The title “Genesis” is a transliteration of the Greek word which is the title of the book of Genesis in the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament. In the Hebrew text, the word Bereshith, is the first word of the text, being translated, “in the beginning.”
There can scarcely be another part of Scripture over which so many battles, theological, scientific, historical and literary, have been fought, or so many strong opinions cherished.
God’s inspired Word was set forth through various literary genres, such as poetry in the Psalms, prophecy in Daniel and Revelation, and historical narrative in many books of the Bible. The Gospels and the book of Acts are historical books, detailing the words and work of Jesus and His disciples. Real people are mentioned. Real cities are described. Real events are recorded for us to read. Much of the Old Testament is a record of history, and that is easily seen in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible.
However, the events in the first eleven chapters of Genesis—particularly creation, the Fall, and the Flood—have made certain Christian teachers so uncomfortable that they now are seeking to deny the undeniable. But this attack on Genesis is not new.
Genesis 1:1 is clearly one of the greatest apologetics in all of Scripture, for if we stumble here, we cannot, or will not, appreciate God in the rest of the Bible. Accepting God as Creator demands our acceptance of Him as Judge, and that is exactly why many refuse to acknowledge that God exists, for doing so obligates them to deal with their sin before a righteous Judge.
The Bible is an uncomfortable, yet undeniable book. From beginning to end, what is revealed about God Himself, His creation, His dealings with mankind, and His plans for the future makes sinful human beings squirm.
For the unredeemed, separation from God drives them into hiding, like it did Adam and Eve in the Garden. Of course, we know that we can never truly hide from the all-knowing Creator. Adam and Eve could not. Cain could not. And the billion-plus humans on the earth at the time of the global Flood could not.
But for the redeemed, the Bible is a book of hope. It gives us assurance. It soothes us with God’s comfort. It enlightens us with God’s plans and purposes for now and into eternity. From the very first verse, God has revealed Himself in such a way as to cause us to lift our hearts in wonder and praise and thanksgiving.