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21st Century Reformation Commentary Banner Bible at Brush Creek Church of God, Tipp City, Ohio - Photo by Sharon Gill

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Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the

earth (KJV).

J. Dan Gill

A. What Genesis 1:1 is saying -

The first verse of the Bible is awesome. Everything else in the Bible flows out of the words: "In the beginning God created..."  And, as we follow the context in Genesis Chapter One, the Scriptures go on to tell us how he created.  He did it by the power of his word. Note Genesis 1:3 "and God said 'Let there be light.'"* Creation by God's "declaration" continues in the subsequent exposition:

And God said, Let there be a firmament  (v. 6).

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven (v. 9).

And God said, Let the earth bring forth (v. 11).

And God said, Let there be lights (v. 14).

And God said, Let the waters bring forth (v. 20),  Etc.

The writer of Hebrews also writes of the dynamic power of God's word:

Through faith we understand that the worlds (Greek: aion) were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Heb. 11:3).

B. What Genesis 1:1 is not saying -

Genesis 1:1 is not saying that God created through a "Word" that is a separate "person," "personality" or "entitiy" from himself.  His word is dynamic and an extension of his power.  However, just as the word of a human being is not another person or personality from that human being, so it is with God's word. While his word is "with" him, it "is" him – not another. 

Thus, God's word can be thought of as going out from him and returning to him:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa. 55:11).  

The writer of Hebrews again captures this sense of the dynamics of the word of God:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Heb. 4:12 NIV).

After creation, God manifested his word in his prophets and to his people of old (e.g. 1 Sam. 15:10).  Later he manifested that word perfectly in his only begotten human son Jesus Christ (John 12:49-50).

* All emphatics in the quoted verses are those of the author.

Further Study


Multimedia Related to Genesis 1:1 Watch Listen Read Download

Excerpt from - John 1:1 Caveat Lector
(Reader Beware)

by Anthony Buzzard

"In the beginning was the word" does not mean "In the beginning was the Son"




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