To the Jews first and then the Christians, the first four words, IN THE BEGINNING GOD is a fact of life, and is the basis of truth that all things are Spiritual, and it is the foundation on which all things are built. Hopefully that is common ground with the reader. This effort is presented to glorify God and to prayerfully provide tools that will help the reader to have a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the wonder of the Book of Genesis. In the beginning is the Hebrew word bereshith. It means “the beginning of God’s creation.” The name “Genesis” comes from a Greek word meaning “beginning.” This title was taken from the Septuagint, the koine Greek translation of the Old Testament, circa 285 B.C. The Hebrew word for God is Elohim, (phonetically, el-o-heem’). It is always plural enunciating the maj7,esty and fullness of deity, very God of very God. The chronological bench mark used for creation is 3975 B.C. (KR). The “KR” following all dates is based on The Reese Chronological Bible (KR) and it is the only dating source used in this effort.
The Meeting of the Second Continental Congress in May 1776 was well underway in Philadelphia when a tall 44-year-old Virginian, Richard Henry Lee, stood before his peers and called for the Continental Congress to pass a resolution declaring their separation from British rule. This declaration would state that the American declaration would state that the American colonies would no longer be subject to King George III and his oppressive acts of taxation and intimidation. Yes to those present it seemed to be a noble action by Lee, but little did any of the delegates realize that their actions would soon change the course of world history. Congress did not vote that day but enlisted Lee’s fellow Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, to draft a Declaration of Independence for their consideration. Finally, after much debate and several revisions, on July 4, 1776, 56 brave patriots adopted the Declaration of Independence to form a new nation that was to become known as the United States of America – a nation dedicated to a new and somewhat radical proposition that all men were created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, such as life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This new experiment of personal liberty and human rights through representative government was uncommon, if not unheard of for its day. Ultimately, at great cost, the colonies won their freedom in 1783, and the Apostles experiment was underway. Naturally, many quad to be answered for the new nation to survive. How would she acquire and preserve her freedom the British and other powers who would seek to impose their wills upon her? If Independence was achieved, upon what principles of law and government would her constitution be formed? Through what lens of understanding would she view the world outside her own people? These questions and many more faced these Founding Fathers. Fortunately, for them and for us, the source for these answers had already been adopted and its principles interwoven into the charters of the 13 original colonies. That source is the book you hold in your hands today, the Holy Bible. It is the book that bound colonial American society together from Maine to Georgia. Our seventh President, Andrew Jackson, said concerning the Bible, “That book, sir, is the Rock upon which our republic rests.” Not only was that the opinion of President Jackson, but also the sentiment of countless Americans. On the whole, Americans are of the Bible. There is no book more powerful than the Bible to shape the morals and values of men and nations to be right and noble and just. It has proven itself over and over again in the formations and continuance of the greatest nation in history, the United States of America. While other nations have built their governments upon the shaky foundations of communism, socialism, and countless other anti-God philosophies, only to see those foundations crumble, America stands without equal as a beacon of hope and freedom in a hurting world. Our Founding Fathers delivered to us a system of government that has enjoyed unprecedented success: we are now the world’s longest ongoing constitutional republic. Well over two hundred years under one form of government is an accomplishment unknown among contemporary nations. Within this special edition of the American Patriot’s Bible, I have found both information and inspiration revealing the “strong cord” of the Bible’s influence that runs through the colorful fabric of our nation’s past and present. Joining with these heroes, quotations from many of America’s greatest thinkers, and beautiful illustrations that present the rich heritage and tremendous future of our nation. If you love America and the Scriptures, you will treasure this Bible. Much effort has gone into the verification of the quotes and stories included so that the reader can be assured of the validity the Word of God in any manner is to do so with great care and respect, and that has been done by all who have been involved in this project. May God bless the truth within these pages, and may God continue to bless America! So there you are, a teenager at grandma’s house. You don’t really want to be there, but it’s one of those family things and so you’re there. You sit politely and act like you are listening as your folks and grandparents talk. Then your grandmother says something that catches your attention. She refers to your great-grandfather and the trip he made to America from the “old country.” “What?” You ask. Grandma smiles, knowing that at some point we all wonder about our origin and here you are wondering about yours. She unravels a tale of your family escaping persecution and settling in eastern Virginia. Next she invites you into her room, where she opens a large chest that has sat at the foot of her bed for as long as you can remember. A rush of cedar and mothballs fills the room. “Though you might like to see this,” she explains, handing you a black-and-white photo in a large walnut frame. “It’s your great-grandfather.” The only thing stiffer than his collar is his expression. “Here is his father,” she hands you another photo, one of a cowboy wearing a wide-brimmed hat, riding a horse. Piece by piece, the chest tells its family tales. Soon you find yourself lost in a floor covered with old wedding gowns, photos albums, diplomas, and bronzed baby shoes. And before you leave, you find yourself the owner of something precious – a heritage. An ancestry. A beginning. An orphan. You know that you are a part of a family tree. You aren’t an isolated pond, but rather a part a river winding through a great canyon. You leave a richer person. Knowing where you came from says much about where you are going. Perhaps that’s why the first book of the Bible is a book of beginnings. God wants us to know from where we came. Learning that will teach us much about the place we are going.