10 Feb '15 14:36>2 edits
Doctrine of Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:25) August 25, 2011
When examining the creation of the universe, which includes planet earth, we will consider only what the Bible says about these events. It is not my intention to delve into scientific data or attempt to disprove the theory of evolution. If a person believes the Bible, he cannot believe in the theory of evolution – they are not compatible. It must also be pointed out that there are numerous theories about the creation of the universe among Christians. Some Christian scientists attempt to make the Bible fit their particular theory, instead of letting the Bible interpret itself. A lack of study of the original languages leads one to a misunderstanding of Creation. We will examine the words from the original languages that describe Creation in order to arrive at an accurate understanding of these events. The Bible is not a science book, but when it speaks of true science it is always accurate. For our study we will exegete verses one through eight of Chapter 1 of Genesis. We will study the origin of man in our lesson, The Origin of Human Life next week.
In The Beginning That Was Not A Beginning
We begin with verse one of Genesis. The King James Version of the Bible says “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This verse seems very straightforward as stated, but let’s examine the original Hebrew words in the context and some Greek words referring to Creation. Verse one is the only verse in Genesis that presents the creation of the universe. The Hebrew language in this verse is a key to understanding Creation.
There are three words in Hebrew for creation: Bara, Jatsar and Asah. Bara means to create something out of nothing. Jatsar means to fashion something on the exterior like a sculptor. Asah means to build out of something that already exists. These words are important to our understanding of the account of Creation.
Now let’s exegete verses one through eight of Genesis 1:
“In the beginning” – Hebrew [“Bere * h”] – this is a prepositional phrase made up of “Be” meaning “in”, plus “Rishah” meaning “beginning.” However, in the Hebrew there is no definite article. Therefore, this indicates “a” beginning, not “the” beginning.
A more literal translation would be “In a beginning that was not a beginning.” What does that mean? It is a reference to eternity past. We have a similar verse in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Greek here is “En Arche” and means the same as the Hebrew, first beginning or eternity past. John refers to the existence of God in eternity past and Moses, the writer of Genesis, refers to the existence of the universe in eternity past.
The truth is that it did not take six days to create the universe. Its creation was instantaneous and occurred sometime in eternity past before man was created. Therefore, we cannot put a date on the age of planet earth. What we find upon examination of the Bible is that after the creation of the universe and between the creation of angels and man, the earth became chaotic. This chaos was most likely the result of a battle among the angels and God’s judgment of them. (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28:15-16)
“God created” – Hebrew – “Elohim Bara” – the Trinity created out of nothing. “Elohim” is a plural noun and “bara” is a singular verb, which is an indication of the Trinity. Therefore, the entire Godhead was involved in Creation.
“The heaven and the earth” – Hebrew – “Ha Shamajim” and “Ha Aretz” – notice the “im” suffix, this indicates a plural. It should be “heavens” and earth (singular). This verse should say, “In a beginning, which was not a beginning, in eternity past, God created out of nothing the universe, including earth.” [*omitted letters] (Part 1 of 3)
Note: Those of you with inquiring minds will enjoy and benefit from this definitive account of creation.