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Lesson 5

Robert Holmstedt shows how the Hebrew words used don’t identify the “In the beginning” of Genesis as the beginning of the universe and all physical matter, but rather the beginning for life as we know it on earth. Those who don’t agree with this assessment usually believe if God didn’t create the universe and all matter right then with new material it takes away from God’s supremacy, as he formed creation from material he didn’t create in that moment. This objection should be neutralized with a reading of John. Here again we have the term “In the beginning” with just God and the Word. Is this only a figure of speech rather than an actual time? How can you have a true beginning for God when he has no beginning and will have no end?

John 1:1-2 Common English Bible
1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 

Realizing “in the beginning” refers to the start of a specific period only and not the start of everything, makes space for all things to be created. God still created everything through the Word. Angels witnessed the creation of the earth.

John 1:3-5 Common English Bible
3 Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being. What came into being 4 through the Word was life,[a] and the life was the light for all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

Job 38:6-7 Common English Bible
6 On what were its footings sunk; who laid its cornerstone, 7  while the morning stars sang in unison and all the divine beings shouted?

There are several differing opinions on Genesis 1:1-3. The internet has a lot of information available to learn from. Have you done any research into those opinions? What arguments do you use to form your own beliefs? How difficult do you think it would have been to do quality research before the internet was available? What kind of obstacles stood in the way of past researchers? 

Genesis 1-3 Common English Bible
1 When God began to create[a] the heavens and the earth— 2 the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters— 3 God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared.

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