The most controversial verse in the Old Testament is, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’ As followers of Jesus, we want to know if that verse is true? Are there clues in both the Bible and science to support Genesis 1:1?
# Let’s look at a verse in the letter of the apostle Peter.
He wrote it about 1,400 years after Moses wrote Genesis 1:1.
- 2 Peter 3:10 &12, ‘…the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare…. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will will melt in the heat.’
- According to this passage, everything in the whole universe that will be destroyed, is composed of elements. The word, ‘elements’ is also found in Galatians 4:3; 4:9 and Colossians 2:8, but there it has a different meaning.
- Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, referred to the minute parts or portions of which things are made. In Greek the word ‘elements’ means, ‘The constituent atoms from which …things …are composed.’ 1
- These verses tell us that all the matter in the universe is composed of elements. We can compare elements to building blocks, like Lego or the 26 letters of the alphabet. One can arrange them to form thousands of different structures or books, letters, manuals, et cetera.
- We know from science that all matter, whether rocks, metals, oils, gases and humans are made up of elements (or atoms). 2
- The Periodic Table has the 92 or 94 naturally occurring elements found in the universe, as well as some other rare ones.
# The logic of the Lord
Why elements? This age is the natural age, while the coming age is the new supernatural eternal age. That means the ‘normal’ elementary composition of matter will not suffice, since matter, made up of elements are under God’s curse. All things run down and will be renewed.
Most people will be shocked to discover that the Bible talks about things the ancients should know nothing about, like elements. Yet since Peter was inspired by the omniscient Holy Spirit, God’s people should not be surprised.
- S Zodhiates, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, Baker Book House, 1984, p 1730
- JB Reece et al, Campbell Biology, Pearson, 2011, p 77