Genesis 1-2

July 21, 2008

Part of what I wanted to do with this blog was provide some personal Bible commentary.  What better place to start than with Genesis eh?  These are just my thoughts.  Remember, I’m not a “professional theologian”.

Genesis 1:1-2

                 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.

From Bible Gateway

These two verses are probably among the most attacked verses in the Bible because its obviously the first place to start if you want to attack the existence of God.  The creation story is where atheists seek to find flaws with ideas from evolution.

Can evolution and creation coexist?  Can a reasonably intelligent person really believe in an invisible, all-knowing super being who created everything in existence just be speaking it into being?  I believe so.  Personally, I have come to consider myself more of a “theistic evolutionist” than anything else.  Part of this is because of what we have seen in the past few years in the resurgence of diseases we once thought eradicated and the evidence for how bacteria and other microorganisms have come to be so resistant to all of our resources to kill them.

 

But, I’m not just looking at the angle of how Christians view science.  But can a scientist also be a Christian and believe in all of this “creation” stuff?  Actually, Dr. Henry F. Schaefer III, one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world (and a Christian) composed a list of scientists who are and were (some deceased) Christian.

I’ve taken the liberty of reproducing the list below

Scientists who were Christians:

Deceased:
Francis Bacon
Johannes Kepler
Blaise Pascal
Isaac Newton
Michael Faraday
James Clerk Maxwell
William Henry Perkin
George Stokes
Lord Kelvin
J. J. Thomson
Charles Coulson

Living:
Norman March
Robert Griffiths
Richard Bube
Donald Page
Allan Sandage
David Cole
Francis Collins
John Polkinghorne
S. William Pelletier
Andrew Bocarsly
James Tour

You can find this list as part of a larger article at http://www.leaderu.com/offices/schaefer/docs/questions.html

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Genesis 1-2 Continued

July 21, 2008

In my first posting, I sidetracked onto the scientific elements of the creation story.  For a more thorough analysis of the Big Bang from a Biblical perspective look here.

But, for this second part, I wanted to dig a little deeper into the scripture

Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

 2And 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.

             From Bible Gateway

The earth was without form and void.   What does that mean?  And the Spirit of God move upon the face of the waters.  (What waters?)  If I may be so bold as to suggest.  Try reading the Bible as if for the first time every time.  I think we’ve heard and read these same old stories so many times that we read into them from our perspective and sometimes we miss what’s really there underneath.  It also helps to keep a good lexicon handy.  I don’t advertise here but let me suggest e-sword. The basic version (KJV only) is free.  But the updates are pretty reasonable.

If we look at the description of the pre-creation earth it is

without form

void

covered by darkness

Let’s dig a deeper meaning from these, shall we.

without form

H8414

תּהוּ

tôhû

to’-hoo

 

From an unused root meaning to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), that is, desert; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain: – confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness.

void

 

H922

בּהוּ

bôhû

bo’-hoo

 

From an unused root (meaning to be empty); a vacuity, that is, (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin: – emptiness, void.

darkness

 

22

חשׁך

chôshek

kho-shek’

 

From H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: – dark (-ness), night, obscurity.

Definitions from Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries.

Notice that all of the definitons paint a picture not of a non-existent world but of a brutal, chaotic miserable place.  I believe that the creation story begins not with empty space but with the prehistoric chaotic earth.