Re: John 1:1

From: George Athas (
Date: Thu Feb 12 1998 - 19:36:58 EST

Andrew Kulikovsky wrote:

> > > [Andrew]
> > > On day 1, God created light and according to general relativity,
> > >he would have also created time. Hence "the beginning" is the
> > beginning
> > >of all time.
> > >
> > > cheers,
> > > Andrew
> >
> > Unfortunately (or rather, quite fortunately) the author of Gen 1 was
> > totally
> > disinterested in such notions- his interest was theological and not
> > scientific.
> >
> [Andrew]
> Unfortunately, Jim West did not know the author of Gen 1,
> neither is he omniscient so he no authority to make the above
> afiirmation.

Andrew, you too are making a judgment on the intentions and purposes of the
author, just as much as Jim, though from a polar opposite stance. If Jim has
no authority to make his comment, then neither does anyone else. I think his
comments are perfectly legitimate. Whether one agrees with them or not
depends on grounds other than the fact that Jim is not omniscient - it is
really up to personal interpretation of the text. I don't think Jim can be
criticised for making a remark on how he reads the text.

> Whether, the author was interested in science or not, he was
> certainly interested in History - and history and theology are certainly
> NOT mutually exclusive.

However, history and theology are not necessarily historiography. There is a
distinction. Regardless of what science and history have to say or will have
to say has no bearing whatsoever on Genesis 1. In Genesis 1, the author is
making the statement that God created the universe. It is not necessarily a
treatise on HOW God created the universe or even when. I realise many people
will have conflicting views on this, but the bottom line is that the author
is not primarily interested in telling us how and when God created the
universe. He simply states the theological maxim that God did create the
universe. And he does this through a very neat literary vehicle: God starts
by creating various domains of life and then fills these domains with life,
topping everything off with mankind. The author is indicating that all
things exist because God created them and set them in an orderly fashion.
This base fact is undeniable. It is then up to personal interpretation
whether or not Genesis 1 is also historiographic in nature or not. For that
reason, I don't think Jim can be criticised for his view. Neither can you,
Andrew. However, we must refrain from slandering others who do not share our
particular interpretation - especially on this discussion list.

> cheers,
> Andrew

George Athas
 PhD (Cand.), University of Sydney
 Tutor of Hebrew, Moore Theological College
Phone: 0414 839 964 ICQ#: 5866591

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