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Introduction to the Pentateuch

Posted by Gary Labels:

It's been a goal of mine to do a comprehensive study of the first five books of the Bible. They are the foundation of who our God is, and contain revelation about life, death, marriage, justice, grace, mercy, and faith. The stories highlight human experience and, taken together, these books tell one ongoing story.

Although we identify with Noah, or Abraham, or Moses, the main character of the Pentateuch is God. Throughout the first eleven chapters of Genesis, God acts in direct relation to all of humanity. When mankind scatters, God picks one person -- Abraham, and begins a new promise and blessing with Abraham and his descendants. The one continual theme throughout the Torah is covenant. Specifically, God's covenant promises given in Genesis 12-17. How will God intervene when something happens that threatens that promise coming true? How will God act when Israel goes to Egypt, becomes enslaved, and forgets the Lord their god? Quite a bit of the Torah is filled with cliff-hanging moments of suspense where we're left to wonder just how God will rectify the situation. His responses are breathtakingly amazing. His faithfulness stretches to the skies and beyond -- no one can measure His goodness.

Truthfully, Christians seem to neglect these books, except to use Genesis in relation to marriage. What a shame! Let's revive the flame of passion for these books. They've earned their place in the Bible and are not just extra weight.

For this study, I rely on my NIV Study Bible, an NASB Life Application Study Bible, an ESV Literary Study Bible, and I rely heavily on Alexander Hamilton's Handbook on the Pentateuch, which Josh Kingcade had us buy for our Pentateuch class at OC. I highly recommend this book to all of you, though you won't need it to follow my study.

So, here are the links! Check back often, because this note will be updated as I complete more and more notes.

Genesis Overview
Exodus Overview
Leviticus Overview
Numbers Overview
Deuteronomy Overview