God’s unfolding story thread. Genesis 1:1 is usually translated “In the beginning, God created.” But is it saying something more? Walk this way . . .
This series is related to a spiritual call (started in the early 90s) for me to walk a bridge—from the Judaic camp reaching out to the Messianic/Christian camp and then vice versa—crisscrossing it, realizing and later sharing who and what the real bridge is. Walk with me to discover God’s revelations and passionate plan for our souls.
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HIGHLY SUGGEST FIRST READING: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 1]
READING TIME: 3 MINUTES.
Discussions—heated or otherwise—span the ages regarding the Genesis 1:1 wording, which is often translated “In the beginning, God created.” But considering a point of Hebraic grammar, is that what it’s really saying—and how does any of that fit into God’s redemption-focused story thread?
Some scholars and/or grammarians say those first words aren’t exactly as traditionally translated. There’s no “the” in the Hebrew text. So they translate with a one-word shift: “In a beginning.”
A stirring literal translation on a gazillion levels. And how that ups the game on God’s story line. This in-a-beginning view has been discussed many times over the years at Torah study tables—and always sets my mind spinning in a thrilling, isn’t-God-amazing way.
Three other views help us branch that concept even further . . .
THE BEGINNINGS STORY THREAD: A FEW STEPS MORE
Stephen Rayburn points out in his 2009 “D’var Torah: Bereshit” article, that Rashi (esteemed medieval rabbi/Talmudic commentator) regarded the word b’reshit as a statement not about “the absolute beginning of everything” but when “God turned His attention to our own world.”
Now add a point of biblical consistency—discussed in this two-minute Genesis 1:1 Hebrew grammar note—the construct in Genesis 1:1 (needing a noun) would be translated . . .
“In the (or a) beginning of God’s creating.”
And lastly, factor in this intriguing view from Rabbi Jeffrey W. Goldwasser . . .
Back in October 2011, Reb Jeff wrote in his blog post (“Bereshit: In the Beginning of What?”) a more illustrative translation based on the grammatical analysis and infusing spiritual innuendos of timelessness.
He says the “world never stopped being created” since it “has a beginning, but it is a beginning that has never ceased.”
Goldwasser’s Genesis 1:1 translation goes like this:
“In the beginning of the beginning that is always beginning, G-d created the creation that is still [beginning and creating].”
The Creator is always creating. He “rested” from His earth project but never really stopped creating—everything He creates is in a forward, unfolding, beginning-within-a-beginning motion. Contracting, reaching down, extending out . . . beginning anew.
God IS the beginning.
The One who has NO beginning.
Yet WITHIN HIM is the beginning within a beginning within a beginning that is unfolding and still beginning and creating.
Simply complex, right? In light of creation alone, we’re talking about the mind-bending, humanly incomprehensible dunamis power of our holy God.
QUESTION FOR YOU
What was going on with these beginnings within beginnings . . . when there was absolutely no beginning because God has no beginning and no end?
We know He birthed creation with a WORD. Scripture confirms it. Even rabbinic teaching says that the WORD God spoke in the creative process did the creation.
I couldn’t agree more.
In fact, it’s the apex—the critical story thread—linking God’s beginnings within beginnings and the reveal of the redemptive gift to humanity.
So let’s climb that summit to discover what has been waiting there for us all along.
READ THIS NEXT: Beginnings within Beginnings [Part 3].
GOT TWO MINUTES?
Read quick examples of God’s many beginnings, those in the past, those in the works now, and those on the horizon.
PHOTO CREDITS for this Beginnings series:
Cloud/Light by Marcus Dall Col on Unsplash.com
Steam Punk Minister w/Bible by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash.com
Steps with child by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash.com
Follow the Line on asphalt photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.com
Woman in jeans with Bible by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.com