[quote=godsent]See when i read the bible,at the very beginning,it read,and i quote
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”
When i read that part,i thought to myself,what a basic way of putting it!
I think in my heart i know that its true,but i need some reassurance?
I have no problem at all here - but I have been fortunate enough to study the OT as part of a Theology course, which meant coming across all sorts of other creation accounts from other cultures.
And this account is very different from them:
It has one single creator god - not a whole lot of gods
It presents this God as creating by His mere word: some accounts - not all - are of creation by sexual activity. Since this God is the only one, He doesn’t do that. A single Creator-God, is a Sovereign Creator God, so a God Who is free of all constraint, so, a God Who is a God of grace, so, a God Who is free to enter into a covenant. And that, is the God of Israel - and of Jesus Christ.
Some accounts are of creation from the body of a deity whom the Creator has defeated in battle - there are fragments of this idea elsewhere in the OT, but not here. The OT often takes ideas which are found elsewhere, and re-interprets them so that they express its own faith.
In all accounts, it seems, there is a pre-existing “something” to create from: even if it is only a formless chaos. Genesis 1.1 comes close to this - without quite saying it. And in 1 Macc.7.28, it is is made explicit that God created from nothing.
This creation account has a very high view of man - instead of being made out of a dead god, as sometimes elsewhere, he is created from the dust of the ground, as in some other accounts: yet, equally important, he is made in the image of God. Which is very significant - the Assyrian king was also made in the image of god: but only he was, because of his function as king. In Genesis, all mankind, all Adam, is. The idea been “democratised” in Israel.
One could go on - this is a very profound piece of writing. It only looks dull and unimpressive because most people have no idea just how it compares with other texts and ideas familiar - taken for granted - in most of the Ancient Near East. It is an amazing piece of writing, in its profundity, its view of a single sovereign Creator God, its high view of mankind as made for communion with God and not made as slaves to do the work of the gods. It is a piece of writing with an ethical outlook which is based on faith in this One God - another thing that makes the Jewish Bible unique. Israel’s religion is in many ways no different from that of its neighbours - but in what matters most, in ethics and the basis for ethics, in its refusal to let holiness be separated from righteous living, and either of these from faith in God Who is One and Unique, it is unique.
And Christians don’t even seem to know this
The trouble with Christians, is that they, we, have been spoiled by being able to take for granted that there is only one Creator God - 2500 years ago and more, this idea was almost unknown. We cannot be grateful enough for having inherited this creation-narrative; because the doctrine of creation by a single God is absolutely basic to Christian thinking: it affects everything. ##