Skip to comments.Creation Ex Nihilo...Genesis 1 pt 2
Posted on 05/25/2013 5:10:23 PM PDT by pastorbillrandles
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.(Genesis 1:1-3)
The first verse of the Bible,is a summation of all that exists, for there is only Creator and creation. The infinite, personal, almighty, and Holy God made the heavens, (Space) and the Earth, (Matter) in the beginning, (Time).
and the earth was formless and void...
But at Creation, the earth was yet formless and void. It existed as a watery, shapeless mass, and would not be complete until the Creator gave form to it and mage it habitable. The text did not say that the earth became formless and void, as those who hold to variations of the gap theory hold, as if there were some catastrophe between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
The text simply tells us that when God created matter, it was originally in a formless state, waiting for his creative hand to give shape to it. Our physical world was created first in a formless state, and also in a state of darkness, for it pleased God to shape , and energize the world in later stages of Creation.
And darkness was upon the face of the deep
The darkness is an amoral reference, God forms the light and creates darkness, (Isaiah 45:7). The deep refers to the unformed waters. Proverbs 8 tells us that Gods wisdom set a compass upon the deep to give form to the waters that He had created.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the waters
The name for God used in Genesis 1 is Elohim, a plural word suggesting that God is a unity yet in some sense a plurality. We will see that He uses the expression, Let us make man in our image on the sixth day of Creation. Thus the mystery of Gods being is intimated from the beginning of the Divine revelation.
Here we are told the Spirit of God, that is the Ruach of God, (same word as for breath or wind), but this is more than wind, because this Spirit is creative and moves to accomplish a design, He has a part in the creative process as he moves, back and forth over the waters.
The word for move is translated shake in Jeremiah 23:9 and flutters in Deuteronomy 32:11. Morris in his commentary ,The Genesis Recordmakes an interesting observation on this point,
In modern scientific terminology, the best translation would probably be Vibrated. If the universe is to be energized, there must be an Energizer.If it is to be set in motion, there must be a Prime Mover It is significant that the transmission of energy in the operations in the Cosmos is in the form of waves light waves, heat waves, sound waves and s forth .Waves are typically rapid back and forth movements and they are normally produced by the vibratory motion of a wave generator of some kind. Energy cannot create itself. It is most appropriate that the first impartation of energy to the universe is described as the vibrating movement of the Spirit of God himself.(Morris, The Genesis Record, Baker pg 23)
And God said, Let there be light; and there was light
Several things stand out about this verse. This is the first record of God speaking in the Bible. God speaks, and when He speaks, His very Word brings to pass His will. Centuries later the Psalmist would celebrate the creative power of Gods Word,
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.(Psalm 33:6-9)The Apostle would compare the Lux Fiat, that is the Let there be Light of God in creation, with the work of the Word of God in the heart of fallen man in the new creation,
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)
The theme of Light comes to prominence in the account of the New Creation also in the Gospel of John, for we are told,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.(John 1:1-9)
It should also be noted that the speaking forth of light, precedes the creation of sun and stars. For the Sun is not the true light, rather the SON is the true light of the world.
I like how Genesis also notes that He made the stars also....it was almost as an afterthought the author included this fact of creation.
I teach a class on Sunday mornings and it really amazes me the influence of culture on the creation account. Many folks just can’t see to come to grips that God is capable of creating the entire universe in just a few spoken words.
I ask them if He can’t do creation in six days, or six minutes or whatever measure of time you want, then how can He raise someone from the dead?
Why is the creation account so hard to believe for many Christians?
Depends on the interpetation ~ God can do anything. Most hard-core interpretations of Genesis ask us to LIMIT GOD.
Because faith cometh by hearing.
Actually, that is not true. Not true, that is, in the sequence of events of Creation, nor the implication of the stars being an “afterthought.” The true story of the stars is actually much more elegant, much more faith-inspiring. But only if you understand the physics and biology required.
The miracle of Creation (as described in Genesis) is not so much that it is accurate with respect to the nuclear physics of the Big Bang, stellar evolution, planetary formation and continental drift/plate tectonics, but that every step of every “scientific theory” that we now know IS exactly described already in Genesis. Before writing, before anything resembling arithmetic (much less computers, mathematics, powers-of-ten, logarithms or even the number zero) were invented.
When you state “made the stars” you're actually describing how the stars (and moon) were “set in the heavens” to “rule the sky”. These had already been created “in the beginning” but were revealed (to someone on earth) only AFTER the plants grew enough to produce enough oxygen to clear the skies and allow them to be seen. Before that period, before the atmosphere changed, the stars and moon were hidden: just like Venus and Saturn's atmospheres are opaque.
Re-read Genesis: Notice now that the "waters below" were gathered into "one ocean"? (A true scientifically accurate statement in Genesis, since there was only one continent before they broke up as plate tectonics moved them around)? However, when Genesis was finally written down from its oral tradition, did not the writers KNOW absolutely that there were many seas and many lands? Would that conflict not prevent a "faith" in the accuracy of the Story from ever being accepted in the first place?
Plants - as we now know - were created first, then life in the sea, then "birds" (dinosaurs - as we just now figured out these past 20 years!), and only afterwards were land animals formed, with domesticated mammals last. Again, as we just now know.
Snakes, as you may not know, were a very, very recent development, not being formed (evolved as some call it) until after the continents and islands broke up less than 30 million years ago.
If you wish, we can also go into the nuclear physics Genesis describes just as accurately.
Without light, there is no E = MC squared. Think about it.
Stick to your day job.
I noticed you breezily dismiss “the gap theory” with “The text did not say,” then almost immediately cite Morris for alternative translation.
Missing such a contradiction could be simple over site; defending it would be intellectual dishonesty.
I was not implying that God made the stars as an afterthought as in “oh, there's some leftover stuff, so I'll throw the stars in also. Rather I think it speaks of the majesty of God's creation.
I use the NASB translation which records Gen 1:4 as follows:
God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; [He made] the stars also.
The majority of the translations record this verse this way. Now, what's interesting is that “He made” is not found in the original Hebrew in this statement. I think our translators have presumed to include this statement “He made” and were probably right in doing so. The Hebrew simply has this as “the stars.”
So if we read this with the He made it goes something like this
God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; the stars.
Notice the semi-colon. If this is being used to join two independent clauses then your point of the stars serving as light sources fits perfectly here as the stars do aid for light at night.
The word “also” is interesting. It is not included in the Hebrew either.
Maybe I was more appropriately viewing this with an eye towards the majesty of God. I guess when I say afterthought that may be a poor choice of words.
I find it very humbling to consider that in addition to creating the sun and moon, God made the stars also. Implication: He made the universe as well. All of the billions and billions of stars we see at night and God made them. We're talking the universe here and God made it. Wow, what a concept that is. How it speaks to the awesomeness of God.
These are the very stars Abraham was called to look upon when God established His covenant with him later in Genesis 12. These are the very stars we can see at night as well. The universe is a very humbling place.
I think this also reflects the amount of light pollution we have in our cities. I live close to a metro area so my star field is somewhat limited. My memory of the brightness of the stars from my younger days in a rural area has been dimmed somewhat. You are right in the light given off by the stars. Under the right circumstances the light they give off is amazing.
Good discussion! We do serve an awesome God.
What contradiction? I didn’t “beezily dismiss the gap” I simply cited one of the reasons why I don’t accept it/ Furthermore I cited Morris , not for an alternative translation but because his discussion of the Spirit moving was interesting to me, and to other readers I am sure.
Reminds me of an argument I had with a dear friend; despite his command of the trivial math needed, he refused to accept “without mass, there is no time” until I cited an encyclopedia source.
People are funny....
Distinction without difference.
paper, I honestly don’t understand what you are trying to say. I didn’t look for any alternate translation, I am not trying to hone a particular axe-
You talk about alternative translations just before the segue into Morris' quote that "vibrated" would probably be the most appropriate translation, but presumably dismiss the gap theory on the basis of the English "text" as the original language does allow for it.
Looks like unvarnished "special pleading" to me.....
Not a good way to demonstrate 1Thess 5:21 if you ask me.
This Is From The Companion Bible.
That created = the Creator of. Note how these expressions are heaped together to impress us with the fact that the One Who created all ought to be able to tell us, better than ignorant man, how He created it.
We are not told how, when, or why, or how long it lasted. When geologists have settled how many years they require, they may place them between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1.
In Genesis 1:2-2:4, we have "the heavens and the earth which are now" of 2Peter 3:7. Both are set in contrast with the "new heavens and the new earth" of 2Peter 3:13.
1The Lord = Hebrew; Yehovah
This Is From The Companion Bible.
1. "THE WORLD THAT THEN WAS" (2Peter 3:5,6). See Structure, page 1. Creation in eternity past, to which all Fossils and "Remains" belongs.
God. Hebrew Elohim, plural. First occurence connects it with creation, and denotes, by usage, the Creator in relation to His creatures. See Appendix 4. The Hebrew accent Athnach places the emphasis, and gives pause, on "God" as being Himself the great worker, separating the Worker from His work.
created (sing.). Occurs 6 times in this Introduction. Other acts 46 times. See Appendix 5. Perfection implied. Deuteronomy 32:4. 2Samuel 22:31. Job 38:7. Pslams 111; 147:3-5. Proverbs 3:19. Ecclesiastes 3:11-14. [Even the Greek Cosmos = ornament. Exodus 33:4-6. Isaiah 49:18. Jeremiah 4:30. Ezekiel 7:20. 1Peter 3:3]
the heaven and the earth. With Hebrew Particle 'eth before each, emphasising the Article "the", and thus distinguishing both from 2:1. "Heavens" in Hebrew always in plural. See note on Deuteronomy 4:26.
2. And. Note the Figure of Speech Polysyndeton (See appendix 6), by which, in the 34 verses of this Introduction, each one of 102 separate acts are emphasised; and the important word "God" in verse 1 is carried like a lamp through the whole of this Introduction (1:1 - 2:3).
the earth. Figure of Speech Anadiplosis. See appendix 6.
was = become. See Genesis 2:7; 4:3; 9:15; 19:26. Exodus 32:1. Deuteronomy 27:9. 2Samuel 7:24, etc. Also rendered came to pass, Genesis 4:14; 22:1; 23:1; 27:1. Joshua 4:1; 5:1. 1Kings 13:32. Isaiah 14:24 etc. Also rendered be (in the sense of become), verse 3 etc., and where the verb "to be" is not in italic type. Hence, Exodus 3:1, kept=became keeper, quit = become men, etc. See Appendix 7.
without form = waste. Hebrew tohu va bohu. Figure of Speech Paronomasia See appendix 6. Not created tohu (Isaiah 45:18 See Above), but became tohu (Genesis 1:2. 2Peter 3:5,6). "An enemy hath done this" (Matthew 13:25,28,39. compare 1Corithians 14:33). See Appendix 8.
was. This is the italic type, because no verb "to be" in Hebrew (see Appendix 7). In like manner man became a ruin (Genesis 3. Psalms 14:1-3; 51:5; 53:1-3. Ecclesiastes 7:20. Romans 7:18).
face. Figure of Speech Pleonasm. See appendix 6.
the Spirit of God moved (see Appendix 9) = The beginning of "the heavens and the earth which are now" (2Peter 3:7). It is even so in the New Creation. The Spirit moves (John 3:3-8. Romans 8:5,9,14. Galatians 4:29. 2Corinthians 5:17,18).
There are reasons why I dimiss the gap theory, but I didn’t write this as a polemic against it. Morrises quote about the movement of the Spirit across the waters, possibly meaning “Vibrating” doesn’t seem to do any damage to the text seeing that the same word is rendered shaKe and flutter.
Curious isn't it there was a ‘flood’ before this earth was cleaned up, described right there in Genesis 1:2?
Then you would probably be best served by not mentioning it.
If you're going to use a particular wrench to remove one spark plug, mentioning you won't use it on another plug without an adequate "why" ALWAYS makes a critical thinker suspicious.
I enjoyed the journey, though.
I had given up on 'religion' and decided too many fingers had their way with the WORD down through all these years for it to still be in tact as was given from the Heavenly Father. The crazy conflict with young earth and old earth surely had to have a Godly answer... and it does.
You found the way around it, I'm happy for you.
This journey has been sweet as honey to taste but watching the drama unfold does make the belly bitter. Thanks for your kind words.
You are ironically missing the beautiful nuclear physics that phrasing invokes because the first few minutes of the so-called Big Bang Theory are very exactly described in Genesis. In smaller quantities, they are what we see every day today in the world's high energy particle accelerators and nuclear reactors, and (in the stars) all around us in space
In particular, the subtleties of the above translation (in the box highlighted above) exactly match the sequence of high energy nuclear reactions required as the universe cooled off after it was created. And, in fact as well as in deed, the entire (future) universe would “vibrate” as waves (energy at the speed of light) as it cools down to form solid matter).
Note that the Creator separated light from darkness AFTER light was created - something that can does actually happen as matter is formed from high energy particles as they cool to our more familiar protons, neutrons, and electrons from that miraculous “stew” of boson, quarks and electromagnetic energy.
True, an itinerant illiterate shepherd whose culture doesn't count past “seven times seventy” cannot be expected to keep track of the differences between water and other high energy fluids that nuclear engineering requires, but truly, what is the difference in the Creation Story between “waters” and high energy ions, interstellar gasses and dust clouds, plasmas, quarks, atmospheres and oceans and molten rock?
Interesting post. Help me locate your referenced “Appendices” so I can study more. Thanks!
Wow! thanks for the incredible post! Go’s Word is timeless and amazing!
Depends on what you mean by “religion”, there is a “pure religion and undefiled”according to the apostle James
When dealing with Biblical language in one of the better translations (my gold standard is the King James, a masterpiece of English literature in it’s own right), knowing that the Hebrew of Genesis can and does combine different concepts from English, into the “bucket” of a given word is very helpful.
This is somewhat alien to those who haven’t spent time with scripture, and is especially so if no language other than English has been studied. In this particular instance, you’ve touched upon an instance that I’ve found fascinating, that appears several times throughout the Bible, pertaining to the use of the word “water” or the plural “waters,” and also the related “sea.”
There can be a “sea” or great multitude, most often of people. This idiom is easier to grasp for the unfamiliar because it exists in English, sea of humanity. “Great multitude” is one of those shades of meaning there for the discovery due to the differing conceptual “buckets” called words between Hebrew (or any other language really) and English.
“Water” is no doubt the same, with broader meaning and specific, deeper shades of meaning depending upon context. That there is a deeper shade of meaning that is compelling to a scientifically inclined individual that rings true does not surprise me, I’ve often thought that book is alive in some way that is beyond our understanding. It’s surprised me many times over the course of my life, with new (to me) meaning leaping off the page after having known it for decades in some cases, validated elsewhere in scripture which was equally surprising.
I’ll have to admit, though, that I’m usually disturbed by attempts to force fit scripture into current scientific dogma. Science changes. Biblical truth is unchanging. For some reason, your insight does not disturb me.
Thanks for posting, I enjoyed reading it.
I am traveling on business, and so do not have my usual group of references with me, so forgive me as i attempt to quote from memory ...
After all matter was created - and you should look, but I believe “created” is used only the first time - by his “Face” upon the “waters” (the flash front of the Big Bang’s as it expanded). So, the formation of matter is the first use of “waters” - here, it represents a shepherd’s view of the waves of energy expanding, cooling into the vibrating nuclei and quirks and high-energy “waves” we recognize today in the labs.
He divided the “waters above” from “the water below”, right?
So, waters above - the second time! - are certainly and literally the fluids of interstellar ions and electron streams, plasma, gases, dust clouds and particles and radiation waves) right?
And, rightfully, “waters below” (at that time) are the liquid rock, the oceans, air, and gases and vapors in our atmosphere, right?
Each divided from the other by the vault, or dome, or firmament of the sky arching over a man’s head from horizon to horizon.
But, once the Creator has formed the earth and soalr system as separate creations after the “waters” as the universe’s atoms and nuclei are formed, the Story needs to only focus on the earth - man’s (future) home.
So now “waters” are used a third time, in a third way with a third meaning: our “usual” thought of liquid water in the oceans and seas and rivers. yet, here, as I mentioned above causally, only ONE “sea” was separated from the land. Which is true if our present theories of continental drift are correct. With all the continents gathered on one place - before the plates moved them apart into continents we now recognize - there was only one “sea”.
There is presently a single WORLD OCEAN.
I know Christians are loathe to include Jewish commentary on the Bible- (check me if I’m wrong...) but here’s a light-hearted “Kabalistic” dialogue that you may enjoy:
I cannot argue with your comments. What I can say is that God, our Heavenly Father that created each and every soul, told Moses what to pen in Genesis. Genesis 1:1 is a declaration of what God did. There is no time stamp on how long it took or how long that heaven/earth age lasted.
Genesis 1:2 describes what Christ and Paul call the overthrow - casting down of the devil that got translated as 'the foundation of the world'. Peter calls the heaven/earth age of Genesis 1:1 the world (age) that WAS. Peter and Jeremiah both describe the complete destruction that Moses says took place in Genesis 1:2.
Peter also says that God's methodology of time keeping is His day is as a thousand years.... Methuselah did not live a full day with the LORD. I have no argument with what is natural interaction and reaction. But there is NO evolutionary tail/tale because of when all souls/spirit intellect were created.
I define religion as the traditions of men/women and Christianity as reality. God had His elect pen the states of minds that have passed through this flesh journey and then He spoke what His intentions were. The Heavenly Father has a plan and it unfolds each and every day whether or not any of us are aware.
Why I have had some Christians say that it was God speaking when the Adam blamed God and that woman for him (Adam) partying in the garden. And many more other strange notions that are simply NOT there.
BTW...the Companion Bible by E. W Bullinger is available in print many places. My copy includes the Appendixes, I assume most or all do.
I wouldn't say that I'm "missing" it, (at least not entirely), but you are obviously more well studied than I in this area.
I have concentrated more on the timing of the events rather than the mechanics and the spirit vs. flesh aspects.
I did find your reply very interesting, however.
Just mythoughts answered in reply 25 very close to what I'd say. The Word of God just does not mix with traditions of men. The Word is not subject to private interpretation. Large portions of the Bible warns of this and describes some fairly rough consequences when it happens.
The Word of God = everlasting, unchanging truth
Christianity = reality
Religion...not so much.
Now, some religions contain some truth, and that can be a good thing, (example: teaching the Ten Commandments is probably always a positive). But sometimes partial truth can be used to mislead and that can get ugly fast.
Why not have it all? At least to the extent that you're able. Chapter by chapter, verse by verse using the best available translation of the oldest manuscripts. It ain't easy, but to me it's been rewarding beyond measure.
I make no claim that I know all there is to know, or even more than a small percentage of what's available in the Word. Rather, I measure my success by how many questions I have left and the number of those is much, much smaller than it once was. This was unattainable to me in all my experiences with "religion".
"I make no claim that I know all there is to know, or even more than a small percentage of what's available in the Word"
The more we learn, the bigger the Word seems to get.It appears to outpace our understanding of it.The more we understand,the more we realize there is to understand.
"Christianity=reality"....In my mind I truly believe that and with my mouth I say it but the person in the mirror sometimes makes me wonder what he believes.
I get that BT I was just saying that the book of James calls true, biblical faith, “Pure religion, and undefiled”. Christianity is the only true religion, but the perversion of Christianity has destroyed many churches and individuals.
Religion means that which you are bound to- what you are committed to spiritually. Christianity is the only true religion, reffered to as such in the book of James chapter 1. Having said that, I believe that you are refferring to man made perversions of christianity, the same thing the Pharisees did with Judaism. I have a religion, I am bound to Jesus, and to the Word of God, and to the Gospels.
Not quite sure what you mean by that, after saying that you "truly believe." But if I'm reading you right, it is nothing that repentance won't handle completely.
Don't feel lonely, we all need it. I use it all the time.
Thanks for the kind words, and all the best to you.
I'm okay with that and I'm certainly okay with you.
I wish you well.
I think you are right brother-