Genesis (Part 13)

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • “Spiritual truths and scientific accuracy do not have anything to do with each other.” What does Dr. Jeannie mean by this, and how does it relate to the following questions:¬†Where did Cain’s wife come from (Genesis 4:17)?¬†Did the people in Genesis really live for hundreds and hundreds of years? (Genesis 5:5; 5:8; 5:11; 5:14; 5:17; 5:20; 5:23) What happened to Enoch (Genesis 5:24)? What does the Bible mean when it talks about the “sons of God marrying the daughters of men” (Genesis 6:2)?¬†How does St. John Chrysostom answer these questions?¬†How does Dr. Jeannie encourage us to approach questions like these? (Hint: Your answer to these questions depends on your attitude towards the Bible. In other words, was the Bible given to us by God to provide a history of the world… or was it given to us for another purpose?)
  • We’re going to face a lot of uncomfortable details in our study of the Old Testament. How does Dr. Jeannie suggest we deal with them?
  • There are two people in the Bible who are described as never having died: Elijah (4 Kingdoms 2:11; 1 Maccabees 2:58) and Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24). From Enoch’s story, how does St. John Chrysostom draw the conclusion that marriage and the bringing up of children are not necessarily obstacles to living a life of virtue or a life pleasing to God?
  • What very common interpretation was made (and still is) for Genesis 6:2 and Genesis 6:4, and how does St. John Chrysostom use a careful study of Scripture to refute this “absurd” interpretation?
  • According to St. John Chrysostom, what group of men is being called “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2 and Genesis 6:4?
  • According to St. John Chrysostom, what does is mean that “daughters were born to them that were beautiful” (Genesis 6:2) and what lesson can be drawn from this when it comes to choosing a spouse?
  • According to St. John Chrysostom, what does it mean that “their days shall be one hundred and twenty years” (Genesis 6:3)?
  • According to St. John Chrysostom, what does it mean that “there were giants on the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4) and how does he interpret this verse to show yet another example of God’s love for us?
We’re always looking for ideas to get the most out of Dr. Jeannie’s lessons. With this in mind, the following questions were provided by Marianna Sayeg from the Bible study group at¬†St. Mary’s Orthodox Church¬†in Cambridge, MA. These questions are related to both Genesis (Part 12) and Genesis (Part 13).

Review Questions:

  1. What was the important difference between Cain and Abel’s offerings to God? Why did God accept Abel’s offering and reject Cain’s?
  2. How does God try to prevent Cain from killing Abel? How is God’s response to Cain’s sin similar to his response to Adam and Eve’s Fall?
  3. How is Cain’s reaction and punishment different than the Fall?
  4. Where did Cain’s wife come from? Why did people live to be 900 years old in Noah’s time?
  5. What is the lesson to be learned from Enoch’s story?
  6. How do we know that the “sons of God” who married the beautiful “daughters of men” were not angels?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think Cain really knew the gravity of what it would mean to kill Abel?
  2. What do you think of the notion that there were two lineages, “the ungodly line of Cain and the godly line found in Seth?”
  3. How do we know which elements of the Bible are irrelevant “little things” that we should not focus on, and which are the nuances that influence meaning?
  4. If Genesis 6 is talking about humans, why would the author call men “the sons of God” but women “the daughters of men?”

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