October 22, 2021 – Friday
Genesis 1:1 NIV
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1 NOG
1 In the beginning Elohim created heaven and earth.
Genesis 1:1 KJV
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Looking at our three versions above we see a few differences. First, in the Name of God (NOG) version we are given the Hebrew word, elohim, translated as God, but it is in reality it is the plural form of eloha. Thus, making sense of how verse 26 begins, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” Agaihe n in verse 26, elohim was translated as God.
The second difference is the NIV has heavens (plural) while the NOG and KJV have heaven (singular). If you go here, you will find most translations have heavens instead of heaven. If you are interested in a discussion of why heaven or heavens or even three heavens, you may enjoy reading here and here and here for some very reasonable explanations.
No matter the version, they all begin with In the beginning. Thus creation marks the very beginning of our chronological and material world. Both Jewish and Christian belief is that God created the original heaven and earth from nothing. I should mention there is nothing in the Hebrew to suggest long ages for evolutionary development or a gap of time between verse one and verse two, Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters, though some will argue otherwise.
The verb created (Hebrew bara) is used only with God as its subject. The word created refers to an instantaneous and miraculous act of God whereupon He brought about the existence of the universe. Knowing Elohim is plural it is useful to go to Colossians 1:15-17 and read, The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And then remember Jesus said in John 14:11, Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
Finally, about this verse I would like you to look at the interlinear here and notice two letters are not translated. They are אֵ ת, aleph (אֵ) and taw (ת), remembering Hebrew is read right to left. Now recall Jesus said in Revelation 22:13, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, using the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. If He had used the Hebrew alphabet it would have been I am the Aleph and the Taw which we find all alone in Genesis 1:1. I believe we have Jesus revealed as the Aleph and the Taw in the very first verse of the Bible, but that is only my personal opinion. What do you think?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for revealing so much in the very first verse in the Bible, including maybe Jesus. You have blessed us mightily with Your word. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek