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Print Version Main Index : Commentaries : Wesley's Notes : Genesis Index : Introduction

Introduction to Genesis
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The Holy Bible, or Book, is so called by way of eminency, as it is the best book that ever was written. The great things of God's law and gospel are here written, that they might be reduced to a greater certainty, might spread farther, remain longer, and be transmitted to distant places and ages, more pure and entire than possibly they could be by tradition. That part of the Bible which we call the Old Testament, contains the acts and monuments of the church from the creation, almost to the coming of Christ in the flesh, which was about four thousand years: the truths then revealed, the laws enacted, the prophecies given, and the chief events that concerned the church. This is called a testament or covenant, because it was a declaration of the will of God concerning man in a federal way, and had its force from the designed death of the great testator, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, (Re 13:8) - 'Tis called the Old Testament with relation to the New, which doth not cancel, but crown and perfect it, by bringing in that better hope which was typified and foretold in it. This part of the Old Testament we call the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses. These books were, probably, the first that ever were written; for we have no mention of any writing in all the book of Genesis, nor 'till God bid Moses write, (Ex 17:14). and set him his copy in the writing of the ten commandments upon the tables of stone. However, we are sure these books are the most ancient writings now extant. The first of these, which we call Genesis, Moses probably wrote in the wilderness, after he had been in the mount with God. And as he framed the tabernacle, so he did the more excellent and durable fabric of this book, according to the pattern shewed him in the mount: into which it is better to resolve the certainty of the things herein contained, than into any tradition which possibly might be handed down to the family of Jacob. - Genesis is a name borrowed from the Greek: it signifies the original or generation: fitly is this book so called, for it is a history of originals; the creation of the world, the entrance of sin and death into it, the invention of arts, the rise of nations, and especially the planting of the church, and the state of it in its early days. 'Tis also a history of generations, the generations of Adam, Noah, Abraham, &c. - The beginning of the New Testament is called Genesis too, (Mt 1:1), the book of the Genesis, or generation of Jesus Christ. Lord, open our eyes, that we may see the wondrous things both of thy law and gospel!

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Genesis Index | Table of Contents
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