'In the beginning, God created'; this is how Genesis begins, in most modern translations! While this translation has stood thus for centuries, more recent studies have revealed that it more correctly reads, 'in the summit, Elohiym fattened' these same 'heavens and earth', which again, more correctly, should read, 'the sky and the ( dry ) land'. Put simply, these recent discoveries have brought under scrutiny the traditional notion that the beginning chapters of Genesis are about the creation of what we know as 'terra firma', or the existent world ( globe ) along with the sun, moon & stars!
The very thought of relegating Genesis 1 & 2 to merely a record of the establishment of covenant relationship between Creator & Creation, or, even more heretically, between Yahweh & Israel, is foreign to all but a handful in this day & age! For one thing, to even entertain this notion, is to open a 'Pandora's Box' ( 'can of worm' ), the least of which is the suggestion that the earth might be more than 6,000 or even 10,000 years old! The construct of Covenant Creation might even lead one to question, not only the scope of the Flood of Noah's Day, but ( 'horror of horrors' ) whether there were even real animals on the ark ( compare Genesis 6-9 & Acts 10 )!
Assuming the facts we have in evidence ( at least, if one is willing to study with an open heart & mind ), it is easy to see how this account ( Genesis 1 ) is significant of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, especially when one thinks of phrases such as, 'I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end'! When Peter wrote, 'the end of all things is at hand' ( I Peter 4:7 ), we readily understand that he was not signalling the end of the world ( 'terra firma' ) but rather, the end of that covenant 'world, that Covenant Creation which had been 'fattened' in the 'beginning'!
Thus we have the creation, or formation ( might be a better word ) of covenant, the open relationship which we now enjoy, as the People of God, with our Heavenly Father! Open relationship, we say, because we are thus free, not only to have a relationship with our fellow human beings as well, but because the Blessed Presence of God is not relegated to a particular geographical location. Nor is it limited to a peculiar biology either, as that was the 'end of all things' of which Peter & other Gospel writers spoke! No more would Israel be known by its biology ( Romans 9:6-8 ), but by it's spirituality, by those who 'have the mind of Christ' ( I Corinthians 2:16 ).
Much is made, in this day & age, of eschatology, or the study of the end, or 'end-times'! According to most Christians, Eschatology refers to the end of the physical world & even the end of biology, in some cases. Only recently, although the concept has really been around for centuries, have certain ones 'braved the elements' & challenged tradition to say that Eschatology is about Israel about God's Covenant Creation! It only makes sense that if Biblical Eschatology is about the End of a covenant relationship, then Biblical Protology refers to the Beginning of that same covenant relationship!
Although more & more Christians are seeing this 'new' truth every day, it is still a sore subject for most, and is usually treated heretically, leading to much unnecessary heartache & pain! While Biblical Eschatology, particularly in the most recent decades of the past century, has enjoyed renewed attention & study, Biblical Protology, and the questions which it not only answers, but brings to light, are even more important when it comes to Soteriology!
What does it really mean when it says, 'in the image of God He created him' ( Genesis 1:27 )? Are ALL men ( & women ) made in the 'Imagio Dei', or was it only a certain part of God's Good Creation which received this 'image', and thus were given the ministry of reconciling the Creation with its Creator? If only a certain part of that Creation was given that ministry, where does that place the rest of God's ( good? ) Creation?
Covenant Creation opens a whole new world when it comes to all aspects of Theology! If Jesus was simply Israel's Messiah, what does that say about the Nature of God? The question of 'who is Israel?' comes under renewed scrutiny, as well it should! If the Israel formed with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob was the Israel which Jesus came to save, then where does that leave the rest of us? Or are we the Israel that was formed, not only with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, but with that first Adam?
The apostle Paul wrote ( I Corinthians 15:45 ), 'The first man Adam became a living being.”[d] The last Adam became a life-giving spirit'. In actuality, that's all that needs to be said; Adam was the first ( covenant man & Jesus was the last ( Covenant ) Man: He was the End ( Goal ) of which Scripture had prophesied, not the cessation of the Creation, but the Goal of Creation, the Marriage of Heaven & Earth!
Charles Haddon Shank