The Holy Spirit is the power of God—not a personage, entity, consciousness, or part of the Godhead or a trinity. The Bible speaks of the Spirit as the power or mind of God, the power of love and of a sound mind. It emanates from Him and thus can be said to be "poured out" (Titus 3:5-6), "breathed" (John 20:22), and used to "fill" (Acts 2:4) and "anoint" (Acts 10:38).
Martin G. Collins
The Holy Spirit
Verse 2 pictures the earth as a cold, dark, uninhabitable place covered with water: "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep." Why would this be? Other scriptures indicate that God originally created the earth perfect and beautiful and ready to be inhabited (Job 38:4-7; Isaiah 45:18). And since the sun had already been created, why would the earth be dark?
The best explanation for this condition is that a great destruction had occurred when, sometime in prehistory, Lucifer and his angels rebelled against God's authority and tried to overthrow Him (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-16). This great war (Revelation 12:7-8) apparently caused an enormous amount of destruction to occur in the solar system. The resultant interplanetary debris and dust, some of which descended into earth's atmosphere, prevented the light from the sun and moon from reaching the earth.
Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?
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
How Does the Bible Explain Fossil Ages Over 6,000 Years (Genesis 1:2)?
Scientists often date fossils such as dinosaur bones and those termed "human" or "early man" thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of years before the creation of Adam. Although we understand the interest generated by this subject, it is not the primary duty of the church to enter a field that properly belongs to geologists, paleontologists, and anthropologists. None of the facts discovered by science contradict the Bible, though certainly many of the theories proposed by scientists to explain their facts are at odds with God's Word!
God's church has been commissioned primarily to announce the good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God to humanity now on earth—those descended from Adam, who the Bible shows was created nearly 6,000 years ago. As a part of that message, we explain the fact that there was a previous world of immense duration (revealed in simplest form in Genesis 1:1-2) over which angels were given rule. Please see Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:11-16.
Isaiah 45:18 states clearly that God did not create the world a chaotic wasteland: "Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited. . . ." It is evident, however, that the previous world ended in chaos and destruction because of the rebellion of the angels (Genesis 1:2; Jude 6). Whatever forms of breathing, physical life that existed at the time of that titanic destruction would have died in it (Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18). Then followed a week of re-creation (Psalm 104:30). On the sixth day of that week, God created man and endowed him with human spirit. Any accurately dated fossils older than 6,000 years would consequently be pre-Adamic.
The Bible is God's revelation of knowledge that man cannot discover by himself—primarily spiritual knowledge concerning the purpose of life and the origin of creation. Basically, the Bible deals with the 7,000-year plan of God for the descendants of Adam and has only sketchy glimpses of what occurred before—or what shall come after this period.
From the Bible we know that Adam and Eve were the first humans made in the image of God and given a human spirit to make possible the wondrous functioning of the human mind. They were created for the purpose of enlarging the Family of God. This is the important knowledge about human life—the incredible human potential—which can be learned only from God's revelation, not from the fossil record.
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?
Did God Create a Devil?
Pitfalls of Scholarship
Other commentary entries containing this verse:
1 Samuel 15:23