Era 1: Early World

Introduction: This era covers The Book of Genesis 1-11


The First Book of Moses Commonly Called Genesis

AUTHOR AND DATE:

  • The first five books of the Old Testament are collectively known as the PENTATEUCH, the BOOKS OF MOSES, the TORAH, or Law, of MOSES

  • Genesis is the first of these five books.

  • The Pentateuch are an assembly of materials composed over several centuries before finally being compiled, rearranged, and edited into their present form around the 6th Century B.C.

AUDIENCE:

  • Genesis and the other books of the Pentateuch were compiled in their present form for the people of Israel after they had returned from the Babylonian Exile in the 6th Century B.C. They were then under Persian rule, and the proclamation of the Law of Moses represented a means to restore Israel’s faith, practice, and worship over and against the culture of paganism.

MAIN THEMES:

  • Genesis can be seen as comprising

  • two main parts: The Story of Creation, and the History of the Patriarchs

  • The narrative is not scientific or historical but uses literary images and symbolic language to express fundamental truths about God, the nature of humanity, and sin.

  • God is the eternal Creator of Heaven and earth.

  • Man and woman were created in the image and likeness of God in a state of original holiness and justice and were endowed with FREE WILL.

  • Woman was created as equal with and complementary to man.

  • Our first parents were created in a state of marriage, which is a faithful and exclusive union oriented toward the generation and education of children.

  • Adam and Eve misused their free will to choose sin and disobedience and as a consequence lost their original state of HOLINESS and JUSTICE.

  • As a result of Original Sin, they suffered concupiscence (addiction to sin), suffering and death, and the transmission of Original Sin to their descendants.

  • God promised to send a redeemer, yet people descended deeper into sin and became lost and corrupt.

  • The second part of Genesis (Ch 11-50) involves the history of the patriarchs of Israel, beginning with Abraham and continuing to the death of Joseph in Egypt.

  • This is where the central theme of Genesis emerges: GOD HAS MADE ISRAEL HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO PREPARE THEM FOR THE COMING MESSIAH.

  • In Genesis it is the patriarchs who remain faithful to God and serve as bearers of His Covenant. They will prepare the way for the next stage of Revelation. (*The Didache Bible RSV-CE, Ignatius Edition 2006)



  • What is THE story of The Bible?

  • If you have never read The Bible before, don’t worry

  • There are 12 time periods in Salvation History

  • All books are inspired, but not equal

  • Certain books are narrative

  • Certain books are prophetic

  • Certain books are poetry etc

  • This study contains the 14 Narrative books of Salvation History

  • The other 59 books will be put into historical context of the main 14 books at times by Fr Mike i.e Psalms, Job etc

  • You will encounter themes and patterns that will be revisited at different points this year

  • This era is the history of the early world, but not in the way we are used to

  1. The Beginning

  2. Creation of the world

  3. Creation of Adam and Eve

  4. The Fall

  5. The Consequences of the Fall

  6. Where we go from there

  • This book is written in Hebrew poetry form

  • This does not make it less historical

  • The Patriarch Era is more of a linear history as opposed to poetry

  • Gen 1-11 is “Pre-history” and Gen 12-50 is “History”

  • All of the creation story is just a few hundred words

  • God has created a place for his greatest creation, mankind, to dwell and He is going to have a relationship with Adam and Eve in the garden and then it all goes south from there

  • The key to the beginning of creation is that there is no form and it is void

  • The first 3 days deal with the formlessness

  1. First Day: God creates TIME

  2. Second Day: God creates SPACE

  3. Third Day: God creates LAND and SEAS


Here is an interesting thing about God creating light on the first day:

From “Exorcism: The Battle Against Satan and His Demons by Fr Vincent Lampert” (Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis)


There is no biblical account of the creation of the angels. Much of our understanding of the angelic order comes to us from one of the great saints of the Church, St. Augustine. His works, The Literal Meaning of Genesis (AD 404–412) and The City of God (AD 413–427), provide us with an interesting reflection on the creation of angels. In the Book of Genesis we read, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (1:3–5). From this passage, St. Augustine believed that the light first created by God that was found to be good was the angelic order. When the light was separated into day and night St. Augustine saw this as the judgment of the angelic order because the separation was not stated to be good. God’s angelic order had now been separated into angels and demons.


WHOA…..



  • On Days 4, 5, and 6 God FILLS the space

  1. Day 4: God creates the sun, moon, and stars

  2. Day 5: God creates the birds and fish

  3. Day 6: God creates the land creatures and Man

  • Adam and Eve are different from any other type of creation, they are created in the image and likeness of God:

  1. They have free will

  2. They can reason

  3. They have the capacity to love and sacrifice

  • At the beginning of their story, they are warned about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

  • The meaning of “The Knowledge of Good and Evil” is disputed:

  1. According to some it signifies control over morality and moral autonomy which would be inappropriate for mere human beings; the phrase would thus mean refusal to accept the human condition and finite freedom that God gave them

  2. According to others, it is more broadly the knowledge of what is helpful and harmful to humankind, suggesting that the attainment of adult experience and responsibility inevitably means the loss of a life of simple subordination to God (*NABRE 3rd ed Catholic Study Bible)

  • In the next chapter, Satan shows up and sows doubt in Adam and Eve.

  • This leads to The Fall

  • The reason for The Fall is not the fruit

  • The heart of original sin was that Pride came in and that they believed that they didn’t need God and lost their trust in Him. (I know better than God)

  • They grasped for the CREATION instead of the CREATOR

  • Once you make THE CREATION greater than the CREATOR, that is IDOLATRY

  • The Good News is that God has a plan and The Fall was NOT the end

  • Gen 3:15: God alludes to His plan (I will put enmity between you and the woman and your offspring and hers……..)

  • Original sin escalates quickly (Pride to fratricide and onwards)

  • We took all of God’s goodness and distorted it

  • We didn’t NEED to, but we CHOSE to

  • The Fall changed Adam and Eve’s relationship with God and each other:

  1. They were afraid of God (not the same as God-fearing)

  2. They didn’t trust God

  3. They didn’t trust each other

  4. They no longer saw themselves as stewards of creation

  • This period after The Fall will eventually lead to The Flood

  • The Flood is the story of reality, and the result of, sin in our lives

  • The remedy for the brokenness of mankind is extremely radical (God becomes one of us and pays the price for us)

  • At the end of the story, we will find the solution to the problem in another garden (spoiler alert ;) )


The Psalms

AUTHOR AND DATE:

  • Nearly half of the 150 psalms are attributed to King David.

  • A smaller number are credited to various Temple cantors, one psalm each is ascribed to Solomon and Moses, and a large number have no named author at all.


  • The Book of Psalms, or Psalter, represents an eclectic collection of poetry, prayers, and hymns composed and revised between the establishment of the Davidic monarchy in around 1000 B.C. to the compilation in its present form in 2nd Century B.C.


AUDIENCE:

  • The Psalms grew out of the prayer life of Israel and were designed for liturgical use and worship as well as private devotion.


MAIN THEMES:

  • The Psalter comprises 150 psalms of praise to God, each of which expresses something about God or the person or people praying and their relationship with God.

  • Some are addressed directly to God, while others speak of God in the third person.

  • They reveal much about the faith of the people of Israel and always harmonize with the Law and the prophets.

  • They reflect upon salvation history, what God has done for his people, their current situation, and God’s providence for the future. (*The Didache Bible RSV-CE, Ignatius Edition, 2006)