Genesis 1, 2:1-4: “In the Beginning” · January 7, 2009
The book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible. It literally means “beginning.” The account of creation is not only a description. It is also a definition of what life is and how it should be lived. Most scholars believe there are two accounts of creation which have been placed at the beginning of the Bible. The first goes from chapter 1:1-2:4a.
The Genesis account is not intended to be a scientific picture of creation since modern science was unknown at the time it was written. Nonetheless, there are some scientists who have commented on the ways it does follow what we know from science. However, as noted above, the purpose of this account is to define creation in terms of the activity of God and the role and nature of human beings.
In many ways this opening is part of a prologue to the main story of the book which focuses not on creation but on redemption, the salvation of fallen humanity through God’s calling of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is the theme of redemption that ultimately defines life for us in the twenty-first century.