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Sermon No: 40081-Genesis - A - Why was it written



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SERMON TOPIC: Genesis - A - Why was it written

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 20 July 2018

Topic Groups: GENESIS, CREATIONISM, BOOK STUDY

Sermon synopsis: Adam is an important person in the Gospel narrative.
But did he really exist? Was he a historical person or not?

We saw in our last study that taking Genesis literally is foundational to the Gospel and although some professing Christians have ignored this, it is perhaps the main reason why our present western society is immunised against the Gospel message.

Many leading thinkers and writers opposed to the Gospel have cantered their scepticism and criticism of the whole Gospel narrative on precisely this question.
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Questions from Genesis?

Instead of standing on the authority of Scripture, certain Christians have bought into the ever changing and flawed claims of evolutionists who do not have science as a foundation for their claims, but mere far fetched claims that go beyond the scope of probability to the extent that they are ludicrous as we shall see in the CMI video of “From a Frog to a Prince” which depicts the evolution fairy tale”.

Why Was Genesis Written?

Adam is an important person in the Gospel narrative.

But did he really exist? Was he a historical person or not?

We saw in our last study that taking Genesis literally is foundational to the Gospel and although some professing Christians have ignored this, it is perhaps the main reason why our present western society is immunised against the Gospel message. Many leading thinkers and writers opposed to the Gospel have cantered their scepticism and criticism of the whole Gospel narrative on precisely this question. You can see a good example of this in the following quote from HG Wells.

He was mentored by well-known agnostic TH Huxley and became a famous science fiction writer (War of the Worlds, The Time Machine etc.)

Why Was Genesis Written?

HG Wells profoundly influenced popular thinking in the 1st half of the 20th century. Here is how he framed this question:

If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which the current teaching based Christian emotion and morality, collapsed like a house of cards.’

Wells, H.G., The outline of history — being a plain history of life and mankind, Cassell & Company Ltd, London, UK, (the fourth revision), Vol. 2, p. 616, 1925.

Why Was Genesis Written?

GK Chesterton was an equally influential writer in the 1st half of the 20th century. Taking the opposite view from Wells you will notice though how he, like HG Wells, makes the Garden and Fall the tipping point upon which his thinking pivots. He writes:

Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals … That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you, it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger.

Why Was Genesis Written?

But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably, that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws. ‘If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden. For the obstinate reminder continues to recur: only the supernaturalist has taken a sane view of Nature. The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a stepmother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.’ Chesterton, G.K., Orthodoxy, John Lane, London, pp. 204–205, 1927.

Genesis records many things that are foundational to the truthfulness of the Bible.

Genesis records many things that are foundational to the truthfulness of the Bible.

The beginning of the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1)

The beginning of the human race (Gen 1:27)

The beginning of the institution of marriage (Gen 2:24)

The beginning of sin into our world (Gen 3:1-7)

The beginning of the plan of salvation for humanity (Gen 3:15)

The beginning of the human family (Gen 4:1-15)

The beginning of godless civilizations (Gen 6:1-7)

The beginning of the various nations (Gen 10:1-32)

The beginning of different languages (Gen 11:1-9)

The beginning of the covenant people (Gen 12:1-3)

Genesis is foundational to the Gospel.

Why Was Genesis Written?

Should Genesis 1-11 be interpreted literally? Covered..

Why was the book of Genesis written?

Where Did The Title Come From?

In ancient times a book was usually named after its first two or three words. Genesis was no exception.

The Book of Genesis, like nearly the entire Old Testament, was written in Hebrew.

The Hebrew title of the book is Bereshith, which means in the beginning.

The Old Testament was eventually translated from Hebrew into Greek about 250 B.C.

https:// www.blueletterbible.org

Why Was Genesis Written?

Greek Name Genesis

This translation, known as the Septuagint (meaning seventy and designated LXX), was made so that the people could have the Word of God in their native language-Greek.

The Greek translators gave the book their own title, Genesis.

The name was derived from the heading of the book's ten divisions.

The Greek word is identical to the English title.

The word Genesis can be translated as history of, origin, birth, generation, or genealogy.

Why Was Genesis Written?

Two Main Divisions The Book of Genesis can be divided into two main sections- Genesis 1-11 and Genesis 12-50.

The first section can be described as primeval history. The major events covered include: the Creation of the universe and humanity, the Fall of Man, the Flood of Noah, and the confusion of the languages at the Tower of Babel.

Abraham’s Story. The first eleven chapters, which cover a period of about two thousand years, are preparatory to the main part of the story - God's dealings with His covenant people Israel, those who descended from Abraham through his son Isaac

Why Was Genesis Written?

Why Was Genesis Written?

As the Greek name implies, the purpose of the book is to trace the beginnings of history.

The Old Testament documents the history of the Hebrew people.

It relates the promises that God made to Abraham.

Abraham's descendants would receive a land of promise that would be an everlasting possession for them.

The Bible records the supernatural beginning of this nation with the birth of Isaac

Why Was Genesis Written?

Down To Egypt It then chronicles their history as eventually seventy of them went down to Egypt.

The Scripture records their miraculous delivery from Egypt, some four hundred years later and their journey on the way to the Promised Land. As the nation was on their way to the Land of Promise certain questions would naturally arise among the people.

Where did their nation come from?

What promises were made to Abraham and his descendants?

Where did they live?

What was the nation's special relationship to God?

Why Was Genesis Written?

The Origin Of All Things Further questions would arise.

Where did the patriarchs come from?

Where did humanity originate?

How did the universe begin?

Where did animal and plant life come from?

Did God create the universe for a purpose?

What was the origin of marriage and family?

How did the world get to be so evil?

Why is humanity now in an alienated relationship with God? All these questions are answered with the writing of the Book of Genesis.

Why Was Genesis Written?

Selective Accounts

The viewpoint of Genesis is not that of the modern historian who gathers his material and arranges it in a chronological order.

The writer, or compiler, of the Book of Genesis was selective in the material that he used.

The purpose of the author is to present a brief outline of the history of divine revelation up to the beginning of the national life of Israel.

The creation account, for example, is not a complete account of all things that occurred in the beginning.

The events recorded fit the author's purpose and set the stage for the momentous things that were to follow.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

For instance, here we have the character for "mother". The radical is the red portion. If you were to look up this radical, you would see the definition is "woman". So right away, we know this character will have something to do with a woman

What is a Radical?

If a Chinese character was referred to as a "map" to find the definition of a Chinese word, then the radical would be the "key" to help you read that map. You can look at a Chinese Character and divide it into sections. It could have one or more radicals making up the entire character. Each radical has a set definition. Which means you can use the radicals definition to help you understand the entire characters definition (even if you don't know how to pronounce it).

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

Written Chinese arises from the beginning of Chinese civilization, which dates back about 4200 years.

This means that the Chinese script was developed about 700 years before Moses edited the book of Genesis (1500 BC).

We can recognize Chinese calligraphy when we see it.

What many of us don’t know is that the ideograms or pictures of Chinese ‘words’ are constructed from simpler pictures called radicals.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

It is very similar to how in English we take simple words (like ‘fire’ and ‘truck’) and combine them into compound words (‘firetruck’).

Chinese calligraphy has changed very little in thousands of years. We know this from script that is found on ancient pottery and bone artefacts.

Only in the 20th century with the rise of the Chinese communist party has the script been simplified.

Today there is a simplified script and a traditional script, with the traditional script going far back in time.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

So, for example, take the Chinese ideogram for the abstract concept ‘first’. It is shown here.

So what this means is that a long time ago (around 4200 years ago) when the first Chinese scribes were forming the Chinese calligraphy they joined radicals with the meaning of ‘alive’+’dust’/ ’soil’+’man’ => ‘first’.

The connection alongside the creation account is striking.

Genesis 2:7. The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

The radicals for ‘dust’ + ‘breath of mouth’ + ‘alive’ are combined to make the ideogram ‘to talk’.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

But then ‘to talk’ is itself combined with ‘walking’ to form ‘create’. What is the innate connection between ‘dust’, ‘breath of mouth’, ‘alive’, ‘walking’ and ‘create’ that would cause the ancient Chinese to use this construction?

This also bears a striking parallel with Genesis 2:7.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

Garden!?

What is the innate relationship between gardens and devils?

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

Yet the ancient Chinese then built on this by then combining ‘devil’ with ‘two trees’ for ‘tempter’!

Chinese: ‘Devil’ + under ‘cover’ + ‘2 trees’ = ‘tempter’ So the ‘devil’ under the cover of ‘two trees’ is the ‘tempter’. Why two trees? What does ‘gardens’ and ‘trees’ have to do with ‘devils’ and ‘tempters’?

Compare now with the Genesis account:

Genesis 2:8-9. The LORD God had planted a garden in the east… in the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

To ‘desire’ or ‘covet’ is again connected with a ‘woman’ and ‘two trees’.

Why not relate ‘desire’ in a sexual sense with ‘woman’? That would be a natural relation.

But the Chinese did not do so. The Genesis account though does show a relation between ‘covet’, ‘two trees’ and ‘woman’.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

Testimony of ancient Chinese calligraphy.

Consider another remarkable parallel. The Chinese ideogram for ‘big boat’ is shown below. The radicals that construct this ideogram are also shown:

Chinese: Big boat = ‘eight’ + ‘persons’ + ‘vessel’ They are ‘eight’ ‘people’ in a ‘vessel’. If I was going to depict a big boat why not have 3000 people in a vessel. Why eight? Interesting, in the biblical account of the flood there are eight people in Noah’s Ark

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)




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