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The Lost World of Adam and Eve (Part 2: Create)

ESV Genesis 1:1-2
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” 

Walton states that verse one is a literary introduction. It could also be written, “God ordered all that is, and this is how he did it.” It is not saying, God made everything from nothing because the next verse goes on to talk about the state of the earth prior to God’s ordering it.

Walton argues this based on the translation of the Hebrew words in this passage. “Beginning” meaning before God ordered it and NOT a time before matter existed. Arguably, “create” also isn’t talking about matter coming into existence, but rather an ordering, a giving of roles and functions to the materials. We see this throughout Genesis as God separates, names, and gathers together. Thus, to create something is to name it and give it a function, NOT to make it come into being.

I see a few holes to his arguments here. 1) He doesn’t have sufficient information to explain the meaning of “void.” Walton states this himself. Void seems to be clearly saying that there is an absence of things. However, Walton might argue that order is what is absent. 2) Walton also doesn’t explain the meaning of God saying, “Let there be _____,” and the thing that was then ordered. He uses his arguments about the words “beginning,” and “formless” and “made” to cover the translation of the verb “to be”. I was hoping for more of an explanation of this. 3) If "create" here means to order, how are the words "create" and "order" any different from each other? And what does this mean for elsewhere in scripture where the word "create" is used?

Walton, John H. The Lost World of Adam and Eve. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2015. Print.


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