We read at Genesis 1:1:

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.. "

We also read at John 1:1:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

It is evident that the phrase "In the beginning"as used by John has a different meaning vis-a-vis the phrase used in Genesis , in that John is refering to a period of time which existed before Creation. But then, we also say that God had no beginning. My question therefore, is: How does the Catholic Church explain the nuances of the term "In the beginning"as used by John the Evangelist and the author of Genesis ?


The way the Catholic church (and as it happens most other Christian churches) interprets these words at the beginning of John is that John is deliberately echoing the language of Genesis. "In the beginning" in John means exactly the same as "In the beginning" in Genesis.

In Genesis we read that "In the beginning God created...". In other words the first thing that happened (in time) was that God created the universe.

In John we read that "In the beginning was the Word...". This means that at the time God created the universe there was "the Word", something that already existed at the time of creation. John goes on to explain what (or rather who) that is.

  • If Time started with Creation, who created Time ? And why does the Genesis not mention the creation of Time by God ? – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Aug 28 '19 at 4:06
  • Hi Kadalikatt. Comments are suggesting improvements to answers, not for asking additional questions. If you really want to ask this, please use the "Ask Question" button at the top. But this sort of question doesn't do well here, because there may be several views on it. – DJClayworth Aug 28 '19 at 5:15

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