Old Testament
Salvation History
The Promise of Salvation is
initiated through God’s interaction
with His people, the Israelites
Pentateuch
First Five Books of the Bible
• In Hebrew known as the “Torah”
• Written by many authors in 4 writing traditions, taken
from oral and early written stories
• Begins with creation and ends with the death of Moses
• Gives the religious history of humankind, particularly
the chosen people, and God’s basic moral expectations.
• It is the core or center of the Old Testament and contains
myth like stories, genealogies, and codes of law.
• It is important to both the Jewish and Christian faiths
since it reveals much about God and his relationship
with and expectations of humanity
Authorship of the Pentateuch
• It was originally thought that Moses had written
the books of the Pentateuch
• It has been established, however, that many
different writers recorded these books
• The many different writers brought their own
styles to their writing and these styles have been
sorted into 4 writing traditions
Book of Genesis
“The Beginnings”
A Book of Beginnings
• Beginning of the world and everything in it
▫ Responsibility
▫ Privilege
▫ Promises made
• Beginning of God’s chosen people
▫ Fulfillment of promises begins
▫ Abraham
▫ Covenant
Primeval History
• Chapters 1-11
▫ The Creation Stories
▫ The Fall of Man &
God’s Promise
▫ Continuation of sin
▫ Sin multiplies
▫ Social Sin
Creation Stories
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God made all things good. (…and God saw that it was good)
God gives and sustains life
God made us responsible for each other and the environment
God gave us human sexuality
▫ To bond with a lifelong marriage partner
▫ To procreate
Humans are made in the image and likeness of God.
▫ Male and female are equal but different
▫ We are to see God in others and reflect God to others
Humans share the same organic substance as all creation
Humans have free will
Humans are made to be relational
▫ With God
▫ With others
• When we try to be like God without God there are consequences
Human Beings
• Summit of Creation: God made humans for Himself
and everything else for humans
▫ Human Dignity (…and God saw that it was very good)
 Made in God’s image and likeness
▫ Immortal Soul
 God breathed into the human His breath
▫ Reason
▫ Free Will
 Choose to do right or wrong
▫ Stewardship
 Care for all creation
▫ Human Sexuality
 Binding love
 Procreation
The Fall
• The original sin
▫ The first humans give in to the temptation of
evil in the garden and disobey God
• Results of this action:
▫ Loss of relationship with God
▫ Loss of harmony between man and woman,
humans and nature
▫ Suffering and death enter the world
▫ Following generations are born with
concupiscence (the weakness toward sin)
• Hope of redemption
▫ God promises to send someone to crush evil
 (Gen. 3:15)
Concupiscence
• Sin continues
▫ Cain and Abel
• Sin multiplies
▫ Noah
• Sin becomes societal
▫ Tower of Babel
Salvation History
• Begins with the “protoevangelium”, the
promise of a savior to crush evil and restore
original holiness. (Gen. 3:15)
• Continues with the beginning of God’s
people. The call to Abram to become the
Father of a great nation, Israel
Age of the Patriarchs
• Chapters 12-50, Origins of the Chosen People of
God
▫ Begins with the story of Abram
 Introduces the covenant made with Abram
 The fulfillment of the promises made to Abram
 God is not limited by human boundaries
▫ Continues with Isaac
 God is not limited by human boundaries
▫ The account of Esau and Jacob
 God’s plan overcomes human sin and weakness
▫ Ends with the accounts of Joseph
 God brings good from evil
 Divine Providence
Covenant with Abraham
• Land (Gen.15:18-21)
• Great Nation (Gen.12: 1-3)
▫ Israelites
▫ Ishmaelites
• Descendents (Gen.15.4-6)
• Change of name, (signifies a
change of life)
▫ Abram= Abraham
▫ Sarai= Sarah
• Faith
▫ Sarah conceives
▫ Abraham is willing to
sacrifice Isaac to God
• Circumcision, Blood covenant
▫ All Jewish men must be
circumcised.
Covenant is renewed in Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph
• God keeps his promises (All)
Messages
▫ Generations are born and nations are formed
• God has power over nature (All)
▫ Barren women conceive and give birth
• God has power over earthly rules (All)
▫ The firstborn is not the heir
• God’s plan overcomes human sin and weakness (Jacob)
▫ God uses sinful people to accomplish his plan
• Trickery leads to more of the same (Jacob)
▫ Jacob is repaid with trickery when his father-in-law gives him the
wrong daughter as a wife
• Divine Providence (Joseph)
▫ God’s active presence in our lives especially in times of distress
• God brings good from evil (Joseph)
▫ Joseph is sold (ends up in Egypt)
▫ Joseph is wrongly accused and imprisoned (his gift is discovered)