CREATION OF THE WORLD
In the Beginning God made the Heaven and the Earth.
We are beginning our allegorical journey through the Holy Scriptures. I have spoken on many things in Holy Scripture using the church writings that I have available. For this blog I want to go beyond my particular church writings to find others in the ancient church who have also written on these same subjects, this will of course take me a little while longer to put the blogs out but it is important for all to see that this is not a one sided or a one church perspective. Of course we will begin with the Book of Genesis and we will explore different ancient writings on this interpretation of Holy Scripture. The most basic and simple understanding of course is the literal understanding and yet we find passages such as these; Psalm 89/90: 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are as yesterday, which is past, and as a watch in the night. Then repeated by St. Peter in 2 Peter 3: 8 But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
So a day in Holy Scripture does not necessarily mean a 24 hour period of time. Many people in the modern church argue the point that God created in six literal 24 hour periods which means that the passages regarding a ‘day’ are completely ignored by the modernist until such a moment of time when it is necessary for them to quote the passages to fit and prove some philosophy that they are espousing. The fact is; we are not given direct revelation by God of these things, we have no proof regardless of anything that can be said or produced by anyone of exactly how creation happened.
According to the scholar Origen; Origen believed that scripture should be interpreted according to three levels of meaning. Origen claims to derive this principle from Proverbs 22:20-21, which in the Septuagint says, “Moreover, you shall write these things down for yourself in a threefold way on the breadth of your heart, for counsel and knowledge…so that you may answer those who question you with true words.” These three levels of meaning correspond in broad terms to the needs Christians have on the various stages of their spiritual journey: the literal level is for the simple Christian, the moral level is for those who have made some spiritual progress, and the spiritual level is for those whom Paul refers to as the perfect (2 Cor. 2:6-7), that is, spiritually mature Christians who are capable of receiving solid food and understanding the deeper things of God (Heb. 5:13-14; cf. 2 Cor. 2:10). Origen sometimes refers to these three levels of meaning, by analogy, to the three-way nature of human beings: the body (literal), the soul (moral), and the spirit (spiritual).
So, we do have through spiritual or allegorical understanding a way of understanding certain passages; this is not to say that there is no literal understanding of anything but only to say that the spiritual and allegorical understanding is of great benefit. This method was very popular in the early church especially used by the Scholar Origen. Again, this is not to say that there were not detractors of this method either. We will begin to see that modern science in many areas actually agrees with the allegorical understanding of Holy Scripture especially where the creation is concerned as recorded by Origen in the late second to mid third century.
Whether anyone agrees with what gets written in these blogs or not matters very little to me, again, there is no way to prove or disprove what will be written, everything that we will be discovering will be literally and not figuratively taken from the early church writing. None of it will be of my own imagination. There is no argument here for anyone. Read, research, meditate on, believe it or not believe it, it is a choice. Discuss the things written, but there is no argument.
St. Basil the Great from ‘The Hexaemeron’ (the Six Days of Creation)
It is right that any one beginning to narrate the formation of the world should begin with the good order which reigns in visible things. I am about to speak of the creation of heaven and earth, which was not spontaneous, as some have imagined, but drew its origin from God. What ear is worthy to hear such a tale?
Now it is Moses who has composed this history; Moses, who, when still at the breast, is described as exceeding fair; Moses, whom the daughter of Pharaoh adopted; who received from her a royal education, and who had for his teachers the wise men of Egypt; Moses, who disdained the pomp of royalty, and, to share the humble condition of his compatriots, preferred to be persecuted with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting delights of sin; Moses, who received from nature such a love of justice that, even before the leadership of the people of God was committed to him, he was impelled, by a natural horror of evil, to pursue malefactors even to the point of punishing them by death; Moses, who, banished by those whose benefactor he had been, hastened to escape from the tumults of Egypt and took refuge in Ethiopia, living there far from former pursuits, and passing forty years in the contemplation of nature; Moses, finally, who, at the age of eighty, saw God, as far as it is possible for man to see Him; or rather as it had not previously been granted to man to see Him, according to the testimony of God Himself, If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house, with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches. It is this man, whom God judged worthy to behold Him, face to face, like the angels, who imparts to us what he has learned from God. Let us listen then to these words of truth written without the help of the enticing words of man’s wisdom 1 Corinthians 2:4 by the dictation of the Holy Spirit; words destined to produce not the applause of those who hear them, but the salvation of those who are instructed by them.
Those who were too ignorant to rise to a knowledge of a God, could not allow that an intelligent cause presided at the birth of the Universe; a primary error that involved them in sad consequences. Some had recourse to material principles and attributed the origin of the Universe to the elements of the world. Others imagined that atoms, and indivisible bodies, molecules and ducts, form, by their union, the nature of the visible world. Atoms reuniting or separating, produce births and deaths and the most durable bodies only owe their consistency to the strength of their mutual adhesion: a true spider’s web woven by these writers who give to heaven, to earth, and to sea so weak an origin and so little consistency! It is because they knew not how to say: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Deceived by their inherent atheism it appeared to them that nothing governed or ruled the universe, and that all was given up to chance. To guard us against this error the writer on the creation, from the very first words, enlightens our understanding with the name of God; In the beginning God created.
You will find what was the first movement of time; then that the creation of the heavens and of the earth were like the foundation and the groundwork, and afterwards that an intelligent reason, as the word beginning indicates, presided in the order of visible things. You will finally discover that the world was not conceived by chance and without reason, but for an useful end and for the great advantage of all beings, since it is really the school where reasonable souls exercise themselves, the training ground where they learn to know God; since by the sight of visible and sensible things the mind is led, as by a hand, to the contemplation of invisible things. For, as the Apostle says, the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. Romans 1:20 Perhaps these words In the beginning God created signify the rapid and imperceptible moment of creation. The beginning, in effect, is indivisible and instantaneous. The beginning of the road is not yet the road, and that of the house is not yet the house; so the beginning of time is not yet time and not even the least particle of it. If some objector tell us that the beginning is a time, he ought then, as he knows well, to submit it to the division of time — a beginning, a middle and an end. Now it is ridiculous to imagine a beginning of a beginning. Further, if we divide the beginning into two, we make two instead of one, or rather make several, we really make an infinity, for all that which is divided is divisible to the infinite. Thus then, if it is said, In the beginning God created, it is to teach us that at the will of God the world arose in less than an instant, and it is to convey this meaning more clearly that other interpreters have said: God made summarily that is to say all at once and in a moment. But enough concerning the beginning, if only to put a few points out of many. St. Basil the Great.
So, friends, if the expression “In the beginning” does not imply a particular time because time did not yet exist because the stars with their precise systems were not yet there; but it means that the material world has a beginning.
From Father Tadros Malaty of the Coptic Orthodox Church
It is to be noticed that the word “day” in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, does not mean a 24-hour day, but implies a time era which may extend to millions of years. The sun, the moon, and the rest of the stars, were not yet created until the fourth time era, and so, there was, then, no’ ‘time’’ as we have nowadays, as there was no day and night in the material contemporary sense. This was confirmed by several fathers like St Jerome. And even after creation, the Holy Book often speaks of a “day” in a sense beyond that of our comprehension; as for example;
The word “day”, in the Holy Book, came according to several concepts: It often implies ‘eternity’, where there is no beginning, as when the Father addressed the Son saying: “You are My Son; Today I have begotten You” (Psalm 2: 7; Acts 13: 32; Hebrew 1: 5); and calling the
Father, “The ancient of days” (Daniel 7: 9), meaning (the eternal). About the “day”, in the sense of its (eternity) — beyond time — it is described as “The day of the Lord” (Acts 2: 20); that is to say, His ultimate coming, when time comes to an end. And it is said of the Lord Jesus Christ: “To Him be the glory both now and forever, Amen” (2 Peter 3: 18).
Some people may object to what came in the Book of Genesis concerning the creation of the first man; based on the discovery of fossilized bones of man dated to more than million years of age; beside the discovery of ancient art inscriptions of the early man…How can we interpret that? We shall get into these things in time.
This is what St. Basil confirmed in His work ‘The six days of creation’ or the (Hexaemeron), saying, that the expression “In the beginning” does not imply a certain time, otherwise the beginning would have a beginning and an end; and so this beginning would have a
beginning, thus entering into an endless series of beginnings. But, “The beginning” here, means a preliminary movement, and not a time quantity; as for example saying: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9: 10).
He also says: [Do not assume, man, that the seen world has no beginning, just because the celestial bodies move in a circular course; that because of the difficulty to fix a point of beginning for that circular movement, you think it is by nature, with no beginning]. He also says: [whatever begins at a certain time, would also end at a certain
time]. This does not imply the existence of time at the beginning of the movement, but confirms the uprooting of the theory of eternity.
Although there was no time, yet, there was a beginning, before which the world was nothingness. Science confirms the non-eternity of material. Several fathers adopt, beside this literal or historical interpretation for “In the beginning”, the symbolic or spiritual interpretation; believing that it means “In Jesus Christ”, or “In the Word of God”, the heavens and the earth were created. In the following are some of these interpretations:
+ The Son, Himself, is the beginning. When the Jews asked Him : Who are You ? He answered them, saying: “… I am from the beginning” (John 8: 25). St. Augustine
+ Who is the beginning of everything, other than our Lord and the Savior of all men (1 Timothy 4: 10), Jesus Christ, “The firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1: 15)? In that beginning, that is, in His Word, “God created the heavens and the earth”. And as the Evangelist
John says at the beginning of His Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made, that was made” (John 1: 1 – 3). The Holy Book does not talk about a time beginning, but about this beginning, that is the Savior, by whom the heavens and the earth were made. Scholar Origen
+ Some think of “The beginning” in term of time, but who contemplate in the word “the beginning’, would realize that it carries more than just one meaning. Sometimes it means ‘the cause’, the meaning here would be that the heavens and the earth are existing in the cause’ … Actually everything was done by the “Word”; as in Jesus Christ, everything in heaven or on earth were created; the seen and the unseen things.
St. Didymus, the blind.
We will close this now for the moment. We have taken a small look at In the Beginning and we have seen that even in this seemingly simple sentence there is much to look at. We need to understand that the ancient Father’s did not take our Lord Jesus, the Creation, humanity, or anything that came from Almighty God lightly or for granted but spent much time and for many of them this time spent consumed their entire lifetime and their very being. Join us next time for Day 1 of Creation. Contemplate what you have read here, do more research, gain more understanding. Be blessed.
Now, YouTube doesn’t always agree with my viewpoint on what is happening in the world so I have two other channels, sometimes one of them does not agree either and so I need the other one, sometimes I speak for too long a time and the one will not accept the video but the other one will so I have videos spread out over three different channels.
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