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Reasons for Learning Genesis

June 29th, 2008

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:5, ESV)

Before we provide some major thinking about why one would (and should) desire to learn Genesis, we wish to point out something about Romans 15:4, within the very context of Romans. Let it be said and settled that Romans 15:4 includes the book of Genesis. By consulting the United Bible Societies’ The Greek New Testament (eds. Aland, Black, Martini, Metzger, and Wikgren) Second Edition, Index of Quotations (pp. 897-98) we have counted not less than 22 references to Genesis in Romans.

Why Study Genesis?

1. It is Scripture (Matt. 19:4-6).

2. It gives us a past perspective, increasing our sacred memory.

3. It reminds us that the Lord God is not detached from the world, but active in universal history.

4. It develops a Theology of Blessing (barak , see 5:2; 9:1,26; 12;1-3); which unifies the pre-patriarchal narrative (1-11).

5. It develops the Theme of Seed (see 1:29; 3:15;4:25; 7:3; 9:9,27!; 12:3/Gal. 3:16); this will involve suffering, “bruised heel”.

6. It develops a Theology of Covenant ( 6:18; 9:9-17; 15:18; Ch. 17); contributing significantly toward a unifying center of Genesis.

7. It develops a Theology of Promise (17:7; 28:21; and, another formula: 15:7). Note a three-fold (tripartite) promise in the former formula). 2 Cor. 1:20 is important.

-Robert M. Housby

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