Old Testament

Genesis

Joseph – Discussion Questions

Interpretation Questions:

  1. If Joseph (and the narrator) understand everything in his story to be pre-ordained by God for the purpose of saving the Israelites, can we talk about there being any villains in the narrative?
  2. If the Joseph story leads to the enslavement in Egypt, then should we think of it positively or negatively? How do we fit individual episodes into the overall national trajectory?
  3. How do the literary qualities of the Joseph story affect our sense of its historical accuracy?

Application Questions:

  1. Exceptionally, Joseph forgives his brothers despite their utter betrayal.  Should forgiveness have limitations? What does this story tell us about forgiving our own betrayers?
  2. Dr. Baden points out that God works “behind the scenes” throughout the Joseph story.  Joseph trusts that God will take care of everything, and ultimately he’s right.  How does this influence the way we think about God’s influence over our lives?
  3. In what ways is Joseph’s suffering similar to that of Jesus in the New Testament? In what ways is it different?

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