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Book of Genesis

Book of Genesis

Book of Genesis Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Wait, there are two creation stories? Why? What are the differences? Reread Genesis 1:1-2:4 and 2:4-25 and tell us what you think.
  2. Are Adam and Eve total failures responsible for death and pain or culture heroes responsible for knowledge and the advancement of the arts?
  3. What concept of God or the deity emerges in the course of this text? Is it consistent throughout? Does it develop over time? What is God's relationship with other named deities or gods? What are God's modes of epiphany and how do they change as the story unfolds? Advice: pay attention to the different names and recognize polytheism when you see it.
  4. How do the women of Genesis make their way and achieve their own agendas in this male-dominated and patriarchal society?
  5. Of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Joseph's brothers, who most deserves to go to prison? Why are so many of the patriarchs crooks? What does this imply about the relationship between God's promises and human virtues or human history?
  6. God makes big promises, but what are the major problems that get in the way of their fulfillment? When the promises are fulfilled, how does it go down?
  7. Which characters costume and disguise themselves in some way? Why do they do it? What does this theme of "dress-up" imply about human society and/or the divine will?
  8. How are murder and violence treated in this text? What kind of vengeance is permitted and what kind is prohibited?
  9. How do Abraham and Jacob relate to the deity? Would you characterize them as faithful, impious, demanding, argumentative, or what?
  10. What are the sexual mores of this text? What kind of sex is good, bad, or indifferent?

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