The first verse of the Bible “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” has been the subject of more commentators than any other verse in the Bible. There are many different interpretations of This verse also. There are nearly as many interpretations as there are commentators! I want to scream, “More detail, God, would have been appreciated.” But no, that’s all we really get! Alright, then let’s use Kipling’s six brave men. He wrote in poetic form, “I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.” There is a lot more to that poem, but I’ll limit my research to these six honest serving men. Today, I’ll just look at the “Who.”

Moses asked the burning bush that was speaking to him, “who are you?” He was sent to the Israelites to lead them out of Egypt, and he knew they would want to know. In Exodus 3:14, the voice from the burning bush answered, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”  The Catholic Encyclopedia defines this phrase for us. It says, “He is the self-existing one who made all things, and He alone has not been made.”[1]

Jesus, in response to the Pharisees’ question “Who do you think you are?” said, “‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ ‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:56–59). The violent response of the Jews to Jesus’ “I AM” statement indicates they clearly understood what He was declaring—that He was the eternal God incarnate. Jesus was equating Himself with the “I AM” title God gave Himself in Exodus 3:14. Jesus is the “who” of Genesis 1:1.

[1] John T. Driscoll, “Deity,” ed. Charles G. Herbermann et al., The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church (New York: The Encyclopedia Press; The Universal Knowledge Foundation, 1907–1913).