The Old Testament

A Historical, Theological, and Critical Introduction


1. Genesis

Bible Reading Guide

  1. How is creation described?
  2. What are the man’s first words?
  3. Who/what is cursed?
  4. Why is Lamech avenged?
  5. What blessing is given by Lamech to Noah?
  6. What caused the flood?
  7. How deeply did the waters cover the earth?
  8. What bird(s) did Noah send out of the ark?
  9. What was the content of God’s promise to Noah?
  10. Who was Nimrod?
  11. Why did God confuse the languages?
  12. How did Abram describe his wife to the pharaoh?
  13. Why did Abram and Lot part?
  14. To what did Abram respond by giving a tenth of everything?
  15. What were the boundaries of God’s gift of land?
  16. What did the angel promise Hagar?
  17. What sign of the covenant is instituted in Genesis 17?
  18. What was the lowest number of righteous that Abraham reached in his bargain with God?
  19. How does Zoar reckon in the story of Lot’s escape from Sodom?
  20. What did God say to Abimelech in a dream?
  21. With what did Sarah associate the name of Isaac?
  22. How does God provide for the burnt offering?
  23. How much did Abram pay for Sarah’s burial plot?
  24. What was the first thing that Abraham’s servant did when arriving at Nahor?
  25. How did Esau sell his birthright?
  26. How many new wells did Isaac and his servants dig?
  27. Where was Esau when Isaac blessed Jacob?
  28. What did Jacob promise God?
  29. To which of Laban’s daughters was Jacob first married?
  30. What did Rachel obtain from Leah as a means to have children?
  31. What did Rachel take from her father when Jacob fled?
  32. Why did God call the name of a place Peniel?
  33. What topic did Jacob and Esau discuss?
  34. Why did Jacob’s sons slaughter the citizens of Shechem?
  35. What happened at Benjamin’s birth?
  36. What was Esau’s other name?
  37. What was Reuben’s recommendation?
  38. Why did Judah say, “She is more righteous than I”?
  39. What happened in Potiphar’s house?
  40. Whose death did Joseph predict from a dream?
  41. About what was the pharaoh’s dream?
  42. What did the brothers need to do to convince Joseph that they were honest?
  43. What did Joseph’s brothers take for the second visit to Egypt?
  44. Why did Joseph demand Benjamin’s life as a slave?
  45. Why did Joseph forgive his brothers?
  46. What did God promise Jacob at Beersheba?
  47. What happened to the Egyptians under Joseph’s leadership?
  48. Which son of Joseph did Jacob give the preference in his blessing?
  49. Who is described as a fruitful vine?
  50. Why did Joseph return to Canaan?

Study Questions

  1. What is the meaning of “Genesis”?
  2. Where does the second major section of Genesis begin?
  3. How does Jacob become Israel?
  4. What sort of a figure is Joseph?
  5. How many sources to the Pentateuch did Wellhausen hypothesize?
  6. What is the circular reasoning that occurs in the Documentary Hypothesis?
  7. Following Alt’s theory, in The God of the Fathers, name some tribal “gods. ”
  8. The two creation stories parallel what in the early chapters of Genesis?
  9. What does the name of Noah resemble?
  10. What does Joseph’s rise to second in command of Egypt exemplify?
  11. What is the reason for the flood in the Atrahasis Epic?
  12. What part of Genesis identifies all peoples of the known world as equal before God?
  13. How does the Sumerian King List describe the long-lived antediluvians?
  14. From what independent countries are armies threatening in Mari and Genesis 14?
  15. Which person in Genesis appears most frequently in the rest of the Bible?
  16. What does the goodness of God affirm in creation?
  17. What does the garden of Eden anticipate?
  18. What do Abram’s life in a foreign land and Jacob’s time at Laban’s home teach?
  19. If Abraham teaches faith and Jacob hope, what does Joseph teach?