Before the beginning there was only God.
The question is whether Genesis 1:1, and the week that ensued - the question is whether or not this is THE beginning which is spoken of throughout the Scripture. Is the beginning of Genesis One, and the whole chapter - is that beginning the time frame of the creation of Adam?
Is this the same "Beginning" that is mentioned quite a few times throughout Scripture?
Or is there another beginning? I think not. Can anyone provide scriptural support for the notion of some other, earlier beginning than THE beginning that is referenced by Jesus?
If Genesis chapter Five does not tell us WHEN the beginning was, then what is the reason for all the years and capacity for simple math to lead us to the precise date of the Flood AM?

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Hi Jim,

Are you sure you want to discuss this topic on this site?

Aaron

This is a perfect place to discuss this topic, as it is a matter that is included in the Statement of Faith for this Creation Conversations web-site. All who call themselves "members" of this forum should affirm the truths of this credo, or they should identify themselves as visitors.

This is the "Creation Conversations" Website. Creation is the second word in the Bible, and it is said to be the first act of God "in the beginning," so if talking about the beginning is not appropriate to this site, then why not? Where better to discuss it? What place would be more appropriate?

I am at present teaching Hebrew for about the tenth time. This class will be available on video, with sub-titles for those learning in 6H1NA, and elsewhere. A grammar/workbook is also in the mix.

Personally, I trust the many many scholars of Hebrew over the centuries who have a different reading of the text than that provided by Dr. Young, and apparently accepted by Dr. Blake with the endorsement of his Hebrew-speaking wife.

Then too, the question of whether or not Hebrew had or has tenses does not change the reality that in ancient time the Hebrew did have a way to express action that occurred in the past, and Modern Hebrew retains that ability and capacity to speak clearly about actions in the past. And there is also a means of expressing action which will occur in the future. And they could also express the idea action taking place concurrently with the narration of the event. Hebrew also effectively expresses by verbs a state of being that begins to exist, and then continues as a condition during which subsequent actions occur.

We who are not Hebrew scholars should exercise some degree of caution when it come to making definitive declarations as to how the language, syntax, vocabulary, and grammar functions. Even speakers of Hebrew may not fully understand how the verbs in  ancient times functioned compared to how they now function in the revived Hebrew of the modern era.

It deserves caution. Just as certainly as those who are not physicists should avoid trying to make definitive declarations about time and atomic theory. And just as certainly as people err who often try to tell us about scientific facts, and how these "facts" should force us to reconsider our understanding of the simple meaning of Scripture.

Let us endeavor to know the God who is there, and understand what is written, with all humility, and then let us with the returning exiles, REJOICE when the lights come on and we do understand what it written (Neh. 8:7-13).

Not only do I look at the opinions of Talmudic/Rabbinical scholars, I also look at the readings of great scholars from the believing Christian community, many of whom knew multiple ancient middle eastern languages better than we know our own native tongues!

But most importantly, we can look at the rest of the Bible and conclude that verses one and two of Genesis One were included as part of the work of God on Day One - Exodus 20:11

Jim if I may be a voice to get the ball rolling, I am more interested in the "earths creation" than anything else. That having been said:

Jim it could be that Exodus and Jesus were both referencing to the "earths creation". When scripture speaks of -- "in the beginning"  what beginning?  In context this seems to imply the beginning is referencing the beginning of creation of earth, it seems like it is referring the earth being formless and void, and GODs beginning to do his creative magic????

This implies to me, that matter was existent before this, event--when I look at scripture this is what I get, but honestly Jim I am more interested in Earths actual creation.....Surely it seems the preponderance of Christians see it exactly as you say. 

So the other thing one has to ask, Why couldn't GOd have done it all from day one in Genesis, esepcially being almighty, all powerful, and in control of all?  This is like asking people why do they believe in more than 6 24 hour days?  If God is God then certainly he could do it all in 6 days and rest on the 7th?  I think my view would be if there is something before the beginning of creation of the earth. This should not be some psudo--challenge to Gods power or omnipotence....He may have chosen it to do it differently. 

I don't mean to move towards a secular statement, but I read somewhere that the mathematical probabilities of another planet exactly like earth in our Universe alone--is sone huge staggering number....I just throw these thoughts out..CHeers!   

Hi JIm,

Jim Brenneman  says:

Before the beginning there was only God.

The Triune God has existed eternally.

The question is whether Genesis 1:1, and the week that ensued - the question is whether or not this is THE beginning which is spoken of throughout the Scripture. Is the beginning of Genesis One, and the whole chapter - is that beginning the time frame of the creation of Adam?

There was only one beginning and is related to us by Moses in Genesis 1:1.

Is this the same "Beginning" that is mentioned quite a few times throughout Scripture?

There can be only one beginning, anything else would be modifications to what began in the beginning.

Or is there another beginning? I think not. Can anyone provide scriptural support for the notion of some other, earlier beginning than THE beginning that is referenced by Jesus?

There is scriptural evidence for only one beginning.

If Genesis chapter Five does not tell us WHEN the beginning was, then what is the reason for all the years and capacity for simple math to lead us to the precise date of the Flood AM?

Genesis 5 does not tell us when the beginning was, nor does the chronology of James Ussher.  Ussher used the ages in the Bible to calculate the duration between the man listed in Genesis 5:1, 2, and his days.  These numbers have been extended until today.

 

But there are many things that would need to be reconciled to get that man to be in the beginning.

 

First:  The universe and earth existed at the end of Genesis 1:1.

 

Second: He was never forbidden from eating any fruit,  Genesis 1:29

 

Third: He was never placed in a Garden.

 

God Bless,

 

Aaron

 

 

   

         

Aaron- not sure if you understood, I am not going to argue for my idea, its jut an idea I have had for several years that indued do to a discussion on this forum several years ago----but I did not in anyway imply anything but scripture? Man was made after the earth was formed, the biosphere was covered and the animals created, the oceans and land.  I am not changing scripture some new inference, I Only say that all things exist and consist because of GOD, now I am personally open to scripture referencing the forming the earth and even Jesus reference was of creation (of the earth) or at least I think it could be taken that way.  John says in the beginning was the logos, so I am not trying to place man in any other framework than what the biblical narrative says, how ever if and I say if the universe and other planets existed before the earth was formed, I think the narrative could be open for such a thing, such as some have implied on this forum as well.  It would seem that our milky way and planets etc. were formed at creation, when God made light night and day?  But other Universes exist and and the vast expanse may have existed before all of this, as GOD was existent and never had a beginning, but matter did....

It seems that Moses and and Genesis and the writings seem to camp out on the Middle East, possibly the earth and the heavens is what is visible and known to man, the moon the stars, the planets, the sun, etc.  So again I believe that most Christians have a very solid view such as what JIm said above, and it all happened at one time, but......   

So, Lou is weighing in that "the beginning" was probably not really the absolute beginning.

Aaron is weighing in with unspecified Scriptural allusion, that "the beginning" was indeed the absolute beginning of all things, except he seems to think that God had a throne and others sort sorts of things that were other than himself prior to this beginning.

Jim weighs in that the Scriptures are unanimous in declaring that Genesis One verse one is telling us about the beginning of all things that are other than God, all things that were made, were made by him in this beginning in the week long creation event.

Jim, I have no hard fast specific rule or conclusion, I have only speculated Jim....the tide of Christian thinking and authors on the subject is interesting to say the least. Scripture declares all things were made by Him, and exist and consist because of Him.... Jim because of the omnipotence of God, and his power, and creative abilities, if the Universe outside of our solar system was made prior, it was certainly His choice and His doing, in His timing.

JIm asking you a question I know I have asked before....IN Revelations, Isaiah, Daniel, and other places certain beings, certain abodes, certain creatures, and certain domains not seen by man....could or did they exist before Earth was created?

They certainly have been created by Him and for Him. 

Jim,

I hear you.

Seems like no matter which direction we chose to believe, there will be other Christians with whole alphabets behind their name that can read and interpret seven languages who might take the other side. We begin to question ourselves...but this is not a bad thing. Its a good thing! So I want to start by saying "thank you" for opening up this can here.

I am glad you mentioned your knowledge of Hebrew, but also defer to others that know it better. I consider myself to be in the same boat, which ends up really helping the interpretation of Genesis 1. Most people are unanware that Biblical Hebrew has NO punctuation. All punctutation in our English Bibles is added by the redactor. What's a really interesting experiment is lay out on a single paper side by side The first 3 verses in 10 different versions and read how they all differ by adjusting the editors punctuation. In fact- it varies from KJV to NKJV to KJV21!!

Another thing most Christians forget or don't think about is the original writings had no chapter or verse marks either. This too, has been added later for clairty. Perhaps in the case of Genesis chapter 1- adding them did not clarify what was intended to be said- but muddied it.

Augustine didn't believe in a 6 day creation- nor did he believe in evolution. He thought the 6 days was just a word picture for the whole process. If you read (I am sure you have)  Basil, Jerome, Luther, Calvin, Gill, Wesley, or even Walvoord, Zuck, Keil and Delitzsch, or any other commentary...you might be surprised as to what some of the the early church fathers really believed on the subject--not to mention what our most used and well respected modern commetators say.

I do not believe in the gap theory (space of inordinate time between 1:1 and 1:2). But....the truth is....I also see Genesis 1:1 and 2 as part of the same sentence. I see verse 3 as a clearly seperate event...as in...a period of time could have elapsed.  Was it the same day-just later? The next day? 100 years later? No one will ever know. But if you remove all punctuation in english, and read these 3 verses, you can plainly see what I mean. Verse 1 and 2 could be part of the same sentence.

I personally lean this direction, anyway. I am certainly not going to be dogmatic about it. However...Job 38:7 indicates the Angels rejoiced when God established the cornerstones of the earth. This seems to indicate the angels were already there at the creating of the earth (during the creation week?). If so, then it IS entirely possible that the Begining in v. 1&2  was the "relative begining" (during which time God's abode of Heaven was made, along with the angels, and the prideful fall of Lucifer occured, cf Ez 28 and Is 14); and the rest of the chapter talks about the absolute beggining of time, space, matter and energy of earth and universe (this is the position of Unger in his commetary).

If there was a gap (and I am not saying there was) I would tend to put it between verse 2 and 3...not one and two!

Your question:  Can anyone provide scriptural support for the notion of some other, earlier beginning than THE beginning...  I would say this is all I could come up with. It's shaky, and may not be true. BUT...I do not believe in a time gap of billions of years and saying that's when the dinosaurs lived. I believe they were created on day 5 and 6 - and are even mentioned by name: "all".

 

 

 

 

Lou Hamby said:

Jim, I have no hard fast specific rule or conclusion, I have only speculated Jim.

Yes, you have speculated, and that is exactly what I stated: Lou is weighing in that "the beginning" was probably (i.e. by way of speculation) not really the absolute beginning.

..the tide of Christian thinking and authors on the subject is interesting to say the least.

Of course it is interesting, and that is why we decided to bring it up as a topic of discussion. Is that a problem?

Scripture declares all things were made by Him, and exist and consist because of Him.

You are certain of this? Good. We agree. It is so refreshing to see you admit and acknowledge that something is CERTAIN. Now let us discuss the beginning of this activity, of all things being made by him. If you believe all things wer made by Him (apparently because it is what the Scripture declares), then you must also believe that there was a particular event or occasion on which this came to pass?

... Jim because of the omnipotence of God, and his power, and creative abilities, if the Universe outside of our solar system was made prior, it was certainly His choice and His doing, in His timing.

Lou, because of the omnipotence of God, and his power, and creative abilities, if the ENTIRE Universe, including that which is outside of our solar system, including the visible and invisible, things above, things beneath, angels and principalities, IF ALL OF IT was made ALL in the SAME creation event and NOT prior, it was certainly His choice and His doing, in His timing. And this is what the Bible expressly declares. But you are without this confidence, since for you very little from Scripture is certain.

JIm asking you a question I know I have asked before....IN Revelations, Isaiah, Daniel, and other places certain beings, certain abodes, certain creatures, and certain domains not seen by man....could or did they exist before Earth was created?

Why not? This is what the Bible reveals. But though they were created before the earth - as stated in Genesis One, verse one, they were all a part of the work of Creation, ALL of it completed in the six days of the one and only creation week.

They certainly have been created by Him and for Him.

WOW! You shock me with a certainty. We agree. You are certain that Colossians 1:16 means what it says, along with Revelation 4:11 - but you are not certain about Exodus 20:11 and Genesis 1:31 -- 2:

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 1:31 - 2:4

Can anyone provide any biblical evidence or a text wherein is contained a declaration of God about a creation event PRIOR to this one here that is called "THE Beginning?"

Hi Randy,

Randy Cross said:

I do not believe in the gap theory (space of inordinate time between 1:1 and 1:2). But....the truth is....I also see Genesis 1:1 and 2 as part of the same sentence. I see verse 3 as a clearly seperate event...as in...a period of time could have elapsed.  Was it the same day-just later? The next day? 100 years later? No one will ever know. But if you remove all punctuation in english, and read these 3 verses, you can plainly see what I mean. Verse 1 and 2 could be part of the same sentence.

The Jews who translated the Hebrew text into the Greek LXX did not think they were one sentence.  In fact they put a disjunctive conjunction between verse 1 and verse 2.  The Masoretts also placed a mark at the beginning of verse 2 that denotes a disjunctive conjunction. 

I personally lean this direction, anyway. I am certainly not going to be dogmatic about it. However...Job 38:7 indicates the Angels rejoiced when God established the cornerstones of the earth. This seems to indicate the angels were already there at the creating of the earth (during the creation week?). If so, then it IS entirely possible that the Begining in v. 1&2  was the "relative begining" (during which time God's abode of Heaven was made, along with the angels, and the prideful fall of Lucifer occured, cf Ez 28 and Is 14); and the rest of the chapter talks about the absolute beggining of time, space, matter and energy of earth and universe (this is the position of Unger in his commetary).

I hear a lot about the fall of Lucifer, when did this occur?

If there was a gap (and I am not saying there was) I would tend to put it between verse 2 and 3...not one and two!

Your question:  Can anyone provide scriptural support for the notion of some other, earlier beginning than THE beginning...  I would say this is all I could come up with. It's shaky, and may not be true. BUT...I do not believe in a time gap of billions of years and saying that's when the dinosaurs lived. I believe they were created on day 5 and 6 - and are even mentioned by name: "all".

When it comes to creation there can only be 1 beginning.

 

Did the heavens and the earth exist at the end of the following declarative statement?

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ׃

 

If not when did they begin to exist?

 

God Bless,

 

Aaron

 

Here is something I wrote a while back and rewrote today:

The Beginning . . .

Jesus speaks of a particular divine event called the beginning of the creation (Mark 10:6; 13:19; Matt. 19:4; 24:21).

But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female’. Mark 10:6

For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. Mark 13:19

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ . . . ? Matthew 19:4

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matt. 24:21

Genesis speaks of "THE BEGINNING" as does the Gospel of John (Gen. 1:1; John 1:1-3).

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:1-3

God alone tells us about "the beginning, so that we may know" and He showed the former things from the beginning (Isa. 41:26; 48:3).

Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?
And former times, that we may say, ‘He is righteous’? Isaiah 41:26

“I have declared the former things from the beginning;”                Isaiah 48:3

If Genesis, Chapters One and Two, does not tell us about the unified event called “THE BEGINNING,” then where in the Bible is this declaration of the beginning, that we may KNOW? And if there is “another beginning,” then where is it?

There is something definite in Scripture called the "beginning of the world" (Isa. 64:4) which speaks of the single absolute beginning of all things that are created.

For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4

Jesus and others also speak of the foundation of the world, referring to this single absolute beginning (Matt. 13:35; 25:34; John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 4:3; 9:26; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8).

“I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 13:35 quoting Psalm 79:2

Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: . . .” Matthew 25:34

 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24

. . . [God] chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. . . Ephesians 1:4

For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. Hebrews 4:3

 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Hebrews 9:26

[We are redeemed] but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, . . . 1 Peter 1:19-20

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8

Paul also speaks of the "beginning of the world" (Eph. 3:9). Peter points to the fact that even skeptics recognize something called the "beginning of the creation" (2 Pet. 3:4).

and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ. . . . Ephesians 3:4

and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:4

Do these passages suggest that there was a single definite creation event? It would seem so.

Then Moses asserts that ALL THINGS, in heaven and in earth, were created in six days (Ex. 20:11).

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Exodus 20:11

Some people have the view that angels and other spiritual things were created in the "dateless past," or some might even go so far as to suggest that they are "co-eternal with God." Both of these ideas are unsupportable in view of the numerous passages that clearly declare a particular and definite beginning, that is the creation week, when ALL THINGS were created, in heaven and in earth (Gen. 2:2-4; Isa. 45:12; Eph. 3:9; Col. 1:16; Rev. 4:11; 5:13).

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens . . . Genesis 1:31 – 2:4

Genesis chapters One and Two is an account of the beginning, according to Jesus. This means the beginning, the beginning of all things, the heavens and the earth and ALL their host.

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