When Jesus met the two disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, he did for them what we need to understand and do for ourselves. Luke 24:27 says, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Further, when Jesus was confronting the Pharisees, he pointed out as John 5:39 says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.” So, “beginning with Moses” let’s look at the “Scriptures” and find Jesus! Whenever the term “Scriptures” is used in the New Testament it refers to the Old Testament. I know some disagree with that but it doesn’t make sense to me that the writers of the New Testament Gospels and Epistles would refer to their own writings as Scripture as we rightfully refer to them today.

The Bible begins, Genesis 1:1, with the assertion, “In the beginning…” When John begins his Gospel about Jesus, he begins with the same opening phrase. He writes in John 1:1, “In the beginning.” This phrase is significant because in the Law, the first five books of the bible, the name of each book in the Hebrew text is taken from the first word in that book.  The name of the book of Exodus is “These are the names” because that’s the first phrase in the book in the Hebrew text. The names of the family members of Joseph that came down to Egypt are there.  Leviticus begins with the call of God on Moses. The Hebrew name for that book taken from the first word is “God called.” Numbers is “The Lord Spoke.” Deuteronomy is named, “These are the words” followed by the second recitation of the Law given to Moses at Sinai. Getting back to Genesis, the name of that book is “In the Beginning.” I’d argue that John is not just referring to the beginning of the book, but the entire book. I’d also argue that John is not only referring to the whole book of Genesis but he is referring to the whole Bible. He is the one who recorded in his gospel what Jesus said to the Pharisees about the Bible bearing witness to Jesus.

Modern translations have mishandled this verse by making it a “dependent” or “subordinate” clause and translating it something like, “when god began to create…” This is seen in Today’s English Version, The New American Bible, The New English Bible, the New Jewish Version and a few others.  But as the United Bible Society’s Handbook for translators says, “If the traditional interpretation is followed, then the beginning refers to the time when the universe came into existence, rather than the beginning or opening of the story of creation.” Even in the opening phrase in the Bible we learn that God’s love, expressed to us through Christ, began at the very beginning of Creation. Before there was anything at all there was God’s love! This might appear to be stretching it now, but it will become clearer when we continue to compare Genesis with John.