Narrative structure The narrative style was used in the writing of the Book of Genesis. The book relates the account of the world's origin and early human history. It begins with the creation of the universe and humans, traces man's progress from innocence to sin, and concludes with the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Context The Book of Genesis was written by several authors over a long period of time. Its earliest part may have been written as early as 1500 B.C., but the last part probably was not finished until about 400 A.D.. The book is set in the context of Abraham, who is described as "the father of many nations." This phrase appears more than 100 times in the Book of Genesis and may have been used to mark important events or periods in history. For example, it is found in connection with Abraham's marriage to Sarah (Genesis 17:16), the birth of Isaac (17:19), the conquest of Egypt (13:15), and the building of the pyramids (2:3).
Theme The theme of the Book of Genesis is the story of how God created humanity.
The creation story is divided into two parts, roughly comparable to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis (there are no chapter divisions in the original Hebrew text, see Chapters and verses of the Bible). The first part tells how God created the heavens and the earth. This story takes up about 1/5 of the book and it is called "the Big Bang". The second part tells of the fall of man and the expulsion from paradise. This story covers the remaining 4/5 of the book and is called "the Great Flood".
There are many scholarly debates about the number of stories that can be found in the Book of Genesis. Some scholars claim that there are only two real stories in the book: the creation story and the flood story. Other scholars believe that there are more than two stories in the book. For example, one could argue that the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah's ark, and the Tower of Babel all involve alternate versions of the same historical event - the fall of man. Still others have suggested that Israel may have combined various ancient myths when writing their sacred books. There is certainly evidence that this has happened in other cultures' religions. For example, there are clear similarities between the creation stories in Genesis 1-3 and those in the Babylonian Creation Epic at Genesis 2:4-9.
Themes by Genesis
Genesis Chapter One His tale is told in both the Hebrew Bible (Book of Genesis, chapters 5–9) and the Quran. The Genesis flood story is one of the most well-known in the Bible. It has been interpreted by many Christians as evidence that God created humans in a pre-fallen state and as a lesson about human depravity and God's wrath against it. Others view it as a real event that actually took place around 4500 BC. In this last interpretation, it is seen as a precedent for other floods and a precursor to the coming of Jesus Christ.
Noah is one of several people named Noah in the Bible. According to the Book of Genesis, Noah was a righteous man who lived in the Middle East before the Great Flood. He is said to have been a descendant of Adam but not through his son Seth. Rather, he was born after the flood had destroyed all others who might have inherited from Adam including Seth. Through Noah, God made a covenant with all living things to never destroy Earth again with a flood. It is this act that makes Noah a significant figure in religious history.
He wrote his story long after he died. No one knows how or when he put it together but some believe he may have used records kept by his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The Mesopotamians, who lived centuries before the book of Genesis was written, had their own enthralling flood narrative, comparable to Genesis in many aspects but recounted in their own rich and unique culture's style and customs. This flood story is a subplot inside a bigger epic. The main plot concerns the war between two neighboring states, Ummanum (meaning "human" in Akkadian) and Adan (meaning "god" in Akkadian), which ends with Ummanum's destruction.
They too began with the creation of man and earth. In their version, however, it was not God who created man in his image, but rather man who created himself. They too heard voices outside their paradise that something bad would happen if it wasn't done something way. And like the Bible's account, they too underwent a deluge as a result of what happened.
Their story begins with Tiamat, a sea monster who married Apsu, one of her fellow monsters. They too had children, including Mummu and Shapash. When Tiamat found out that she was pregnant again, she tried to kill all of her children so that she could be the only one who survived. But Mummu and Shapash managed to escape her attack.
After this incident, Mummu and Shapash decided to punish Tiamat by making her fight Ummanum for possession of the world.