What Is the Book of Genesis About?

Time: 5 Minutes

Hey Friend!

Our editorial team wrote this book introduction for you. We hope it helps you find your bearings in the Bible story, and inspires you to open this book of the Bible!

The beginning of every story is important. It introduces the narrative trajectory, main characters, and important themes, and anticipates what is to come. Without the beginning, the middle and the end would make no sense.

We need the beginning if we’re going to get our bearings in our story. You and I were born recently in the grand scheme of reality. This world has gone on for quite some time before us, and will continue after us. It’s often hard for us to look around and understand why things are the way they are, because we find ourselves in the middle of a larger story.

The book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, starts at the beginning. My friend, if you want to understand the world around you, look no further than the opening line of the Bible: “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth” (Genesis 1:1). It all began with him, putting his pen to the paper of this world. A good, sovereign, and powerful God stands behind everything.

Originally, God created the world to be a place of fellowship for him and his creation—you and me! The beginning of God’s story tells us the good that the creator God desires to be in loving relationship with us.

Unfortunately, the first two humans, Adam and Eve, disobeyed God, and “sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Adam and Eve chose to listen to Satan, an enemy of God, rather than God. They doubted God’s Word. And the world has never been the same since.

Have you ever looked around and wondered where all the hatred, discord, disaster, and evil comes from in the world? The beginning of the Bible tells us: it comes from our disobedience to God. This world is broken and in need of healing; it’s under the curse of sin. Similarly, we are broken and in need of healing, we live under the reign of sin (Ephesians 2:1-3).

But that’s not where the story ends. This God—this good, sovereign, powerful, and merciful God, says, “I will put enmity between [Satan] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). In this prophetic word, God tells us that a child of Eve will defeat sin and the devil, right our wrongs, lift the curse, and restore our relationship with God.

The rest of Genesis anticipates the coming of this offspring. Really, that’s what the whole Old Testament looks forward to. God chooses a man, Abram, to become “the father of a multitude of nations” (Genesis 17:5). Genesis tells the story of how God provides for and protects his people, Abraham’s family, through whom the Savior of the world will come. This Savior is Jesus Christ.

The Bible is the grand epic of how God rescued his fallen creation, so that we might see his glory and goodness and enjoy him for all eternity. 

In the book of Genesis, God begins his plan to save his world. After Adam and Eve sinned, God could have started over with a creation that actually obeyed him. Instead, he sought to demonstrate to us his great love and glory by redeeming his fallen creation.

We can only appreciate the beauty of the end of the Bible if we understand the beginning. The end of the Bible says, “Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4 ESV).

The Bible is the grand epic of how God rescued his fallen creation, so that we might see his glory and goodness and enjoy him for all eternity.

The book of Genesis starts the story that you and I find ourselves in the middle of, introduces the great Author of it all, and sets the stage for the rest of history. Open it up, it’s God’s story, and it’s yours too.