GENRE: Religious Text
SUMMARY: The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and opens with one of the most famous first sentences of any literary work: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s where we find the famous stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Isaac, and a well-dressed dreamer named Joseph.
On its own, the book of Genesis reads like a string of epic stories: a semi-tragic saga of a world that just keeps going wrong, despite its Creator’s intentions. But Genesis isn’t a stand-alone book. It’s the first installment of Israel’s origin story—the history of how the nation of Israel got its population, its land, and its religion. It’s also the story of the promises God made to humans—promises that God begins to carry out through the rest of the Bible.
In fact, if the main thrust of Genesis were summed up in one verse, it would be these words that God said to Abraham:
“I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.” Genesis 17:7, NIV