December 29, 2021 – Wednesday
Genesis 1:1 NIV
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John 1:1 NIV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Looking at the two verses above I was interested in one thing, how they both began with In the beginning. I wanted to write about how they were incredibly similar and how John 1:1 shows us Jesus was there at the beginning given in Genesis 1:1. The idea came last Sunday when Pastor Luke Stephens preached on John 1:1-14 as a Christmas message. I thought I will make a ‘simple’ tie between the two verses and quickly be done. Over a three hour period of looking at notes and commentaries on the two verses alone with a focus on In the beginning I was disabused of the idea of a ‘simple’ tie between the two verses.
However, after reviewing most of my notes I was able to come up with an idea that addresses my initial thinking. Looking first at In the beginning in Genesis 1:1, we find our three English words come from the Hebrew word bĕrēšît (the spelling varies, even with the Hebrew characters such as בְּ רֵ אשִׁ ית in the online interlinear Hebrew Bible or in Strong’s H7225 as רֵ אשִׁ ית ). But how about John 1:1, how does our English In the beginning translate into Greek? Turns out the Greek uses two words, en (G1722) for In and arche (G746) for [the] beginning or the origin.
Still, how was I to tie all of this together. Back in my notes I found two helps. The first took me to Colossians 1:15-17, 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. Well, that certainly clarifies John 1:1 if there was any doubt. The next is from the NIV First Century Study Bible where we read, In the beginning in John 1:1 is identical to the opening lines of Genesis in the Septuagint (the pre-Christian Greek Translation of the Old Testament by Jewish scholars translating for Jews who were no longer able to read Hebrew when Greek was the common language of the land.
Beyond this, both tell us In the beginning was before time began when there was only the eternal. Jesus was there at the beginning and obviously preceded the beginning of time as we know it. Our Lord and Savior was and is eternal. He exists eternally with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We are His creation
Prayer: Heavenly Father, In the beginning You loved us just as You do today. Jesus was there then and He is with You now as we await and look forward to His return. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek