In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, NIV)
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1, KJV)
In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. (Genesis 1:1, Douay-Rheims Bible)
In the beginning, when God created the universe, Genesis 1:1, The Good News)
Looks like we are in trouble already. Is there one heaven or multiple heavens? Are “the heavens” the universe or is heaven where the saved go when they die? Was the beginning when God created the universe or did God exist before the beginning?
I was discussing this question with someone the other day and they suggested we should go back to the original text. Good idea. Would that be the one written in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic? Does it matter?
Our tendency is to want clear, concise answers, especially when it come to matters of faith. We want to know that what we believe is correct. But is it a matter of belief or experience (as in a personal relationship)? I happen to think it is the latter.
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His home in Switzerland had a Latin inscription above the door that read “Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit.” (Called or uncalled, God is present.)
In a 1955 interview Jung was asked if he believed in God. He said “All that I have learned has led me step by step to an unshakable conviction of the existence of God. I only believe in what I know. And that eliminates believing. Therefore, I do not take his existence on belief – I know that he exists. 1
I don’t know about you, but I like to start my day with a talk with God and ask him to walk with me throughout my day. When I start my day like this it usually goes well, and He usually teaches me something new.
Father, Mother, Creator, Loving God, make us know your way. Lord, teach us your paths. Make us walk in your truth and teach us: for you are God our savior. Amen (paraphrased Psalm 25:4-5)
1 Sands, F. (1955), Men, Women and God: An interview with Frederick Sands