Genesis 1:1 In the beginning Elohiym created the heavens and the earth.
Although this first verse of the bible is short and seemingly clearly stated in the KJV of the bible, it has been the means of great controversy ever since the beginning of modern science. It is most unfortunate that science and religion have been at cross-purposes over this one statement of the bible, which has indeed created a line of division between the entire bible and science; and there are no plans or designs to span that division. This problem has two perspectives. First, those men of religion who were considered of any account misinterpreted Genesis 1:1, and secondly, because the men of science took these men of religion at their word rather than checking out the matter for themselves.
Looking at the Hebrew of this verse, we see two possible areas that can cause vagueness, in relationship to its creational aspect. The first area of vagueness is in the phrase “In the beginning” which would be more at “In a beginning” in the Hebrew. In other words, there is no definite article used in this phrase in the Hebrew. The definite article is in the above English translation because the context of the phrase is from a given perspective. The term is not absolute because there is no such thing as the beginning in an absolute sense. God has always existed; therefore, any beginning is a beginning from some given perspective. We must understand the phrase “the beginning” from the perspective of the context of what we are saying.
The term “in the beginning” has several applications throughout the bible for the beginning <of> something. The phrase as used in Genesis 1:1 is unique in the sense that “in the beginning” is not “of” something. This leads to part of the vagueness that has developed over the years. In John 1:1 we see another time that is said to be “in the beginning” with this same uniqueness seen in the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1. John says, “In the beginning was the Word”. Most men who take the bible as their cue for religion will agree, and the bible will bear out, that these two times of “in the beginning” were not the same time. This shows that the phrase “in the beginning” is relational to the context and is not an absolute ‘stand alone’ phrase. There are many different beginnings. John’s statement “In the beginning was the Word” would come the closest to being the beginning of beginnings – with the understanding that God the Father had no beginning. For before the beginning of John 1:1, there was no beginning, that man can conceive.
We know from the bible that the “Word of God” created all things (Eph 3:9 and Rev 4:11). Therefore, the Word of God, the Messiah, had to exist before the creation of the material universe, in order to do the creating of that universe.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
The bible does not tell us when the beginning mentioned in Genesis 1: 1 occurred. Men of religion have made a deduction that this beginning was 6000 years ago, and men of science have accepted this theory as a fact of scriptural position rather than looking into the matter for themselves. The truth is, however, that the bible does not time this beginning.
The second area of vagueness, in this first verse of the Bible, so far as the creation is concerned, is in the word “heaven” which should probably have been translated “heavens”. This word is in the plural in the Hebrew. The plural form of this word can refer to the skies of earth or to the entire universe – especially the observable part of the universe that one sees when he looks up in the heavens at night, from any given perspective on the earth. As the author of Genesis is giving us a history of the earth, one would expect him to mention something about its beginning – when it was brought into existence or created, at least in a general sort of way. That is what Moses did. He started his history of the earth with the beginning. This did not require him to include every detail that took place from that time forward in the history. Rather, he wrote with a purpose and followed his objective to its intended conclusion.
The book of Genesis is concerned with the history of the earth. Whether the earth was a late creation in comparison to the rest of the universe is immaterial for our purposes discussed here. However, the phrase “the heavens and the earth” seems to indicate that the earth came into existence at the time of the rest of the universe, or at least our solar system, as it existed at that time.
The Bible does not contest science’s claim of the earth being billions of years old. But there was a point in time when God created the earth, and that period of time known as “the beginning” is referenced in Genesis 1:1. There were other periods of creation that could just as well be called “the beginning” in relationship to their coming into existence. We have already seen John 1:1, a beginning that came before the beginning of Genesis 1:1.
Whether or not we can absolutely say that Genesis 1:1 is in reference to the creation of the entire universe, it is totally unnecessary and in error to link the creation of the earth to the time of Adam and Eve, as will be amply shown. This was a gross error made by men of religion because they did not carefully observe the wording of Genesis 1:1. The earth was already quite old when God made Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1:1 begins with the very foundation of the earth, when it first became a physical reality. The rest of the first chapter is not in the same context of time – except in the overall sense of the earth’s origin. As we will see, there were huge gaps of time between verses 1 and 2 and between verse 2 and the rest of the chapter.
We see from the following passage in Job that the angels were created before the material universe – or at least prior to the creation of the earth and probably our solar system. The passage in Job is speaking of a time when the <foundations> of the earth were laid. This particular creation would have been at the time the sphere we call earth was first created, which Genesis 1:1 calls “in the beginning”. In verse 7 of Job 34 we are told that the “morning stars” and <all> of the “sons of God” shouted for joy at the foundational creation of the earth! On the face of this statement, we can see that the creation of the “morning stars” and <all> of the “sons of God” took place before the creation of the earth. Why is this important? This bit of information tells us that the beings of a spirit world became a spiritual reality before Genesis 1:1. Therefore, we can know that “the beginning” of Genesis 1:1 is from a given perspective and not absolute – for we are shown activity that took place before Genesis 1:1! This particular beginning was from the perspective of the origin of the earth and its heavens. This was a fitting way for Moses to introduce his subject, as it was a history.
Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
One might question, “If there was a time when nothing material existed, where did the material universe come from?” The writer of Hebrews tells us that, “The worlds were framed by the word of God”. He tells us that those things, which we can see, were made “of that which cannot be seen”! Now, many have jumped to the conclusion that Paul is telling us that the material creation came into existence from nothing. That is not what Paul is saying! Something does not come from nothing. It is an absolute law that something must come from something.
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
When we fully understand this statement from the author of the book of Hebrews, we can see plainly that the physical creation is not the real thing! In other words, the real world is unseen to those of us who are physical. How do we know that this material creation is not the real thing? Because the universe is decaying, indicating that it will eventually pass away unless something is done to refurbish it from time to time. We as human beings only live for 80-100 years and then we die. Moreover, we are physical beings on a physical earth that is dying. However, when we become spirit beings, we will never die. Therefore, the spirit world is the real world and the physical world is temporary, created for a temporary purpose, and passing away.
John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
As Paul tells us in another place, this corruptible – that which is dying – is to put on incorruption – that which will not die. That which is mortal will put on immortality. We learn in other places that Paul is speaking of a spirit body instead of a physical body.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
The conclusion is that what we can see has its creational foundation in that which is spirit. Science knows nothing about this dimension. This knowledge comes by revelation; and most scientists of today will only accept physically measurable knowledge. However, revealed knowledge is the link between the physical creation and the real spiritual world. That which is visible came from spirit – that which is invisible. Unless we accept this revelation, we cannot know or understand how the material universe came into existence. All other postulations require greater faith than the revealed knowledge of the Bible on this subject.
We will get into more of the creation in the next verse and show how that religion and science have misunderstood Scripture. However, there is another point of vagueness, other than the creational one, that has existed over a great deal of time and yet flies in the face of what this verse tells us. The word <God> is <Elohiym> in the Hebrew and it is a plural word. This tells us that God is more than one being. We rightly refer to God in the singular, but we have misunderstood the nature of God. God can be compared to <one family>, <one company>, <one people>, etc. In no way does this mean that God is a trinity, as men of religion have claimed. A trinity limits God to a being of three “persons” in one – a physical and spiritual impossibility. On the contrary, Scripture points out that God is creating for Himself a family of awesome proportions.
The word <elohiym> is used of pagan gods and we have no problem with accepting that more than one pagan god is being referred to, with the use of this word. There is nothing in the Scriptures that will support the plurality of Elohiym being the “Majesty of God” as claimed by men of religion! Why should we find plurality improper when referring to God? The Bible bears out that the whole purpose of God in creating the human family is to bring many sons into glory (Heb 2:10 and John 1:12). That glory is to become the sons of God.
Note: The Bible uses the masculine gender to refer to all of humanity. That is the method used in this writing for simplicity’s sake. There is no discrimination of the sexes intended, as the context of the Bible will show.
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, in this short sentence of the very first verse of the Bible we have seen three misconceptions. #1) “In the beginning” has a relational orientation – and that relationship has to do with the creation of the earth; #2) “heavens” has a universe or, at least, immediate solar system perspective, the focus being on the earth and the skies above it; #3) Elohiym shows God as a plurality rather than a single being. Yet, the Bible shows that this plurality is a Family, not a number of beings going their separate ways. Pagan gods do not have this distinction. They are not a “family of gods” but a number of separate gods all competing – as figments in the minds of their worshippers – for superiority. Yet, we could say that all pagan gods stem from one source, and that source is Satan. God is one in the sense of unity of understanding. From the Bible we see presently two beings in the God Family and understand that ultimately there will be billions of beings in the Family of God. This Family is and will continue to be – God.
The main point made here is that the vagueness of the word <Elohiym> creates confusion as far as the nature of God is concerned. To properly understand the term, one must gain illumination from the rest of the bible.
Genesis 1:2 And the earth became an empty expanse of chaos, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of Elohiym hovered over the face of the waters.
It is important to understand that God did not create the earth, as an empty expanse of chaos, in “the beginning” of verse one. It is without doubt that a very great expanse of time took place before this chaos, and much time could have passed after the chaos before God decided to correct the damage. The Bible does not give us the details of how long these two intervals were. However, we know that these two intervals of time exist, for Isaiah tells us that God did not create the earth in vain. The Hebrew words used for <without form> and <void> in Genesis 1:2 are “tohuw” and “bohuw”. Genesis 1:2 relates that the earth was (became) “tohuw” and “bohuw”. However, Isaiah tells us that God did not create the earth “tohuw” or without form. Therefore, we must conclude that something happened after the original creation that brought the earth into a state of confusion.
Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain (tohuw), he formed it to be inhabited: I [am] the LORD; and [there is] none else.
It is also important to notice that the word translated <was> could have just as easily been translated <became>. See the definition for “hayah” taken from the Online Bible Lexicon below. Because men of religion chose “was” rather than “became” as the translation in this verse, they fixed verses one and two as being in the same time period – creating a mistranslation according to Isaiah 45:18. This led to fixing the creation of Adam and Eve at the time of the creation of the earth all because of a poor translation!
AV-was, come to pass, came, has been, were happened, become, pertained, better for thee; 75
1) to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out 1a) (Qal) 1a1) ----- 1a1a) to happen, fall out, occur, take place, come about, come to pass 1a1b) to come about, come to pass 1a2) to come into being, become 1a2a) to arise, appear, come 1a2b) to become 1a2b1) to become 1a2b2) to become like 1a2b3) to be instituted, be established 1a3) to be 1a3a) to exist, be in existence 1a3b) to abide, remain, continue (with word of place or time) 1a3c) to stand, lie, be in, be at, be situated (with word of locality) 1a3d) to accompany, be with 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to occur, come to pass, be done, be brought about 1b2) to be done, be finished, be gone *****************************************************************
The story, pieced together from the Bible, is stranger than fiction. The story is full of intrigue, a grasp for power, a “source of good” fighting against a “source of evil”, and in the end good triumphing over evil. It fills in the gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Let us search out this story from the pages of the bible.
Before the creation of the earth, there existed at least two “morning stars”. The Bible identifies only two morning stars, so for now we will assume that there were only two beings called by this title.
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Who were these morning stars? The bible tells us, in the book of Revelation, that the Messiah was the bright and morning star! The language there suggests that the Messiah is the one and only morning star at the time of John’s writing. However, as we can see in Job 38, there were at least two morning stars. Who could the other morning star have been?
Revelation 22:16 I Jesus (Joshua) have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, [and] the bright and morning star.