In its opening sentence, the Bible makes worldview shaping, universe defining claims that set the stage for everything that follows.
In the beginning…
In this phrase we get the background of the verse. The beginning of what? The beginning of all beginnings. Think about it, nothing before this ever began. This means that time and space have a starting place. There was a point in which the universe was not, and then a point when it came into being. This communicates that our existence is finite since it has a definable beginning. This is important because it separates us from the next word.
There was something “in the beginning” who caused the beginning. This verse says that the something is a Someone, and that He should be referred to as God. This God is clearly the one who caused everything else to begin, so He must be prior to beginnings. He is the uncaused cause. He is the one who started it all in motion. He, unlike the universe, is infinite because he has no beginning.
Now we can begin to learn more about God by seeing what He does. For starters, we see that He is supremely powerful. This is clear in the fact that He creates something. This creating is pure creating. By this, I mean that God created without any preexisting substance. He created something out of nothing. Now while this may be difficult to wrap your mind around, remember that there are only two logical explanations for the fact that there is anything. Either it has always been or it has been created at a certain time. In this verse, we see that the Bible leaves no room for questions on this issue. God created, and before He created there was nothing.
the heavens and the earth.
What is it that God created? Everything. The “heavens and the earth” is an idiomatic phrase that simply stands for everything. It would be the same if I wanted to describe the whole of the US and I used the phrase, “from sea to shining sea.” There is nothing, therefore, outside of the creative influence of God.
So what does Genesis 1:1 teach?
We have an uncreated Creator who started time, space, and the universe in motion by creating it all without preexisting material.
That is where the Bible starts.
How does your thinking line up with this?