For reference, I am using the 1599 Geneva Bible, which as some of you may know, was the first complete translation into the English language. It’s also quite possibly the most accurate version available, with a focus on keeping as close to the literal translation as possible being one of it’s greatest virtues. For those of you who don’t know, this translation precedes the KJV (King James Version) by about roughly 50 years. It was the culmulative effort of some part of over 800 protestant Biblical scholars, the majority driven from Britain by Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary), and taking refuge with John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland.
That being said, should any disagree with this version’s claim in authenticity, I put the burden of proof on the reader, to show from the original source texts in Hebrew and Greek, that they had a better understanding of it than the cumulative heads of some of the greatest Christian Scholars of our time.
My previous statement notwithstanding, I’m not trying to make the case that the 1599 Geneva Version is perfect or 100% accurate. Just that it’s the most accurate translation to date. Put together by men with a dedication to authenticity, and an understanding of theology that often far outstrips our own efforts today.
I’ve always loved reading the creation story, as it shows us the greatness of God, as well as his loving care in how he shaped all things. This time, quite a few things jumped out at me.
First are the two phases used here, multiple times. “It was good.” and “It was so.” The first is repeated 7 times throughout Genesis 1, which I find striking, because it shows us that God, in making all things, made them perfect. This world, fallen as it is, had a perfect state, which we will be returning to. Also, as the Geneva Scholars point out, “This sentence is so oft repeated, to signify that God made all His Creatures to serve to His glory, and to the profit of man; but for sin they were accursed, yet to the elect, by Christ they are restored, and serve to their wealth.”
I find that very comforting.
The second phrase, “It was so.” is striking to me, as to my understanding, it shows the absolute power and authority of God. It’s not an opinionated statement. It’s an absolute statement.. It. Was. So! Period. Full stop. The end. Absolutely final. Non-negotiable.
The next thing that jumped out at me was more of a stray thought I that I thought I’d share. I found it very interesting that the Bible specifically says (in verse 20-21) that “—the waters brought forth every creeping thing that hath life: and let the fowl fly upon the earth in the open firmament of the heaven. Then God created the great whales, and everything living and moving which the waters brought forth in abundance according to their kind, and every feathered fowl according to his kind…”
Now why is this so interesting? Well in reading it, I couldn’t help but notice that it sounds a lot like the opening premise of a belief that directly and deliberately contradicts the creation story.
Now, I may be wrong, but if I remember correctly, evolution states that life started in the ocean, and crawled onto land (“—the waters brought forth every creeping thing…”), and then at one stage this “life” gained wings (“—and let the fowl fly upon the earth…”). I’m not sure about you, but this sounds like they’re borrowing from the Bible. And more specifically, the creation story. And considering that the focus of both is the beginning of life, I find that extremely ironic.
This next one is found in verse 26, “Furthermore God said, Let us make man in our image according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heave, and over the beasts, and over all the earth, and over everything that ctree-eth and moveth on the earth.”
Do you notice how God says “us”? Now we know that humans do not have a similar image the angels (Isaiah 6:2; Rev. 4:8), and as the Bible never says that the Angels were in any way, made in the image of God, and we were, then it follows that they were not made in the image of God. Which means that when God says “us”, He is talking within the Trinity. Which, while hard to wrap our heads around at times, is pretty cool.
Also, the Genevan scholars point out that “God commanded the water and the earth to bring forth other creatures but of man He saith, Let us make: signifying that God taketh counsel with His wisdom and virtue, purposing to make a excellent work above all the rest of His creation.”
Just… take a few seconds to think about that, I’ll wait.
Back? Now, I’m not sure about you, but that is pretty encouraging. That God devoted special attention to us as the pinnacle of His creation… and then even after we failed Him, He still loved us enough to send His own Son to die on the Cross for us. That is incredible, insane love.
Okay, so riding on the coattails of the last two items, if any of you have read C.S. Lewis’ works, The Chronicles of Narnia, some of you will undoubtedly recall the scene from The Magician’s Nephew where Aslan creates the world, and if you’ll remember the creatures came out of mounds in the earth, bursting forth sotospeak. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but I never related that part of the story with the creation story (v. 20-25) up until now. Which just goes to show me that the more we understand a study Scripture, the more insights we gain of the world around us, be it nature, literature, entertainment, physical activity, etc.
And last but not least, God’s making of light. Now just bare with my logic here. God, being well… God, doesn’t need light, as He is light, true light. (Exodus 33:12-23; 34:29-35) And we also know that God, being all-powerful, did not need light to sustain the universe, for it to work, but yet He made it anyways. For us, so that we would be blessed by all the aspects of light that serve us day to day. I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you have light outside a window nearby, or have a light fixture or lamp in your house or apartment. Light is by far, one of the things that I know I take for granted pretty much every second of every day, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Just imagine how dull this world would be, how uninteresting and depressing our lives would be without light. I can’t really think of any aspect of my life that would be worth living without it in one form or another.
So the next time you turn on a light, or go outside, think about how blessed we are to have light, and how much understanding and knowledge comes with light. (And if you search through the scriptures, you’ll see that light is a big theme in the Bible. More verses than I could even begin to reference.)
I think that it for today. If you have any thoughts, or opinions on this, or just found it to be helpful, please… leave a comment below.
Cheers, and I’ll see you on the other side.
Cody, logging off.