Sunday, January 24, 2010


Unpublished outline for biblical book of Genesis, January 11, 1985, instructor Barbara Pope, Interdisciplinary Studies in Letters and Science (ISLS) program, Chabot College, Hayward, CA, by Lurene Helzer. 

Lurene's email in 2014:

This was not a religious course. We worked on the first book of the bible to get insight on Western thought.

Photo by Lurene Helzer, Palm Springs, CA, 2005.

Genesis Outline
Lurene Helzer
ISLS B. Pope 2108

I. The Creation

A) The first seven days
B) God creates Adam and Eve

II. Adam and Eve are driven from the garden

A) Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit and learn good from evil

III. Cain and Abel are born

A) God favors Abel’s sacrifice
B) Cain kills Abel
C) Cain is cursed by God and driven out to Nod
D) Lamech kills Cain
E) Seth is born from Eve

IV. God sees wickedness in the world

A) God finds virtue in Noah
B) Noah builds an ark, as God requests
C) Noah takes two of each animal and his family and lives on the ark while it rains for 40 days and nights

V. Noah starts new generations on the earth

A) God makes a covenant with Noah; the rainbow. He promises to never again destroy the earth by flood

VI. Noah’s son, Ham, covers Noah’s nakedness.

A) Ham’s son, Canaan, is cursed.

VII. The Tower of Babel

A) The people try to build the tower to reach heaven
B) God gives them all different languages, so that they can not build the tower

VIII God promises Abram a nation

A) Abram takes Lot with him, and Sarai, his wife
B) They go to Canaan
C) Abram goes to Egypt, because of a famine in the land

VIII. Abram lies to the Egyptians to save his life

A) Abram tells the Egyptians that his wife is his sister
B) The Egyptians give Abram gifts, since Sarai is fair
C) God plagues the Egyptians
D) Abram leaves Egypt when the Pharaoh finds out what the problem is

IX. Abram and Lot Separate

A) The land is not rich enough to support them both; the herdsman fight
B) Lot goes east

X. Lot goes to Sodom

A) The people in Sodom are wicked
B) Meanwhile, God promises land to Abram and his offspring. Abram moves to Mamre in Hebron.

XI. Lot is taken captive by the people of Sodom and Gomorrah

A) Abram learns of Lot’s captivity and rescues him and his goods
B) The kings offer Abram food and wine. Abram refuses. Does not want them to say “I made Abram rich.”

XII. God promises Abram a son

A) God tells Abram he will have as many children as there are stars in the sky he can count
B) Makes a covenant with God – The promised land which is spoken of in Exodus [Genesis 15:13]

XIII. Abram has a child by Hagar

A) Sarai becomes jealous – Hagar flees
B) An angel tells Hagar to return and call the child Ishmael. The child is prophesized to be violent.

XIV. God makes a covenant with Abraham about the promised land.

A) All of his children to be circumcised, or any children bought with his money.

XV. Sarah overhears that she will bear a child, and laughs.

A) Sarah denies laughing

XVI. Abraham bargains with God for the Sake of Sodom

XVII. Lot is given mercy so he may escape from Sodom

A) God tells Lot and his family not to look behind them when they run
B) Lot’s wife looks over her shoulder and turns into a pillar of salt

XVIII. Lot’s daughters bear children from him while he is sleeping

XIX. Abraham again tells people that Sarah is his sister and brings punishment to them. Then god forgives them

XX. Sarah bears a son to Abraham

A) Hagar flees with her son and leaves him to die
B) God saves them both with water

XXI. God tempts Abraham

A) God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son
B) Abraham attempts to do so – as god commands
C) He is stopped, and then blessed for being faithful to God

XXII. Abraham purchases Machpelah to bury Sarah
XXIII. Abraham makes a covenant with his servant to find a wife for Isaac

A) Abraham promises the Servant Freedom from the promise if he can’t find a woman to follow him
B) The servant finds Rebekah, and she marries Isaac

XXIV. Abraham dies

A) He gives everything to Isaac
B) Abraham is buried next to his wife

XXV. Rebekah has twins

A) Esau becomes a hunter
B) Jacob dwelled in tents and was a “plain man”
C) Esau sells his birthright to Jacob in exchange for food (Jacob is near death)

XXVI. Jacob steals Esau’s blessing of Isaac

A) Jacob tricks Isaac into blessing him with the help of his mother
B) Esau is told he must serve his brother all his life
C) Esau plans to slay his brother
D) Jacob leaves until his brothers wrath subsides

XXVII. Jacob wins Rachel

A) Jacob has to also marry Leah
B) Leah bears children but Rachel can’t
C) Rachel finally bears Joseph

XXVIII. Jacob leaves Laban and is pursued by him

A) Rachel steals her father’s belongings
B) Laban and Jacob make a covenant with each other, and separate

XXIX. Jacob is blessed
XXX. Jacob meets with Esau

A) Jacob gives Esau gifts
B) They Separate

XXXI. Dinah is sought by Shechem and defiled

A) The males of the city are circumcised so they can marry Dinah
B) Rachel’s brothers kill them for defiling Rachel

XXXII. Rachel dies
XXXIII. Joseph’s brothers are consumed with jealousy

A) They sell Joseph to Ishmeelites
B) Jacob thinks Joseph is dead

XXXIV. Joseph is falsely imprisoned

A) Joseph interprets dreams
B) Joseph is sent to Interpret the Pharaoh’s two dreams

XXXV. Joseph is given power over Egypt

A) Gives food during famine
B) His brothers come to buy food
C) Joseph accuses them of being spies

XXXVI. Joseph detains his brothers
XXXVII. Joseph sends for Jacob
XXXVIII. Jacob departs for Egypt
XXXIX. Jacob’s illness
XL. Return to Canaan prophesized
XLI. The burial of Jacob


Okay Lurene, this is a good, detailed outline. Now, to go onward in analysis, look for large ?? -- whole sections that have same topic, or characters, or action. Then, use some kind of visual aide to tie together ideas, themes, actions (e.g. covenants); - colors are useful for this – underlining, over-lining, boxing in parts, connecting lines. All this leads to understanding how parts work into whole organizing purpose (O.P.).

C. Pope

Use ch./verse references. Makes it much easier to find things. – end-

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