3 Don’t When Reading Genesis

Genesis is hard enough as it is; here are three things NOT to do when reading the first book of the Bible (and to keep in mind as we read the rest of the Bible).  [This post first appeared on my blog, www.andrewforrest.org, 1/19/15.  I thought it might be helpful as we wrap up reading Genesis.  –AF]

"The Tower of Babel," by Pieter Brueghel
“The Tower of Babel,” by Pieter Brueghel [c. 1563]

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The Bible Tells ONE Story – Andrew

If you remember nothing else from this Year of the Bible, remember this:

The Bible tells one story from start to finish.


Yes, the Bible as we know it is a collection of 66 books, and yes, it comes from many authors who wrote hundreds of years apart in many different genres.  But, nonetheless, the Bible tells one unified story.

The story is about the Lord’s love for the world he made, and the lengths to which he’ll go to save it.  It’s a classic rescue story.

You can the outline of the entire story in one verse in Genesis, namely 3:15:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

What is this strange passage about?

The Lord is talking to the serpent, and the curse is that the serpent shall perpetually be at odds with humanity (the woman’s offspring).

It’s a poetic prophecy, and Christians have always seen this prophecy to refer to Jesus.  Jesus is the “offspring” of Eve, and he steps on the serpent as the serpent bites at his heel: the Crucifixion.  I like how the image above portrays the relationship between Eve and Mary.

The Bible is the story of Creation, Fall, and Redemption.  It’s about how we turned away from God, but how God never turned away from us.  In Genesis 3, God begins his rescue plan, which will involve one particular people–Israel–and unfold over the centuries.  This is the story of the Bible.

Other Notes on Genesis 3-4

3:1 – Note that the serpent causes Eve to question the Lord’s commands.

3:1-6 – Where is Adam the entire time Eve is with the serpent?

3:12-13 – Note now both the man and the woman refuse responsibility.

3:20 – Note the footnote, #7 – “Eve” means “living” in Hebrew.

4:4 – I don’t know what was wrong with Cain’s offering, either.