Author: The author of the Book of Genesis is not identified.  Traditionally, the author has always assumed to have been Moses. There is no  conclusive reason to deny the Mosaic authorship of Genesis.

Date  of Writing: The Book of Genesis does not state when it was written.  The date of authorship is likely between 1440 and 1400 B.C., between the time  Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and his death.

Purpose of  Writing: The Book of Genesis has sometimes been called the “seed-plot”  of the entire Bible. Most of the major doctrines in the Bible are introduced in  “seed” form in the Book of Genesis. Along with the fall of man, God’s promise of  salvation or redemption is recorded (Genesis  3:15). The doctrines of creation, imputation of sin, justification,  atonement, depravity, wrath, grace, sovereignty, responsibility, and many more  are all addressed in this book of origins called Genesis.

Many of the  great questions of life are answered in Genesis. (1) Where did I come from? (God  created us – Genesis 1:1)  (2) Why am I here? (we are here to have a relationship with God – Genesis 15:6) (3) Where am  I going? (we have a destination after death – Genesis  25:8). Genesis appeals to the scientist, the historian, the theologian, the  housewife, the farmer, the traveler, and the man or woman of God. It is a  fitting beginning for God’s story of His plan for mankind, the  Bible.

Key Verses: Genesis 1:1,  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Genesis 3:15, “And I will  put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he  will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Genesis 12:2-3, “I will  make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great,  and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses  you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through  you.”

Genesis  50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish  what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Brief Summary:  The Book of Genesis can be divided into two sections: Primitive  History and Patriarchal History. Primitive history records (1) Creation (Genesis  chapters 1-2); (2) the Fall of man (Genesis chapters 3-5); (3) the Flood  (Genesis chapters 6-9); and (4) the dispersion (Genesis chapters 10-11).  Patriarchal history records the lives of four great men: (1) Abraham (Genesis  12-25:8); (2) Isaac (Genesis  21:1-35-29); (3) Jacob (Genesis  25:21-50:14); and (4) Joseph (Genesis  30:22-50:26).

God created a universe that was good and free from  sin. God created humanity to have a personal relationship with Him. Adam and Eve  sinned and thereby brought evil and death into the world. Evil increased  steadily in the world until there was only one family in which God found  anything good. God sent the Flood to wipe out evil, but delivered Noah and his  family along with the animals in the Ark. After the Flood, humanity began again  to multiply and spread throughout the world.

God chose Abraham, through  whom He would create a chosen people and eventually the promised Messiah. The  chosen line was passed on to Abraham’s son Isaac, and then to Isaac’s son Jacob.  God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and his twelve sons became the ancestors of  the twelve tribes of Israel. In His sovereignty, God had Jacob’s son Joseph sent  to Egypt by the despicable actions of Joseph’s brothers. This act, intended for  evil by the brothers, was intended for good by God and eventually resulted in  Jacob and his family being saved from a devastating famine by Joseph, who had  risen to great power in Egypt.

Foreshadowings: Many New  Testament themes have their roots in Genesis. Jesus Christ is the Seed of the  woman who will destroy Satan’s power (Gen. 3:15). As  with Joseph, God’s plan for the good of mankind through the sacrifice of His Son  was intended for good, even though those who crucified Jesus intended it for  evil. Noah and his family are the first of many remnants pictured in the Bible.  Despite overwhelming odds and difficult circumstances, God always preserves a  remnant of the faithful for Himself. The remnant of Israelites returned to  Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity; God preserved a remnant through all  the persecutions described in Isaiah and Jeremiah; a remnant of 7000 priests  were hidden from the wrath of Jezebel; God promises that a remnant of Jews will  one day embrace their true Messiah (Romans 11). The faith displayed by Abraham  would be the gift of God and the basis of salvation for both Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews  11).

Practical Application: The overriding theme of  Genesis is God’s eternal existence and His creation of the world. There is no  effort on the part of the author to defend the existence of God; he simply  states that God is, always was, and always will be, almighty over all. In the  same way, we have confidence in the truths of Genesis, despite the claims of  those who would deny them. All people, regardless of culture, nationality or  language, are accountable to the Creator. But because of sin, introduced into  the world at the Fall, we are separated from Him. But through one small nation,  Israel, God’s redemptive plan for mankind was revealed and made available to  all. We rejoice in that plan.

God created the universe, the earth, and  every living being. We can trust Him to handle the concerns in our lives. God  can take a hopeless situation, e.g. Abraham and Sarah being childless, and do  amazing things if we will simply trust and obey. Terrible and unjust things may  happen in our lives, as with Joseph, but God will always bring about a greater  good if we have faith in Him and His sovereign plan. “And we know that all  things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called  according to his purpose” (Romans  8:28).