This work is presented to help the Bible student expand his or her thinking process in their study of God's Word. We so often find ourselves putting God "in a box", the size of which is the limit of our mind, or the limits we place within our mind. This limitation includes our unwillingness to accept the fact that the God who created the heavens and the earth, could in fact be greater than the "box" we have envisioned. The hope of the writer is that we will remove all such limiting factors, and truly allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten us to God's meaning of His Word, and the ways in which we are to apply it to our lives; for if we cannot become living examples of God's Word in our daily lives, the Word is of little or no value to us.
The Time Of Creation is depicted in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, and more specifically from 1:1 - 2:25.
It is extremely important for the student of the Bible to be very familiar with these two chapters, as well as the next seven chapters, for they are absolutely vital in correctly understanding the remaining 1,178 chapters of the Bible. If students accept what is written in this portion of Scripture (not necessarily what is being present in this text, for The Bible is the final authority), they will have much less difficulty in understanding the rest of the Hebrew (Old) Testament as well as the New Testament.
In this work, we will try to come a little closer to understanding God's intent, and not necessarily humankind's. We will do this by seeking the Hebrew writers understanding as presented elsewhere in the Bible, which was inspired by the Holy Spirit. We will also look at how Jesus and the apostles showed us to apply the Word.
We will do our utmost to avoid denominational doctrinal issues, which do more to separate us, as believers of Jesus Christ, than to bring us together. We may discuss some of them when they effect our understanding, but we will let the Word sort out the differences. Most of us will find that we had several misunderstandings by the time we hopefully all get to heaven, but in the meantime, let's concentrate on the many more things we have in common. Allow the Holy Spirit to give us true discernment and understanding, and the wisdom to apply it.
It is equally important for us to read our Bibles every day, and in such a way that we will read the entire Bible in one year; for without such a Scriptural background by which to discern the truth, we may not be able to distinguish between a message from the Holy Spirit, and that of an unholy spirit, or even of our own vane imaginings.
This study was the result of a compilation of study notes and handouts used in a Hebrew Testament Bible Study Class that I conducted at a maximum security correctional facility. This class, which averaged fifty students per class, and ran for nearly six years, was the most enthusiastic group I have encountered in my ministry. Almost every student participated, and they asked some of the most challenging and in-depth theological questions one could imagine coming from a lay congregation. This class was ethnically mixed, being about one third each Black, White and Hispanic. We had Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and several Protestant denominations represented. And at times we were even joined by Moslem and Jewish students. We focused upon our commonality in and before God. Ethnic and denominational differences disappeared. They inspired me and this work, and to them it is dedicated.
In presenting any work of this sort, material and information is borrowed and compiled from many sources, and every effort has been made to give appropriate credit to that work. All Scripture text, unless otherwise indicated, is from the New American Standard Version. General reference texts are listed in the Bibliography.
I pray that the reader will enjoy this work as much as I did in preparing it.
In the Love of the Lord,
Frank L. Hoffman