Monthly Archives: October 2009
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 2 in the series of Bible lessons on Genesis chapter 1. If you have not read this from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1” first. Genesis 1:1 is not a long verse but yet it contains profound information about creation and the creator God as we learned in the first lesson. Bible scriptures can be viewed in at least two different ways and probably more than that, if you think about it. There are actually many ways to view every scripture, there is a natural perspective, a literal perspective, a symbolic perspective and a spiritual perspective to name just a few possible ways to interpret verses. There will always be explicit truths that are given in every verse as well as the implicit or implied truths that are indirectly derived from studying the verse. The first verse in the Bible tells us explicitly that there was a stated beginning and that it was initiated by a creator God. What we learn from this explicit definition is that the beginning of all time and all physical matter occured in this single verse. The implications of this verse are of course enormous and very significant for us to understand also. We can learn by implication that it would have required an all powerful being to create everything that we can see in our vast universe. We can further learn that it would have required a being of tremendous intelligence in order to create the complex systems, physical laws and all of things that we have learned through modern science and technology.
One of my goals to teaching the Bible, is to help you learn how to study the Bible correctly. That of course is a subjective statement that is open to many different opinions. I really can’t help that people see things diferrently reading the exact same words. Just because something is different does not make it accurate or true, in fact it raises the point that someone is definitely wrong since both views if they conflict cannot be simultaneously correct. Therefore, while I teach you a subject I will occasionally introduce you to new concepts, principles, laws that I follow for Bible interpretation to help you understand my approach. This might be beneficial to you based upon the old proverb that you can help a man temporarily by giving a man a fish, but to really help them long term you need to teach them how to fish for themselves. So me doing the study and telling you what I have seen is only a short term benefit if I don’t explain how I got to what I said. So today I will start by telling you two things that I observe in every verse that I study. First I pay attention to every word. I look up every word in the Strong’s dictionary to understand the definition of the word in the original language. I also search for that word usage in the Bible to see where else God used it to help me understand what else God says on the subject. Next, one of the key things that I observe is the order of mention. Every word of God is designed with purpose. Nothing is given to us int he Bible that is not important and the order of mention is many times as equally important or even greater to understand than the words that are mentioned. So let’s look at the words in this first verse of Genesis.
What else can we learn from this verse? Since we learned by explicit and implicit definition that there was a beginning to time, we can therefore conclude by logical definition that before this creation event of a stated time initiation point occured, the concept of time did not previously exist. Therefore prior to Genesis 1:1, God existed eternally and indendepntly outside of the constraints of the dimension of time when He created the time diemension. Modern astronomers have concluded from observation that the universe around us, is expanding at an astronomical rate of speed. They can look through their telescopes and see back into time literally millions of years or even longer. Several scientist have concluded that the universe can be mapped in reverse to a starting origination point they call the “Big Bang”. But, hardly any have concluded there was an external force that caused this bang to occur. What many of these same scientists call the “big bang”, the Bible just simply calls the beginning. Therefore, we can learn from science and from God’s Word that there was a single point event in the past where all matter originated from something which is not directly stated or revealed in this verse. This beginning was the stated central point of creation origination and most definnitely an explosive powerful event that was triggered by someone that we call God. We see three basic essential components for our existence in this verse of creation; these were space, time and all physical matter.
In reading and studying the Bible I often times observed that the words in a list of items are ordered or organized in either priority or time sequence. What I have derived from this information is that in verse one of Genesis, time is mentioned first (the beginning), space is mentioned second (heaven) and finally specific matter was mentioned last (earth). This would seem to imply that God created the concept of time first followed by the concept of heaven or space both before the concept of matter and our planet earth was created which makes the most logical sense to me. Therefore, the order of mention in a verse can have meaning. However, the concept of heaven is more complex than just a simple statement of space. This of course is a little difficult to discover in the Bible, but since I have spent significant time extensively studying the Bible I have discovered that there are three different realms or dimensions that are referred to using the same word translated as “heaven”. Two stated realms are physical and one stated realm is spiritual. While we can fairly easily understand what the “earth” repersenents in this verse, the term “heaven” could potentially refer to any of the other possible entities foud in the Bible; either the earth’s atmosphere, or the known physical universe or to the spiritual place where God’s throne resides today. This is where we need to introduce the concepts of contextual word asociation interpretation and consistent word interpretation so that we can correctly understand the meaning of one word by understanding the correct interpretation of another associated word in the same verse or chapter. Since we are on the very first verse in the chapter, we will narrow our interpretation to only other words found here.
Let’s take the the word translated as “earth”. This Hebrew word literally means “to be firm”. Thus it teaches us that it could be related to the existence of physical matter if viewed from a purely non-spiritual perspective. If the earth is a physical firm planet then the only correct interpretation of heaven in this verse must also be of the same like substance also being in the physical realm consisting of the surrounding bodies observable from the earth. If we tried to make both heaven and earth in this verse in spiritualrealm then we would need to ask where did God reside when He was making this spiritual realm? Since this does not logically make sense to me, I would have to conclude therefore, that heaven in verse 1 was not referring to throne of God in the spiritual realm since that is where God is when He created our natural realm. It is only logical to conclude that the spiritual God existed eternally somewhere before the creation of all physical matter and this must have been the spiritual realm called heaven which pre-existed the created heaven in verse 1.
There are other very basic implied opposite truths found in this scripture that we can learn from today. This is what I call the “law of antithesis” and there is much to learn using this logical concept throughout the Bible. This law of Bible interpretation states that for whatever truth that is directly stated in any verse, there exists an implied oppostie realm of truth that is not directly stated. This is a common theme of life. For every good there is an evil. For every negative there is a positive. For every east, there is a west. Therefore, if there was a stated beginning then there must also be an implied ending. We can also ascertain this by the direct hidden reference to the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet that we looked at in lesson 1 that describes the God who created everything. The implication is confirmed to us by what we read in Revelation when Jesus told us that He was the first and the last, the beginning and the end. There is coming an end and I feel very confident that it is going to be very soon. There is further the revelation that if time had a beginning that time will have an ending. Therefore, what exsited before time will be that which exists after time. Antithesis truth is really quite outstanding if you can see them.
I could have spent a lot of time looking up the Hebrew words and all of their references, but you can do that on your own. I feel that Genesis is one of those books that is greatly misunderstood. I have spent more time studying Genesis than almost any other book of the Bible. This book is rich with information that is essential to understand correctly. One key way to understand it is to see what God says in the other parts of the Bible where He gives us His professional commentary on the subject. This is called a “letting the Bible interpret itself” concept and that is a rarely found technique used by people to study the Bible. However, I have found that it is essential or you will remain in a isolated text mentality for Bible interpretation using only your failed human reasoning. I hope and pray that you are learning something about God’s Word today that you did not know before and not only that but are grasping new ways to study the Bible that will help you to see what God has given to us. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading in this Genesis 1 Series you may go to “Part 3“.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
(Ver 1.4) This is Part 1 in the Series of Bible lessons on the first chapter of the Bible called Genesis 1. I will be stepping through the chapter almost verse by verse talking about specific things that I found interesting. I believe Genesis 1 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. I have read this chpater repeatedly and continue to see and learn new things that it says. In this series I will be emphasizing the importance of studying this information. I will further go into several important concpets on how to study this information properly. Finally I will be addressing the significance in getting the correct interpretation of the information in order to understand correctly what was written. Genesis is the first of the five books of the law written down by the prophet Moses. All of the law was originally recorded in the Hebrew language. The law is often called the “Pentateuch” which is a Hebrew word that means “five books”. The name of the book “Genesis” comes from the Greek Septuagint which was the Greek translation of the original Hebrew text. The first occurrence of the Greek Word “Genesis” is found in Matthew 1:1 where it is translated as the “generations” of Jesus Christ. The book of Genesis is widely called the “book of beginnings” by the Holy Spirit and by many knowledgeable Bible teachers and scholars. The first chapter of the book of Genesis has been divided into 31 verses. Clearly the first chapter of Genesis reveals God’s personal involvement in the design and creation of our current natural world system. There is considerable hidden information found in this chapter and we will explore a significant amount of it in these Bible lessons. Before I start lesson 1, I want to bring in another N.T. verse statement that Jesus made speaking about the Old Testament verses that we will be studying to help you see what I just said about this hidden information:
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The first thing that I would like to point out about studying any book of the Old Testament is that these books contain one central subject theme even though this subject was well hidden on the surface text reading of the information as you will begin to discover in this lesson. What I am referring to is the hidden spiritual content of Jesus Christ, the concealed central theme found in every book of the Bible. If you do not understand what Jesus said in John 5:39, it is obvious to me that you will not understand the book of Genesis correctly. Jesus told us to search for Him in the scriptures. The implied statement found in that information is that Jesus was well hidden in the words that are recorded if it is necessary to search to find Him. What I am going to do today is to show you one of these hidden references to Jesus in the first verse of the Bible.
Today’s lesson is the beginning of the discussion on verse 1. Verse 1 is not a long complex verse, but like many other verses God can say a lot using a very few select words. There is an amazing revelation found in the first verse of Genesis that most have never seen. Unless you can read and write in the Hebrew language you probably have not ever seen what I am about to talk about before. The fourth Hebrew word of the original Bible text is omitted and not translated into English. We can only assume that translators didn’t know how to translate the word so they ignored it completely. You see the problem is that this word is not a word at all and didn’t spell anything that they were familiar with. However it says something that is very profound when you understand what it is and what it means. Genesis 1 is comprised of exactly 7 Hebrew words and seven is the number associated with God. The number 6 is a number often associated with man. Therefore the omission of just one word changed the meaning of the verse dramatically. This omitted word falls between “In the beginning” and “God” in the English translation. So it appears to be an adjective that qualifies the noun “God” which is the Hebrew Word “Elohiym”.
This word is made up of just two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The first letter is called the “alef” and second letter is called the “tav”. This still doesn’t appear to have any significance until you begin to understand that these are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet and that changes everything doesn’t it? The verse should read something like this in the English “In the beginning the A-Z God created….”. Who is the A-Z God? Well of course this A-Z God can only be Jesus Christ who created all things. Let’s find the key that unlocks the mystery in the New Testament:
Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
You should begin to see that the O.T. pattern discovered in Genesis 1:1 for the first time is now repeated and even explained to us in the book of Revelation. In the first chapter of Revelation and the 8th and 11th verses, Jesus makes the following statements: “I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending”. Jesus repeats this statement in Revelation 21:6 and in Revelation 22:13. Since it occurs 4 times in the book of Revelation, it must have some very significant meaning to somewhere else in the Bible. We can quickly see if we become familiar with the Greek alphabet that Jesus has just identified Himself as the creator God. The Greek letters of “Alpha” and “Omega” are the first and the last letters in the Greek alphabet. Being a Hebrew, Jesus would have spoken this in His natural language and said I am the “Alef” and the “Tav”. But, since the N.T. Bible was written in Greek, it was recorded as the “Alpha” and the “Omega”. Jesus has just informed us that nothing happened or started in the world without Him and nothing will end in the world without Him either. Jesus confirms He is the reason we exist and that He created everything that we see. Jesus was intimately involved in the creation everything that we have and can do in this world and nothing will come to an end that He has not already done. So the first verse in Genesis 1:1 should read something more like this:
“In the beginning the A-Z God created the heaven and the earth.”
Now we can understand that the God of creation being revealed in this verse was the Lord Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega! I find that very important, informative and quite comforting information that everything that we can find in the rest of the chapter was done by Jesus our Creator. Keep this in mind as we continue to study through the rest of the chapter. We will eventually find Jesus hidden in other verses in this chapter also, but we will get to those soon enough. God Bless!
If you would like to continue to read and study in the first chapter of Genesis you may go to “Part 2“.
Probably my favorite book in the Bible. I know all the books are good but there is something about the book of beginnings that has always fascinated me. We know that Jesus told us that it was written by Moses. I’ve found that this book contains a lot of information that is foundational to understanding the rest of the Bible. Of course the reverse is also true, without the clues found in the rest of the Bible you will not be able to understand the book of Genesis.
Based upon calculations derived from information given in the Bible some have concluded that the earth is relatively young, 6000 – 10000 years old. I can understand how you can jump to this conclusion but it is not what the Bible says. If you notice the Bible doesn’t say how old the earth is and I believe based upon other scriptures in the Bible the earth could be billions of years old like many scientist have determined from various methods of measurement.