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Introduction | Genesis 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11| 12| 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30
31 | 32 | 33| 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41| 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50| PostScript
In English the name for the first book of the Bible is Genesis, which is derived from the Greek term Genesis (origin). But in Hebrew the first book of the Bible is named bareshith (in the beginning). This is the first word of the first sentence: bereshith bara Elohim hashshamaim waeth haaretz, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (1:1). The second word is the Hebrew verb bara (he created) which is never used of humans making anything. The term "heavens and the earth" do not refer to the invisible heavenly the city of God, but to all we see in our day and night skies.
As we will see in the first chapter of Genesis, many of the terms needed to understand God’s dealings with us have their original meaning defined in the first chapter of the Hebrew Old Testament. And in each case we can see how the literal words for wind, light and darkness, water, vegetation, the sun, moon, and stars, fish and birds, mammals and humans are also used metaphorically in the New Testament.
These first two words bareshith and bara make clear that the 66 books of the Bible are based on a model in which the world we can see had a created beginning (THEISM). No book in the Old or New Testament suggests a Hindu model of an eternally expanding and contracting pulsating universe (MONISM). These and other theological terms used in this commentary are defined in the encyclopedia of Word Thoughts.
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