Tuesday, August 17, 2010

God is eternal and absolute (Genesis 1:1-2)

The Old Testament provides no story of the origin of Israel’s God. Instead, Israel’s God provides the story of the origination of everything there is. Almost all English translations refer to an absolute beginning: “In the beginning, God created” (Gen 1:1, e.g., KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV, NLT, etc.).[1] We don’t read, “When the world was created, the gods.…” And we certainly don’t read, “At the beginning of the world, god ‘x’ had relations with goddess ‘y’ and produced ’Elohim.”
Any reader from the ancient Near East would have found this amazing, including the Hebrew people. After all, they had just escaped from polytheistic Egypt. From this first verse, Scripture taught them monotheism. God warned them, don’t return to the gods of your ancestor on the other side of the Euphrates or those of your own parents on the other side of the Nile (Josh 24:2, 13, 15). So Israel’s confession boiled down to this: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deut 6:4-5).

1. A few Bible translations choose something like “when God began creation” (e.g., NRSV, NJPS)

1 comment:

  1. If we are created in God's image (Genesis 1:27) does God look like a man, or a woman? The God who created infinity, the cosmos, black holes, different dimensions, trillions of stars and planets, space, - He walks on two legs and cratches and defecates?
    If Adam was created first did he have genitals and sperm? Why? Does God have those?

    Look, the human beings have become as one of US in knowing good and evil!.......and will live forever!