Preface on the Study of Genesis

 

In beginning a study of the book of Genesis I find there are certain principles laid down in the scriptures that are helpful in directing our minds to what we can expect to find in the book.

 

First, in Isaiah 28:9, 10 we read, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" There are certain rules in nature that must be adhered to if we are to grow in knowledge and understanding. There are foundational principles that must first be learned if we are to grow in our understanding. For instance, it would be foolish to enroll a nursing baby in a college calculus course. One day that baby may grow up and indeed enroll in the calculus course. However, that baby will need to first learn to count and then associate those numbers with objects. Next, the child will need to learn to add and then subtract. Once the child has learned to add and subtract, it will need to learn to multiply and divide. Afterwards the child will be ready to learn proportions and fractions. So the necessary principles learned one on top of another continues until the person learns algebra, trigonometry, and geometry. At the point the person is perhaps ready to enroll in the college calculus course. This learning process is simply learning precept on top of precept to master greater principles.

 

Biblical knowledge and doctrines are logical. It is important that we apply logic in a proper way. If we start with an error and we use logic our conclusion will also be erroneous. If we start with the truth and apply logic then our conclusions will also be true. Even one error in our beginning points will cause our conclusions to be wrong. Many errors are found in the teachings on salvation today because the teachers begin with a faulty foundation. Most teachers begin with the concept that there is a little bit of good in all men and that good can be nurtured and bring the individual to do good and become a child of God and be saved. The problem is that the bible plainly teaches that man is totally depraved without any good abiding within him by nature. By beginning with a faulty principle the conclusions will always be faulty.

 

The word, "genesis" literally means beginning. The book of genesis is a book of beginnings. The very foundations on which the great doctrines and principles taught in the bible begin in the book of Genesis.

 

Further, the Lord gave us another principle to use in studying the book of Genesis as well as the entire bible: He told some unbelieving Jews in John 5:39 "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." The scriptures that existed at that time were the Old Testament scriptures. Thus, the Lord clued us to the fact that the Old Testament is a continual testimony of Jesus Christ. When reading and studying the Old Testament we should be looking for Jesus Christ.

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