What does "in the beginning God created the heaven" (i)

Gen 1:1 "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the earth

The biblical scheme of creation is part of the first cosmological scheme. Being misunderstood by all and to ridicule it, it was relegated to cosmogony in the same rank as ancient stories whose authors did not know the realities about the origin and evolution of the Universe. But the Universal Cosmological Model has come to prove that it is a real scheme, even if the evolution of the Universe was told in simple terms according to the literature and names of the time (1500 years BC).

Many people ask me if I have practiced scientific methods, they want to know my methodology. And they keep telling me that the Bible is not a scientific book and that the biblical scheme of creation cannot be taken as a real scheme.

Here is my reaction: If you are the owner of a house and you witnessed its construction, and it was you who designed the plan with the architect, you can tell the details in an ordinary book. Later, after thousands of generations, some people will consider your words as a story, others as a tale. In order to deduce that what you have said is true, architects must come and study it to see if the shape corresponds to what you have said, even if you have not said anything about the measurements and the background, because you are not a scientist. It is up to the architects to find out all the dimensions and materials that were used.

It is the same with the biblical scheme of creation contained in the Bible. The Bible is not a scientific book, so it can only be limited to the form. All that people say about this scheme is simply part of the considerations. No astrophysicist as an architect has had the idea to study it in detail and to confront it with observations. The majority of publications on this scheme are made by theologians.

In the study of the pyramid, all disciplines are associated; historians, archaeologists, architects, chemists, biologists. But the first diagram of the Universe or the first cosmological model was thrown away by the intellectuals. I wanted to recover it and I want to start explaining it brick by brick, step by step, verse by verse to demonstrate its foundation. At the end, it will be up to each one to say if it is a collected story or if it really comes from the owner of the Universe.

In this publication we will concentrate on the word “heaven”. Next time we will explain in detail what the author meant by the word “earth” in this first verse of Genesis which is different from our conception.

If today, astrophysicists do not even look at the biblical scheme of creation, it is because of the misunderstanding of this first verse.

The first cause is that the sky as a material element does not even exist. The Universe is characterized by a deep void that extends to infinity as seen in the images of the James Webb Telescope. The blue Heaven we see is only the reflection of light on atmospheric gases. Even the sun or the stars that we common mortals think are at the bottom of this Heaven are rather above. So, to say that in the beginning God created the Heaven , which is only space, does not make sense to astrophysicists, because space is not created, it is created.

The second reason why astrophysicists do not continue reading the first verse of the biblical scheme of creation is the sentence that says “in the beginning God created … the earth”. It has been scientifically proven that the earth was created 9 billion years ago after the Big Bang and has existed for 4.5 billion years. Moreover, it is not even older than the other stars that the James Webb Telescope has just revealed.

These two causes together make the biblical scheme of creation relegated to cosmogony instead of keeping its place in cosmology. In addition, it is given many pejorative attributes and no one wants to prove its validity. Religious people justify themselves by saying that this pattern is part of and only informs us that God created the universe.

In this series of publications in Biologos, advocating the language of unity between science and faith, I want to make the explanation of this verse clear for both scientists and theologians. By this, it will be known that this first verse has nothing physically to do with the terms that have been used. Even the author of this verse knew that if one day we do not pay much attention, we might understand this verse backwards. This is indeed what happened and we keep drawing inferences from a misunderstanding on our part.

We understand that Saint Thomas Aquinas was right when he said that “if a verse contradicts science, the problem is neither science nor the verse in question, but rather our understanding of this verse”. It is indeed serious in these days to see that the first biblical verse has never been understood by anyone. It is in the Universal Cosmological Model that we lift all the veils that cover the biblical scheme of creation.

Just as the Big Bang theory is part of the standard model, the rest of the text you are about to read is part of the Universal Cosmological Model, which is the only cosmological model that integrates faith and science and which is the culmination of the ideal of all associations militating for the language of unity between science and religion.

It is this restitution or this Model that will seal the unity between science and religion. So to any researcher or student who wants to do more research or development, let him know that what is said here is part of the Universal Cosmological Model. It is a model that reinforces our faith by providing us with real evidence on the biblical scheme of creation.

I. IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE Heaven

Physically, we have said that the sphere called heaven is materially non-existent. And yet, it is a name that is used by both religious and scientific people. This creates confusion and it is necessary to remove the ambiguity. It is by this that we will understand that the biblical scheme of creation does not go against science by saying “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”.

II. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BIBLICAL Heaven AND THE GEOGRAPHICAL Heaven

II.1. The biblical Heaven

In our series of publications in Biologos, we began by explaining the meaning of the biblical days in the biblical scheme of creation where we discovered that they represent periods.

Now, we are going to dissect the first verse of the biblical scheme of creation which says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. In this verse, we will dwell on the word “heaven” by demonstrating the difference between the biblical heaven, that is, what is mentioned in the first verse of Genesis, and the geographical heaven that our eyes tend to see.

Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Jerusalem Version)

When reading this verse, everyone thinks they understand it, yet no one does. The meaning of the word “heaven” seems to be common place, yet each person has an incomplete view of this word.

On April 12, 1961, as part of the Soviet space program, Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin, a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, after a flight in space during the Vostok 1 mission, said a sentence that pleased scientists: "I have flown through the sky, but I have not seen God. And yet, believers pray to “Our Father (God) who is in heaven”. Is this the same heaven?

To clarify this question, we have called upon our knowledge of cosmology. The word heaven we find first in the first biblical sentence where we read “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”.

We should know that the heaven referred to in the verse “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is the spiritual world, just as “the earth” in this same verse represents the physical world. Where do we get this inference? It is from the next verse where we read “the earth was formless and empty” (Gn 1 :2). In the Septuagint Bible, which is the first Bible translated from Hebrew into Greek, it says “the earth was unseen and empty”. We have all watched the movie “The Invisible Man”. When we say that something is invisible, it means that something exists, but we cannot see it. It is to say that at the beginning the universe was only an empty sphere, in spite of its existence. Don’t forget that I am the first one to bring out this assertion from the Bible for both scientists and religious people. I want to develop it in my next publication, because here we are focusing on the explanation of the word “heaven” in the first verse of the Bible.

So, “God created the heavens and the earth” according to the Bible means “God created the spiritual world and the physical world” or the spiritual world and the universe. Both together, form the cosmos. It is in these heavens or sky, unreal for science, that all religions locate the invisible spiritual entities: God, angels, wandering spirits, paradise, hell.

The word earth also used in this verse does not represent the earth that we trample on. Moses was clear when he said a formless and empty earth signifying the universe at its beginning. We are the ones who thought it was the planet Earth. So the problem was not the verse but our understanding as St. Thomas Aquinas.

Thus, according to the biblical scheme of creation, restored in the Universal Cosmological Model, of which I am the inventor, the Universe began in a vacuum. This is a personal discovery, made from the scriptures and not from a scientific concordance. I did not draw this deduction from any scientific model, however, there are scientists who have come to the same conclusion confirming the Bible without knowing it. Among these renowned scientists, we have: Prof. Lawrence Krauss of the Arizona State University and Prof. Gabriele Veneziano of the Collège de France, inventor of the string theory; to mention only these two. (Cfr : Revue Les mystères de l’univers, hors-série n° 7, Paris).

In the Bible, when Jesus Christ was on earth, he said “No one knows God but me, who came down from heaven”. And, having ascended again to heaven after his resurrection, in these days, the Christians have their eyes turned towards this heaven to attend his return which will be visible for all (Mt 24:30) and to see ourselves, we will be taken up in the clouds, always according to the Bible (1 Th 4:17).

In principle, this heaven had nothing to do with the blue heaven that we see above our heads and that materially do not even exist. What we see, we said, is only a panorama created by the light of the Sun on the atmospheric gases. Beyond that, there is only an endless void.

The conclusion is that the blue heaven that we see, have nothing to do with the heaven that is mentioned in the verse “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. The heaven that is mentioned in this verse on the first day of creation, represents the spiritual sphere not taken into account by science, but recognized in all religions as the home of all spiritual entities. Hence prayers like “Our Father who is in Heaven”, “Holy Virgin Mary (in Heaven), pray for us”, “No one has ascended to Heaven, except the Son of Man who descended from Heaven”. As we can see, here we are dealing with the biblical heaven which is mentioned in the verse “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”.

II.2. The geographical heaven

The word heaven we find it first in the first biblical sentence where we read “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. In the first point, I had said that the heaven to which it is alluded in the verse “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is the spiritual world. It is in these heavens, unreal for science, that all religions locate the invisible entities: God, angels, wandering spirits, paradise, hell.

Still in the scheme of the biblical creation, if we go down a little in the third day (Gen 1:9), we are told about “the separation of the waters from the waters”. This separation, which we will come back to and explain what happened physically in the next publications, will create an empty space or an expanse. And the Bible says, it is this expanse that is called heaven. Now, we are facing the physical or geographical heaven that was created on the third biblical day. It is different from the spiritual heaven that is mentioned on the first day in the first verse.

The physical heaven is only the void that we see, that void that separates me from the other, that allows me to move, that void that contains everything in the universe. The real term of the physical heaven is the void or the space. If we combine them, it becomes the spatial void. And, in the space vacuum, we can see neither God, nor angels, nor wandering spirits.

Let science leave the words “heaven and sky” to the religious. Religious people should also understand that the words heaven and sky have nothing to do with the void of space, nor with the blue sky that we see above our heads.

The sky that is mentioned in the first verse of Genesis represents the spiritual sphere that our physical senses can neither see nor touch. Hence science can only disprove its existence.

In conclusion, when the Bible and all the sacred books speak of “heaven or sky”, they refer to the spiritual world, unreal for science. However, when the general literature and science speak about the sky, they refer to the space vacuum. Thus, Gagarin did not fly through the sky, which is part of the spiritual realm. Rather, he flew through the void of space where spiritual beings cannot be seen. Moreover, our flying machines do not fly in the sky, but in space. Therefore, we understand that the sky and the void of space are two different words. The sky refers to the spiritual realm, invisible to our senses, while the void of space refers to the physical world perceptible by our senses.

So, all those who judged the biblical scheme of creation from the first verse were wrong, but it is not their fault, because until then nobody had ever explained it. Even in all the encyclopedias where biblical commentaries were written, no author or researcher understood this verse; believing that they were talking about the geographical blue sky.

Flavien Phanzu MWAKA

You are being extremely naive if you think only theologians have studied genesis, this might be true in recent history and even then I’m pretty sure people are still working on that but the obvious example in history are Galileo and Darwin. In fact the hole reason biologos exists is to rectify misunderstanding from those two events. And that would be ignoring the work of Copernicus, Saint Augustine of Hippo, Pascal or in recent history George Lemaitre who is behind the idea of the big bang. You even cite Thomas Aquinas.

The difference between what you are seeing of the bible and what you are seeing from the pyramids is the bible are the conclusions from hundreds of years of study of the bible that are still on going, were as the pyramids have only really been studied in the west in the last century or so.

sky: the region of the atmosphere and outer space seen from the earth.

You know that big blue dome that we see over our heads.

And the Hebrew שָׁמַיִם is used for both heaven and sky.

Somebody must have explained it to me. So far you haven’t said anything that is new to me.

Most people won’t read that much. Some may, but for the most part everything falls into two camps.

Those who accept science and those who don’t and most here have read a sickening amount of both sides. You may have better luck turning it into a paragraph or two with a emphasis on your over all point.

But in a nutshell, your conclusion on heaven in genesis one intro statement being about a spiritual place and not a reference to the cosmos just seems completely wrong. Especially given the fact it dives into cosmology right after that.

You just said “the purpose of Biologos is to rectify the misunderstandings related to these two events”. I think that these events are science and faith, because you did not specify. By clarifying the concept of the word “heaven” on the first biblical day, in relation to the same word on the third day, I think I have rectified a great misunderstanding which is also the ideal of Biologos.

The purpose of this publication is to show that the first verse of Genesis “In the beginning God created the sky” has nothing to do with this blue dome.
If, for you, what I have just said is nothing new, but, for scientists, it is great news to learn this, because this will lead to the discovery of a physical sphere that science has not yet discovered, because it has disappeared.

Here I have not touched on science. I simply said in one sentence that in the verse “In the beginning God created the sky”, it does not refer to the blue sky above our heads. It’s about the spiritual world. And, I concluded by saying that according to the Universal Cosmological Model, the spiritual world which is not recognized by science and the physical world, united, forms the cosmos. This is part of my vision of the explanation of the cosmos, which I do not impose on anyone. For science, the cosmos is limited only to the level of the physical universe. But the Universal Cosmological Model also takes into account the spiritual aspect.

I don’t believe anyone has said Genesis 1:1 was referring to the blue dome. It refers to heaven, the dwelling place of God. Which is above the firmament that contains the sun and stars. This by definition would be a spiritual world which seems to fit your model.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

After this first sentence it goes into details about what it means.

God created everything we see: sun, moon, stars, land, water, sky, plants and animals – everything.

You can pick anything apart endlessly, meaning falling apart as you do so as you question the meaning of every word. But meaning doesn’t come from picking things apart. Meaning comes from the big picture and how everything fits together.

That is because it is not a scheme at all. It paints a picture. That is all. It does not explain. It only describes. What you are doing is like trying to understand how a computer works by examining a magazine photo of a computer with a microscope. All that is going to reveal is the picture taking and printing process and nothing about the computer.

No you are not going to learn anything about brain chemistry and the human reproductive system by studying the Mona Lisa. And you are not going to learn anything about how God created the universe by picking apart the words of the first chapter of Genesis. Instead why not try opening your ears, eyes and mind to all the data God sends us from the Earth and sky and stop trying to use the text of the Bible to call God a liar.

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Dr Kurt Wise has made a tutorial on this very topic…well worth viewing. Kurt has a dilemma, how can I be a scientist and creationist?

I urge anyone who is genuinely interested in studying to watch it in its entirety.

Of particular relevance is the question that Kurt proposes at 12:30

“If everything is true, how much of the bible would I have to cut out?”

If you insist that the earth is very old, then you’d have to cut out so many verses from the bible, it cannot hold itself together!"

“If you believe the earth is old, and your consistent, you must reject every Christian doctrine we (all Christians) hold dear!”

"If you’re consistent, you cannot believe both!"

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That’s bizarre and contrary to many theologians over the centuries. You can believe that we evolved via evolution and be fine with all these “dear Christian doctrines.” I think it’s a shame that people like Kurt Wise share such statements and get people like yourself to believe them.

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You have said well except that the Spiritual World is not above the firmament which contains the sun and the stars. Jesus said that when you pray, go into your room and your Father who sees you in secret will hear you (Mt 6:6). This is to say that the spiritual world simply surrounds us and contains us.

You are right. When I say unravel, it simply means to discover what is hidden inside. Don’t forget that the scheme of creation is not only a spiritual message, but also physical phenomena that took place in the universe and that it must respond to observations for the glorification of our God through science.

I haven’t watched the video, but I realize through what you just mentioned that Dr. Kurt Wise is a curator. So, for him, the Earth has only six thousand years of history according to biblical chronology, while science is discovering fossils that date back billions of years. it is necessary to advance in reasoning instead of remaining on the status quo.

You are right

If that is how you see it, go ahead and believe the earth is young. You can be a young earth creationist; you just cannot be a scientist and young earth creationist. Being a scientist means working with the methods and procedures of science, and following the evidence. The body of evidence includes radiometric dating, the nested hierarchy, astronomy, genetics, geology and the fossil record, all of which is incompatible with a young earth. The evidence interprets itself, and the earth is old as sure as it is round.

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You are right

Look! An echo!

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I’m interested in studying. What academic knowledge will watching this give me?

If you believe that the earth moves and is not in a fixed position, You have to cut out even more verses. Right?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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