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
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
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.