Genesis is the first book of the Bible. The first two chapters deal with creation: Genesis 1 describes the creation of the earth, while Genesis 2 focuses on the creation of the first humans, Adam and Eve.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1

In Genesis 1, Christians find the story of how God created the world. It says:

  • God is the only creator.
  • God existed before he created the world.
  • The world was well planned and is sustained by God.
  • God blessed creation; all creation is holy.
  • God created everything in Heaven and on Earth in six days.
  • On the seventh day, God rested.
A visual representation of the days of Creation, from Genesis 1.

For Catholics, rather than being a literal explanation for the origin of life, Genesis 1 teaches key information about God’s nature.

God made the world how he wanted it to be, and he is omnipotent.

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. Genesis 1:31

Creation also highlights God’s transcendence. Christians believe he is above and beyond the universe and human understanding.

Creation of humans

Christians believe that the first two humans were called Adam and Eve. Genesis 1 describes their creation:

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27

According to Christian belief, God created humans in his image. This does not mean that humans physically have the same appearance as God. Instead, they have certain characteristics that they share with God, such as being loving. For Christians, this shows how important all humans are to God and explains their special relationship with him. It is also a reminder to them that humans should try to behave like God, showing love and being forgiving.

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed life into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living thing. Genesis 2:7

God also gave humans free will to use as they wish. This means that if they sin they turn away from God, but by living a good life they can become closer to God.

Stewardship and dominion

Christians believe that the world is a gift from God and that he placed humans in a position of stewardship and dominion over his creation.

Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.Genesis 1:28

This suggests that humans have been given the power to rule over all other creatures. But this power also suggests that humans should look after the world.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.Genesis 2:15

According to Genesis 1:1, what did God create first?

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).