Genesis Bible Study

Summary

The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and opens with one of the most famous first sentences of any literary work: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s where we find the famous stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Isaac, and a well-dressed dreamer named Joseph. The JournalOwl Book of Genesis Bible Study challenge will take you deep into God's Word!

Introduction

This online Genesis Bible Study group challenge will provide you with: 

  • A high-level summary of each chapter in the Book of Genesis
  • A short educational 'primer' video clip to orient your thinking before reading & writing
  • A chapter-by-chapter excerpt of the Book of Genesis w/ option to listen (audio)
  • A growing list of community-inspired journal prompt questions to answer
  • A secure & structured online journal to answer thought-provoking questions 
  • Community forums to discuss scripture with others around the world
  • Built-in quizzes to solidify your understanding and comprehension of scripture

Upgrade to Journaler+ to receive additional benefits like:

  • Private Groups: Start your own private Bible Study Group*
  • Audio option: listen to scripture each step fo the challenge
  • Unlimited Word Count: Journaler+ provides unlimited writing option for participants
  • Imagery & Video: add imagery and videos to your journal responses 

* To modify/change challenges, a Creator subscription is required to JournalOwl. 

Steps (51)

Step 1: Genesis - Chapter 1

Before jumping into the Word of God and answering Bible journal questions, let's set aside some time to watch a quick educational video about Genesis. Feel free to skip over this video if you want, but we recommend watching!

Step 2: Genesis - Chapter 2

In this chapter, God zooms in from looking at the universe was created to look especially at His plan for us as humans. We have gotten the big picture, now let’s look at some of the details. Before jumping into reading scripture and Bible journaling, we recommend you take the time to watch this video to increase your understanding.

Step 3: Genesis - Chapter 3

In Genesis 1 and 2, God’s created a very good world for man to enjoy. Obviously, the world is a lot different now. Genesis 3 shows us why. Let's watch this quick educational video together before diving into scripture and Bible journaling.

Step 4: Genesis - Chapter 4

God created a very good world. Man rebelled against God. God cursed the world as a result, but also made a promise about the seed of the woman. As we read Genesis 4, we are looking for the promised seed and we are also looking at the consequences of man’s sin. Let's watch this quick educational video together before diving into scripture and Bible journaling together.

Step 5: Genesis - Chapter 5

God created a beautiful world. He’s given man an amazing privilege. Not content with that, man wanted to be God Himself and rebelled. As a result, God’s kept His promise to judge. But surprise! He’s also made a promise to save through one of Eve’s descendants. One of Eve’s descendants has chosen to follow Satan and attacked and killed the descendant who was following God. But hope is not lost! God’s given Eve another son and this son begins a generation of people who are calling upon God. Let us sit back and watch this educational video together before jumping into the scripture and answering a few questions in our Bible journal. Relax and learn!

Step 6: Genesis - Chapter 6

By the time we reach Genesis 6, Moses has fast-forwarded through thousands of years of human history. Before jumping into scripture and Bible journaling, let's watch a quick educational video about the Great Flood and what occurs in Chapters 6, 7, and 8 of Genesis.

Step 7: Genesis - Chapter 7

God is judging the world and saving Noah. This book is all about the great Flood. Let's watch a quick educational video about the Flood before jumping into Scripture and answering a few Bible Journal questions.

Step 8: Genesis - Chapter 8

It’s easy to read Genesis 6 through 8 in a detached way. But, slow down and think about what is happening. God is judging absolutely everything that’s on the earth and rescuing one family from that judgment. Imagine! To this point, there have been very, very few events that have ever compared to the magnitude of this one. Let's watch another quick educational video together about how creation is renewed in Chapter 8. This will inspire you to dive deep into scripture and strengthen your understanding by answering a series of Bible journal questions.

Step 9: Genesis - Chapter 9

The writer of Genesis is deliberately reminding you of the Creation story as he talks about Noah and the great flood. It is as if God has washed the world of its evil and begins once again with the most righteous man and his family. Let's sit back and watch a quick educational video about chapter 9 and then dive into our Bible journaling exercises together.

Step 10: Genesis - Chapter 10

This is a challenging chapter of Genesis. Let's sit back and watch a quick educational video before diving into the Word and starting our Bible journal exercises together.

Step 11: Genesis - Chapter 11

Genesis 11 contains three sections: the story of the Tower of Babel, the genealogy from Shem to Abram, and a description of the life of Terah, Abram's father. Abram will later be renamed Abraham and he will become one of the most important figures in Israel's history. In typical JournalOwl fashion, let's sit back and watch a quick educational video together before diving into scripture and starting our Bible journal exercises.

Step 12: Genesis - Chapter 12

God makes a covenant with Abraham, saying that all the nations will be blessed through his family. The rest of the book of Genesis traces this story through four generations. In each generation, we see human failure paired with God's commitment to rescue and bless. Let's watch a short educational video together before starting our Bible journal exercises.

Step 13: Genesis - Chapter 13

In Genesis 13, we learn that being a peacemaker may require us to place others' interests above our own. Resisting evil influences, regardless of how small, helps us stay true to God and free from sin. In this chapter, Abram settles by the oaks of Mamre at Hebron and builds an altar to the LORD. God reaffirms the promise he has made to Abram. The promise includes both land and offspring to fill the land—two elements of a great nation. Yet, so far, Abram remains childless, which raises the question of how God will fulfill his promise. Let's watch a quick educational video before diving into our Bible journaling exercises today.

Step 14: Genesis - Chapter 14

Genesis 14 is an action-packed story of war between ancient city-states with a surprising conclusion. Before we jump into the Word and our associated Bible journal challenges, let's set aside 5 minutes to watch this brief educational video.

Step 15: Genesis - Chapter 15

Genesis 15 consists entirely of an extended encounter between the Lord and Abram, the man who will later be renamed Abraham. This concludes with the formal establishment of God's covenant promise to Abram: to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan. Let's set aside 5 minutes to watch a quick educational video before we read the Word and answer our Bible journal questions for today.

Step 16: Genesis - Chapter 16

Genesis 16 continues to follow the life of one of Israel's greatest patriarchs: Abram, who will soon be renamed Abraham. To this point, Abram and his wife Sarai are still childless, despite Abram being well over seventy-five years old (Genesis 12:4). In fact, at this point in the narrative, Abram is pushing ninety (Genesis 16:16)! In the prior chapter, Abram has voiced his concerns to God about the situation, and God has responded with a dramatic demonstration of His intentions. Let's set aside a quick 3 minutes to watch an educational video on Genesis 16 together before we start our Bible journal exercises for today.

Step 17: Genesis - Chapter 17

Genesis 17 describes God's appearance to Abram, who is now 99 years old. Twenty-three years have passed since God first promised to make Abram a great nation and to give to him and to his descendants the land of Canaan. During that time, Abram and his large company have lived in different parts of the region. He has grown quite wealthy, and God has appeared to him several more times to restate and expand on the initial covenant promises. Let's take a look together at this quick 5 minute educational video about Genesis 17 before starting our Bible Journal exercises for the day.

Step 18: Genesis - Chapter 18

The events of Genesis 18 take place not long after God's visit with Abraham in chapter 17. This visit from the Lord is quite different, however. It's not clear, at first, if Abraham even recognizes the three men who appear outside of his tent as the Lord and two angels in human form. In either case, Abraham runs to show them deep respect and hospitality. He tells Sarah to bake them bread and has a young calf slaughtered for them to eat as they rest in the heat of the day. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read.

Step 19: Genesis - Chapter 19

Chapter 19 is one of the most dramatic and shocking chapters in Genesis—which is saying something! The events recorded here reveal the utter wickedness of the people of Sodom. They display God's grace to Abraham in rescuing Lot and his family. They show God's readiness and ability to judge the sins of humanity. And, these verses display the lasting consequences of sin in the hearts of Lot and his daughters. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 20: Genesis - Chapter 20

Genesis chapter 20 should be familiar to anyone who has read Genesis chapter 12. In the prior account, Abraham and his household moved to Egypt to escape a devastating famine (Genesis 12:10). Worried that the people would see how beautiful his wife was and kill him to get her, Abraham asked her to lie and say she was his sister (Genesis 12:13). This was a half-truth: they shared the same father, but different mothers (Genesis 20:12). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 21: Genesis - Chapter 21

Genesis 21 begins with the long-awaited birth of the son God had promised to Abraham and Sarah. This is the child through whom God would make of Abraham a great nation (Genesis 17:6–7). More recently, the Lord had promised both Abraham and Sarah that they would conceive and bear a son within a year's time. Both of them laughed (Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:12). God said the name of their son would be Isaac, which means laughter (Genesis 17:19). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 22: Genesis - Chapter 22

Genesis 22 contains one of the most iconic stories in all of literature: Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son, Isaac. It's a troubling story for many, mostly because it is so often misunderstood. When read as part of the long, detailed story of Abraham, this is an event which reveals the depth of Abraham's trust in God, one of the qualities God values most in His people. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 23: Genesis - Chapter 23

The story of Genesis leaps forward several decades. It's likely been around 20 years or so since Abraham prepared to offer Isaac on the altar. It's been about 35 years since last we saw Sarah, insisting that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 24: Genesis - Chapter 24

Genesis 24 describes in great detail how Rebekah came to be the wife of Abraham's son Isaac. The story begins with what sounds like a deathbed scene, though Abraham will apparently live another 35 years. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 25: Genesis - Chapter 25

Genesis 25 records the deaths of both Abraham and Ishmael, as well as the births of Jacob and Esau, and the purchase of the most expensive bowl of stew in history. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 26: Genesis - Chapter 26

Genesis 26 focuses on the Lord reassuring Isaac. God states that His relationship with Abraham, and its blessings, are for Isaac, as well. God appears to Isaac not once, but twice in this chapter. In both cases, the Lord restates and emphasizes the covenant promises He had made to Abraham, and is now making to Isaac. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 27: Genesis - Chapter 27

By the end of Genesis 27, Isaac will have handed the family blessing down to his second-born, Jacob. This should seem unusual, since Esau is technically oldest and is entitled to that inheritance. At the start of the chapter, though, Isaac has no intention of doing so. Instead, Isaac sets out to confer the blessing on Esau, the firstborn of the two twins. Isaac is old and blind. He believes himself to be near the end of his life. The time has come to pass the blessing on (Genesis 27:1–4). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 28: Genesis - Chapter 28

Genesis 28 is the story of Jacob leaving home to begin his journey to Mesopotamia. Based on recent events, however, it would be more accurate to describe it as fleeing from his home. Jacob's brother Esau wants to kill him for cheating him out of Isaac's blessing (Genesis 27:41). No mention is made of that in this chapter, but this is the context driving Jacob's flight. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 29: Genesis - Chapter 29

After his journey east, Jacob arrives at the home of Laban, his mother's brother. Laban lives in Haran in Mesopotamia, outside of the land God has promised to Abraham, Isaac and, in the previous chapter, to Jacob. Jacob had left his homeland in Canaan, both to find a wife among his father's people (Genesis 28:1–2) and to escape the murderous rage of his older twin brother, Esau (Genesis 27:41). Jacob's plan is to seek out the former household of his mother, Rebekah, and her brother, Laban. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 30: Genesis - Chapter 30

Genesis 30 is characterized by sibling conflict between Jacob's wives, the birth of many more children under the blessing of God, and Jacob eventually achieving great wealth after striking an unusual bargain with his father-in-law. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 31: Genesis - Chapter 31

Genesis 31 is a long, eventful chapter that follows Jacob from his last days in a twenty-year career as Laban's servant. It ends with Jacob standing with his wives and children, as a free man, in the borderlands of the promised land of Canaan. It's not a smooth transition, though, and this chapter details several controversies. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 32: Genesis - Chapter 32

Jacob has resolved his conflict with Laban and now returns to the land of Canaan. He faces another unresolved conflict, however. He must pass near the region where his twin brother Esau lives to return home. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 33: Genesis - Chapter 33

Jacob made extensive preparations to meet his estranged brother, Esau, as recorded in the prior chapter. After all the waiting and wondering, the moment has finally arrived. Esau has come. Will he bring violence or peace? Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 34: Genesis - Chapter 34

Jacob and his family have settled within sight of the city of Shechem. They've purchased the land they occupy outside of the city from the city's ruler, Hamor (Genesis 33:18–19). These "Israelites" have found a home. Eventually, though, things go terribly wrong between the Shechemites and Jacob's family. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 35: Genesis - Chapter 35

As Jacob was fleeing Canaan (Genesis 27:42) to go live with his uncle Laban, God appeared to him (Genesis 28:10–13). After that meeting, Jacob vowed to make the Lord his God and to recognize that location as "Bethel:" the house of God. After growing a family and leaving Laban, Jacob's family has an ugly incident where his daughter is raped (Genesis 34:1). In revenge, her brothers annihilate the entire town, leading Jacob to fear retaliation (Genesis 34:25–30). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 36: Genesis - Chapter 36

Genesis 36 consists of a list of Esau's offspring, focusing primarily on genealogy and the rulers of Edom, the nation that came from Esau. The chapter is inserted in Genesis between the generations of Isaac (Genesis 25:19), ending with his death in the previous chapter (Genesis 35:28–29), and the generations of Jacob, which follow Joseph's story through to the end of the book (Genesis 37:1–2). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 37: Genesis - Chapter 37

Beginning with this chapter, Genesis takes up the story of Jacob's son Joseph. Joseph, just 17, is both deeply loved and deeply hated. Described as the son of Jacob's old age, as well as being the firstborn of Jacob's beloved late wife Rachel, Joseph is clearly favored by his father over his older ten half-brothers. It's not surprising, then, to learn of their hatred for Joseph, especially when Jacob gives to him a princely, multicolored robe. This gift may have indicated Jacob's plan to make Joseph his primary heir. Joseph doesn't make it better. He reports on his brothers' misdeeds to Jacob. He also tells them of powerful prophetic dreams he experiences that suggest all of them will one day bow down to him (Genesis 37:1–11). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 38: Genesis - Chapter 38

The events of Genesis 38 likely take place during Joseph's time as a slave in Egypt (Genesis 37:26–28) and some time before he is reunited with his brothers (Genesis 45:1–3). After this passage, the text will return to a focus on Joseph (Genesis 39:1). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 39: Genesis - Chapter 39

Genesis returns from describing the scandalous family history of Judah in chapter 38. Here, Scripture resumes a focus on Joseph, sold by his brothers into slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37:26–28). Joseph is purchased by a powerful Egyptian official, the captain of the guard. Though Joseph is no longer in the land of promise or with his family, the Lord is still with him. Joseph has not been abandoned. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 40: Genesis - Chapter 40

Joseph continues to languish in a special prison attached to the house of the captain of the guard (Genesis 39:11–20). While Joseph's former master held that position (Genesis 39:1), Scripture does not use the name Potiphar from this point forward. It's unclear if Potiphar is still in that role, or if he has been replaced. After Joseph has been there "some time," likely several years, two new prisoners arrive. Pharaoh has become angry at both his chief cupbearer and his chief baker. He throws them into the prison, also called "the pit" or "the dungeon," where Joseph is. Genesis doesn't tell us what their offenses were (Genesis 40:1–3). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 41: Genesis - Chapter 41

After years in prison, Joseph is finally restored as his circumstances are dramatically reversed. Prior to this, he has spent quite some time unjustly jailed; he has been forgotten even by those he has helped (Genesis 40:14–15, 23). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 42: Genesis - Chapter 42

Genesis 42 begins with Jacob sending his ten oldest sons to Egypt to buy grain for the family. It ends with him refusing to send his youngest son back as part of a second trip. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 43: Genesis - Chapter 43

The previous chapter ended with Jacob's insistence that he would not allow his beloved youngest son Benjamin to be taken to Egypt with his brothers (Genesis 42:38). He was willing to leave Simeon in prison there (Genesis 42:19–20, 24) rather than risk seeing Benjamin come to harm. This continues a pattern of outrageous favoritism that started with Jacob's own parents (Genesis 25:28) and continued into his own life (Genesis 37:2–4). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 44: Genesis - Chapter 44

The last chapter seemed to be a happy ending. Eleven of Jacob's sons are on their way back to Canaan with everything they came for. They have the grain they need to avoid starvation. They have Simeon, released from prison after being held as security. And they have Jacob's beloved Benjamin, safe and well. They even have their money, once again returned, seemingly with their knowledge, adding yet another blessing. They have not yet realized that the powerful Egyptian governor with whom they've dealt is their estranged brother, Joseph (Genesis 42:7–8), who is testing them (Genesis 44:1–2). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 45: Genesis - Chapter 45

Genesis 45 is a chapter filled with revelations. It begins with Joseph revealing his identity to his terrified brothers. It ends with those brothers revealing that their father's beloved son Joseph is not dead; he is living as a ruler in Egypt. While the events of Genesis are factual, this passage also serves as an example of excellent storytelling. Genesis 45 provides the emotional "payoff" that has been building over the last several chapters. Joseph, unrecognized by his ten older brothers when they arrive in Egypt to buy grain (Genesis 42:7–8), has chosen not to reveal himself to them. Instead, Joseph has tested them by both providing generously and treating them harshly as well (Genesis 43—44). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 46: Genesis - Chapter 46

Genesis 46 can be divided into three sections: Jacob's final encounter with the Lord, a count of all of Jacob's descendants at or around this time, and Jacob's reunion with his son Joseph in the land of Egypt. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 47: Genesis - Chapter 47

The last several chapters explained how Joseph, Jacob's son by Rachel (Genesis 46:19), came to bring his family to live in Egypt. Genesis 47 begins with Joseph's family appearing before Pharaoh at court in a formal audience. Joseph selects five of his brothers to represent the family. When Pharaoh asks them their occupations, they reply as Joseph had coached them. They describe themselves as lifelong shepherds, and they formally ask Pharaoh that they be allowed to settle in the fertile region of Goshen. This is an interesting choice, as Joseph has noted that Egyptians generally look down on herdsmen (Genesis 46:34). His motives may be both practical and spiritual. By making it clear that the entire family is involved in shepherding, he lessens suspicion from Egyptians that these immigrants will displace them from work. Spiritually, living somewhere separate from most other Egyptians would help to preserve Israel's commitment to God (Genesis 47:1–4). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 48: Genesis - Chapter 48

After settling in Egypt (Genesis 47), Jacob gives a major portion of his family blessing to Joseph's two oldest sons: Ephraim and Manasseh. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 49: Genesis - Chapter 49

Before he dies, Jacob urgently seeks to complete two important pieces of business with his twelve sons. First, he wishes to give a prophetic message appropriate to each. While these are titled "blessings," not all are positive. These are presented more as predictions than bestowing favors. Second, he wants to command them to bury his body in Canaan and not in Egypt. Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 50: Genesis - Chapter 50

Immediately following Jacob's death (Genesis 49:33), Joseph weeps openly and falls on his father's body, kissing his face. This death hits him hard. After ordering Jacob's body to be embalmed—likely meaning mummified—by the Egyptian doctors, Joseph will set about obeying his father's final wish to be buried in Canaan (Genesis 49:29–32). First, however, the state of Egypt observes an official 70–day period of mourning. This is an extraordinary gesture towards a man otherwise unconnected to that culture (Genesis 50:1–3). Before we start our Bible journaling exercises for today, let's watch this short educational video to prime ourselves for what we are about to read and write about!

Step 51: Quiz

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