Today, I am going to begin providing you Old Testament scripture supporting apologetics. For the past 4 weeks we have looked at 4 different verses (Matthew 22:37, 2 Corinthians 10:5, Titus 1:9, 1 Peter 3:15) in the New Testament in support of apologetics. I considered combining the Old Testament verses, but there is just too much information to do them justice by combining them. So, the series will continue with the Old Testament and we will see where it goes from there!


Today, a verse that Dr. Frank Turek refers to as the greatest miracle that has ever taken place. The first time I heard him state this I thought to myself, it must be the resurrection. But no…I was wrong, yes you read that correctly. I was wrong, and believe it or not I have been wrong a lot! To me, it is called learning!

Anyway, today’s verse is Genesis 1:1. I would think everyone knows what the very first verse in the Bible states, but if not, here it is:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. That is, it, 10 words, and one of the most apologetic verses in all of scripture. What? The very first sentence supports apologetics! Of course, it does, remember what apologetics is; to give an answer, reason, or evidence. In this case I am speaking of Christian apologetics.

Think of all the answers this one verse provides. Scientific questions, where did we come from, how did it all begin, do miracles exist, does God exist, history and more.

However, we must also remember, not everyone considers the Bible authoritative or reliable. Not everyone accepts “In the beginning God…” And, of course, we need to do at least two things; 

First, we must establish the reliability of the Bible. The reliability of the Bible is not the focus of this writing. However, it has been written about numoerous times in previous blogs.

Second, we must establish a foundation.

You see, like many pieces of scripture, our verse appears straight forward. “In the beginning God created”, followed by what and when He did so. This verse is not as simple as “In the beginning God”. “The theological importance of Genesis 1:1 cannot be over-emphasized”.1

Let’s begin with authorship. Of course, the author is questioned as with many of the other books and scripture we have discussed. “Historically, Jews and Christians alike have held that Moses was the author/compiler of the first five books of the Old Testament”. The Bible itself suggests Moses authorship of Genesis, since Acts 15:1 refers to circumcision as “the custom taught by Moses,” an allusion to Genesis 17.” Some have claimed otherwise based on evidence outside of the scope of this writing. However, “prior to the nineteenth century, the consensus remained that Moses wrote the essential whole, probably during the wilderness sojourn”.

Moving on to differing thoughts concerning our verse. Many interpret the creation story in various ways. Some of these thoughts include; myths from ancient near east, Atlantis, and possibly the most popular, the age of the universe. But, that is not all! “In the last three decades the pressure of “scientific opinion” has increased to the point that some biblical scholars have made sweeping concessions, abandoning a literal interpretation of the text in favor of a mythical or poetic interpretation”.2 Here in lies the importance of apologetics. How does one answer the three most basic examples given? Especially when our kids are being taught otherwise and biblical scholars are conceding to the pressure of society.

You see, many do not take the opening sentence literally, much less historically, when this verse refutes atheism, pantheism, polytheism, materialism, dualism, humanism, naturalism and evolution! Of course, there is more to it than understanding “In the beginning” and how this verse, along with the rest of Genesis, refutes the previous listed beliefs. But still, please do not tell me apologetics is not biblical!

Let me close with a note from the TNIV Study Bible:

“Genesis 1:1 is a summary statement introducing the six days of creative activity. The truth of this majestic verse was joyfully affirmed by poet (Ps. 102:25) and prophet (Isa. 40:21). In the beginning God. The Bible always assumes, and never argues, God’s existence. Although everything else had a beginning, God has always been (Ps 90:2)”

10 words from the first verse of the book all Christians believe. Yet, so powerful, and creating so many questions, it demands answers, it demands apologetics.
But remember it means nothing to someone that does not believe the Bible, and means everything to those that do…

1. Davis, John J. Paradise to Prison Studies in Genesis Sheffield Publishing Company, Salem WI. 1998

2. Ibid

Notes accessed in both the Apologetics and TNIV Study Bibles

Go to the next segment, Exodus 14:31.

 

John Mays is the Regional Director of Ratio Christi in the state of West Virginia and the Chapter Director at Marshall University. Contact him at johnmays@ratiochristi.org.