Tell me you’re not suggesting that God was some how sitting up there on his white throne scratching his beard and musing to himself …“I need to create language…sound…speech etc so I can proclaim …let there be light”…this is just some light hearted banter on your part…right??
Yes, Peebo. Light hearted banter about God. I love to think about HIM! Thanks for recognizing…
For example… that song “How Great Thou Art”
Oh Lord, my God, how I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made. I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder…
How great to see the stars, how great to hear the rolling thunder, awesome things that our God has made! But then, take it a step further… How great to SEE, how great to HEAR, also awesome things our God has made. I’m just happy thinking about our God!
(I love old church songs…)
The light in Genesis 1:3 was Christ, the light which enlightens all men. He was begotten by God the Father before all ages, while the earth was still void and without form. The light of Christ shines in the darkness, before the stars and sun and moon were made. This is the meaning of “Let there be light.”
I have heard that Augustine thought it meant the creation of the angels and archangels, which makes more sense, if you don’t mind my saying so, since the Son is as eternal in being as the Father who didn’t create him, but begot him. Our limited conception of time and eternity, and God’s nature can make it hard for us to think of someone being begotten but always existing, but that’s what we proclaim every time we recite the creeds.
As for myself, I think it was the beginning of the universe–the “big bang,” as it is called. It makes sense that the substance flung into the darkness of nothingness form into stars which formed the star systems and galaxies. A spiritual interpretation is fine, but since the author of Genesis was talking about the creation of the physical universe, the earth and what concerns it, and finally man in first several verses, it’s only logical to assume he was speaking about that, although we can certainly draw spiritual meaning from the creation story.
One must take into account that the first chapter of Genesis is neither intended to be seen as a chronological account that can be verified by scientific methodologies nor a narrative that specifies what occurred before time and space themselves came into existence.
Apparently there was creation of other sorts in the eternity that “preceded” the dawn of time because God is spoken of as having dialogue before the presence of the angels in Genesis 1:26.
There is also the account in Genesis chapter 2 which has a completely different order to creation than the previous chapter and may have even been from an oral tradition that predates the narrative of the first chapter. The placing of two contrasting traditions about creation may be a narrative device used to inform the reader that the moral lesson is not to be lost in the setting, which in this case happens to be the order of creation.
While this doesn’t mean that Genesis chapter 1 does not and cannot offer an honest portrayal of the order of creation (scientific models do offer an almost identical order to when things appeared on earth), it appears that limiting the account to only this would lose sight of the Jewish exegesis that shaped it. From antiquity the underlying lesson to this chapter is that of highlighting the importance of the Sabbath to the Jewish culture. That this creation narrative comes with an attached moral shows that more than a history lesson must be harvested from its reading by Christians.–For the importance of not dismissing traditional Jewish exegesis from Catholic hermeneutical approaches to Scripture, see *The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible *by the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
According to the order of Genesis, the first thing created was “the heavens and the earth.”–Genesis 1:1.
Earth was in darkness until light was visited upon it, and the implications of this part of the inspired Genesis tradition was not lost in John’s gospel which used this as a recurring theme throughout that book.–Compare Genesis 1:3-5 with John 1:1-9.
What preceded this is not revealed nor a subject in the book of Genesis.
You cannot say that is all it means. Certainly God is light, but not simply light that we can see. He is the origin of light and of darkness for the light and the dark are the same to him. If Genesis isn’t primarily about how God created the world it seems pretty silly to go on in the next several verses to talk about the creation of the atmosphere, oceans, plants and animals. Of course there’s a spiritual meaning behind it all–that God is and that he created all there is and us out of his love. But the light in Gen. 1:3 is just that–light as well as pointing to God who is the light of the world, but it’s not merely a metaphor for God being light.
Scott Hahn argues that day 1 God created time, day 2 He created space (as in 3 dimensions), and day 3 He created physical reality. Then on days 4, 5, and 6 he populated those 3 realms, which is why/how he created the sun and the moon on day 4 (related to time).
Well scholars who hold this position obviously have a response for verse 16. For the sake of completeness, I’ll expound upon Sailhamer’s interpretation.
Gen 1:15 concludes with the line, “And it was so.” According to Sailhamer, this concludes the authors report of the events on day four. Therefore, Gen 1:16 and following is not an account of creation, but emphasizing to the reader that God alone made the lights and placed them in the heavens.
For the record, I do not find this argument very persuasive. However, I would also disagree that the light on day one is Christ. The Framework Interpretation, as it is often called, appears to be much more convincing given the themes and concerns of Genesis 1:1-2:4a.
This is very interesting. Thank you for posting it. Far be it from me to argue with serious scholars. I’m just some guy. You and they are obviously more knowledgeable than I and it would be arrogant for me to do so.
Light existed in the universe long before our sun and moon or the earth were formed. The author of Genesis was not trying to tell us about literal days and nights–he was using metaphorical language to tell us about creation as seen from his perspective on earth. Although the Scriptures are divinely inspired, they were written by men of their times using the knowledge they had about the physical universe. They had a very different concept of creation than we do in modern times. The Scripture also says that the earth is “founded upon the seas” and that it is unmoving. To men of those times that’s how things appeared to them and how they understood how the earth is supported and that it appeared stationary. They weren’t writing science books, which didn’t even exist. They were telling us that God created everything we see around us because he wished it to be, and man in his image. That is the central point of the creation story. Besides, Jesus in not a created being–he is the Second Person of the Trinity who existed from all eternity. He was not created when God said, “Let there be light” because he already existed having no beginning and no end just like God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
I’m just amazed at your replies to my silly question. I’m in awe at the thought and gentleness of your comments. I enjoy them so much and I can feel myself weighing each reply, like precious jewels. I just want to be still and know that you are…thinking about God and His creations…
Thank you, God, for all of your creations!