Even before leaving the first verse, a serious student of the Bible is confronted with a difficulty - unless he is willing to believe what the Bible consistently shows from the beginning to the end. The fourth word in the Bible is "God," Elohim in Hebrew. But that takes some explaining. Elohim is God - plural. "In the beginning Gods created the heaven and the earth." For an English-speaking person, this is confirmed in Genesis 1:26, where the translators finally used plural pronouns to conform to the plural noun antecedent, Elohim.
The translators recognized in verse 26 that Elohim - "God" - was speaking to somebody, and He was speaking to someone who was just like Him, which is why the word Us is used. They were forced into using a plural pronoun. "Let Us make man in Our image." In fact, Elohim is used 66 times in a row at the beginning of the Bible before any other Hebrew word is translated into the English "God." That occurs in Genesis 6:5 when finally another word is used for God.
Someone reading this beginning in Hebrew would have to be impressed that the author of this book was trying to get something across to the reader that "Gods" (plural) did everything - not an individual but a least two. Elohim is used in the Old Testament 2,570 times, and every usage is plural - "Gods."
As shown by this plurality, the God Family clearly consists of more than one Being, or more than one Person or Personality.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Nature of God: Elohim
God originally created the earth with such perfection and beauty that the angels shouted with joy! Our Creator does all things in an organized manner and completes all His works in exquisite splendor. But the earth had somehow become formless and chaotic so that God had to refashion it before man could be created.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Basic Doctrines: Satan's Origin and Destiny
In these ten words, he simply states that God created all that exists. At this point the four-dimensional space/time continuum (length, height, depth, and time), in which we all exist, was created. This was literally the very beginning of time and the beginning of matter, energy, atoms, molecules, light, heat, stars, galaxies, planets, the sun and moon as well as the terrestrial globe we call the earth. All the basic building blocks that needed to be created to prepare a planet upon which life could exist were made at this time.
What God does not tell us here is very important. He does not tell us when this creation took place. Nor does He tell us how He created these things. He does not tell us how long it took for Him to create everything included in Genesis 1:1. Because God does not answer any of these questions, we can only examine the physical evidence from geology and astronomy, and come to our own conclusions on these matters.
Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Genesis 1:1:
2 Corinthians :
2 Peter 3:5-7