Augustine's Interpretation Of Genesis 1: 1-2

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“Moses meant meant whatever he meant in those books.” Not your typical hermeneutical approach, but then again the man who said it was in no way typical. Today we shall examine and explain how Augustine understands the very beginning of the Bible; Genesis 1:1-2. In the course of this examination we will dissect the verses in question and categorically explain what Augustine has to say about each part. Unsurprisingly, we will start with the first phrase in the first verse, “In the beginning.” Next we will look at how Augustine interprets the phrase “God made heaven and earth.” For verse two we will divide it into two portions as well, the first “Now the earth was invisible and unorganized” and the second, “and darkness was above the abyss.” All of this examination should give us a heightened understanding of how Augustine views creation. …show more content…

Augustine clearly explains this darkness “This simply means the absence of light.” Some people may try to find extra meaning in the terms “above” or “abyss” but Augustine is very straightforward. In the same way that light is above the earth currently and shines down, so the same may be said about the absence of light. The darkness occupies that same space, and is above the earth. The abyss is not some special place, rather it is the absence of anything. A literal void, nothingness. So why is this verse important? It is important because it tells us that God created or begot the light. We know from the gospel of John 1:5. that, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” When did this light shine? In the beginning. The importance of “darkness over the abyss” is that we are given a state of being, a standard, something for the light to push away. This makes God’s creation of light all the more

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