Who created? It was revealed to Moses and the people of Israel there was only “one” God, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The Hebrew word used for “one” was ‘echad. It came from a root word meaning to unify, or collect together. This Hebrew word was used in Genesis 2:24 for the two shall be “one” flesh.
In Genesis 1:1, the word used for “God” in Hebrew was elohim. Its ending with the two Hebrew letters “-im” was like ending an English word with the letter “-s.” There was only one Creator in the beginning. Could there be a better way to translate that Hebrew word for “God” to show that the word ended with “-im”?
What does it say? The Bible rolls out further details as one sentence follows a previous sentence, one passage follows a previous passage, and one book follows a previous book. Especially when the Bible is introduced to the people of a culture where it has not been taught before, it is important to get right the meaning of the first chapters of the Bible.
A careful look at the verses of the first chapter of Genesis shows that God Three-in-One was at work. The Father Three-in-One created “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:1). The Spirit was at work during creation (Genesis 1:2). The Word (Jesus Christ) spoke everything into being (Genesis 1:3, John 1:1-3 see also Colossians 1). Therefore, God Three-in-One was involved in creation: the Father, the Spirit and the Word!
In many languages it is not possible to use a unified word like “God” or “one” every time it is needed. Yet, this is how it was written in Hebrew in Genesis 1:1: “God” (combined word) “created” (singular action word).
Many, if not most, translations have opted to use a single word for “God” and a single action word, too in the opening verses of Genesis. This way of translating has seemed to rule out the action of God in three persons “in the beginning.”
Here is a possible way to communicate what happened on Day 1 of Creation (Genesis 1:1-3):
The Father Three-in-One created the heavens and the earth.
The Spirit Three-in-One hovered over the dark waters of the earth.
The Word Three-in-One said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
In Days 2, 3 and 4, the Word Three-in-One spoke more of creation into existence. The Father Three-in-One saw that it was “good.”
On Day 5 of Creation, the creatures of the water and the birds of the sky were created. “It was good” (Genesis 1:21). Then they were blessed, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth” (Genesis 1:22).
These were God’s first words of blessing. They had to do with having offspring.
Day 6 — in three parts. During the first part of Day 6 of Creation, the Word Three-in-One spoke and created the land creatures, “‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds….’ And it was so.” (Genesis 1:24-25). “It was good.”
During the second part of Day 6 of Creation, the first two humans were specially made, “Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness … male and female….” (Genesis 1:26-27).
Many details of their creation were described in Genesis 2:4-25. At the end of these detailed verses, God had united them in the special relationship of marriage, and the man and the woman were together with God in the Garden of Eden.
This is an excerpt from pages 12-14 of Women and Men in the Light of Eden, by Bruce C. E. Fleming (available as paperback and as Kindle Ebook). For much more see Tru316.com and the Tru316 Project.