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The '''Book of Genesis''' is the first book of the [[Old Testament]] and contains extremely old oral and written traditions of the people of Israel. The name ''Genesis'' comes from the Greek for birth and in Hebrew ''Bereishit'' which means "in the beginning"<ref>In Hebrew the book is |בְּרֵאשִׁית (''Bereishit''), meaning "in the beginning." This title is the first word of the Hebrew text - a method by which all five books of the Torah are named. When the Torah was translated into Greek in the 3rd century BC to produce the [[Septuagint]], the name given was Γένεσις ''Genesis'', meaning "birth" or "origin". This was in line with the Septuagint use of subject themes as book names. The Greek title has continued to be used in all subsequent Latin and English versions of the Bible, and most other languages.</ref>. Tradition has it that the Genesis was mostly written by the [[Prophet]] Moses 1,300 years before [[Christ]].
[[image:Viennagenesis.jpg|right|thumb|A page of the Vienna Genesis, made in sixth century Syria, with an illustration of Jacob/Israel blessing his grandsons Ephraim and Mannasseh.]]
== Background ==
Genesis begins with the story of the [[creation]] of the world, the fall of [[Adam and Eve]] and the subsequent, quite sinful, history of the children of Adam. It tells of Noah and the great flood, the tower of Babel, and Abram and Melchizedek.