“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth!” So opens the book of Genesis, but what does that mean? Some have taken it to mean that the following narrative of chapters 1 and 2 are “literally true” and that anything that contradicts that interpretation is wrong. Others have taken it to mean that the Bible is claiming some sort of “literal truth” about the origins of everything and that it has been “disproved” by science. But is this the case? The answer, I think, is not necessarily. And key to this is understanding that the Bible is a document composed not just in a time far removed from today, but also in languages other than English.
In the following series of blog posts, I want to explore Genesis 1 and 2, raising the question of what happens when we read Genesis as not describing the scientific “how did creation come into being” but the theological/philosophical “why did God create?”
Little, if any, which I talk about here will be completely original. Much of it might very well be familiar territory for some. Yet, I want to take a somewhat different approach than other blogs I have read about Genesis 1 and 2. Instead of writing solely about what it isn’t, I want to write about what it is. I want to answer a question instilled in me by my undergraduate biblical studies professor: So what?
In the next blog post, I will dive into the text starting be’reshit. In the beginning? In a beginning? When beginning? Well, we will start at Genesis 1.1.