Genesis

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Genesis 1 and 2

Introducing God

 

God has many names and relates to creation in different "personalities." We gather the first of many important tools we'll need to delve into Scripture.

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Genesis 3 thru 11

God made Adam and Eve,

not Adam and Steve...right?

 

We use this question as a test case to demonstrate how to approach tough passages in a methodical, sound manner. Then we move on to Genesis 3 thru 11 and examine the etiologies (stories of how things came to be) that we find there.

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Genesis 12 thru 14

A Saga of Epic Proportions

 

Visions, Harems, War and Kidnapping.and that's just this week! The Hebrew Bible is not for sissies.This week starts a grand story, and I'll probably tell it in a way you've never heard it before. Then you'll get a chance to dig into the story yourself.

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Genesis 15 thru 17

A Promise, a Slave, and a Wedding

 

God shows up again (twice) and Abram and Sarai get into another big mess. But God takes their shenanigans in stride, and it all comes right in the end. We see God as King but also as a loving bridegroom, with a very surprising twist at the end of the ceremony.

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Genesis 18 and 19

Sodom and Gomorrah

Christianity has long associated Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality. This is even where our word "sodomy" comes from. It's a tough and controversial subject, but it's in the Bible for a reason. We are going to face it honestly and with careful scholarship. Do not be afraid. God is with us. God is still compassionate. God is still holy.

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Genesis 20 thru 22

Chiasms and Child Sacrifice

 

Genesis just doesn't quit with the tough topics. In this class we'll add to your tools for dealing with perplexing passages. We run into another wife-sister story, almost identical to the first one. Say, what? Sarah is, like, 90 years old at this point! Never fear, I'll show you how understanding the ancient literary device of chiasms reveals that this weird story makes perfect sense.

Once we've got chiasms under our belt we'll move on to where God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering. Another totally perplexing passage, but you've got this! We'll use tools we already have in our backpack to figure this one out.

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Genesis 23 thru 28

Miracles, Backstabbing, and Love at First Sight

We're to the fun part now. We get introduced to a whole new set of characters this week. Genesis starts to read like a novel at this point. No more stacks of etiologies or crazy chiasms. And the story speeds up considerably. These new characters are something else!

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Genesis 28 thru 31

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

 

Jacob arrives in Haran and falls head over heels in love. But he's nearly pulled to pieces--caught between the woman he loves and the woman he's forced to marry, cheated by his mother-in-law, and running for his life. We'll see how God shows up.

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Genesis 32 thru 36

The Place of Choosing

Circumstances force Jacob to make some tough choices. If Jacob has really changed, now is the time to show it. He's got to face Esau, and it's a pretty sure bet Esau is going to be gunning for him. Jacob's sons endanger the entire family just as Rachel finally gets pregnant again.

 

The story gets darker and darker. Jacob will show his true colors. Want to bet what they are?

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Genesis 37 thru 39

Joseph Just Can't Catch a Break

 

Joseph's big mouth lands him in hot water. His brothers plot murder, but at the last minute decide to spare his life. Joseph is sold into slavery and hauled off to Egypt where he builds a new life--only to be falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I mention this Peterson Toscano video in this class, so after you've watched the class be sure to come back here and watch his brief performance.

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Genesis 40 thru 50

The End of Genesis

Genesis ends with a bang! Joseph is elevated from the dungeon to the height of power in Egypt. But leading a country through a famine is nothing compared to facing the brothers who tried to murder you. This is a man wrestling with forgiveness and reconciliation.