Skilled story-writers bookend their stories so that the beginning already anticipates its fulfillment in the ending, often with a complex and attention-riveting plot unfolding between the two. That is exactly how God tells his story of Creation to New Creation in the pages of Scripture. It means, however, that being clear about the early episodes in the Journey through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is crucial to making sense of the whole. Here lie the foundations of everything that follows in the divine drama that unfolds throughout the rest of the Bible.
In this course we will introduce the study of the Old Testament generally, the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) as a whole, and Genesis specifically, before embarking on a close reading and detailed consideration of the Bible’s “Beginnings” in chapters 1-11. We will give special attention to how the story of Creation and its corruption and of God’s initial plans for restoration establish the contours for the whole Bible. Included will be discussions on what the Creation story reveals about God and nature, the image of God, God’s design for a work-rest rhythm of life, God’s plan for marriage and family, the essence of original sin, the story of Cain and Abel, the nature and function of genealogies in the Bible, the account of Noah and the flood, and the revolt at the Tower of Babel. Whether for personal enrichment or formal teaching or more thoughtful engagement within the community of other Scripture readers, this course is designed to lay the foundations for making sense of the Bible from the Church’s perspective and for living and proclaiming its life-transforming message.
- Sacred Scripture, the Bible (preferably RSVCE 2nd edition)
- Instructor’s notes (provided and included in the registration cost)
- Hahn, Scott and Curtis Mitch. The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: Genesis. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2010.
- Welcome to Genesis 1-11: The Story of Creation to Corruption
- The Critical Study of the Pentateuch - A summary of past and recent scholarship on who wrote the first five books of the Bible
- The Plan of the Pentateuch
- Reading the Pentateuch as Narrative: The Art of Biblical Story
Classroom Location & Directions