testament Israelites or New Testament Christians? This will help us understand the author’s purpose and approach to what he’s writing.
What kind of biblical literature we’re looking at. We approach books of history differently than books of wisdom, books of wisdom differently than books of prophecy, etc.
What the purpose of the book is. Was it written to encourage? Rebuke? Warn?
What the historical backdrop is for the book. Is Israel at war? At peace? In exile? Under a bad king? Good king? Understanding the historical events surrounding a piece of writing help us understand what was written and why it was written.
When the book was written. Where does the book fall on the timeline of biblical history? This is especially important for Old Testament books which are not always arranged in chronological order.
So this week, before we start studying the actual text of the book of Genesis, we need to lay the foundation to understanding the book by finding the answers to these questions.
Read the following overviews of the book of Genesis, taking notes on anything that might aid your understanding of the book, and answer the questions below:
Bible Introductions: Genesis at Grace to You
Overview of the Book of Genesis at Reformed Answers
Book of Genesis at Got Questions
1. Who wrote the book of Genesis? How do we know this? What does the title “Genesis” mean in Hebrew?
2. Approximately when was Genesis written, and what is the approximate time span this book covers? Where, geographically, do the events in Genesis take place? Here are some maps (scroll down to “Genesis”) that may be helpful as you study through the book of Genesis.
3. Who is the original, intended audience of the book of Genesis?
4. Which genre of biblical literature is the book of Genesis: law, history, wisdom, poetry, narrative, epistles, or prophecy/apocalyptic? What does this this tell us about the approach we should take when studying this book versus our approach to books of other genres?
5. What is the theme or purpose of the book of Genesis?
6. Who are some of the main characters and what are some of the major events in the book of Genesis? How do these stories relate to the theme of Genesis?
7. What are some ways Genesis points to and connects to Jesus?
8. What else did you learn about Genesis or the setting of this book that might help you understand the text of the book better?