New Testament references to "the beginning"

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Colin asks:
Jesus quotes from Genesis1:27 & 2:24 in Mark 10:6 and Matthew 19:4 saying the events he speaks of happened at “the beginning”. How then are the events allegorical rather than real? (References below.)

Bruce answers:
There was definitely a beginning! The theme of creation, especially light created in darkness, runs right through the Bible, richly expressed in many forms of language, including — sometimes — allegory. But . . .  if we look at them respectfully we find that they do not require us to believe everything that has been read into them. It is especially important to realise that they are not necessarily chronicles of "events". The Bible does include chronicles of events; Genesis is not one of them. It describes many events, but that is not all it does. It is an impertinence to treat our own interpretations as though they are the Scripture itself. (Responses to Colin's specific references below.)

  • Acts 15:18 — James mentions "the beginning of the world"
  • John 8:44 — Jesus mentions, but is not "endorsing" popular beliefs about the devil or particular understandings of "the beginning".
  • Hebrews 1:10 — from the beginning, the earth was destined to decay
  • 2 Peter 3:4 — Peter says that the ungodly of the last days will suffer unexpected judgement, like the Flood but fiery
  • "Beginning" theme in 1 John especially 1:1; 2:7,13,14,24; also 3:8,11
  • 2 Jn 5,6 mentions the beginning of the recipient’s ecclesia
  • Rev 3:14; 21:6; 22:13

See also: