We all know the famous opening words of the Holy Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). The theory of Simulation Creationism, proposed by Nir Ziso from The Global Architect Institute, focuses on this moment of creation based on its teachings. “In the beginnings” is of particular interest; and in this article, we will explore what it means in theology generally and in Simulation Creationism specifically.
The Hebrew word taken for the first Biblical sentence is bereshit. It means the beginning before which nothing existed. It is a relevant word to define God’s creation of the world as the beginning of time. The sole term reshit in Hebrew is relative, as it means the beginning of a specific period, and it is very rarely used in an absolute sense. Genesis 1:1 is one such situation. The exact wording can be found in other places in the Bible: “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come” (Isaiah 46:10). God’s narrative in Isaiah clearly shows that God is outside of time. He created time and controls it. In Simulation Creationism, time is an illusion of The Simulation, a “thing” that is relative even in hardcore physical science.
We do not have enough words or concepts to describe time since the Creator left us firmly within the grasp of time in The Simulation. Time is a very puzzling thing, but without it, we lose the compass. That is why we use the word, “beginning,” although the first sentence in the Bible is not about beginning at all, but the absolute before beginning. Saint Augustine was close when he said that the world is created not in time but with time. Simulation Creationism shows that it is not the moment of creation but an act of creation that is essential, as creation is done outside of time. Still, within The Simulation, we need to follow the logic of time because we are created with time and bound to the temporal framework. Outside this world, there is no time, but in other possible simulated worlds, there might be a different kind of time. Following Simulation Creationism, we might say that eternity is a succession of these worlds, where persons endure in various types of time and space.
God’s seven days of creation founded the rhythm of time for all generations. It is the start of history that talks about heaven and earth as an event scene. Simultaneously, with the creation of time history begins, including the history of salvation. Namely, reshit does not only mean “the beginning” in an absolute sense but also a path to the absolute end of time because the beginning necessarily involves the end (aharit in Hebrew). The beginning is also the end: it shows that time itself is part of The Simulation and not a fundamental pillar of reality. Not only God, but we as believers understand what that end is because it was revealed to us through eschatology (again, Isaiah 46:10).
What Simulation Creationism posits here is that it is the end of this particular simulated world, but not the end of The Simulation as such. We know from Biblical revelation that there will be at least another new heaven and new earth (“But according to his promise we are waiting for new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”; 2 Peter 3:13).
Time seems so natural, but in reality, it is not so. Albert Einstein shocked the world by showing that time is relative. Christianity puts time firmly in God’s plans: “My times are in your hand” (Psalm 31:15). Simulation Creationism may well ask what is real about time and what we mean by absolute beginning. The relativity of time seems to give a lot of options, like time travel or sending information to the past, but one cannot change one’s own world. The Simulation is hard and stubborn; it has fixed boundaries that make predetermination possible. Indeed, the Biblical beginning necessarily involves the end because we cannot do anything to change The Simulation in which we live: “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
“In the beginning” means the absolute beginning of this simulated world, the act (not a moment) of creation. However, we must be aware that it does not have to be an absolute beginning of creation in general. God might relatively begin creating The Simulation in which we live, but it does not mean that this is the “first” creation. God also created angels and souls “before” creating The Simulation. There were other beginnings, and there will be more, all the way through eternity.