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Genesis 1:2

January 11, 2012

I definitely want to write another post on Genesis before I start back with college. Now we come to Genesis 1:2, but I really think I’ve commented on most of this verse already. I wrote in the last post that “formless and void” (NASB) probably refers to the substance that would become the earth. Just where this substance, covered in water, came from, and from whence that water came, are questions that Genesis, I think, is not meant to answer. This is a creation myth, not a detailed, historical account of the origin of everything. If it was, then the starting place of Genesis would likely have been a theological treatise about the god of verse one. Is “he” omnipotent, or just extremely powerful? Did “he” create these great waters, or did they come from someplace else? And since origins are being explained, where did this god come from? Who is the “us” of verse 26? Does “he” already have a mighty group of servants (Genesis 18:1-2, 22; 19:1, 11, 13, 21-22; 2 Kings 6:17)? Does “he” have any sons (Genesis 6:2; Job 1:6)?

Obviously, Genesis is not an exhaustive history of the origin of the universe. This doesn’t require that it is really just myth, but it does make that interpretation much more likely, in my opinion. I just have to return once more to what I was analyzing in my last post, the so-called “Gap Theory.” Sometimes the verse Isaiah 45:18 is brought up, as if it has anything to say about this theory. This verse has the line that God did not create the earth “to be empty” (NIV/HCSB) or “a waste place” (NASB). This is supposed to argue for an event that caused the earth to arrive at its “formless and void” state of Genesis 1:2. Look closer, however, and this will be seen as nothing but circular reasoning. Those arguing for an event are already assuming a time-lapse; if there is no time-lapse between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, the earth is never said to be empty or a waste place. If Genesis 1:1 is just summarizing the verses 3-31, the act of the heaven and earth’s creation did not begin until verse 3. It is therefore immediately formed and inhabited, just as Isaiah 45:18 says God “formed it to be inhabited” (NIV/NASB).

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