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From the January 2010 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Though I rarely get to read a Journal cover to cover, I usually look at the Q&A column (p. 8). November's question regarding Genesis 2:1 concerns the word finished in relation to God's creating. Although Mary Baker Eddy comments on "finished," she also writes, "Creation is ever appearing, and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source" (Science and Health, p. 507). When each statement in read in context, they complement each other.

The Bible, too, must be read in context. Genesis 2:1-3 is the conclusion of what began in Genesis 1:1. Bible scholars from Mrs. Eddy's day to the present have recognized that Genesis 2:1-3 must be understood as a unit related to the whole. Nahum Sarna, a recognized Old Testament scholar, puts it very well in his Genesis Commentary (pp. 14-15): "The account of creation opened with a statement about God. The seventh day is the Lord's Day, through which all the creativity of the preceding days achieves fulfillment." He goes on to say that in "resting" on the seventh day, it too is "An integral part of the divinely ordained cosmic order, it cannot be abrogated by man. Its blessed and sacred character is a cosmic reality entirely independent of human effort."

God has previously declared Himself sovereign over space in "blessing" all that He created (see 1:22, 28). By declaring His work "finished" followed by "rested," He declares that He is sovereign over time as well. In other words, "finished" does not refer to a conclusion of God's creativity, it is a declaration of His sovereignty. This helps me to understand that creation is not a time-space issue. It is a recognition that creation is "blessed and sacred in character" and is "entirely independent of human effort" to use Sarna's words. As I understand the context of "finished" on page 206 of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy is also claiming God's sovereignty over creation as well as time and space.

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