We begin at the beginning. I am like most people. I have never read the Bible. I have read parts of it, even entire books in it, but I have never read the entire thing from cover to cover. Tonight I begin a new journey. My journey through the Bible, and each night after I read one chapter of the Bible I will do some meditation and then I will right down my thoughts.
the Bible is a complex book that, at times, contradicts itself. It was written over many time periods and by many people. As a person that identifies as a Christian I do believe the Bible is the word of God, but I do not believe it is that simple.
The first chapter gives us some insight into this. There is darkness and there is God. God says let there be light and there is light, but what this light is is unclear as God doesn’t create the sun until the fourth day. So, what is this light that God tells to be and it is? That is an unknown and unknowable.
Just like God. God cannot be understood by human beings which is part of what makes the Bible such a complex work of literature. It is the word of God filtered through the minds of men, and then those words, whether written down or part of an oral tradition, traveled through the centuries, around the globe, through the minds of other men, through multiple languages until it reaches us in this day and age.
Go to a bookstore and look at the Bibles. Look at how many translations there are. Think about Saint Jerome translating his Bible and then the men that translated that bible into their languages when the printing press was invited. The printing press that was invented thousands of years after that first chapter in the Bible was first told as a story to men gathered around a camp fire in the desert.
The creation of the heavens and the earth and all the fish in the sea, birds in the sky, and animals that walk the land. God made all of them and all the stars in the sky and all the plants upon the land and they were all good.
The God of creation is a kind and gentle God. This isn’t the God of floods and fires. This is a God of artists. Casting his creation, stepping back, and admiring his work. This is a God that is good. A God that creates.
I do not think this chapter is as complicated as many wish it to be. It is a story passed down from generation to generation of how the universe came into being, and God is the God of the universe. He is the God of all creation. Of every star in the sky. Which means God is the God of all life in the universe. If there are other habitable planets out there then God made and populated those as well. If we choose to believe in an all powerful, all knowing God then we believe in a God that is not contained to any nation or planet, but is the God of all life and all the living.
God is the God of all creatures great and small and he names them all as good. God is the God of all peoples upon the earth. He creates all mankind. He doesn’t distinguish in the beginning. In fact I would argue that the reason we have so many religions upon the earth is because God is so vast and powerful and is the God of all humankind.
Remember the mind of man is limited whereas the mind of God is unlimited. If God spoke to the people of Israel then God very likely spoke to other peoples as well and then the word of God was filtered through their minds, culture, and language as it was through ours.
This is the God of creation. He said let there be light and there was light. Then he went about adding to his creation and everything he made was good, including those first humans that he made, and there ends the first chapter of the Bible.