In adult Sunday School, we have spent the school year studying Genesis 1-3. There are numerous ways you can study this important section of Scripture: you can ask questions of historicity, questions of application, questions of theology. We chose to study it solely from the perspective of how these three chapters shape the rest of the Bible’s story and Israel’s identity.
To finish out the series, we are going to read the rest of Genesis in large sections. As we read the story we will look for the motifs and imagery we’ve become acquainted with in Genesis 1-3. We will see if they get repeated in the lives of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph. Below is the schedule. Yes, it’s a lot of reading, but it will be fun to think of 30 other people reading the same Scriptures as you all week long.
Each week you should read the selected section and we will discuss it on the date below.
February 26: Genesis 4-11
March 5: Genesis 12-14
March 12: Genesis 15-17
March 19: Genesis 18
March 26: Spring Break
April 2: Genesis 19-20
April 9: Genesis 21
April 16: Genesis 22
April 23: Genesis 23-24
April 30: Genesis 25-26
May 7: Genesis 27
May 14: Genesis 28
May 21: Genesis 29-30
May 28: Genesis 31-33 (Jacob & Esau)
June 4: Genesis 32:22-32 (Wrestling the Angel)
June 11: Genesis 34
June 18: General Assembly Update
June 25: Genesis 35
July: No Sunday School
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Here are some questions to consider as you read, and questions we’ll discuss each week in Sunday School. No need to keep notes while you read or mark down verses. I will ask these each week and it should jog your memory enough…
- Did you see creation imagery or language?
- What role did nature play in the story?
- Was land or paradise pictured?
- What was mankind’s role/work in the story?
- Were there elements of dominion, or lack thereof?
- How was the husband/wife relationship pictured?
- Was there deception like the serpent?
- Did characters fight to be like God as Eve did?
- Did the characters do what Eve was supposed to do?
- Was there a relationship between the main character and “the Nations?”
- Where did you see strife in the story?
- Did you see other elements of the curse?
- Did you see God’s promise?
- Was the promise of salvation outside human hands/effort?
THE LARGER RATIONALE:
We believe the Bible was meant to be read. The piecemeal approach to reading Scripture can pay spiritual dividends, but it also tends to focus the story on us, rather than on the God who stands over the story. We sometimes use the Bible like medicine or therapy, just to get us through the day. This is God’s Word, not ours. It is his speech, not our therapy. Reading the Bible in large, sweeping chunks can help us see more of what he is doing rather than simply the obstacles we face.
As we’ve mentioned before, modern Bibles with their verses, chapters, and headings tend to focus us towards reading small sections of Scripture and “saving” good quotes for later. While that is incredibly helpful, so is reading the Bible without such markings, even though it’s a bit disorienting at first. Here are some fun options for your true reading pleasure:
The ESV app for the iPhone and iPad has a reader mode that can be switched on and off. This reader mode gets rid of all verse numbers and headings. It discreetly keeps chapter numbers.
The ESV Reader’s Bible is a one volume Bible that costs about $20 on Amazon Prime. Much like the app, it has chapters but no headings or verses. It uses a font and paper that are easier to read than your normal Bible. They have a version of the gospels as well.
The pinnacle of all of this is the six volume Bible in the ESV. It costs about $120 and is wonderful. There are no headings, chapters, or verses. It has larger print and better paper than the one volume version. I can sit and read this for significantly longer than I can a regular Bible. It has a hefty price tag and not for everyone, but it’s amazing if you can justify it.