Wednesday, January 2, 2013

In The Beginning

In the beginning of the year 2013, I recalled the expression, “In the beginning” in the Bible.

God is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. This simply means He starts and ends everything according to His purpose and providence with regard to His creation. Actually for God Himself, there is no beginning and the End. He is transcending the universe and time.

We see the expression “In the beginning” in two different places of the Bible, i.e. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1.  Are they carrying the same meaning when it was employed  by Moses and John ? Let’s look into this interesting topic.

We read in, Genesis 1:1;

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Heaven and earth have not existed from all eternity, but had a beginning; nor did they arise by emanation from an absolute substance, but were created by God. This sentence, which stands at the head of the records of revelation, is not a mere heading, nor a summary of the history of the creation, but a declaration of the primeval act of God, by which the universe was called into being.

Bereshith (בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית  in the beginning) is used absolutely, like εν αρχη(en arche  in the beginning) in John 1:1.

And we read in, John 1:1;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

That is, before any material thing was formed - before God began the great work of creation. This is the same meaning of the word in Genesis 1:1, to which John evidently alludes. This phrase fully proves, in the mouth of an inspired writer, that Jesus Christ was no part of the creation, as He existed when no part of that existed; and that consequently He is no creature, as all created nature was formed by Him: for without Him was nothing made that is made, John 1:3.

Now, as what was before creation must be eternal, and as what gave being to all things, could not have borrowed or derived its being from any thing, therefore Jesus, Who was before all things and Who made all things, must necessarily be the Eternal God.

Was the Word - Or, existed the Logos. This term should be left untranslated, for the very same reason why the names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated.  And as it would be highly improper to say, the Deliverer, the Anointed, instead of Jesus Christ, so I deem it improper to say, the Word, instead of the Logos.

But as every noun of the Savior of the world was descriptive of some excellence in His person, nature, or work, so the Logos, which signifies a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reasoning, is very properly applied to Christ, Who is the true light which lights every man, John 1:9; Who is the fountain of all wisdom; Who gives being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; Who is the grand Source of revelation; Who has declared God unto mankind; Who spoke by the prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10; Who has illustrated life and immortality by His Gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10; and Who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the bosom of the invisible God from all eternity, John 1:18.


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