Science in Christian Perspective

 Letter to the Editor

Creation and the Word
Anthony J. Verbiscar 
491 Crestvale Drive 
Sierra Madre, CA

From: JASA 25 (September 1973): 128.

The writers of the New Testament offer very little about the origin of the universe. Paul wrote a few notes about the principle of creation and these are scattered about in his various letters. However, it was John who focused his thoughts on this matter and related them to us in the prologue of his gospel as follows:

"In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its beginning except through Him. All that came to be had life in Him and that life was the light of man, a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could
not overpower."

In this one short paragraph John seems to have captured the essential elements of the Genesis account of creation. This New Testament account should have substantial meaning for persons who believe that Jesus is the Son of God. John and Jesus spent at least three years together. As practicing Jews they knew Scripture and it seems likely that they talked about the Genesis account at one time or another. John pondered these things for many years before writing his gospel. In comparison, the Genesis account was written by an unknown author or authors with a less direct contact with the source of creation.

John provides the essence of his philosophy of creation without using the notion of time. His perspective does not contradict scientific theories based on design and evolution in the universe. Evolution actually deals with the development of matter in time rather than with origins, and leaves much room for John's creation philosophy. The scientific concepts of development and origin of species overlap. That is, the development of matter and energy to more complex forms leads to new designs in nature, or to newly defined species.

John also gives us an insight into the involvement of the Word in creation. There is an immense gap in nature between the way humans use words to express ideas and the way animals communicate. Many scientists, philosophers, and epistemologists have some troth and wisdom to offer about this unique and complex phenomenon; i.e., a human being's ability to communicate and create with words. Our use of words is one of the ways we reflect the magnificance of the Creator of the universe.