Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Created" in Genesis 1:1

In my class on the life and theology of Augustine, taught by Dr. Chad Brand, we have been required to read Confessions. In the last part of this book, Augustine turns to contemplate the first verses of Genesis, so I am taking this opportunity to do an in-depth Bible study on these verses as well. First, I am doing an analysis of the word translated "created"- the Hebrew word bara.

Below are some excerpts from commentaries I have been consulting concerning bara:

"This verb is of profound theological significance, since it only has God as its subject... All other verbs for 'creating' allow a much broader range of meaning; they have both divine and human subjects, and are used in contexts where bringing something or someone into existence is not the issue... Objects of this verb include the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1; Isa. 40:26; 42:5; 45:18; 65:17); man (Gen. 1:27; 5:2; 6:7; Deut. 4:32; Ps. 89:47; Isa. 43:7; 45:12); Israel (Isa. 43:1; Mal. 2:10); a new thing (Jer. 31:22); cloud and smoke (Isa. 4:5); north and south (Ps. 89:12); salvation and righteousness (Isa. 45:8); speech (Isa. 57:19); darkness (Isa. 45:7); wind (Amos 4:13); and a new heart (Ps. 51:10)." [Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 51] "He [Moses] moreover teaches by the word 'created,' that what before did not exist was now made; for he has not used the term yatsar, which signifies to frame or form, but bara, which signifies to create." [John Calvin's comment on Gen. 1:1] "other Scriptures clearly teach that the universe was created ex nihilo (i.e., out of nothing, John 1:3, Heb. 11:3...) and that only God is eternal and transcendent (e.g., Ps. 102:25-27; Prov. 8:22-31). Not even the darkness exists apart from God's creative word (Isa. 45:7)." [Reformation Study Bible, 7]

My hope is that as I prayerfully continue this study, I will not only learn facts but will come to know God- my Sovereign Creator and Sustainer- better, and will be able to proclaim the Good News of who He is and what He has done with greater confidence.

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