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Genesis: Meaning

It means “birth, origin” in Greek. This is the name of the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible. The traditional Greek name for the first and best known book of the Bible is Genesis, which means “origin”. Genesis tells the stories of creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah’s ark, the Tower of Babel, Abraham and his sons, and more.

The stories that explain how the world and humanity were created, and much more about how humanity, and especially the descendants of Abraham, relate to the rest of the world. Today we use Genesis to refer to the creative beginning of much smaller, but never important things.

The five books of Moses were collectively called the Pentateuch, a word of Greek origin meaning “the fivefold book. The Jews called them the Torah, that is, “the law”. It is likely that the division of the Torah into five books came from the Greek translators of the Old Testament. The names by which these books are generally known are Greek.

The first book of the Pentateuch is called by the Jews Bereshith, i.e. “in the beginning”, because this is the first word of the book. It is generally known among Christians as Genesis, that is, “creation” or “generation. 

As designating its character, because it gives an account of the origin of all things. It contains, according to the usual calculation, the story of some two thousand three hundred and sixty-nine years.

Genesis is divided into two main parts. The first part (1-11) presents a general history of humanity up to the moment of the Dispersion. The second part presents the early history of Israel until the death and burial of Joseph (12-50).

There are five main persons presented successively under our notice in this book, and around these persons is grouped the history of the successive periods, namely, Adam (1-3), Noah (4-9), Abraham ((10-25:18),), Isaac ((25:19-35:29),) and Jacob (36-50). In this book we have several prophecies about Christ (3:15; 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10). 

The Author of the Book of Genesis was Moses 

Under divine guidance, in fact, he may have been led to make use of materials already existing in primitive documents, or even of traditions in a reliable way that had been reduced to his time, purifying them of all that was unworthy; but the hand of Moses is clearly seen in its entire composition.

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