August 12, 2007
GENESIS 1-11 AND THE APOSTLE PAUL
It might come as a surprise that Paul had more to say about the events of Genesis 1-11 (excepting creation) than the other Bible writers combined. It is amazing that so little is said about so important a portion. It covers only 18 pages in my Bible of over 1900 pages. In Ussher’s Annals of the World he covers this portion with only 18 pages of nearly 900.
Genesis 1-11 covers about 2000 years, from Adam to Abraham. Adam’s name appears 18 times in Genesis and once in Deuteronomy. In the rest of the Bible it appears only ten more times, seven of which are by Paul. Abraham’s name appears just over 300 times in the Bible. After the book of Acts, 30 of the 33 times Abraham appears are by Paul.
In Romans 1 Paul indicted the Gentiles for it was at Babel that Noah’s descendants joined to make themselves a name and build a city and tower to worship of the sun, moon and stars. This last task of the united human race ended with the judgment of God, confusing their languages.
Of these idolatrous tower-builder Paul wrote, “...though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God ...” into idolatrous graven images (Rom. 1:21-23 NASV). Thus “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity...God gave them over to degrading passions... And...God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper...” (Rom. 1:24,26,28 NASV). God then chose Abraham and his seed to be His channel of light and blessing to the whole world, even the Gentiles He had concluded in unbelief.
Paul turned away from the deeds of a guilty world to show the cause of it all. He tells of Adam in Eden and shows that “by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Therefore, “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's trans-gression, who is the figure of Him that was to come” (Rom. 5:12-14). “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22).
Ivan L. Burgener