1:1 The book. Compare this with “the book of the generations of Adam” (Genesis 5:1), the only other place in the Bible where this phrase is found. This seems symbolic. The Old Testament describes the effect of the first Adam on the human race, whereas the New Testament deals with the “second Adam” and His work for mankind.

1:1 generation. This word (Greek genesis) is obviously the word from which we get the title of the first book of the Bible. It is used only this once in the New Testament (the very first verse) except for James 3:6, where it is translated “nature.” However, it is used in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament as the translation of toledoth (“generations”), which is the key word in identifying the different original documents from which Moses compiled Genesis (see notes on Genesis 2:4 and 5:1).

1:1 Jesus Christ. A few skeptics have questioned the historical existence of Jesus Christ, arguing that the only references to Him are in Christian sources, and these are biased. The fact is, however, that Christ has been mentioned by several secular writers of the time, including Tacitus (a Roman historian), Josephus (the Jewish historian), Suetonius (another Roman historian), Pliny the Younger (a Roman magistrate), Lucian the Cynic (a Greek satirist), and Celsus (a pagan philosopher). There is no doubt whatever that He really lived and that the Christian religion was established on the strong belief that He died for our sins and then defeated death by His bodily resurrection.

1:1 the son. The use of “son” in this opening verse of the New Testament reminds us that God had promised a very special son to both David and Abraham (II Samuel 7:12-16: Genesis 22:18). Note also the promise of Isaiah 9:6.


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