Thursday, May 21, 2015

GENESIS BIBLE STUDY: Chapter One

                                                                                                  Source: Photo Bucket

GENESIS CHAPTER ONE

(Instructions on how to use this Bible Study are noted at the end)

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

In the Beginning, God! (Elohim)

God 430 “Elohim” A plural noun suggesting the God is both One God, yet more than one.
In the Beginning7225 “Bereshith” - Notes the beginning of time. In place, time, order, rank, beginning.
The Heavens  - 8064 “Shamayim”– (a plural noun that can be translated heaven or heavens) Visible heavens, sky where the clouds move, abode of the stars, celestial bodies.
Earth 776 “erets” – earth, field, ground, land, nations, way, wilderness, world.

The universe is actually a continuum of space (heavens), matter (earth) and time (the beginning), no one of which can have a meaningful existence without the other two. The term ‘matter’ is understood to include energy and must function in both space and time.

“The transcendent, omnipotent Godhead called into existence the space-mass-time universe.”
(Mass/energy is usually abbreviated as just ‘matter’)

John 1:1 In the beginning, the Word.

 The “Word was God” suggests that the Word and God are exchangeable terms, although the Word is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit. In simple terms, Jesus was there at creation with the Father and the Spirit.

Who created the Universe?

Genesis 1:1, Ephesians 3:9, Hebrews 1:2 The Father
John 1:3, Col 1:13-16; Heb 3:1-4 (esp. vs 3) Jesus
Job 26:13 (breath=spirit); Genesis 1:2 The Holy Spirit

The trinity was involved in the work of Creation, but also in the work of the New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17), that is, the work of salvation!

The Father planned our salvation, Jesus purchased our salvation, the Holy Spirit personalized our salvation.

Who Was Present at Creation?
Refer to Scriptures above. Also see Job 38:4-7
The Godhead and the angels.


In Job the "sons of God" are represented as appearing before the throne of Yahweh in heaven, ready to do Him service, and as shouting for joy at the creation of the earth, In the Psalms they are summoned to celebrate the glory of Yahweh, for there is none among them to be compared to Him. These heavenly beings are called "sons of God" or "sons of the 'elohim" simply as belonging to the same class or guild as the 'elohim, just as "sons of the prophets" denotes those who belong to the prophetic order. (Biblestudytools.com/International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online)

Hebrews 1:5 is comparing the begotten Son of God, to sons of God. 

What happened before the heavens and the earth were created?

Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:9
The Lamb had been slain (in the determination of the council)
The Names of the redeemed are in the Book of Life
He called us by His grace.

Where are the heavens?

First Heaven:
Gen 7:23 Birds of the heavens; Psalms 8:8  Birds of the air; Lamentations 4:19 Eagles of the sky.
The expression “doors” or “windows” of heaven seem to involve our atmosphere.
Genesis 7:11; Genesis 8:2

Our atmosphere. The ‘face’ of the heavens. Consists of clouds.

Second Heaven:
Matthew 24:29; Psalm 19:4; Isaiah 40:22

Sun, Moon, Stars

Third Heaven:
Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27: 2 Cor 12: 2 and 4.

God’s heaven.  The ‘heaven of heavens.’

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Genesis 1:2   The earth was without form and an empty waste (void), and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

Without Form: 8414 “tohuw”: to lie waste, a desolution of surface, worthless, empty, confusion, without form, nothing, vain, waste, wilderness.
Void: 922 “bohuw” : to be empty,  a vacuity, undistinguishable ruin, emptiness, void.
Darkness: 2822 from 2821 “choshek”: the dark, withholding light, night, obscurity. (figuratively it can mean misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness, but the context is not figurative and no evil is implied.)
Deep: 8415 “tehom”: main sea, subterranean water supply, depth.

2 Peter 3:5-7 A picture of the basic elements sustained in a watery matrix throughout the darkness of space.

What is the Gap Theory? *Main Theories of Creation Hand Out

The Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

Spirit: 7307 “ruach”: wind, breath, life
Moved: 7363 “rachaph” : to brood, to be relaxed, flutter, move, shake

The physical universe, though created, was not yet formed nor energized.
This energizing action of the Spirit of God and the activating power of the Word of God brings about Genesis 1:3, Let there be light!

Genesis 1:3  And God said, Let there be light; and there was light.

Where did the light come from?
Revelation 21:23; Isaiah 24:23: 1 John 1:5

Light is a form of energy.
The transmission of energy in the operations of the cosmos is in the form of waves (light waves, heat waves, etc.) 

Job 38:19 What is meant by“in a way?”
In fact, light “vibrates” and the best translation today would be - the Spirit of God vibrated over the face of the waters.

Genesis 1: 4,5  And God saw that the light was good and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

This verse does not fit well with the Gap theory as it confirms that we are talking about a day with an evening and a morning.

How Long is One Day?

Day: 3117 “yome”: to be hot, a day (as the warm hours)(from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next) age, daily, days.
It can sometimes be used as an undeterminable amount of time if the context allows it.
Each day is characterized by and evening and a morning. One day!
In the Middle East, evening comes first and begins at sunset. It starts with darkness and ends with light. 

What is the Day/Age Theory?

This theory says that each day is not a literal 24 hr day but long ages of time.
It also teaches that God created the natural laws that govern the universe, but does not continue to intervene.

What was everything created out of?

Hebrews 11:3
Things unseen, not visible to us.  This does not mean 'nothing,' but 'things' which are unseen.
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Genesis 1: 6-8 (Day Two)

What is the Firmament?

Hebrew “raqi'a or raki’a” An Expansion
Isaiah 40:22 Here we are told that the universe was stretched out like a tent or a curtain.

This word means simply "expansion." They who rendered raki'a by firmamentum regarded it as a solid body. It is plain that it was used to denote solidity as well as expansion. It formed a division between the waters above and the waters below (Genesis 1:7). 

The raki'a supported the upper reservoir (Psalms 148:4). It was the support also of the heavenly bodies (Genesis 1:14), and is spoken of as having "windows" and "doors" (Genesis 7:11 ; Isaiah 24:18) through which the rain and snow might descend.

What are verses 6 & 7 talking about?  *CanopyTheory Hand Out

A water/vapor canopy dividing the heavens, creating a greenhouse effect. This could explain the long ages of the people in the pre-deluvian time as well as large reptiles and plants (which are in the fossil records.)

Genesis 9-10 (Day Three)

How Did the Land Appear?

Gathered/collected: 6960 qavah (kaw-vaw), to bind together, gather

God called the gathering of the waters ‘seas’

Additional: Foundations of the earth: Psalm 202:25, Zechariah 12:1, Isaiah 48:13
Proverbs 8:27 (compass), Isaiah 40:22 (circle)

The word ‘compass’ is the Hebrew ‘chug’ which also occurs in Isaiah 40:22 and Job 22:14. The fact it had to be set shows it was formed into a circle or sphere.

Genesis 11-13

When God created the plants and trees, how were they created? (Hint: which came first, the chicken or the egg?)

They were created fully grown. Just as Adam was created a full grown man and the Universe was created complete and functioning.

Implanted in each organism was a “seed” programmed to enable the continuing replication of that type of organism. Although each type has its own unique structure of the DNA and can only specify the reproduction of that same kind, there is a tremendous amount of variational potential within each kind, but it does not allow for the ‘evolution’ of new kinds.  1 Cor. 15:37,38

What is different about Day Three?

There’s a double blessing (vs 10 and vs 12)  Today in Israel many couples still marry on a Tuesday!
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Genesis 1: 14-19 (Day Four)  What were the lights in Verses 14-16? Stars

Why were they made?
1. To separate the day and night
2. To give light
3. For Signs
4. For Tokens
5. To mark seasons
6. To mark days
7. To mark years

*Though the sun generates light and the moon reflects light, both give light as far as their function to the earth are concerned.

“Sign” - A special occurrence. Like a falling star, blood moons, etc.
“Token”-  represents or indicates a fact. Evidence or proof, a keepsake, a symbol. For instance,  black=mourning.

Stars & constellations: Psalm 147:4, Isaiah 40:26, Job 38:31,32, Job 26:11-14, Job 9:9, 10
Job 38:32: Some versions translate ‘constellations’ as “Zodiac, or Mazzaroth.”  
He made the stars and the constellations. He names them. Stars and the moon (blood moons) are used in the Feasts of Israel.
There is a common origin for the names of the Stars and Constellations. In addition, the names in a variety of languages have a similar meaning.
For instance, using the constellation Virgo:
Virgo to the Romans/Bethula to the Hebrews/ Parthenos to the Greeks/ Kanya to the Indians. All mean ‘virgin.’

*Signs and Tokens Hand Out

Genesis 1:20-23 (Day Five) All necessities for life were now present, however God had formed the earth to be inhabited.

What did God create on the fifth day?

Water animals and fowls. The waters ‘swarmed’ in abundance. Birds flew in the ‘open’ firmament.
The word ‘open’ = ‘pene’ = ‘face of’ the heavens.

Life or living occurs for the first time. “nephesh”. This is also the word for soul.
They are blessed by God and commanded to be fruitful and multiply.

Evolution says: First marine organisms, second land plants and third birds.
Genesis says: First land plants, second marine creatures, third birds.
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Genesis 1:24-31 (Day Six)            

Explain the distinction between the land animals.

Cattle: Domestic animals
Creeping Things: Animals that crawl or creep
Beasts: Large wild animals, reptiles, etc.

The Kinds: The reproductive systems for the animals were programmed to assure the fixity of the kinds. Modern genetics has shown that all replicating systems function in the framework of the information program in the DNA molecule. The DNA for each kind is programmed to allow for wide individual variations within the kind, but not beyond the structure of the kind itself.
The record says that God made 6213 “asah” the land animals (vs. 25), whereas He was said to have created “bara” the air and sea animals (vs. 20). However, they also had souls because they were said to be living creatures. These were said to have been brought forth from the earth. Their bodies composed of the same elements - and when they died they’d go back to the earth. In this respect they were like air and water animals, and also like man.


Genesis 1:26,27 “Let us…” Who is God talking to?

Psalm 2:7, Psalm 110:1, The Godhead.

(The divine councils centering on man had first taken place long before the beginning of time. The Lamb had, in the determination of these councils been slain before the foundation of the world; the names of the redeemed had been written in His book of life before the foundation of the world; and God had called those who were to be saved by His grace, before the world began.) 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 17:8 (Luke 10:20), 2 Timothy 1:9

This is another such council amongst the Godhead. Let us make man…….
The main impact of the image is that God endues man with some of his divine attributes, thereby separating and making him different from the beasts.

*Six Godlike Qualities Hand Out (at the bottom of Chapter 2)

Genesis 1:28

God blessed them. Be fruitful and multiply, fill and subdue (use the resources), have dominion.

“Replenish”: The Hebrew word is “male” and means simply “fill, fulfill, or be filled.”

“Subdue and have Dominion”:  To embrace all productive human activities. Science and technology, research and development, theory and application, study and practice and so forth, are various ways of expressing these two concepts. This establishes man as God’s steward over the created world and all things therein.  Psalm 8: 6-8

Genesis 1:29,30  What was God’s provision for food?

Every plant and tree, herbs for food
This supply would not be exhausted as these were designed to replicate.

Genesis 1:31

It was all very good and completely approved. Everything in the universe was still at this time exceedingly good in God’s own omniscient judgment. 

This verse concludes the first chapter of Genesis, but this chapter should really not have been marked at this point, but in the middle of verse 4 of Genesis 2. It is there that the first “toledoth” subscript appears: These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created.” It is likely that this statement represents the subscript, or signature of the author of the section that has gone before.

*Hand out: Toledoths in Genesis


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            Hand Outs: 
                Main Theories of Creation
                   Toledoths in Genesis
                   Water Vapour Canopy Theory
                   Signs and Tokens
                   
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Main Theories of Creation

Gap Theory creationism: In this theory, God created every original thing in six consecutive 24-hour days, but a gap of time between the first and the second verses of Genesis 1 explains the great age of the Earth. An early proponent of this view was Thomas Chalmers, a professor of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh.

Day-Age creationism notes that the Hebrew word ‘yom’ may indicate a 24-hour day or an unspecified period of time that could entail a period of thousands or millions of years. This theory attempts to reconcile the differences between young-earth creationism and evolutionary creationism. According to this view, the sequence and duration of the seven "days" is representative of the cosmological events theorized to have happened, so that Genesis can be read as a summary of modern science, simplified for the benefit of pre-scientific humans.

Young Earth creationism holds to the six, 24-hour days of creation but does not accept any gap of time. According to this theory the Earth is only between 6,000 and 10,000 years old. Within this camp, some accept the possibility of developmental change within species, but most believe that God created all living species in the beginning as an act of special creation. Proponents of this theory include Baptist Pastor and biochemist Duane Gish, and the late Henry M. Morris, a civil engineer and author of several books in which he developed young earth creationism, amongst others.

Progressive creationism holds that God created new "kinds" of plants and animals over a period of millions of years. It estimates the age of the Earth in the millions, but generally rejects macroevolution as biologically untenable and without evidence in the fossil record. In this theory, it is not necessary for all humans to have descended from a common primal ancestor and Noah's flood is accepted to have been local rather than global. Proponents of this view include the late Bernard Ramm, a Baptist theologian and Bible scholar, and astronomer Hugh Ross, who holds that the Flood was local yet killed all humans except for those on the ark.

Evolutionary creationism (or Theistic Evolution) accepts the theory of evolution but insists that all change, growth and development over time is directed by God or by forces put into place by God. The greatest proponent of this view is Charles Darwin himself. He wrote in an 1879 letter to John Fordyce: "In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God.”

Framework Theory holds that the creation account of Genesis 1 is not to be taken literally or used as a scientific text, but should be regarded as an ancient sacred text with a symbolic structure that points to God's orderly design and the importance of the Sabbath commandment. In this view Genesis 1 is independent of Genesis 2. In this view the more primitive story is the Genesis 2-3 account of the creation and the Genesis 1 account dates to a later time of the Priestly source. Proponents of this theory are Henri Blocher and Meredith Kline.

Intelligent Design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. In Chapter 6 of The Origin of Species, Darwin posed critiques of evolution. He admitted that it is difficult to imagine how "organs of extreme perfection and complication," such as the eye, evolved by natural selection.

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Toledoths In Genesis

Many scholars have noticed that Genesis is divided into sections, separated by phrases that are translated “These are the generations of ... ” The Hebrew word used for “generation” is toledoth, which means “history, especially family history ... the story of their origin.”  

Most scholars have recognized that these toledoth phrases must be important, but they have been misled by assuming incorrectly that these are the introduction to the text that follows.  For example, Genesis 37:2 begins, “These are the generations of Jacob. ...”  But from that spot on, the text describes Joseph and his brothers, and almost nothing about Jacob, who was the central character in the previous section.

However, Wiseman saw that the colophons in the ancient tablets always were at the end, not the beginning.  He applied this idea to the toledoth phrases in Genesis, and found that in every case it suddenly made good sense.  In other words, each toledoth phrase contains the name of the man who probably wrote the text preceding that phrase.  Or, in still other words, the book of Genesis consists of a set of tablets, each of which was written by an actual eye-witness to the events described therein.  These tablets were finally compiled by Moses.

Enough archaeological confirmation has been found so that many historians now consider the Old Testament, at least that part after about the eleventh chapter of Genesis, to be historically correct.

Tablet Divisions.

Tablet      Starting Verse       Ending Verse         Owner or  Writer
 1               Genesis 1:1          Genesis 2:4a          God Himself (?)
 2              Genesis 2:4b         Genesis 5:1a          Adam
 3              Genesis 5:1b         Genesis 6:9a          Noah
 4              Genesis 6:9b         Genesis 10:1a        Shem, Ham & Japheth
 5              Genesis 10:1b       Genesis 11:10a      Shem
 6              Genesis 11:10b     Genesis 11:27a      Terah
 7              Genesis 11:27b     Genesis 25:19a      Isaac
 8              Genesis 25:12       Genesis 25:18        Ishmael, through Isaac
 9              Genesis 25:19b     Genesis 37:2a        Jacob
 10            Genesis 36:1         Genesis 36:43        Esau, through Jacob
 11            Genesis 37:2b       Exodus 1:6             Jacob’s 12 sons. 

Source: The True.Origin Archive. Exposing the Myth of Evolution

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Water Vapour Canopy Theory

“Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters, which were under the firmament from the waters, which were above the firmament; and it was so (Genesis 1:6,7)

This passage is talking about the creation of a firmament and the division of waters into waters above and below the firmament. The basis of the Canopy Theory is that the firmament represents the Earth’s atmosphere and the waters above are in the form of a canopy, which surrounded the Earth before the Flood. It is thought that this canopy would have contributed to the waters of the Flood, and that the pre-Flood canopy would have caused conditions of environment and weather before the Flood to be very different from today.

Source: Genesis Park

The actual nature of the canopy differs in competing interpretations, with some assuming it to be a canopy of water vapor, and others suggesting a crystalline canopy.

The late Dr. Henry Morris, father of modern creationism, in his wonderful book, The Genesis Record, he writes:­  The “waters above the firmament” thus probably constituted a vast blanket of water vapor above the troposphere and possibly above the stratosphere as well, in the high-temperature region now known as the ionosphere, and extending far into space. 

Dr. Morris went on to list ways in which it might have made pre-Flood conditions different from today:

Uniform world temperatures
Uniform warmth
Prevention of cosmic radiation, leading to longer pre-Flood lifespans
Uniform worldwide moisture, with no deserts or ice caps

A worldwide rain lasting forty days would be quite impossible under present atmospheric conditions; so this phenomenon required an utterly different source of atmospheric waters than now obtains. Could this be the “waters above the firmament”, the vast thermal blanket of invisible water vapor that maintained the greenhouse effect in the antediluvian world?

It has been suggested that the longevity of humans before the Flood was due to greater atmospheric pressure. However, a better explanation of this longevity is the comparative absence of mutations among the human gene pool. The level of mutations would have greatly increased after the Flood, so this could explain the rapid decrease in longevity.

Another View:

Dr. Russell Humphreys (PhD. Creationist Physicist) has suggested a cosmology, based on the stretching of space. In this cosmology, Humphreys has suggested that the firmament, which divides the waters above from the waters below, in Genesis 1:6-8, represents the stretching of the universe. 

The Hebrew word translated firmament is râqîya (רקיע). This word has a similar root to the concept of ‘stretching’ metal, by hammering it (Some versions translate the word as expanse). However, a side effect of his theory is that the “waters above” would therefore be beyond the stars, rather than at the edge of the atmosphere

First, we read in Genesis 1 that the Sun, Moon and stars were made in the firmament (Genesis 1:15). If there were a canopy at the edge of the atmosphere, this would mean that the stars were above the canopy, which is not what Scripture says.

However, Psalm 148:4 shows that the “waters above” are still actually in place. That lends support to Humphreys’ idea that the “waters above” are beyond the last galaxies, not at the edge of the atmosphere. There is water in space, but this doesn’t necessarily intimate that this is the water canopy mentioned in Genesis one.

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Signs and Tokens

The Luni-Solar Cycle

Since Biblical times the months and years of the Jewish calendar have been established by the cycles of the moon and the sun. Torah law prescribes that the months follow closely the course of the moon, from its birth each month to the next new Moon.

Though the months follow the lunar cycle, the lunar months must always align themselves with the seasons of the year, which are governed by the sun. Thus, the Jewish calendar is "Luni-Solar." The discrepancy between the solar year (365 days) and the lunar year (354 days) was resolved by every so often adding a thirteenth month to the year, to form a 'leap year.'

Feasts of Israel: (Days, weeks, months)

God’s appointed times: Jeremiah 10:2-4; Daniel 7:25

One note about the feasts. Six of them - the first six, are related to man's sin and struggle to exist. The last feast, Tabernacles, is related to rest. It is the most joyous feast of the year. It looks to the past in celebration of God's faithfulness in the wilderness. It looks to the present in celebration of the completion of the hard labor of the agricultural cycle. And it looks to the future in celebration of God's promise to return to this earth and provide the world with rest in the form of peace, righteousness and justice.

The seven feasts thus parallel what I call the "rhythm of God" that was established during the week of creation namely, six days of work followed by one day of rest.

This rhythm is repeated over and over in the Scriptures, as illustrated in the chart below.

A Summary of the Weeks of Scripture
The Week
Length
Description
Scripture
1) Week of Days
7 days
God's basic pattern. Six days of toil followed by a Sabbath day of rest.
2) Week of Weeks
49 days
The period of time between the feast of First Fruits and the feast of Pentecost.
3) Week of Months
7 months
The seven months of the Jewish religious calendar which contain all seven of the Jewish feasts.
4) Week Years
7 years
The Israelites were commanded to work the land for six years and then give the land a Sabbath rest every seventh year.
5) Week of Weeks of Years
49 years
The period of time between each celebration of the Year of Jubilee.
6) Week of Decades
70 years
The life span alotted to Man.
7) Week of Weeks of Decades
490 years
The period of time revealed to Daniel during which God will work through the Jews to fulfill His purposes in history.





Blood Moons

A few years ago, a Messianic Pastor called Mark Biltz made a startling discovery of a pattern where from time to time 4 consecutive lunar eclipses take place – precisely on the first and last ‘appointments’ or Feasts of the Lord for 2 years in a row. This is an extremely rare event, and what is even more interesting is that it appears to happen at times when there are prophetically significant events taking place on the earth.

Let’s have a look at an overview of when it has happened in the past when these signs have been in the sky:

Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

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Please Note:


The information above is from a Bible Study I arranged which was based mostly on information found in "The Genesis Record" by Henry Morris. Any additional hand outs or information will include source information whenever possible. 

To do this study, read the chapter first and then go over each verse where it is posted in this study. Then go over the notes as provided. I encourage you to allow discussion in your class time.

*The student notes are in black text (shows white on the blog) , the additional teacher information is in grey, and answers are in red text. 

Copy and paste this study in Word as a teacher copy. Then make another copy, remove the grey and red text and 'save as' a  student copy. Make sure you leave room for answering questions. I suggest you copy and paste the hand outs into Word and run them off separately.

To see all the Genesis Bible Study Chapters, click on "Genesis Study" in the sidebar.

Please be patient as I update the information onto my blog.  This study will include Genesis Chapters One through Eleven.