As I said above, my studies have lead me to connect John 3 with Genesis 1:1-2.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..."
What are the beautiful heavens and majestic earth? The seventh and tenth words in the first line of scripture is undefined yet. There is nothing to go by. If we stand on Material Rock (YEC) we must assume it is the air and the earth. However, those are yet to be described. And our Biblical Rock--Jesus--might have another way of looking at it. Standing on him and his words, we have a very common-sense explanation for the material creation controversy. Let’s go to one of the most used and ignored passages in scripture.
Premise #1: Jesus is the definer of all Biblical Cosmology, the rock of all there is in creation. What he says about spiritual and earthly matters takes precedent over all others who would define Biblical Cosmology based on their own interpretation. He is the final and best Priest, Prophet and King.
Premise #2: John 3:16 is arguably the most important verse in the entire Bible. Without it, there is no Rock to stand on. Without Salvation (the Hebrew word yeshua—Jesus to English speakers), there is no purpose in the creation story or the rest of the Bible.
Premise #3 Word associations in scripture are of vital importance. Repetition and juxtaposition of words carry the weight of determining meaning in Hebrew. The words surrounding John 3:16 are part of the package. The entire conversation has to be taken as a whole. I have found no other reference in scripture other than Genesis 1:1-2 that these word pairings match that of John 3 in either usage or juxtaposition.
Premise #4: Context of words shapes whether they are competing or complimenting. Difficult passages can be explained by more detailed readings elsewhere. This is how we interpret scripture with scripture. This is where the associated word groupings in premise #3 comes in.
Explaining Creation from John Chapter 3
Note that the deep and everlasting life (see note) are the only two words not immediately identified as paired.
We need to note oppositions and pairings often used in scripture:
(Note: I prefer the term Everlasting Life as technically Eternal can only apply to the Godhood itself. Everlasting denote a starting but never ending condition that is an important distinction in this type of discussion. Everlasting was often used in earlier English translations, and for good reason IMHO)
We do not see the word deep often enough to see its relationship to other than water. Is deep in Genesis 1:2 a compliment or contrast to water? David has the answer.
David is deeply distressed. In verse 2 asking, “When shall I come and appear before Elohim?”
The breakers and waves of the waterfall are being referred to as an emotional spiritual battering. The tone of the entire Psalm suggests David is weary of life, wishing to either return to younger days, or to meet his Lord. Verse 10 is similar to Psalm 22 foreseeing Jesus' crucifixion, the tone here is the same with mortality in view. His last plea is (11) “Hope in God.” He is despairing of life and an afterlife with Elohim seems the only answer. The battering deep waters calls him to the relief of the deep of the afterlife.
The word water as a metaphor for everlasting life is well established in the Gospels by Jesus, so with Psalm 42 we can pair the Deep with the afterlife.
Now we can redraw our word box with all the pairings in place.
It completes the purpose of the creative act to include the deep. Especially as “Spirit moved over face of the deep.” It is saying Holy Spirit was hovering in the deeps of eternity, looking over the newly created—yet unformed—spiritual and physical cosmos: The Material Creation.
We have finished linking the Jesus’ central teaching on the meaning of life to creation. It connects the entire creation narrative to the purpose that Elohim, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had for creating in the first place. It gives the full meaning and understanding to the first verse of the Bible. What we usually assume John 3:16 is all about everlasting life, but now we see it points back at creation drawing the entire cosmos into an everlasting circle consistent with what we read in the final chapters of Revelation.
It also lays the groundwork for the creation account to follow. The purpose of the creation account is not to explain HOW we got here. It is to explain WHY. Material creation is evident in that it happened in 1:1-2. How it happened is not even on the horizon for the purposes of the book. It is like height from depth and east from west. It makes no sense to drive the creation narrative into a time and space-limited meaning that has no purpose to the intent of the Bible.
The Bible is about a relationship between our deity and ourselves. It is why we were made. The mechanics of the creative process are not of importance to the message. As far as the Bible is concerned the Scandal of Particularity has no reason to answer the materialistic or scientific questions of the 21st century, nor for any prior centuries. We’re asking the wrong questions and fighting the wrong battles in defense of a deity who has no need to fight such a battle. Our battle is against the “powers of the air” (spiritual).
Obviously that does not mean we don’t engage in debate and conversation. But we should not wring the scripture into something it is not saying for the sake of defending that very scripture’s integrity! Can anyone say that the Evangelical Church (as a system) is not at least a little corrupted by the world? What does Revelation say about the church in the last days? Think about it… What are we truly defending by asserting a 24/7 creation account?
This interpretation allows us the freedom to honor both the purpose of Elohim our deity, to firmly pair Genesis creation account with John 3:16 in purpose (Why), and allow us to investigate the validity of an Evolutionary Creation account for How.
NOTE: Scandal of Particularity as it applies to Jesus, is also applicable to the Creation account as it was written TO the ancient Israelites, and FOR us.
Okay, there it is. What do you think? That is my view of Genesis 1:1-2.