What did God create in Genesis 1:1?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Paul33, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Paul33

    Paul33
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    NIV Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
    2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

    NIV Psalm 102:25 In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

    NIV Isaiah 45:18 For this is what the LORD says-- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-- he says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.

    It is my contention that Genesis 1:1-2 is a description of God creating the universe including the earth's foundation.

    It is also my contention that Genesis 1:3ff is a description of God filling the earth in six literal 24 hour days.

    I have sighted verses from Psalms and Isaiah to support this view.

    What God did in the beginning is create the universe including the earth's foundation, which was barren and empty. It was surrounded in water and complete darkness (Job 38:4-9). And the Holy Spirit hovered for an indefinate period of time (One hour? Billions of years? The text doesn't say).

    Then God began to work on the earth's foundation to make it habitable. He said, "Let there be light." And the clouds around the earth thinned and there was light and darkness, morning and evening, the first day.

    Can anyone prove that this is not a literal interpretation of the Hebrew text?
     
  2. Trotter

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    Haven't we been down this road already?

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  3. Paul33

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    Hi Trotter,

    We got shut down the other day. But the question raised was interesting. From Scripture alone, what does it say about creation?

    I would like someone to show me from Scripture where my interpretation fails the test of being literal.
     
  4. Grasshopper

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    One can hold to a literal translation and not hold to 24 hour days.

    www.reasons.org
     
  5. DHK

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    Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    2 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.

    I have heard this taken two ways: both still believing in 6, 24 hour day creation.
    I believe it is Merill Unger who suggests that on the first day God created the heaven, the earth, and the light. That is one view.

    I believe that the first verse is a summary verse, like the topic sentence at the beginning of any good paragraph, where the Holy Spirit is telling us that God created the heaven and the earth. And then in the following verses He proceeds to tell us how he created them. I do not believe that there is any reason to take the account any other way than the way that it was intended--as an historical account of creation--just like the rest of the books of Moses. Moses was engaged in writing down a history of mankind beginning with the creation of the world, and ending with his death. He gives historical details in every book that he writes, and there is no need to think that he wouldn't be writing historically here.
    The other argument presented in this favor is the seventh day, the Sabbath, which the Jews celebrate to this day. In Exodus 31, the Lord put so much emphasis on Israel keeping the Sabbath Day as a sign of the covenant between them and Jehovah for Israel and their generations forever, that it would not make sense for the Sabbath to be the seventh holy day--a day of rest, without all the other days being consistenly the same.
    Exodus 20:11 indicates that the Lord created everything in six days. That includes whatever is described in verse two. You just can't leave it out of the picture. It must be a part of the first day. It is a part of how God was forming this earth. He was kind enough to give us some information on how he did it. And it wasn't by evolution; it was by the Holy Spirit moving across the face of the waters. How that fits into evolution, I will never know.

    So there is a summary verse of what God is going to do. And then in verse two, God begins telling us how he shapes the earth. And in verse three he tells us that he gives us a source of light, yet not from the sun. Those things which happened in verses two and three, of a necessity, must have happpened on the first day.
    God is a God of order, not of confusion. And He is a God of Intelligent Design. There is both design and order in a six day 24 hour creation.
    DHK
     
  6. Paul33

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    If verse one is a summary statement that God created the heavens and the earth, meaning the universe, then God never gets around to explaining when the universe began. The summary statement theory leaves Genesis 1:2 as the first source of information about the "creation" of the earth. But there is a problem. The earth already exists in verse two.

    Following DHK's line of reasoning. Genesis teaches us that:

    1. The earth is already existing in a formless and empty state without benefit of a solar system.

    2. That God created light for the earth to make day one possible, even though the earth is all that exists, for the sun, moon, and stars are not yet made.

    3. That the heavens weren't made until day two, presumably earth's atomosphere without benefit of the stellar heavens.

    4. That the formless mass known as earth finally consolidated into a land mass and seas on day three.

    5. That finally on day four God made the earth's heaven of sun, moon, and stars. Before this time the earth was just sitting there in nothingness, no orbit around the sun.

    At no point in the creation account are we told when God created the universe (stellar heavens), if verse one is merely a summary statement.

    The purpose of this thread is to have someone show me where my interpretation is not literal to the Hebrew text.

    One thing is obvious. The summary statement theory leaves the creation account in utter disaray.

    A literal interpreation of Genesis 1:1 is that God created out of nothing the universe. The universe consisting of all the solar systems and galaxies, including the earth's solar system with the planets, sun, moon and stars already in place.

    Isaiah 45:18 is very important for understanding Genesis 1:1, though not necessary.

    "For this is what the LORD says-- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-- he says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other."

    God created {bara}the heavens and the earth's foundation out of nothing in Genesis 1:1. He affirms this in Isaiah 45:18. Isaiah uses bara for the creation of the heavens and for stating that he did not create the earth to be empty. And since God did not create the earth to be empty, he fashions it and makes it habitable. The very same Hebrew word (asah)is used in Genesis to describe God's fashioning of the earth to make it habitable.

    So Genesis 1:1 is not a summary statement. It is a statement of fact. God created out of nothing the heavens and the earth, meaning the universe including the earth's foundation. He then proceeds to describe the earth's foundation to us in verse two, and the fashioning of it for habitation in verses three and following.

    [ February 20, 2005, 02:02 PM: Message edited by: Paul33 ]
     
  7. Paul33

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    If Genesis 1:1 is a literal statement of how God created the universe out of nothing, including the earth's foundation; then verse two is merely a description of the earth's foundation in its original condition before God begins to "fashion" it for life. This agrees with Isaiah 45:18 and the scores of verses that speak of an earth's foundation in the beginning before the fashioning process begins by God.

    In reference to the universe and the earth's foundation, God creates (bara) and then God "makes" the earth habitable (asah).

    Again, can someone show me where this is not a literal reading of the Hebrew text?
     
  8. OldRegular

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    The following Scripture, apart from Genesis 1, tell us:

    John 1:3
    All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    and

    Colossians 1:16,17
    16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.


    Therefore, in Genesis 1.1 and the verses that follow we have the creation out of nothing of the universe and all that it contains. I personally believe in a 6 day creation period.
     
  9. Phillip

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    Exo 20:11

    (ALT)

    (BBE) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and everything in them, and he took his rest on the seventh day: for this reason the Lord has given his blessing to the seventh day and made it holy.

    (CEV) In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That's why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.

    (Darby) For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.


    (DRB) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them, and rested on the seventh day: therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.

    (EMTV)

    (ESV) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    (GB) For in sixe dayes the Lord made the heauen and the earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seuenth day: therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    (GNT)

    (GNT-TR)

    (GNT-WH+)

    (KJV+) For3588 in six8337 days3117 the LORD3068 made6213 (853) heaven8064 and earth,776 (853) the sea,3220 and all3605 that834 in them is, and rested5117 the seventh7637 day:3117 wherefore5921, 3651 the LORD3068 blessed1288 the (853) sabbath7676 day,3117 and hallowed6942 it.

    (KJV-1611) For in sixe dayes the Lord made heauen and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seuenth day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and halowed it.

    (LITV) For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all which is in them, and He rested on the seventh day; on account of this Jehovah blessed the sabbath day and sanctified it.

    (UPDV) for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    (YLT) for six days hath Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and resteth in the seventh day; therefore hath Jehovah blessed the Sabbath-day, and doth sanctify it.


    Either you believe in the literal meaning or you have to twist things around to make them fit your theories.
     
  10. Phillip

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    My question would be what is "heavens"? I don't think that God is referring just to atmosphere.
     
  11. Paul33

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    Hi Phillip,

    I took just the first two translations that you posted and have reprinted them here.

    (BBE) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and everything in them, and he took his rest on the seventh day: for this reason the Lord has given his blessing to the seventh day and made it holy.

    (CEV) In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That's why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.

    That is the question. What did God do in six days? Ex. 20:11 says that God made the heaven, the earth, the sea and everything in them (BBE).

    (CEV) says sky, earth, oceans, and everything in them.

    Both are translating shamayim, eres, and yam.

    Would it not be fair and prudent to seek to understand what Ex.20:11 is referencing when it uses these three terms?

    I think it would be. And what Ex.20:11 is referencing is Genesis 1:6-10.

    Shamayim in Genesis 1:6-8 is clearly a reference to the separation of water that is formed by the expanse that God makes. God calls the expanse, shamayim or "sky." Shamayim in Genesis 1:6-8 is not a reference to the stellar heavens, it is a reference to the sky, the very same sky that is filled with birds on day five.

    Eres and yam in Genesis 1:9-10 is also easy to understand in context. The land that was formed by pulling the water into one place, God called "land." This is not a reference to the planet earth but a reference to dry land in which things grow and live. It is the same eres or land that is filled with trees and vegatation on day three and animals and man on day six.

    Yam is clearly understood to be the water that is gathered into one place. This same sea or yam is filled with living creatures on day five.

    So what is Exodus 20:11 saying. It is saying that in six days God made the sky and land, the seas and everything in them. Note the plural "them." God filled the sky, land, and seas just like Genesis 1:6ff describes.

    You have to read into the text to say that God created everything (the universe) in six days. The text doesn't say that. A literal reading of the text says that God created the sky, land, sea, and everything in them in six days.

    It does not say that God created the universe in six days. He might have, depending on how long the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters. But Exodus 20:11 doesn't tell us that fact. It only tells us that God filled the sky, land, and sea in six days. How do I know that Ex. 20:11 teaches this? Because it is a direct reference to what God did starting with day two of Genesis 1:6-10.

    Would it not be prudent to let the very first chapter of Scripture dictate the meanings of shamayim, eres, and yam?

    Can anyone show me that this understanding of Genesis 1:6-10 is not a literal understanding of the Hebrew text?

    [ February 20, 2005, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Paul33 ]
     
  12. Paul33

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    OldRegular,

    Genesis 1:6-8 clearly shows that God made the sky, but the text proves that he did not make the sky out of nothing. He made the sky by separating the waters below from the waters above. This expanse he called sky.

    Genesis 1:9-10 also shows that God did not make the dry land and seas out of nothing. He made them by gathering the waters into one place. The resulting dry land he called land (eres), and the resulting gathered waters he called seas (yam).

    This is why the Hebrew verb asah is used. Asah means to fashion, make or do something. God fashioned the earth's biosphere to make it habitable for life just like Isaiah 45:18 says.
     
  13. El_Guero

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    Paul

    Your exegesis is based upon your desire to support your pressuposition(s). That is usually called eisegesis and not exegesis ...


    OK ... It depends upon what you are fishing for ...

    Is it reasonable to believe that God wrote through Moses to deliver a science treatise about the beginning? Or, would it be reasonable to believe that God gave Moses an introductory thesis statement about Creation?

    But, if you are truly studying the text, I can recommend several works for you to read, from my annotated bibliography on Genesis Chapters 1 & 2.
     
  14. Paul33

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    El Guero,

    How can I take you seriously when I've quoted nothing but Scripture and discussed it from the Hebrew text. I have no presupposition other than what does the text literally say. That is not eisegesis. It is exegesis.

    Since you accuse me of eisegesis, can you show me where I have read into the text something that is not there in the Hebrew?
     
  15. Phillip

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    Okay, Paul, I'm game, let's look at this closer. Let me do a little study on my own and I'll get back to you. I am certainly not going to say that you are wrong, at least not yet.
     
  16. Paul33

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    What did God reveal to Moses?

    1. God created the universe. Gen. 1:1
    2. The earth was barren and empty. Gen. 1:2
    3. God made the earth habitable for life. Gen 1:3ff.

    Psalm 102:25, Isaiah 45:18, and Job 38:4-9 reveal that the creation of the universe out of nothing took place in the beginning. At the creation of the universe, God also created the earth's foundation.

    Isaiah 45:18 and Job 38:4-9 also reveal that the earth's foundation was barren and empty and wrapped in thick clouds. Genesis 1:2 also teaches that the earth was surrounded in water.

    God fashioned and made the earth habitable according to Isaiah 45:18, exactly what Genesis 1:3ff reports.
     
  17. Phillip

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    A translation issue which could work for your case is that "heaven" in Hebrew should probably be singular.

    The KJV plural rendering may not be the best.

    In this case, it could be referring to "skies".

    By the way, what is your entire view of creationism? Do you believe in evolution, or just old Earth? Do you believe in a literal Adam and Eve?

    I'm not trying to trap you, I am just curious. I know we have debated about this before, but I don't wish to go digging up all of the old posts to find out our positions.
     
  18. Phillip

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    So, basically, you are looking at something very similar to the gap theory? (That was my historical view of things.)
     
  19. Phillip

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    I have to go to church, be back later, if you are around. I would certainly like to continue to discuss this.
     
  20. Paul33

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    I do not believe in evolution of any type.

    I do not believe in OEC that includes long periods of time for each day.

    I believe the Hebrew text leaves the age of the universe and earth's foundation unspecified.

    I believe that the fashioning of the earth's foundation to make it habitable for life is recent based on the geneologies of the Bible.

    I believe in a literal Adam and Eve.

    I believe all of this on a literal understanding of the Scriptures.

    I believe that when Genesis 1:2 states that the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters it leaves the age of the universe undefined.

    [If I said a helecoptor hovered over my house, would it not be a fair question to ask for how long? If I don't know the answer, I can't give one. This is my position concerning the age of the universe. The Scriptures do not reveal how long the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters before God said, "Let there be light."]

    Therefore the age of the universe and the earth's foundation may be very old or very young, but it not possible to determine this from Scripture because no one knows how long the Holy Spirit hovered in verse two.
     

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