The Traditional Understanding of “Let there be Light”

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And God said, Let there be light.

(Genesis 1:1-3) KJV

The first major split between Matty’s Paradigm and Creationism is in answering the question: What’s the source or nature of the light that the Lord created on the first day of creation?

The traditional beliefs of conservative Christianity in the USA regarding the first phase of creation has been shaped for decades by the work of Henry Morris and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR).  We don’t want to beat up on a bunch of folk who have been faithful leaders to the Christian community but some of their work is a joke.

We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.

Matty’s Razor

To Boldly Go…

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!

– Captain James T. Kirk

An example of the mainstream reasoning about the nature of the early creation may be taken from Morris (1976). This work, in places, reads like bad dialogue from an episode of Star Trek and it has no basis in careful scriptural exegesis. Here’s an example:

The created cosmos…was a tri-universe of time, space, and matter. Initially there were no stars or planets, only the basic matter component of the space-matter-time continuum. The elements which were to be formed into the planet Earth, were at first only elements, not yet formed but nevertheless comprising the basic matter – the “dust” of the earth.

– Morris (1976) p. 50

Tri-universe? Morris is trying to hammer some bad eisegesis into the shape of the Holy Trinity. He’s clearly stretching here, as his model requires that there be formed elements but which are not formed? It’s as if he’s trying to be sciency sounding. There are several assumptions in this reasoning, all unwarranted and unnecessary. Indeed, this isn’t exegesis, it’s eisegesis. The scripture clearly states that the deep was water. There’s no mention of any matter beyond this, certainly no dust.

We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.

Matty’s Razor

Morris goes on, speculating randomly:

The picture presented is one of all the basic material elements sustained in a pervasive watery matrix throughout the darkness of space.

– Morris (1976)

This is eisegesis, not exegesis. There are no material elements mentioned in the scripture apart from the waters of the deep.

Elements of matter and molecules of water were present, but not yet energized.

– Morris (1976) p. 51

This sounds like an old hasbeen trying to be cool, but only cool compared to the science fiction which was prevalent in the 1950s. It’s pure speculation, just wisps of thought in an attempt to sound scientific. It’s also inconsistent with the Biblical record. Morris’s eisegesis of the initial state of creation continues regarding the Spirit of God that moved over the face of the deep. The issue, though, isn’t the ability of the Spirit to energize creation, but with the sequence and nature of the events.

As the out-flowing energy from God’s omnipresent Spirit began to flow outward and to permeate the cosmos, gravitational forces were activated and water and earth particles came together to form a great sphere moving through space.

– Morris (1976) p. 52

Morris is attempting to equate the Spirit of God with the created light and gravity. We’re going to dispel the idea that the Spirit of God was the source of light, neither was it the source of gravity. The essential nature of the Spirit of God is that it’s pre-existent, and there are passages of scripture which clearly state that.

Faith is believing in something that you can’t see, because of evidence.

– Faith, definition

What is Creation?

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

(Isaiah 45:7) KJV

The light is a created thing, whereas the Spirit of God is from everlasting. In fact, it’s not an abstraction to suggest that the light was formed from the existing material – water, the deep. We must explore the possibility that the light is a created thing that developed in a similar way to that in which a potter forms a vessel from a formless mass of clay. Throughout the scriptures the Lord repeatedly draws a comparison to being a potter, working to form an ordered structure from an disordered one. Here then is the understanding of Isaiah 45:7.

  • Darkness forms in response to the light God created,
    • but God isn’t darkness.
  • Evil forms in response to the peace that God created,
    • but God isn’t evil.


  1. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
    • believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
  2. confess your sin.

Ex Nihilo #EpicFail

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

(Hebrews 13:8) KJV

It’s fair to say that the majority of people who believe the Bible, whether nominally or in a fundamental way, are filled with the notion that light was created from nothing, ex nihilo, like the flick of a switch, or that the Spirit of God became the source of light in an instant as called for by the Word of God. However, this is a problem because it goes against something that we know about the fundamental nature of God: He’s unchanging, yesterday, today and forever. The Spirit of God can’t just become light for three days before the sun and moon were created.

Certainly the Spirit of God may serve as the initiator or originator of the energetic pulse or vibration that begins a transformation of matter, in this case, God’s spoken command, “Let light be.” But the light is a product of a physical transformation of existing matter, similar to the manner in which a potter forms a lump of clay into a fine vase. The only existing matter at this time is water, the deep. Therefore a possible exegesis of the text is that the Spirit of God caused the deep to assume its first form, that of light. Yet darkness returned. The start of the first day was darkness, the start of the second day was also darkness. A rotating source of constant light has to be eliminated.

The reason for creation is the manifestation of sentient life with free will.

– The Reason for Creation

A First Day Cosmos?

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

(2 Peter 3:10-13) KJV

As helpful as Morris’s work has been to generations of Christians its a tragic example of capitulation. He used induction, Einstein’s preferred technique, to try to form-fit the Bible into the popular science paradigm (SciPop). We, on the other hand, went ahead and destroyed the SciPop paradigm. Morris made a monumental failure for several reasons:

  1. Morris’s use of the word cosmos in his discussion of the first day is inappropriate, since the cosmos wasn’t created until the fourth day.
  2. Gravity was created on the second day, the first time that the Earth had a form (spherical).
  3. The Earth isn’t moving through space.

There’s no scriptural support for any of his model. As will be shown, the creation of gravity was on the second day, and the Bible in its entirety is unified in that the Earth is in its place. The Earth doesn’t move, it doesn’t even rotate, until the time comes that it’ll be dissolved. It’s interesting that Morris brings in the concept of gravity at this point. He didn’t know what he was talking about, he’s on turbo-waffle, however he hits on a piece of this puzzle that’s essential even though he didn’t comprehend it’s significance or timing.

Where the Bible says, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” The Earth is the deep. That’s to say, part of the deep is to become the Earth. The only thing present was water. The earth is indeed the matter component of Morris’s space-matter-time continuum, but the earth/matter is only manifested as water at this time. According to the Biblical text, the only physical elements present are water and darkness. Since the only movement that’s taking place is that of the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters, they consider that the Spirit of God is the source of light. For some reason they think the light has to be moving. However, there’s no need to imagine anything beyond what the Word of God says.

The purpose of creation is to bring about the permanent physical separation of light from darkness, day from night, good from evil.

– The Purpose of Creation

A New Vision

And God said, let there be light: and there was light. And God saw that the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And he called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

(Genesis 1:3-5) KJV

The next verse sequence, Genesis 1:3-5, is where is where we’ll present a very different interpretation from the conventional wisdom of creationism, the general plan of which is laid out for us by Morris (1976). Morris builds a case for the widely accepted view based upon the assumptions he’s made about the previous passage. These are assumptions, however, and don’t draw upon any firm scriptural basis. Morris makes what would seem to be a logical leap about the now initiated day/night/day progression, but since it’s based upon his earlier conclusions it’s inductive reductive circular reasoning:

Such a cyclical light-dark arrangement clearly means that the earth was now rotating on its axis and that there was a source of light on one side of the earth corresponding to the sun, even though the sun was not yet made.

– Morris (1976) p. 55

Nothing in this sentence is correct. There are three false assumptions here that have no basis at all in the scriptural record that’s been considered so far (Genesis 1:1-5):

  1. There was a spherical earth.
  2. The earth is rotating on an axis.
  3. Light is radiating from an external source that’s above the earth.

1. Spherical Earth

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.

(Genesis 1:2) KJV

Assumption 1 has to be false because a sphere is a form, and the Bible tells us that the Earth was without form.

2. Earth is Rotating?

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

(2 Corinthians 6:14) KJV

Assumption 2 is false because a rotating Earth in relation to a point-source of light would be partially in light and partially in dark at the same time. Light and dark, day and night, are taking place simultaneously. God’s desire to divide light from dark is far more profound than placing them on opposite sides of a rotating ball. The Lord intends a physical separation of light from dark and a space between them. Our text indicates that darkness ceased when the light was created. We must completely abandon the notion that a source of light was orbiting the deep. When God said “let light be” there was light everywhere, and no darkness was to be found. This was what the Lord saw, when God saw the light, that it was good: light untainted to any degree by darkness.

3. A Point Source of Light?

Assumption 3 is false because it contrives another physical presence that’s not accounted for by the scripture. Morris’s eisegesis is a step or two ahead of the actual exegetical interpretation. All that we know, from scripture, is that there was a body of water called the deep.


Morris and his buddies over at ICR have been a mainstay of Christianity for over 40 years. It’s a load of dingo’s kidneys. We can do better. Welcome to Matty’s Paradigm.

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