Let there be light, and there was light

I read a book recently called "Winning the war against darkness" by Gideon Akinsuyi It’s basically about spiritual warfare but it brings up something which I had never thought of. This is from the book.

“The first kind of spiritual warfare on the earth was the battle between light and darkness. Ever since, every other forms of Spiritual warfare have taken their roots in this original battle which I called “Battle in the beginning”.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
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.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3.

Already you know who is at work in darkness; God is now showing us what to do when it comes against our lives and the works of our hands. We are to confront it and resist it. There is only one way to resist darkness and that is by attacking it with light.”

He says that the light and darkness mentioned in the opening of Genesis is is not literal as the sun and moon were made on the 4th day. He suggests that this light and darkness is the good and evil, that God first rebuked the evil of darkness with his light. The bible often uses light and darkness to convey good and evil.

If so then Genesis 1: 1-3 is an account of something that took much longer than one day. “In the beginning God made the heavens and earth” A considerable amount of time must of elapsed for darkness to become a manifest of evil. God would of already had all the angels and Lucifer would have already rebelled against God and become Satan.

The author also says; When darkness is in operation what you see is confusion, disruption and all kinds of disorder. This has been the form from the beginning. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep"
The emptiness and confusion that characterized the work of God at creation was not part of the original plan. It was the work of darkness. And that was why God started the work of change by rebuking the darkness first before anything else could be done."

**Has anyone heard of this interpretation of the opening of Genesis? **
Does it have merit? Why, why not?

1 Like

That is called “Manicheaism” or “Manicheanism”.
God does not create evil and God is not in battle with anything.
We strive to be good, God is good.


You have to be very careful with this kind of thinking. If you consider the darkness to be a thing, and especially if you consider it to be a thing with a mind and an agenda, then as @goout said you are delving into the heresy of Manichaeism.

Now if darkness is only meant to meant to represent that which rejects God (in much the same way that Hell is a separation from God) then you might be able to make that work, because then the spiritual battle we face is with fallen angels and other things that turned their back on Him. Even then, the darkness in Genesis would either have to represent those things which had already rejected him or it would have to be synonymous with nothing, since nothing exists that was not created by God.

1 Like

I concur with the previous 2 respondents; I immediately thought of Manichaeism, a heresy.

I also note that the last verse of that creation account, Genesis 1:31, informs us that “God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.” This includes the dark and the night.

I don’t think this really has much merit. There is no reason to think that the author of Genesis was attempting to address the concept of good and evil here just reading it as the text would have been understood to the original audience. As we see from the Genesis account, God is creating from nothing. This interpretation is sort of assuming that either God is creating evil and having to struggle against it, or that good and evil pre-exist God. Both are problematic to put it politely. Seems kind of a bizarre interpretation to me that lends itself to some pretty wild speculation.

Also, keep in mind that after the first day of creating darkness and light, God himself called it good. There is nothing evil in this context about what God has created, light and darkness, so it is not really within the realm of the context of the written account to read into it that the author is using light and darkness as a commentary on good and evil.

I think I would, uh, get yourself a book that isn’t taking so many creative liberties with scripture. Just my opinion.

Never heard of it. Im not pushing any such thing or heresy. The worse response to give to a Catholic asking a question I reckon is to label them a heretic or blasphemous. Asking questions is how we learn. Just disregard the questions if u wish then

Can someone then at least link me to the RCCs interpretation of that part of Genesis?

No one is saying you are a heretic. We are saying that the idea you asked us for an opinion on is a known type of heresy and we want you to be careful so you are not led astray.

1 Like

I gave the interpretation which doesn’t assume any of that.

It says God saw that the light was good

So can u give me an explanation of how light, day and night came about before the creation of the sun, moon and stars on day 4? Can we have day, night and light without the sun and the moon?

Im not claiming this to be the truth. If there is a RCC explanation then just give it and i’ll shut up.

Is the sun the only source of light? Does not God sustain all things? Revelation says the sun and moon won’t be necessary because he himself will be the light. I won’t speculate how God provided light and darkness apart from the sun, and stars, only that he did because scripture says so.

Not asking you to shut up, just pointing out that this interpretation is a gross misread of the text. You do what you wish with that information.

A footnote in the Jerusalem Bible answers your question:

The text makes use of the primitive science of its day. It would be a mistake to seek points of agreement between this schematic presentation and the data of modern science, but it is important to notice that, although it bears the stamp of its period, this literary form conveys a revelation of one, transcendent God, existing before the world which he created – a revelation valid for all time.

1 Like

My apologies. No one was calling you a heretic or blasphemous. I am glad that you brought up your questions.

@goout and I were too brief, but @Inquiry and @Hodos explain it better, and @Inquiry began very charitably and truly by saying “You have to be very careful with this kind of thinking.” The world view you described contains some errors among some truths, which can make it difficult to recognize the errors.

I know how it feels to be corrected in this way. Here at CAF, I once wrote that the Holy Trinity is like a person who can act in different ways, like a husband, a father, and a worker. Immediately I was informed that this is modalism, a well-known heresy. I felt hurt, but I looked up modalism and saw that I actually was wrong, and I tried to understand the Trinity better, and now I don’t feel hurt.


Catechism of the Catholic Church

2500 The practice of goodness is accompanied by spontaneous spiritual joy and moral beauty. Likewise, truth carries with it the joy and splendor of spiritual beauty. Truth is beautiful in itself. Truth in words, the rational expression of the knowledge of created and uncreated reality, is necessary to man, who is endowed with intellect. But truth can also find other complementary forms of human expression, above all when it is a matter of evoking what is beyond words: the depths of the human heart, the exaltations of the soul, the mystery of God. Even before revealing himself to man in words of truth, God reveals himself to him through the universal language of creation, the work of his Word, of his wisdom: the order and harmony of the cosmos-which both the child and the scientist discover-“from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator,” "for the author of beauty created them."290

[Wisdom] is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.291 For [wisdom] is more beautiful than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail.292 I became enamored of her beauty.293

John 1

4 in him was life,and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

2 Cor 4

6 For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

I don’t remember the details off the top of my head, but St. Augustine wrote about this in book 13 of Confessions if you’re interested.

I have read this before, and I find it very reasonable. The Genesis account begins with God setting right what had been done by evil. Then He created mankind.

No probs I overreacted as well. Im tired of being dismissed as a heretic, labelled a protestant, seen as attacking the RCC and that just for asking questions.

You said “the world view I described contains some errors among some truths” what are the errors exactly? Can u please point out these errors.

After doing some investigating i learnt that the RCC doesn’t have an interpretation of creation. Only a few truths that this theory doesn’t appear to be breaching.

“Catholics are at liberty to believe that creation took a few days or a much longer period, according to how they see the evidence, and subject to any future judgment of the Church (Pius XII’s 1950 encyclical Humani Generis 36–37).”


Thanks mate. That sounds ok but remember that the darkness was already there when God said let there be light, so it can’t be the creation of angels.

Things one can ponder is when did God create the angels and when did Lucifer turn to the darkness?
Did it all happen in 7 days, in time for Satan to tempt eve? Is the 7 days literal?

True. it is reasonable and i don’t see any errors.
If it is literal then one who has really thought it through should have an explanation as to how this first light is even possible with out the sun on the 4th day.

In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth but i think that much much more happened in that time. Before the next stage I think God created the angels and the fall of Lucifer had occurred.

Perhaps he lead an old world into disorder as earth is described as formless, in a void, empty, with darkness hovering over the surface of the deep, what ever that may mean. Or maybe it was God’s will as darkness exposes the light in a depth of clarity that only darkness can.

Im just thinking out loud here anyway and am interested to hear other interpretations and explanations

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.