Are the stories in chapters 1-21 true? It depends on what you mean by "true". They are not true in the sense of history. History hadn't been invented yet when these stories were written down. They may be true in a mythological sense in that they seek to deal symbolically with the meaning of things. For the storytellers, everything came from God, was ordained by God, and their people were marked by God to be a blessing to the whole world. It's not important for any of these stories to have actually been lived out by real people. The significance of the stories lies in what they tell us about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or at least what the storytellers thought about Him.