text size

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

read all comments

1 Sarah Mangum = "This begins the first book of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament"
2 Justin Halloran = "Moses is traditionally credited with authoring Genesis, though some modern scholars attribute the work to 6th and 5th century BC authors."
3 Jeff Smith = "The author of Genesis is not identified, but in many Jewish and Christian traditions the author is believed to be Moses. Some scholars hold that the book was composed by many different authors and edited into one work."
4 Raymond Huerta = "Open Yale Courses: Introduction To The Old TestamentOverview: "...the basic elements of biblical monotheism are compared with Ancient Near Eastern texts to show a non-mythological, non-theogonic conception of the deity, a new conception of the purpose and meaning of human life, nature, magic and myth, sin and evil, ethics (including the universal moral law) and history." http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-145/lecture-3#ch1Works Cited:"RLST 145 - Lecture 3 - The Hebrew Bible in Its Ancient Near Eastern Setting: Genesis 1-4 in Context." Open Yale Courses. Web. 7 Nov. 2014."
5 Stephanie C = "In the Very beginning before Mankind. God of love and all creation, Created Heaven and Earth.And it started as such.The Earth was without life,it was dark and had darkness. And the creator ran his spirit over the waters.Then Creator said in a form:Let there now be Light and there was Light.The creator then saw that the Light was good. So he divided the light away from the darkness.God then named the Light:Day and the Darkness:night.Evening and morning were then the first day.then god said let there be a sky in the middle of the waters.let it divide the waters from the other waters.And so the creator god made the sky and divided the waters from the waters above and it was made.And God called the skys,Heaven. And so the evening and the morning were then the second day.Then God the creator said: Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place. And let dry land appear it was then so.explained by:stephanie cox"
6 Stephanie C = ""Understanding the Book of Genesis"The book of Genesis name meaning "Birth"pronounced as Jen-e-sis.Is the first book in the bible known as the beginning  of the books in the bible.Bible being the Holy of books. Tells how the creator also known as "God" to some or all.How he therefore,thinks says and speaks things into existence. "
7 Michael L = "Genesis, creation, and especially the Eden episode is a parable, iterating the intent of of creation and the purpose of humanity.Adam, the Hebrew word for 'Man,' is a metaphor for all humanity.  Eden is where he as all his needs met, he doesn't need to work or do anything, or understand anything.At the expulsion from Eden, Adam is being born for the first time.  Eden, metaphorically, is the womb.  The fact that Adam is given the fruit from the tree of 'knowledge of good and evil,' represents the charge of Adam to learn new things and grow into understanding, meanwhile coming into an understanding of God's perfect and forgiving love.God's purpose of humanity, in this light, is that we need to become more than we are, that we should assimilate new knowledge into ourselves and become greater, smarter, and grow in wisdom.If you look at Adam's actions throughout the book of Genesis, you will see Abraham pimping out his own wife, Lot indulging in a life of homosexual orgies, Jacob lying and cheating his uncle, Noah the drunk, and a whole host of behaviors that most apologists try to explain away.  We look at these things now and say either the verses were mistranslated or these people were not quite the exemplars of human virtue.But that's the point.  Abraham pimped out his own wife, twice through cruel deception and thoroughly abused God's favor, and yet God still managed to show his love and mercy for him.  So if he was such a scoundrel, there's hope for me yet.  Second, we as a society can look at what he did in this regard and see how wrong he was, and not engage in that kind of behavior.  We have learned, and therefore have a responsibility to act better.As God is often described as the 'father' of all things, he can be understood in this light.  When my 13 month-old baby girl throws her food on the floor, it's frustratingly cute, and I still love her.  I just hope she's not still doing that when she's sixteen."
8 Cary W = "This first introduction to how God made the earth, heavens, us...well everything is really a profound formula, a template if you will, for how He is continually recreating everything and everyone.We begin with no being... the void...darkness...formlessness...possibility.The Spirit moves upon the fluid expanse of flexible, form-able, liquid-like possibility.And then there is the decree of a spoken word, full of the vision, command and intent to shape that water.Light!  Blessed light now, instead of blind, empty darkness.  Light is wisdom, illumination, clarity.  It opens the way, lights the path, reveals the potential for good.This light of wisdom's next step to clarify, define and pave the way for a firm foundation for all the rest that is to come.... the firmament established in light and called Heaven.  Sounds like what Jesus said about Heaven being here, in our midst."
9 Kayla N = "Everything as we know it has a beginning. The Bible has traditionally been taught to teach the beginning of the creation of the world.  Essentially it does so.  However, the purity of the message has been terribly diluted, and watered down.  The Old Testament, where we find the book of Genesis – the first book of Moses, was originally written in Ancient Hebrew.  The English language as a whole is a very lazy language, which heavily aids in the delusion that Religion has taught for centuries. Again, this book is going to cause you to question everything that you ever believed about anything.  Anything that your mind can conceive is fair game.Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning…” – The first three words of the Bible tells us right away the subject with which we are dealing with.  In the original language the word “beginning” is the Hebrew word re’shiyth, which is a feminine noun.  The word itself means first or chief.  In further looking into the etymology of this word, you will find that it comes from the word ro’sh, which is a masculine noun, meaning the upper most part, or head.  Looking at it this way tells me in no uncertain terms, that this work is dealing with matters of the head, or the Mind.  This also tells me that the chief, first, upper most part, or head -- although is one collectively -- there is a duality displayed with the feminine and masculine principals.  Everything begins in the Mind.  All that ever was, and ever will be.  Here is another way to look at this information.  Traditionally, we are taught, that this is the story of creation.  That Moses is teaching these Hebrew slaves how the world began.  Some argue that there may or may not have been a loud banging, some say that there was nothing, and suddenly there was some chemical reaction to the nothingness, and then everything appeared.  Others are told that a distant Deity is looking down on them, and creating as He pleases.  Regardless of your belief, or what you have been taught, there is really only one Universal Truth.  This is the Truth that I am endeavoring to share with you.Back to these enslaved people.  The etymology and significance of Moses’ name has been the subject of many debates.  Some say it is Hebrew, some say it is Egyptian, but mostly all agree with the definition being “draw”.  Many Religious Scholars would argue that this would be a fitting name since Moses, as told in the Bible, was drawn from the Nile river in Egypt.  However, since we are challenging conventional paradigms assigned to us by society, lets say, that the term “drawn” literally means to draw something out.  Use your imagination to create something in your Mind, and place it onto paper.  This truly is the Beginning.  The starting point is your Mind.  Moses is a literal representation of what to do and where to begin. He is the example of the map.  “The map to where”, you ask? Liberation.  Moses was sent to free the slaves of Egypt.  It’s almost like that old joke that people still tell.  “If you look up ________ in the dictionary, your picture would be there!”  If you look up the definition of envisioning, Moses’ picture would be there.Now, these people were slaves to the “Egyptians”.  “Egypt” in Hebrew, (Remember, that’s what the slaves called them.) if you were to chase the root of this word, you will find that this word truly means to be boxed in.  Caged.  Stuck.  Boxed in, in your mind.  Bound by limits, doubts, fears, paradigms, phobias, habits, defeat, distress, and any other negative limiting belief one can conceive of in their Mind.Allow me to be concise, and put this together for you.  Moses is an example of the Liberation, which we seek.  The story of the creation of the world is really the story of the creation of our perceptions, which shapes the realities in which we live.  We all have our own perspectives on life.  We created these perspectives in our minds.  These, in turn, became perceptions, and perceptions create the realities in which we exist.The Gospel of John 1:1 tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  Now follow me for a moment if you will.  Since John is found in the New Testament, we know that the Original language is now Ancient Greek.  The word for Beginning as we find it in John is Arche, which is the principality of a thing, or first place of a thing.  This we already know to be the Mind.  In knowing this, in the Mind was the Word, (logos in Ancient Greek meaning logic, reasoning, belief, thoughts, and spoken words).  The thoughts or logic in the Mind are one with God, so much so, that they ARE God!We already know that there is no lack in God.  There is abundant harvest for all seeds planted.  God is a God of increase, and abundance.  God does not change.  Whatever seeds we plants, we will harvest.  Every thought, every word, are seeds, in the mind.  The Mind is where God is. (In the Beginning, First Cause, remember?)  What seeds are you sowing?  You have been, are currently, and will forever reap the harvest of these seeds; you may as well learn to easily and effortlessly reap the harvest of the things you truly desire in life.Moses had a mission, as we all do in life.  Moses’ mission was to teach those whom felt enslaved by their current circumstances how to become free.  If anything, the Bible in general could be used as a Psychology textbook.  Psychology, by definition, is the science of Mind.  As I have stated before, there is only one Universal Mind, backing all that ever was, and ever will be, and we have unlimited access to it at all times, if we only knew how to tap back into it, which I will discuss in subsequent lessons.  At this point, it is imperative to simply understand the basics.  You have spent your entire lifetime pacifying these limiting beliefs; I understand that tearing them down can be uncomfortable (to say the least).  However, I do promise that the end justifies the means.  My mission in life is similar to Moses’.  I want to help you to begin living your best life, experiencing the true Liberation that is your birthright.  The Liberation that you yearn for, and may eve claim, however, cannot fully believe is yours for the taking, right now, as you are.The next word in Genesis 1:1 is of paramount importance as well. “God”, is the Hebrew word, ‘elohiym.  One thing that I want to point out about this word in order to be crystal clear is that this is a PLURAL noun.  Why is this so important?Although there is One source, God has manifested Itself in many formsThose in the collective work in the same manner as God, and have the same unlimited potential as God.There is no division in God the Source, or in any of the overall collective.  We are all physical manifestations of the Thoughts of God.  Therefore perfect to complete our assigned and agreed upon mission(s) in life.Included in this all encompassing ‘elohiym, are also the Hosts of Angels, Judges, Rulers, Ascendant Masters, you, the person who told you about this Truth, myself, and everyone that has ever had any sort of life flowing through them.  All fearfully and wonderfully made in the likeness and in the image of the Divine Creator.  Just as there are no limits to the possibilities of the thoughts, and subsequent manifestations of God, there are limitless possibilities to the variations in creations we see on this earth every day, and no matter the condition in which they appear, they too are a part of the collective.  This is what Jesus meant when he said that He and the Father are One. You and the Creator are One.  The Divine and I are One.  Accept it, live it, and embrace it!Genesis 1:1 then says “Created”.  When translated, you could literally say of this compound word, “a miraculous sign, or proof of forming new situations, circumstances, or transformations”!  How amazing is that?  Moses opened the lesson up with the Truth! This could actually read, “In your Mind, you have the ability to create new situations and circumstances in your life”.  We learned from John 1:1 that the Words that we think and speak hold the same creative manifesting power as that of the Creator.  The things, which we think, believe, and speak, shape our perceptions, therefore creating our worlds.  Just as we are taught that some distant God spoke the world into existence, Moses is teaching that YOU ALSO speak your world into existence.Genesis 1:1-2 then lists the first two things in which God created, which makes sense. First, Heaven -- which is the abode of God. Remember that the Beginning is equivalent to the head, or better yet, the Mind.  To be more specific, our mind is the beginning.  Then, earth was created.  Now, the earth is the physical stuff that we see.  It is physical matter.  At this point, the earth was void, and without form.  We have an empty canvass. A mound of “dirt”.  This is the example Moses is using to illustrate the Universal Laws that I am explaining to you all.  Since there is no use in recreating the wheel, I can use the same example.  If you look at a clump of dirt, it’s not very pretty.  It’s simply a regular lump of dirt.  However, if someone gets the idea to transform a mound of dirt into a beautiful garden, they can do so.  Initially they have the Thought or the idea. Then the thought is communicated. (As the Bible tells us, God said, “Let there be _____”, and it appeared, and then it was declared “good”.  Notice there is nothing in existence that God did not declare “Good”.  The appearance of anything contrary to this “Good” is an creation of your Mind, and just as you created it, and declared it good via your protection and treatment of it, you can create something new, better, and more conducive to the life that you desire to live.)  They then believe that they can accomplish this goal.  They then get to work on this goal.  A beautiful garden manifested from a regular mound of dirt. (If you take the time to read the rest of the creation story as depicted by Moses in the Bible, you will actually see that a beautiful garden was created from the mound of dirt.  That life was breathed into it, and it flourished.  All of this began with a Thought, in the Mind.What thoughts about yourself or your situation are you holding as truisms in your Mind?  What seeds are you planting?  Do you realize the power in your words, and in the many ways Karmic law is expressed.  Whatever you call it, Karma, Law of reciprocity, sowing and reaping, it all works the exact same way.  The Universal Mind is a Constant Gardener.  There is no lack in Spirit.  There is no lack in Truth.  The seeds that we plant will yield fruit of the same kind.  There is no discrimination.  You plant it, and an abundant harvest will follow.  We are all fruit of the same Divine vine, with the same capabilities.  The process works for everything living.  Why not learn the process, and allow it to work in your favor, as it was originally designed?  There are so man people walking around quoting passages from the Bible about being over comers, and blessed, and the whole nine, but walking around so defeated.  I want to change all of that for you.  Again, it does not matter what religion you grew up with or are accustomed to.  These are Universal Principals.  The Bible happens to have a unique way of expressing these Universal Principals, one that I am most comfortable with, therefore making it easier for me to teach from.  "
10 Sam P = "The beginning; our start. From Earth (water and land) as it was covered with water. Lucifer (that 5th Cherub caused problems in Heaven). God cast him out to Earth and his kingdom plus he took 1/3 as that man were deceived by him.And vs 3 the Sun was created. Lucifer flew back in the face of God and exalted himself. God continued with His creation and brought the land out of the water (very condensed version) ;)   With the conflict concerning Lucifer God separated the land masses snuffed out the sun, created the ice age - killed off basically all of Lucifer's kingdom and most of the other part that joined him.Verse 14 and God created the sun and continued with His creation as if Lucifer didn't inconvenience Him in the least.  The rest is our known history and understanding. So; how long was Adam in the Garden of Eden? ;)  "
11 Deena E = "There is an order if we look at the pattern of creation. God was prepared habitats for their respective inhabitants.Day 1, light was called forth and separated from darkness. Day 4, the sun, moon and stars were created to govern the light and darkness. "
12 Deena E = "The pattern continues:Day 2, the waters were created and God separated the lower waters from the upper waters with the sky.Day 5, sea creatures and birds are created."
13 Deena E = "The third revealed in the pattern are days 3 & 6.Day 3, God creates vegetation and plants.Day 6, God creates land/ground creates of every kind, including His most cherished creation--man."
14 Deena E = "Creation in 7 days continued:Perhaps in my limited understanding and how I know we measure time is unequivocal to time measurements in the rest of the universe. When God created the heavens and the earth, He did so outside of our parameters of time. After all, the basis for which we measure a day in time (sun, moon and stars) wasn't created until the 4th day of creation. "
15 Deena E = "How can all of this be created in seven days? Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 describe a day being like a thousand years to the Lord and a thousand years like one day. This phenomenon is even more remarkable when I think of Einstein's space-time theory:"
16 angela h = "God here in Hebrew is Elohim (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible 2007) and is plural. We see the trinity in this verse. See John 1:1-3."
17 angela h = "God created time and therefore it is subject to Him. He is in no way held accountable to time. See 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4."
18 Cary W = "As we move in Christ, we become co-creators with the Father, where He gives us the words and mission to accomplish, and we speak forth the word of His creative power.  His Spirit moves within us (we are mostly water!), opens the gate with the fullness and brightness of His presence (light!), and proceeds to create through us all kinds of glorious works, gifts and services."
19 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Dear Rabbi Singer,First, let me say that what you are doing is a great service to Jews and the religious community at large. You are setting the record straight – one that has needed correction for almost 2,000 years! Thank you.Yesterday, a Christian business associate made a point that in the very first verse of Genesis G-d is referred to as “Elohim” which is plural. She also said that it is a plural form of three (something I have never heard before). That, she concludes, is proof of the Trinity! Why is G-d’s name plural in this verse?Answer:The claim advanced by your business associate is one of the more well-known arguments used by missionaries to defend the doctrine of the Trinity, the most guarded and untenable creed of the Church. It would be difficult to imagine a doctrine more hostile to the uncompromising monotheism preached in the Jewish Scriptures than the Christian claim that there is a plurality within the divine nature of God. Yet, armed with little knowledge of the Hebrew language, many Trinitarians brazenly argue that the name of God, as it appears in the first verse in the Bible, “proves” there are three distinct Persons in the godhead.More specifically, missionaries point to the plural form of the Hebrew name of God אֶלהִים, (Elohim), which appears frequently in the Torah, to bolster their claim that there is a complex unity in the godhead. They argue that the use of the Hebrew letters “ ים” (yud and mem, pronounced “im”), which is a plural suffix at the end of the word Elohim, provides ample evidence from Tanach that there is a plurality within the nature of God. Your business associate went out on an even more bizarre limb when she declared that this Hebrew syntax is somehow indicative of the “plural form of three.”You can rest assured that the Hebrew tongue is a foreign language to your business associate, and that both of her contentions are erroneous. While her first assertion can be easily explained away by her lack of familiarity with the biblical language, her second point cannot. Her latter comment that the plural suffix in Elohim is indicative of “a plural form of three” is particularly preposterous, and illustrates the desperation and frustration some Trinitarians display in their rash effort to defend this alien Church creed.While I too have never heard any missionary make the astounding claim that plurals somehow mean “a plural form of three,” the incentive for spawning this irresponsible contrivance is clear. If you examine the few verses evangelicals use from the Jewish Scriptures as they seek to buttress the doctrine of the Trinity, you will notice that none of them, even in Christian terms, speaks of three persons. In essence, her flawed declaration was born out of a desperate desire to weave the Trinity out of whole Jewish cloth. This is an impossible task.Bear in mind, there is no mystery as to the origins of the Trinity, nor is there any secret for how this aberrant doctrine emerged. The doctrine of the Trinity was forged out of the crucible of the Catholic Church long after the Christian century. It is, therefore, no wonder that this pagan doctrine was unknown to authors of the New Testament (click here to see list). Church history reveals that it was not until three hundred years after the birth of Christianity that the doctrine of the Bianity (325 C.E.) and Trinity (381 C.E.) received formal approval in the Christian community. These well documented events occurred under circumstances rife with contention, political agitation, and radical dissension in the early Church.In essence, the Jewish people never believed in a Trinity, and the Church adopted it under enormous political pressure from the most pagan segments of the young Catholic Church. Understandably, missionaries undertake a formidable task when they seek to prove this fourth century doctrine from a radically monotheistic Torah which is timeless. Let’s examine your business associate’s claim.There is an enormous difficulty with the interpretation that the name Elohim signifies a sort of plurality in the godhead; for if Elohim implies a plurality of persons, how can missionaries explain that the identical word Elohim in Tanach refers to Moses as well? Regarding Moses, the Torah says,The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made thee a god אֶלהִים, (Elohim) to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.”(Exodus 7:1 KJV)Are missionaries suggesting that there was a plurality of persons in Moses? Is your associate going to insist that Moses was part of a Trinity? The notion that Moses, who is called Elohim in the Torah, possessed more than one person is preposterous. Moreover, if the name of God is to signify a plurality in the godhead, why wasn’t the nameJehovah, which is by far the most frequently used name for God in the Jewish Scriptures, also written in the plural? Clearly, this sort of Trinitarian argument is baseless.The word Elohim possesses a plural intensive syntax and is singular in meaning. In Hebrew, the suffix ים (im), mainly indicates a masculine plural. However with Elohim the construction is grammatically singular, (i.e. it governs a singular verb or adjective) when referring to the God of Israel, but grammatically plural elohim (i.e. taking a plural verb or adjective) when used of pagan divinities (Psalms 96:5; 97:7).This is self-evident from the fact that the verb “created” בָּרָה (bara) in Genesis 1:1 is in the singular. This linguistic pattern is well known and widely used throughout the Jewish Scriptures. For example, I am certain that many readers are familiar with the Hebrew word חַיִים (chayim), meaning “life.” Notice that this word contains the identical plural suffix “im,” as inElohim, yet it repeatedly means “life”, in the singular, throughout the Bible. Examples are:And Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life חַיִים (chayim) be to me?”(Genesis 27:46)You have granted me life חַיִים (chayim) and favor, and Your care has preserved my spirit.(Job 10:12)The fact that the name of God, Elohim, does not in any way imply a plurality in the godhead is well known and widely recognized even among Trinitarian Christians. For example, in the New International Version Study Bible (NIV), which is a Christian commentary that can not be construed as friendly to the Jewish faith, the Christian author writes in his commentary on Genesis 1:1:God created. The Hebrew noun Elohim is plural but the verb is singular, a normal usage in the OT when reference is to the one true God. This use of the plural expresses intensification rather than number and has been called the plural of majesty, or of potentiality.(New International Version Study Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985, p. 6.)Finally, it is important that we explore the crucial message which the name Elohim conveys to the Children of Israel. To be sure, two questions must be answered. 1) Why does the Torah employ this intensive plural name for the Almighty throughout the Torah? 2) Why is this name predominant throughout the creation narrative in the beginning of Genesis?There is a fundamental principal regarding the many names of the Almighty as they appear in the Torah – they are exalted descriptions of the God of Israel. The name Elohim, which is not an exception to this rule, comes from the Hebrew root el, which means “might” or “power.” This common root appears in a variety of words throughout the Jewish Scriptures. For example, we find this word used in the famous opening words to Psalm 29, הָבוּ ליהוה בְּנֵי אֵלִים(havu la’donai b’nai eylim). This chapter is well known because this Psalm is joyously sung in every synagogue as the Torah scroll is returned into the ark following a congregational reading. What do these noble words mean?“Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty. Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength”(Psalm 29:1)With these passages in mind, we have a deeper understanding of the name Elohim. The pagan mind ascribed a separate and distinct god for each of the powers in the world which it observed, and on whom it depended. The nations gazed upon the life-giving and perplexing energy emanating from the sun and the rain, and they worshiped the many gods who they believed controlled these forces. They craved an abundant harvest and boundless fertility, and they venerated each god who they believed governed each of these abodes. The ancients were mystified by the powers which sustained them and awestruck by the forces that terrified them, and venerated each with elaborate rituals and oftentimes gruesome rites in order to “appease the gods.”The Torah conveys a radically different message for mankind. All the life-sustaining forces in the universe, all the power that man can behold, emanate from the One Master of the world, One Creator of the universe – the Lord of Hosts is His name. This grand message is contained in the name of God, Elohim. All the forces of the world emerged from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Therefore, the God of Israel alone – Elohim – is worthy of our worship and devotion.It is for this reason that the Torah employs the word Elohim almost exclusively as the name of God throughout the first two chapters of Genesis. In these opening passages of the Book of Genesis, the Almighty is creating all the powers and forces which stir and sustain the universe.Therefore, the nation of Israel, to whom God revealed Himself at the foot of Mount Sinai, knew nothing about a plurality of persons in the godhead. No fact could be more firmly established once all of our sacred literature – both canonical and rabbinical – is used as our eternal guide. This matter is indisputable.Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.Sincerely yours,Rabbi Tovia Singer"
20 James Oppenheimer = "This gets a lot of interpretation, but the real message here is simply that God created all that is. Throughout scripture we see this reference, one of the descriptions of God: "the God who made the heavens and the earth." It's a way of saying this is God, and no other.  Some sources (including Rashi if memory serves) would read this text as "In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was without ..." The meaning of the key phrase "create heaven and earth" still is essentially the same. If you will: God made everything that is, no exceptions. No other gods were involved.This is a neat way to begin chapter one of Genesis, in which God is described as utterly omnipotent -- Awesome. The Great Redactor (who put Genesis into its final form) was not kidding around when he placed the text of the first chapter hard up against the beginning of the Yahwist's creation account, even though the appearance of God in that account is very different. The whole point is to hold up these two examples, next to one another, and say, God is awesome, yes, but no, that is not the whole story.  And as the Yahwist shows, God is as intimate and as close to us as breathing, and, no, that is not the whole story.Only when you take these two accounts, put them side by side and allow their different truths to argue with one another do you get the sense of the really enormous and baffling truth of God's essence (something we cannot truly ever take in)."
21 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Later Christian Scribes Inserted Trinitarian Passages into the New Testament"
22 Sarah R = "Rabbi Singer talks about 1 John 5:7 as if it should be "shocking news" to Christians that might even shake our faith. But actually, any Christian who has read the book of 1 John will say that in English translations of the Bible which came from the oldest Hebrew and Greek manuscripts we have (as opposed to the King James Version, which came from the Latin Vulgate Bible, hence the differences in language), 1 John 5:7 is not included in the text, but is mentioned only in a footnote with the comment, "This verse does not appear in the oldest Greek manuscripts."  Whether or not John penned these words or they were added by Jerome when he translated the Bible into Latin in the 4th century doesn't matter much. There are dozens of other references in the Old and New Testament of the Bible to which Christians claim the trinity doctrine. Also, we have the early church fathers talking about the trinity in the 1st century, non-Christian writers mentioning that Christians worship Jesus as God in the first century, and the first use of "Trinity" as a name for the doctrine in AD 200. This shows that although this one verse may not have been from John, the ideas of the doctrine of the Trinity can be traced back to the disciples, Paul, and the early church."
23 Sarah R = "In correction to my previous post, it is Wycliffe's English translation that was from the Latin Vulgate, not the KJV. The KJV used the Vulgate, English translations, and the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts which they had at the time. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we have much older Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, which allowed Bible translators to fine tune the Old and New Testament, though mostly it showed us how accurate the manuscripts we had are! It is amazing how God has preserved the Old and New Testament over thousands of years. Praise God.For more on translations, see: http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/"
24 James Oppenheimer = "I'm not going to spend a lot more time discussing this.  I cannot discern anything that is gained by accepting the idea of the Trinity.  If it helps someone in their devotional life, I say, great. Go for it.  I have no real objections to it, aside from its speculative background. I have read a lot of views and cannot see that it actually adds anything. We ought to be focusing on ways we can use these texts for amendment of our lives, not nit-picking how many angels stand on the head of a pin, the interaction of the hypothetical persons in the Trinity (think filioque), or the trinity."
25 Shawn Bose = "“Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.”  - Clive Staples Lewis"
26 Sarah R = "We find multiple other references in the Bible which talk about God as the Creator of all things. Consider for example:Psalms 89:11 "The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;    you founded the world and all that is in it."Psalms 90:2 "Before the mountains were born    or you brought forth the whole world,    from everlasting to everlasting you are God."Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you."Colossians 1:16  "For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him."Hebrews 11:3 "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."Others include Psalms 90:1-3 and 148:4-6, Isaiah 37:16 and 40:26, Jeremiah 10:12, Romans 1:20, 2 Peter 3:5 and Revelations 4:11, among many."
27 America Andrews = "I love that the Bible starts with God they don't try to prove God exists or argue for him it's just accepted! and to start by saying God created everything that we are not here by chance or whatever but it is God who has given us everything and that is who he is."
28 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The Hebrew word Bara", "Created" is not a past tense but an active, present tense used to show that God is continually creating and controlling the world. The Original Hebrew sentence reads, "In the beginning of God's creating [present] the heavens and the earth" however since this obviously happened in the past, translators use the past tense of "created" to convey the message. When reading the original Hebrew, one recognizes the significance of the use of present tense to show that creation was not a one time event, but an all the time event which we need to recognize and thank our creator who sustains and provides for us continually."
29 Sarah R = "Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament, was originally penned in Hebrew. The name of God here in Hebrew is "Elohim". This is the most commonly used name of God in the Old Testament, found over 2500 times. An interesting note is that "Elohim" is the plural form of "El" or "Eloah", often translated as "strong one". While the name itself is plural, it is used with singular verbs, adjectives and pronouns, causing many to wonder at why the plural form is used. Some theologians believe that this is evidence of the Trinity of God (God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three-in-one) that is more heavily suggested in the New Testament. Others think that the plural form refers to the fullness or completeness of God. All Christian theologians discount the idea that the plural form suggests a translation of "gods", as both the Old and New Testaments are clear that God is only one (see Deuteronomy 6:4 as an example)."
30 Sarah R = "Hebrews 11:3 ¨By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.¨"
31 angela h = "The earth had no shape; it was empty; and it was dark! I remember that is exactly how I felt just before God saved me. I had no purpose; I was empty; and my life was very dark."
32 Justin Halloran = "The original Hebrew wording, combined with a comparison to other passages of Scripture, has led some to conclude that a considerable time interval is indicated between these two verses. If such an interval is indeed intended, there is no discrepancy between the Bible record and scientific determinations that the earth is up to several billion years old. If, on the other hand, there is no such gap, then the earth itself must be only around 6,000 years old—which most scientists consider an impossibility.http://www.ucg.org/booklet/creation-or-evolution-does-it-really-matter-what-you-believe/world-man-biblical-explanation-0/"
33 Shawn Bose = "“Matter,” Vittoria repeated. “Blossoming out of nothing. An incredible display of subatomic fireworks. A miniature universe springing to life. He proved not only that matter can be created from nothing, but that the Big Bang and Genesis can be explained simply by accepting the presence of an enormous source of energy.”“You mean God?” Kohler demanded.“God, Buddha, The Force, Yahweh, the singularity, the unicity point—call it whatever you like—the result is the same. Science and religion support the same truth—pure energy is the father of creation.” ― Dan Brown, Angels & Demons"
34 Conrad Fried = "Spirit translates to Hebrew as "ruah," with a basic meaning of wind. Its appearances and definitions are numerous however. Many times it implies a life giving breath, very apropos to Genesis' creation story. Appearance of ruah in the Old Testament:Translations:SpiritWindBreathSideMindAngerWindyBlast"
35 Sarah Mangum = "God brought the world from darkness into light."
36 Shawn Bose = "“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it...Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” - Pope Francis (October 2014) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-declares-evolution-and-big-bang-theory-are-right-and-god-isnt-a-magician-with-a-magic-wand-9822514.html "
37 Shawn Bose = "“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it...Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” - Pope Francis (October 2014) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pope-francis-declares-evolution-and-big-bang-theory-are-right-and-god-isnt-a-magician-with-a-magic-wand-9822514.html "
38 angela h = "When God gave me Light, I began to grow and be productive. I had a purpose. When God calls us out (See John 6:44) and we respond by trusting Jesus as our Lord and Savior then we have light in our lives. See Ephesians 5:8."
39 Randy O = "When God divided the light from the darkness, this was the beginning of time as we know it.To understand this, go into a dark room in your home and flip on the light. Look around, flip off the light, flip it on again, look around, and repeat a few times. What you will observe is nothing in the room changes except it is dark, then light, then dark, etc.  The only thing that has changed is the passage of time. Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place at the same time.Since it was necessary for God to separate the light from the darkness we know that before that event light and darkness could exist together and therefore there was NOT TIME as we know it.In contrast to this, where God dwells time is completely different. In Isaiah 44:6 it is written Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.  God declares I AM the first and the last, in the present tense.  In Revelations 1:8 Jesus declares I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Jesus declares again using the present tense I AM the alpha and omega, and then expounds on the statement in terms of time as we understand it. In Revelations 22:13 Jesus says it again, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  Again, in John 8:58...Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (for further explanation on Jn 8:58 see my comments on this and surrounding passages).Where God dwells He sees everything in the present. From His throne He can look down on creation right now and see Adam walking in the garden of Eden, and see you and I, and our great great grandchildren, and our great great grandparents all at once. He can see Jesus' birth, His crucifixion, His resurrection, His ascension and His triumphant second coming and everything else, right now.  He is Yahwey, I AM THAT I AM. "
40 angela h = "Jesus will separate the children of darkness from the children of light.See I Thessalonians 5:5 and Matthew 25:31-46."
41 Jeff Smith = "Detail from the Sistine Chapel."Dividing Light from Darkness" by Michelangelo Buonarroti - Web Gallery of Art[1]. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dividing_Light_from_Darkness.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Dividing_Light_from_Darkness.jpg"
42 James Oppenheimer = "An interesting fact about darkness is that it does not have any physical existence.  Darkness is simply the absence of light. Most of us know that, but fewer think about what light is.  The answer would be different for different animals. For some, only certain colors count; others routinely observe into the infra-red or ultra-violet, "colors" which humans cannot see.  Thus, the fact is, when we say "light," we are making the assumption that what is visible in human terms is what matters, and this is a mistake when you contemplate The Eternal One.This little phrase shows that the Bible is not a science book. It is nonsense to talk about separating light from something which does not exist. However, the phrase is not intended to discuss science; it is meant to tell us about the nature of God.And the lesson here is, as so often in Genesis One, not merely to say that God is awesome, but to put God so very far out into the awesome spectrum that we develop an instinctive reverence.It is beyond language in its simplest forms; this is why the Great Redactor devotes a whole chapter to the repeated emphasis of the point.God is beyond any notion we have of awesome."
43 Matthew H = "Genesis 1 marks days from evening to morning as a natural extension of God turning darkness into light. This tradition continued through the New Testament period and is practiced today by many observant Jews.Eventually, there was a change to today’s practice where a day starts at midnight. The modern calendar is based on the Gregorian calendar, a revision of the Julian calendar implemented in 45 B.C. by Julius Caesar. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the Julian calendar became the standard adopted by other nations. The revision into the Gregorian calendar came in 1582.Recommended Resources: Genesis - NIV Application Commentary by John Walton and Logos Bible Software.Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/evening-morning-Genesis.html#ixzz3EkYrMctB"
44 James Oppenheimer = "Some translate this as sky.  It is a hard substance standing like an inverted bowl, over the earth.  To the inside of it are fastened the stars and other heavenly objects.  Its function is to hold back the waters of chaos which were everything to begin with. Later on, openings in this firmament will be opened to allow those waters to return to cover the earth for forty days. This small aside gives a glimpse into the ancient writer's view of cosmology."
45 Matthew H = "In modern translations the firmament is often called the “expanse” or the “sky.”  Genesis says that the firmament “separated the water under the expanse from the water above it”  Originally, God created the earth with water “under” the sky (terrestrial and subterranean water) and water “above” the sky—possibly a “water canopy” which enwrapped the earth in a protective layer. Or, the waters above the firmament could simply be a reference to clouds.Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/firmament-Bible.html#ixzz3EkUsR7gY"
46 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "You will notice that throughout all the days of creation God describes them as "good", however there is no such description for the second day. The Jewish sages explained that whenever there is separation, even in order to bring about the act of creation, the separation itself is not "good". It is true that God separated the spiritual heavens from the physical world (above from below) in order to bring about our spiritual growth and our potential as physical created beings; and even though ultimately it will be good, the act itself was not and thereby God could not call the second day "good"."
47 James Oppenheimer = "If one consults the LXX, we find:7 And God made the firmament, and God divided between the water which was under the firmament and the water which was above the firmament. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven, and God saw that it was good, and there was evening and there was morning, the second day.In all likelihood, the text is simply omitted from the Masoretic text, since it is in fact present in the LXX, a very early record.  Thus, there's no omission of the second day.  In any case, if one reads the entire text of Genesis one, later on it is very clearly stated that all of creation is "very good." "
48 Shawn Bose = "יְהִי אוֹר (yehi 'or)"
49 Shawn Bose = ""καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεός γενηθήτω φῶς καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς" (kai eipen ho Theos genēthētō phōs kai egeneto phōs)"
50 Shawn Bose = "This is the motto of many schools, institutions, etc. including the University of California "
51 James Oppenheimer = "In this wonderful poetic imagery, we see that the text ought not to be taken literally.  For there are often times when no sun is visible during the stormy day, and many a night when there is no moon.  There are even times when the moon is observed during the day.  An object can hardly be said to "rule" a time period if it is in fact absent from it half of the time, which is the case with the moon and the night sky."
52 Matthew H = "Many modern translations refer to God creating "great sea-creatures," "magnificent marine creatures," etc., as opposed to whales specifically.  See, e.g. http://biblehub.com/genesis/1-21.htm "
53 James Oppenheimer = "I am uncertain how learning is advanced by use of the archaic text of the King James version.  This is a good example.  The text certainly says nothing whatever about whales.  It simply refers to gigantic sea creatures, which could mean anything, but certainly doesn't refer to whales."
54 angela h = "The plural here is clearly the trinity explained in the very first chapter of the Holy Bible. We see in the Gospel according to St. John chapter 1 verses 1-3;14. The Father, Son, and Spirit are as I explain to my youth group, God. Man is created with body, soul, and spirit. He cannot continue to exist if any are not present. The same is true of the Tri-une God. "
55 James Oppenheimer = "Trying to force some kind of interpretation of the Trinity into this text seems an enormous stretch. It is also disrespectful of those who see the text as describing a monotheistic God, no further descriptors needed or required. This does not mean one does not accept the Trinity -- it is simply to say that whatever the answer for that question, the answer is certainly not found in this text."
56 Sarah R = "If this were the only text within the Bible that we were to look at and marvel at our Triune God, it would be pretty weak by itself as a defense for the Trinity. But when we look at the Bible as a whole, at all that it says about God, the Trinity doctrine shines through. Christianity is a monotheistic religion - we believe firmly in ONE God, one unified God, who manifests Himself in three Persons. For more on the doctrine of the Trinity, see:https://bible.org/article/trinity-triunity-godhttp://creation.com/jesus-christ-our-creator-a-biblical-defence-of-the-trinityhttp://www.bible.ca/trinity/trinity-proof-texts.htm"
57 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Question:Dear Rabbi Singer,A Messianic Jew is working overtime to try to convince me that I need JC. She recently showed me Genesis 1:26, “Let US make man in OUR image,” stating that JC was part of creation with God, plural Us and Our being the proof. Can you explain the plural in this verse to me? I want to have an intelligent answer. I am trying very hard to learn more of my Jewish religion, as I was raised in a non-religious home. The only Bible I own is the one she gave me and it is a King James.?Answer:The doctrine of the Trinity has no greater foe than the Hebrew Scriptures. It is on the strength of this sacred oracle that the Jew has preserved the concept of One, single, unique Creator God Who alone is worthy of worship. Missionaries undertake an daunting and unholy task as they scour the Jewish Scriptures in search of any text that can be construed as consistent with the doctrine of the Trinity.No prophet remained silent on the uncompromising radical monotheism demanded by the God of Israel. The Jewish people, therefore, to whom these sublime declarations about the nature of the Almighty were given, knew nothing about a trinity of persons in the godhead.Because the prophets relayed their divine message on the nature of God with such timeless, transparent, clarity, very few verses in Tanach could be summoned by the Church to corroborate their alien teachings on the doctrine of the Trinity. Understandably, though, the defenders of Christendom parade the few verses that they insist support the notion that there is a plurality in the godhead.One of the most popular verses used by missionaries as a proof text in support of the doctrine of the Trinity is Genesis 1:26. This verse appears frequently in missionary literature despite of the fact that this argument has been answered countless times throughout the centuries and numerous Christian scholars have long abandoned it. Let’s examine the creation of man as described in the Torah:And God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and they shall rule over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”(Genesis 1:26)With limited knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures, missionaries submit the above verse as evidence that there was a plurality in the godhead that participated in creation of our first parent. What other explanation could adequately account for the Torah’s use of the plural pronouns such as “us” and “our” in this verse?This argument, however, is deeply flawed, and, accordingly, a great number of Trinitarian theologians have long rejected the notion that Genesis 1:26 implies a plurality of persons in the godhead. Rather, Christian scholars overwhelmingly agree that the plural pronoun in this verse is a reference to God’s ministering angels who were created previously, and the Almighty spoke majestically in the plural, consulting His heavenly court. Let’s read the comments of a number of preeminent Trinitarian Bible scholars on this subject.For example, the evangelical Christian author Gordon J. Wenham, who is no foe of the Trinity and authored a widely respected two-volume commentary on the Book of Genesis, writes on this verse,Christians have traditionally seen [Genesis 1:26] as adumbrating [foreshadowing] the Trinity. It is now universally admitted that this was not what the plural meant to the original author.1If you had attended any one of my lectures you would know that the New International Version is hardly a Bible that can be construed as being friendly to Judaism. Yet, the NIV Study Bible also confirms in its commentary on Genesis 1:26,Us… Our… Our. God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court (see 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; I Kings 22:19-23; Job 15:8; Jeremiah 23:18).2Charles Caldwell Ryrie, a highly regarded Dispensationalist professor of Biblical Studies at the Philadelphia College of Bible and author of the widely read Bible commentary, The Ryrie Study Bible, writes in his short and to-the-point annotation on Genesis 1:26,Us…Our. Plurals of majesty.3The Liberty Annotated Study Bible, a Bible commentary published by the fundamentalist Reverend Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, similarly remarks on this verse,The plural pronoun “Us” is most likely a majestic plural from the standpoint of Hebrew grammar and syntax.4The exhaustive 10-volume commentary by Keil and Delitzsch is considered by many to be the most influential exposition on the “Old Testament” in evangelical circles. Yet in Keil and Delitzsch’s commentary on Genesis 1:26, we find,The plural “We” was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Tr ini ty; modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis … No other explanation is left, therefore, than to regard it as pluralis majestatis…5The question that immediately comes to mind is: What would compel these conservative scholars – all of whom are devout Trinitarians – to categorically reject the notion that Genesis 1:26 supports the doctrine of Trinity? Why do they conclude that God is speaking in this famed verse in His majestic address to the angelic hosts of Heaven? Why are the commentaries of the above conservative Christian writers completely consistent with the age-old Jewish teaching on this verse?The answer emerges from the Torah and its Prophets. If you search the Hebrew Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His ministering angels. In fact, only two chapters later, God continues to use the pronoun “us” as He speaks with His angels. At the end of the third chapter of Genesis the Almighty relates to His angels that Adam and his wife have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and must therefore be prevented from eating from the Tree of Life as well; for if man would gain access to the Tree of Life he will “become like one of us.” The Creator then instructs his burning angels, known as Cherubim, to stand at the entrance to the gate of the Garden of Eden, waving a flaming sword to prevent man from entering the Garden and eating from the Tree of Life. Let’s examine this famed text:Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – therefore the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the Garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.(Genesis 3:22-24)This use of the majestic plural in Genesis 3:22-24 is what contributed the NIV Study Bible’s annotation on Genesis 1:26 (above). At the end of its comment on this verse, the NIV Study Bible provides a number of biblical sources from the Jewish Scriptures to support its position that:“God speaks as the Creator-king, announcing His crowning work to the members of His heavenly court.” The verses cited are: Genesis 3:22, 11:7, Isaiah 6:8, I Kings 22:19-23, Job 15:8, and Jeremiah 23:18. These verses convey to the attentive Bible reader that the heavenly abode of the Creator is filled with the ministering angels who attend the Almighty and to whom He repeatedly refers when using the plural pronoun “Us.”6Again, the NIV Study Bible’s concession in its commentary on Genesis 1:26 is particularly significant because this work of the product of conservative, Trinitarian commentary on the Bible. Its contributing authors had no incentive to support the Jewish interpretation of this verse. Its annotation relies on the simple context and exegesis of this verse.I will close this letter with one final note.Outsiders often wonder what powerful force binds the Jewish people united in faith. This is not so odd a question when we consider the internal conflicts that has followed our people throughout our troubled history. Bear in mind, regardless of the turbulent quarrels that fester among us, the oneness of God remains the binding thread which unites the Jewish people in history and witness. The teachings of the Torah were designed to set forever in the national conscience of the Jewish people the idea that God is one alone. Accordingly, He is the only Savior worthy of our devotion and worship.Sincerely yours,Rabbi Tovia SingerGordon J. Wenham, Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis, Word Books, 1987, p. 27. NIV Study Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985, p. 7. Charles Caldwell Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible (Dallas Theological Seminary), Chicago: Moody Press, 1978, p. 9. Jerry Falwell (Executive Editor), Liberty Annotated Study Bible, Lynchburg: Liberty University, 1988, p. 8. Keil & Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Peabody: Hendric., 1989, Vol. I, p. 62. A similar verse describing God as He converses with His ministering angels is found in the beginning of the sixth chapter of Isaiah, which reads:In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew… Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” "
58 James Oppenheimer = "If one wishes to relate a verse to a concept, there has to be some kind of compelling relationship.  There is none between this verse and the notion of the Trinity.  None. I respect that some feel a strong attraction to the Trinity. However, the fact that one sincerely wants something to be true is not sufficient to constitute grounds for assuming that a verse must be evidence for something the reader sincerely desires."
59 James Oppenheimer = "The source states (without any supporting evidence) that the unanimous opinion of the apostolic fathers was that in this verse, God the Father is talking to Jesus.  Aside from the dubious nature of such a statement. We should perhaps also remember that the Apostolic Fathers opined that women were like an open sewer.  In other words, don't believe everything you read!Since this is even conceded as "weak" by those who wish to advance the Trinity notion, I think in all fairness that this verse is not worth any further discussion."
60 Sarah R = "To reiterate, the doctrine or belief in the Trinity is not based upon this verse alone. This verse is but one thread in a tapestry woven throughout the Bible. I love that our God is so complex! If we were able to completely understand God in our finite human "wisdom" (1 Cor 3:19) or understanding, He would not be worthy of our praise and worship. That god would be one created by man, as opposed to the God who created man. Theologian Millard Erickson says it this way:"The Trinity must be divinely revealed, not humanly constructed. It is so absurd from a human standpoint that no one would have invented it. We do not hold the doctrine of the Trinity because it is self-evident or logically cogent. We hold it because God has revealed that this is what He is like." See more at: http://www.evidenceunseen.com/theology/christian-doctrine/defending-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity/"
61 James Oppenheimer = "The connection to the notion of the trinity is too tendentious and ought not to be pursued.  My Hebrew professor said that we do not know what the text means, but it might be either an example of the "royal we" or it could be an example of inclusion of material that began life in a theological context of polytheism.  However, to try to see the trinity in this verse is over-reaching.  It is not at all convincing. I am not sure what is accomplished by using such a weak example as this text. It only suggests to the reader that no better argument can be found elsewhere.One may say that venerable people opine that the text somehow supports the trinity, but it all comes down to speculation, which is neither helpful nor convincing."
62 James Oppenheimer = "Actually, it is regrettable that for some reason someone chose the Authorized version of the Bible. It was produced in 1611, and an enormous amount of research has taken place since then. Today there are dozens of translations, any one of which is based on superior sources and superior scholarship.  How could it be otherwise? In the sixteenth century, the West had only recently rediscovered The ancient languages of both Hebrew and Greek.  While the English in the KJV is excellent (though archaic), its grasp of the original languages is deficient by today's standards, although for the times, they did a superb job.This text, in the Hebrew makes clear that the human is simply named "Human" (or, if you will, "earth creature"). When God speaks of "man". he uses the word "adam" or "ha-adam" (which is "the earth creature"). Adam is not so much a name as it is a designator. I wish we could replace all Bible texts on this entire site with a modern, unbiased translation such as the New Revised Standard Version.  The choice of the King James Version makes, in my opinion, absolutely no sense whatsoever."
63 Raymond Huerta = "man.The original Hebrew of this verse uses the word 'adam in place of "man," which is where we get the commonly designated name Adam. The word "man" here is a generic term for human being as it does not suggest maleness. our image, after our likeness.This is one of three places in Genesis where God speaks in first person plural (See Gen 3:22  and Gen. 11:7). From the beginning the plurals have perplexed interpreters who have wrestled to explain them in the face of biblical monotheism. Some interpretations have attributed the plurals as unidentified heavenly peers. For example, Philo of Alexandria believed them to be angels. Modern interpreters have been inclined to lean towards a pantheon of sorts, similar to other mythological stories in the Ancient Near East. The Christian doctrine of the trinity (The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) has also been offered as an explanation to the use of plurals, proclaiming the inherent prophetic nature of the Bible. Works cited:Eslinger, Lyle. "The Enigmatic Plurals Like "One of Us" (Genesis 1:26, 3:22, and 11:7) In Hyperchronic Perspective." (2006). ATLA. Web. 6 Nov. 2014.Alter, Robert. "Chapter 1." Genesis. New York: W.W. Norton, 1996. Print."
64 James Oppenheimer = "The plural aspect of God alluded to so often cannot be said to prefigure the Trinity.  Indeed, the Trinity does not mean any sort of division, so a reference to God in plural would mean a fundamental misunderstanding of the very nature of the Trinity.So what does "let us make" mean?  Some say it is simply the royal "We." Some say that it is an echo of an earlier text in which there was a pantheon in heaven. Some make inappropriate and unnecessary conjectures about the Trinity. The best answer, however, is to say that we truly do not know.And what of "...Make humankind in Our image..." ?What is this "image"?  It seems the writer wants to show an aspect of humankind that is akin to God, and in a way that other animals do not have. Many conjectures have been attempted, none of which are truly satisfactory.  Some point to humans being sentient; some say it is the human soul; some say it is some matter of the material out of which humans are made. The truth is, again, we do not know.So much mystery within such a small piece of text. Small wonder we are fascinated by the Genesis text."
65 James Oppenheimer = "This is a fascinating text! There are three things to observe:1. God speaks in the plural form. What does that mean?2. God speaks of making humankind "in our image." Huh?3. The King James Version, and most more modern and superior translations say "let us make MAN.." This is not nearly as obvious as it sounds when you look at the Hebrew.(1) God speaks in the plural. Nobody knows what that actually means, and by nobody, I specifically mean that any comment you read here that tells you they know what that means -- is wrong.We can guess what it means, and two obvious possibilities are these:    God is speaking, using the royal "we".    God is addressing the rest of the Heavenly court.We also need to ask to whom God was talking. Again, nobody knows, but it makes sense to suggest that God is speaking to other entities, entities which he addresses again in the myth of the Tower of Babel. If we were to take the Bible literally, we could say that the entities (called "elohim" in Hebrew) talked about just prior to the flood myth are one part of these other entities dwelling in heaven. The literal reading of the Bible forces us to conclude that there are various other kinds of entities in heaven, and the Bible in Hebrew calls them "elohim," which is usually (but not in this case) reserved as a word for God.(2) When God speaks to his court about making humankind in our image, it is possible he means "our" in the sense of the royal "we", that is make humankind in God's image; however, it could just as easily mean to make humankind in the image of all of those present. We follow the text first, not tradition. So it would seem that God would create humankind in some way that makes them similar to God, or that makes them similar to all of the entities of Heaven. Nobody knows what that image is; nobody knows what it means.  The popular idea is that we have a creative spark within us which other creatures do not have. Humans, so far as we know, are the only animals which use symbols. While it could also be argued that humans are the only animals that know right from wrong, this is problematic, since we need to define what "right and wrong" is, which is next to impossible (saying, "we know it when we see it" will not do), and it is not universally accepted that animals do not know right from wrong, albeit on a more primitive level.(3) In this passage, whenever the term "Man" happens in the KJV and in most more modern versions, the Hebrew word being translated is "adam". The word for humankind is also the name for the mythical first man. More on this when we get to the passage "male and female created he them" "
66 angela h = "Man is the only creature made in the image of God. God is triune (Father, Son, Spirit). Man is triune (flesh, soul, spirit) See Hebrews  4:12.God gives mankind authority over all living creatures. "
67 Shawn Bose = ""
68 Sarah Mangum = "The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo (1511-2)"
69 Sarah R = ""One's view of the origin of man will affect his entire understanding of and attitude toward man. If, for instance, man is the product of evolution, then the extent of the effects of sin and the need of a Savior are played down, if not eliminated. If, on the other hand, man was created by God, then this concept carries with it the companion idea of the responsibility of man. If God created man, then there is Someone outside of man to whom he becomes responsible. He is not in and of himself the master of his own fate or completely at the mercy of fate; he is neither the final authority nor the only one to whom he must ultimately answer. A doctrine of creation implies creatures who are responsible to that Creator. The evolutionary origin of man relieves man of responsibility to a personal Creator outside of himself."Ryrie, Charles C. A Survey of Bible Doctrine (1972). Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL. Page 100-101."
70 James Oppenheimer = "This text could just as easily be rendered:"So God created adam in His own image, in the image of God created he adam; male and female created he them." There is no difference between the word for human being and the "name" of the male main character in the Yahwist's creation story. The word is indistinguishable from the name, and yet the pronoun attached to it is a plural pronoun. "God created .. Adam. He made them, male and female."The word for human being is "adam", a word derived from adamah (earth), which means that we might well render the text:"So God created the earth creature in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.""
71 James Oppenheimer = "In this passage, the Hebrew word underlying "man" is "adam." So this text in Hebrew is"God created adam in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."It is interesting that in the same sentence the writer uses first the singular and then the plural pronoun in referring to"adam". So from this passage, we find that the Hebrew word for "man" refers not to one man, but to all human creatures. In this text, the writer states that God made adam male and female and it refers to adam as "them". Obviously, for today's understanding, the text truly ought to read"God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God created he them; male and female created he them."In Hebrew, "adam" can refer to a man or a woman. There are specific Hebrew words for man and for woman.It is important to remember that in the Hebrew there is never any distinction made between adam as either all of humankind or the person who shows up in the next chapter of Genesis. The matter of the "image" of God is discussed in an earlier comment."
72 Cary W = "His original vision for His sons was dominion over all that God had created, and for him to now go do the same, and replenish the earth with great fruits of love. And to love everything in creation as His good garden and His precious, good earth."
73 James Oppenheimer = "In the time of the venerable KJV translators, "replenish" had the meaning that "fill" would today, which is why most modern translations render the Hebrew as the Revised Standard Version does: "fill the earth and subdue it."The Biblical Text ought to be from a modern reputable, competent translation.For the purposes of the TaNaKh, perhaps we could use the JPS translation. That side-steps any question of rivalry of competing Christian denominations, and the Jewish scholarship is unsurpassed.I am not sure how the decision was made to use the King James Version. It has no scholarly value at all, and its archaic language is often deficient, and its sources also are often simply wrong."
74 Shawn Bose = "This is the commandment of God, man's duty to continue the creation through having children.  As stated in Isaiah 45:18 "He did not create [the world] for a waste, He formed it to be inhabited.""
75 Shawn Bose = "21st Century King James Version: "Be fruitful and multiply"American Standard Version: "Be fruitful, and multiply"Amplified Bible: "Be fruitful, multiply"Contemporary English Version: "Have a lot of children!"Darby Translation: "Be fruitful and multiply"English Standard Version: "Be fruitful and multiply"Holman Christian Standard Bible: "Be fruitful, multiply"The Message: "Prosper! Reproduce"New American Standard Bible: "Be fruitful and multiply"New International Reader's Version: "Have children and increase your numbers"New International Version: "Be fruitful and increase in number"New King James Version: "Be fruitful and multiply"New Life Version: "Give birth to many; grow in number"New Living Translation: "Multiply"King James Version: "Be fruitful and multiply"KWycliffe Bible: "Increase ye, and be ye multiplied"Young's Literal Translation: "Be fruitful, and multiply""
76 angela h = "God provides food for mankind. Notice that they were vegetarians at first."
77 James Oppenheimer = "I encountered some students who tried to say that this passage means the first people were vegetarians. The KJV translates the word as meat, but the meaning in the twentieth century is "food." Another reason the KJV is not good for study purposes. While vegetables are given for food, it is not necessary to speculate that food was limited to vegetables.  That is not the purpose of this text; it is trying to set the tone for the nature of God.  Ancient people generally ate an omnivorous diet, very heavily weighted towards vegetables, because meat was always a rare delicacy.  However, this passage is not about that."
78 angela h = "God provides for all creatures. All creatures at this time were herbivores."
79 Conrad Fried = "This repetition of "it was good" and distinction between days imbue God with a sense of order and conscientious creation."
80 Deena E = "Hi Conrad,I totally agree. I believe that God examined His work after each day and realized that He was pioneering something revolutionary. Also, looking at how He ordered creation indicates that He put planning into it--the first 3 days, He created habitats and second 3 days He created inhabitants for their respective habitats."
81 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The sixth day was the only day termed "very good" as opposed to the other days of creation because the pinnacle of God's work had been completed in the act of creating man. All the other days were only necessary in order to provide for the ultimate recipient of God's will; Adam. The Jewish sages explained that the act of creation is similar to a host inviting guests to a banquet. The fine china and dishes are laid out, the table is set and the food is already prepared. The purpose of the banquet is only to provide for the guests, so too God's creation and preparation was only to provide for his ultimate guest; mankind."
82 James Oppenheimer = "The writer affirms that every aspect of creation is good.  One wonders if he would have written that, had he understood the nature of cancer, cystic fibrosis, or ebola, just to name a few parts of creation, all of which was made by God."
83 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "James, excellent point although I wonder how much humanity has contributed to our own destruction as well. Judaism looks at punishment as the natural consequence of sin, not as a retribution. This is akin to someone jumping from a third story window, breaking their legs and then asking why God punished them. The broken legs are a natural consequence of jumping from an abnormally high place. So too, when we come down with diseases or suffer other maladies, it is possible that we brought about these things on ourselves by not following God's plan for a righteous life. However, if we suffer these tragedies and then become better people, if we change our outlook on life and humanity, have these "terrible" things not served a higher purpose? How many people suffer tragic illness and by doing so are in a position to help hundreds or thousands of people who suffered the same disease. This is why Judaism looks at everything (even bad) as ultimately good, for all creation serves a higher purpose if focused properly. There is an old Jewish phrase "Gam Zu L'Tovah", everything that happens is for the best. I believe it even though I don't always "see it"."
84 James Oppenheimer = "Cystic fibrosis, Ebola, Lou Gehrig's Disease, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc. are hard to attribute to sin.If one behaves in a certain way, one can expect consequences, but those consequences generally are proportional to the behavior. As a matter of fact, that is one basic principle one finds in the Hebrew Bible. Hell is a kind of novel idea as theologies go.  If I posit a loving, merciful and just God, then I believe that such a deity would never create such a horrendous thing as hell, let alone ever send anyone there."
85 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "James, great point which is why Judaism doesn't believe in "Hell", at least in the Christian sense of the word. Please see the traditional Jewish viewpoint of Hell here - https://www.deily.org/discussion/what-is-the-jewish-view-on-hell"
86 James Oppenheimer = "This affirms that humankind is created as God intends. We are no accident. We are not a mistake.If, however, we take scripture literally, then we later read that God considers all of creation a mistake he is sorry he has done. This is a good illustration of how the literal meaning eviscerates scripture, since the only conclusion one can take from these passages would be that God was mistaken when he said everything he had made is very good.If we say, "Yes it was perfect, but man screwed it up," then we must posit a God bumbling and foolish enough not to know to supervise his new creatures. That would make God unreliable.I certainly don't recommend anyone take such a view, but if we read the Bible literally, we must grapple with such an implication."
87 Conrad Fried = "Light and dark are a recurring motif."
88 Michael McKissick = "Alone, everything was "good." But when viewed as a complete ecosystem, everything was "very good.""