Discuss science topics such as creation and evolution and how they relate to Christianity.

Genesis 1:1 Is the First Event, Not a Summary

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  • Genesis 1:1 Is the First Event, Not a Summary

    Commentaries regularly discuss three main interpretations of Gen 1:1 in
    relation to the subsequent verses. (1) According to the first, traditional
    interpretation, Gen 1:1 describes the initial event among God’s acts
    of creation. Verse 2 then gives circumstantial information about the state of
    the earth at an early point. (2) According to the second interpretation, Gen
    1:1 functions as a temporal subordinate clause: “In the beginning, when God
    created the heaven and the earth, the earth was without form....” (3) According
    to the third interpretation, Gen 1:1 is a summary of the entire sequence of
    divine acts described in vv. 2–31. It does not describe the very first event that
    led to the creation of the earth and its unformed state in v. 2. Rather, the first
    act of making things starts with v. 3, and Gen 1 offers no comment on how the
    unformed earth of v. 2 came into being.1

    Vern S. Poythress is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Erm... don't understand the paper too well... too many big words. Haha!

    But it seems to me nowadays the more that scientists learn about our existence, the more they will find out that there is "something greater" out there. We often view science and religion as a contradicting thing and they work against each other, but in my opinion, we just need to give science a bit of time to catch up with religion. I love this video by minutephysics that gives you the gist of what physicist and mathematicians have been working on for years just to find that the universe seems like there might really have had a beginning. Honestly, I think they're getting closer to Genesis 1:1 and the idea that before creation, God existed.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by msyukionna View Post
      I love this video by minutephysics that gives you the gist of what physicist and mathematicians have been working on for years just to find that the universe seems like there might really have had a beginning.
      I do not think there really is true friction between religion and science. Probably the two could best be summed up by understanding that science is the interpretation of nature, and theology the interpretation of Scripture. Neither should contradict nature or Scripture, but sometimes they (scientist and theologians) contradict one another. In both cases I believe Romans 1 suggests that man has the inclination to "suppress" the truth in unbelief, which can occur not only in the natural sciences, but also in theology.

      Don't know about physicist either, especially about theoretical physicist, but I'd like to ask what the probability is that something came from nothing from a Mathematician. Especially in lieu of the first couple of laws of thermodynamics. Not only that, but about the precision that is needed to support life. I mean I'm fascinated by the sheer miracle of which something can come from nothing at all, but not only that but the precision needed to sustain life altogether. Not in just one instance such as gravity but all factors. I'm sure you're familiar with arguments which support the "Fine Tuning of the Universe". I can't comprehend numbers like these but I wouldn't mind a Mathematician trying to explain the probability in terms that I can understand. Especially in a "time frame" of only billions of years. Time seems to be not only the miracle worker for unbelieving scientist, but also the greatest obstacle:

      "Calculations by Brandon Carter show that if gravity had been stronger or weaker by 1 part in 10 to the 40th power, then life-sustaining stars like the sun could not exist. This would most likely make life impossible. (Davies, 1984, p. 242.)" - Now explain that to me like a four year old!

      God bless,
      William
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      • #4
        Originally posted by William View Post

        I do not think there really is true friction between religion and science. Probably the two could best be summed up by understanding that science is the interpretation of nature, and theology the interpretation of Scripture. Neither should contradict nature or Scripture, but sometimes they (scientist and theologians) contradict one another. In both cases I believe Romans 1 suggests that man has the inclination to "suppress" the truth in unbelief, which can occur not only in the natural sciences, but also in theology.

        Don't know about physicist either, especially about theoretical physicist, but I'd like to ask what the probability is that something came from nothing from a Mathematician. Especially in lieu of the first couple of laws of thermodynamics.
        My degree is in mathematics, so I suppose that sort of makes me a mathematician. The answer is that there is simply no basis for doing the calculation. As for the laws of thermo dynamics, it could be argued that there has first of all got to be a universe before there can be laws which apply to it.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by ThyWordisTruth View Post

          My degree is in mathematics, so I suppose that sort of makes me a mathematician. The answer is that there is simply no basis for doing the calculation. As for the laws of thermo dynamics, it could be argued that there has first of all got to be a universe before there can be laws which apply to it.
          Hmmmm -- interesting
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          • #6
            Originally posted by William View Post
            According to the first, traditional interpretation, Gen 1:1 describes the initial event among God’s acts
            of creation.
            1. This is the correct view, since before the heavens and the earth were created, there was NOTHING other than the triune Godhead (the Holy Trinity).

            2. How do we know that there was nothing before God spoke the heavens and the earth into existence? (1) By faith and (2) by the written Word of God where we read (Hebrews 11:3): Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Theologians call this "Creatio Ex Nihilo" (creation out of nothing).

            In this regard natural science has discovered that (1) the entire material universe is simply electrons, which combine in varying ratios to produce molecules, which in turn result in everything that we see around us; (2) that these electrons are not static but constantly in vibratory motion, and (3) therefore matter changes into energy and energy into matter. Science has also discovered that the highest energy vibrations are thought, so we can conclude that when God spoke, His thoughts through His words were converted into matter out of nothing. But His words were sent forth by the Word Himself (and we may never fully understand this).

            3. We find that in Genesis 1:1 it is GOD who created the heavens and the earth. That word "God" is the Hebrew word "Elohim", which is a uni-plural word and immediately indicates that there were three Divine Persons engaged in creation and yet one God -- the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit. While the Father and the Holy Spirit are mentioned in Gen 1:1,2, the Word is mentioned in John 1:1,2 to complete the picture.

            4. Even though the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit were all involved, the Father ultimately gave creation into the hands of the Son (or the Word). How do we know this? From Hebrews 1:8-12 (as well as other Scriptures).:But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

            5. Finally, it is in the Ten Commandments that God has embedded a literal six day creation, each day being of a 24 hour duration (Exodus 20:8-11):

            8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

            9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

            10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

            11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

            What this means is that neither evolution, nor theistic evolution, nor the Gap Theory, nor the Day-Age Theory have any validity whatsoever.
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            • #7
              I believe Genesis 1:1 is the headlines, if you like, and then comes the full story or explanation.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lucas View Post
                In this regard natural science has discovered that (1) the entire material universe is simply electrons, which combine in varying ratios to produce molecules, which in turn result in everything that we see around us; (2) that these electrons are not static but constantly in vibratory motion, and (3) therefore matter changes into energy and energy into matter. Science has also discovered that the highest energy vibrations are thought, so we can conclude that when God spoke, His thoughts through His words were converted into matter out of nothing. But His words were sent forth by the Word Himself (and we may never fully understand this).
                I wished fundamentalists would stop trying to mix physics and theology - especially physics they make up on the spur of the moment. Where do protons, neutrons or the strong nuclear force fit into your scheme of things?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lucas View Post

                  11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
                  You seem to place a lot of emphasis upon the preposition "in." Would you point out the preposition in the Hebrew text?

                  כִּ֣י שֵֽׁשֶׁת־יָמִים֩ עָשָׂ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔ם וַיָּ֖נַח בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑י עַל־כֵּ֗ן בֵּרַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־י֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת וַֽיְקַדְּשֵֽׁהוּ׃
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Origen View Post
                    You seem to place a lot of emphasis upon the preposition "in." Would you point out the preposition in the Hebrew text?

                    כִּ֣י שֵֽׁשֶׁת־יָמִים֩ עָשָׂ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔ם וַיָּ֖נַח בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑י עַל־כֵּ֗ן בֵּרַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־י֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת וַֽיְקַדְּשֵֽׁהוּ׃
                    Now, WHICH Hebrew text is this from?
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Calvarystudy View Post
                      Now, WHICH Hebrew text is this from?
                      Which Hebrew text do you want me to used? And if I did change texts would he then be able to point out the preposition?
                      Last edited by Origen; 06-22-2017, 07:40 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Origen View Post
                        You seem to place a lot of emphasis upon the preposition "in." Would you point out the preposition in the Hebrew text?
                        The preposition is a given in the Hebrew text, even though it is in italics. The literal interlinear reading is as follows: Earth and heaven the LORD made days [in] six...

                        But we are not left without a second witness, and we read in Gen 1:31 - 2:3:

                        And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lucas View Post
                          The preposition is a given in the Hebrew text, even though it is in italics. The literal interlinear reading is as follows: Earth and heaven the LORD made days [in] six...
                          The preposition "in" is in brackets. Do you know what that means?

                          כִּ֣י שֵֽׁשֶׁת־יָמִים֩ עָשָׂ֨ה יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֶת־הַיָּם֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֔ם וַיָּ֖נַח בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֑י עַל־כֵּ֗ן בֵּרַ֧ךְ יְהוָ֛ה אֶת־י֥וֹם הַשַּׁבָּ֖ת וַֽיְקַדְּשֵֽׁהוּ׃

                          Originally posted by Lucas View Post
                          The preposition is a given in the Hebrew text, even though it is in italics.
                          It is a given? Then please explain how Hebrew syntax works in this case.
                          Comment>
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