The Bible, composed of two testaments, the Old Testament and the New Testament, is the complete written divine revelation of God to man. The major revelation in the entire Bible is the unique divine economy of the unique Triune God (Eph. 1:10; 3:9; 1 Tim. 1:4). The centrality and universality of this divine economy is the all-inclusive and unsearchably rich Christ as the embodiment and expression of the Triune God (Col. 2:9; 1:15-19; John 1:18). The goal of the divine economy is the church as the Body, the fullness, the expression, of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23; 3:8-11), which will consummate in the New Jerusalem as the union, mingling, and incorporation of the processed and consummated Triune God and His redeemed, regenerated, transformed, and glorified tripartite people. The accomplishing of the divine economy is revealed in the Bible progressively in many steps, beginning with God’s creation in Gen. 1, Gen. 2 and consummating with the New Jerusalem in Rev. 21, Rev. 22. In the Old Testament the contents of God’s economy are revealed mainly in types, figures, and shadows, whereas in the New Testament all the types, figures, and shadows are fulfilled and realized. Thus, the Old Testament is a figurative portrait of God’s eternal economy, and the New Testament is the practical fulfillment.
Genesis, adopted by the Septuagint as the title of this book, is a Latin word meaning giving of birth, origin. As the first book in the Bible, Genesis gives birth to and is the origin of the divine truths in the holy Word. Thus, the seeds of the divine truths are sown in this book. These seeds grow and develop in the succeeding books, especially in the New Testament, and are finally harvested in the last book, the book of Revelation.
The book of Genesis is a miniature of the complete revelation of the entire Bible. It begins with a man created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26) and ends with a man called Israel (Gen. 32:28; 48:2), a transformed person, a man not only outwardly in the image of God but a man in whom God has wrought Himself, making him His expression. The transformed Israel is a seed, a miniature, of the New Jerusalem.
Apparently, chs. 1—2 of Genesis are merely a record of creation; actually, nearly every item in the record of these two chapters is a revelation of Christ, who is life to God’s people (John 1:1, 4; 11:25; 14:6) for the producing and building up of the church. Chapters 3—50 present biographies of eight great persons in two groups of four, representing two races of men: Adam, Abel, Enoch, and Noah, representing the created race, and Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, representing the called race. What is recorded is not primarily the works of these men but mainly their life, their living, and their way with God. In Genesis God uses both the record of creation and the biographies of eight persons to reveal the life that fulfills His purpose.