Genesis1-verses1thru2 introduces us to creation: Old or New earth?

Here is what the Bible says in Genesis1-1thru2:

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.



Comments about other translations:

In verse 1, often heavens is used instead of heaven. In verse 2, Spirit of God is usually used (i.e., capital “s”). Also, the Spirit of God is said to be hovering, brooding, moving over the face or surface of the waters.

Very important: In verse 2, without form, and void is translated such as without form and an empty waste (Amplified Bible); formless and void (New American Standard, or NASB); or, formless and empty (New International, or NIV). A footnote for the NASB suggests that a waste and emptiness could be a better translation.

A footnote in the NIV says that in verse 2 the word was could be translated became.

Commentary on the meaning:

A HUGE question – but one not always mentioned – right away is whether these verses are talking about the initial, original creation of the heavens and earth, OR whether this (verse 2, at least) is a picking up of the story much later – even billions of years later.

That is, does Genesis 1 verse 2 describe an unfinished (or even chaotic) NEW or YOUNG earth, or does verse 1 refer to an initial creation of earth that, by the time we come to verse 2 – again, possibly billions of years later – an earth that had somehow become a wasteland?

This writer, and thus this website, takes the latter view: Verse 2 is not immediately following verse 1, chronologically. Rather, much took place between the two verses – as is hinted in several of the translations or notes as mentioned above.

Why do we take the OLD EARTH view?

Briefly, because of the following points. But, first, please note that we do NOT take the view that mankind is more than thousands of years old.

• God does not create anything that is not beautiful. Although it could be argued that verse 2 speaks of an unfinished earth, it actually seems to refer to an earth (which would have been previously created in a beautiful condition) that had indeed become a wasteland.

• Biblical support for this position clearly exists. Briefly, and perhaps most importantly, the angels are the key reason: The early chapters of Genesis refer to an earth that mankind was to rule over, though Satan (in the form of a snake) was present. But we are told elsewhere in the Bible that the angels were given the earth to rule over. That had to have been previous to the early chapters of Genesis. The Bible tells of the angels rejoicing at the creation of earth. It also describes how Lucifer (one of the three most powerful and the most beautiful of all the angels) let pride enter his mind and grow to the point that he rebelled against his very Creator, God. He tried to go to the throne of God in heaven and fight to overthrow God, to take his place! One-third of all the angels (apparently here on earth, under the command of Lucifer) apparently went with him. But God easily defeated Lucifer (now known as Satan – the Destroyer, instead of the light-bringer he had been before his pride) and cast him and his companion angels, now demons, back to the earth (his “first estate” as we are told in the New Testament). –There is no logical place in human history for that to have happened. In Genesis 3, when Satan, manifesting himself as a serpent, beguiled Eve, he already had been cast down to earth – which may well have become a wasteland during or after God’s forcefully repelling Lucifer/Satan’s insane rebellion.

• Although there is no proof for the myth that is the Theory of Evolution, there easily can be true-science support or evidence for fossils and other indications of life on earth long before there was mankind. The dinosaurs did exist, and they might not have lived on earth alongside mankind. (The biblical book of Job mentions behemoth and leviathan, in chapters 40 and 41. They may have been dinosaur-like creatures living then. But there might not be biblical mention of dinosaurs on land along with mankind - other than behemoth.) Very likely the earth ruled over by angels (prior to Genesis 1 verse 2) included the dinosaurs. And it is certainly possible that “hominids” or somewhat “man-like” creatures existed then as well – but they were not actual mankind. (it is easy to speculate that Lucifer saw God create man-like beings and learned that ultimately mankind would replace him as the highest of God’s creation. Might that have contributed to his warped thinking and decision to rebel against God?)

Although I am not 100 percent sure, I feel that the fact that most Bible-believing Christians do not understand the above points is the main reason that many of them deny evidence that really does point to an earth that is more than just thousands of years old. But, having said that, there is good evidence that many (if not all) of the reasons used by evolutionists and others to point to an earth and universe that are billions of years old are based on assumptions that are not true. (Could it be that the Lucifer-to-Satan points listed above are true and Genesis 1:2 was much later than Genesis 1:1 – but still only thousands, or possibly millions, of years later?)

For the rest of this page, the following is stated as though it were fact: Genesis 1 verse 2 occurred much later than the original creation of the earth in Genesis 1 verse 1. How much later does not matter, except that later helps explain the following verses in Genesis 1, as done below. In the final analysis, God’s word, the Bible, is true and can be trusted – thus our faith in God is verified and strengthened.

Another note on Genesis 1 verse 1: Regardless of when the earth was created (as mentioned in verse 1), it is not “the beginning” in the sense of the first thing we can know, from the Bible. In the New Testament book of John, chapter 1, verses 1 through 3, we read: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Those verses tell us that “God” is more than one “person”. This fact is usually explained as the “Trinity”: that God is one God (as Deuteronomy 6:4 says) but also three in one – that is, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. (In the Greek language of the New Testament, the word for persons from which we say that God, though one inseparable God, is three distinct persons, means the foundational existence that cannot be further reduced. Thus we often say that the one God is three distinct persons.)

Thus, who is referred to in John chapter 1 verses 1 through 3? The “Word” there is the person of God who became the Son, whom we know as Jesus Christ. (See, for example, Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1:5-14.)

Thus in the Bible whenever God the Word is mentioned, He is God the Son, Jesus – and vice versa.

The third person of God is God the Holy Spirit.

Thus, getting back to Genesis 1:1-2, God the Word spoke and God the Holy Spirit carried out the work of creation. The other person of God is God the Father. He is actually the Head of God. In Genesis 1, the word for “God” is Hebrew “elohim”, which can be defined as a “uniplural” term. Since it refers to God, it refers to the “three in one” God, and that is why in Genesis 1:26 it says And God said, Let us make man in our image . . .

The creative acts of God are usually summarized as follows: God the Father willed it; God the Word (the Son – Jesus Christ, later) spoke it; and God the Holy Spirit carried it out. (Notice in Genesis 1:2 that the Spirit of God was hovering/moving over the face/surface of the waters on the wasteland of earth at that time.)



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