Was there a world before Genesis?
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). Approximately 4,000 years after this event, Jesus stated, "And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' " (Matthew 19:4). The word "beginning" is used in both passages. In the beginning the universe and the earth were created; in the beginning man and woman were created. Since both took place at the beginning, then it indicates that nothing existed prior to this point, else this point in time would not be the beginning.
In addition, Genesis 1:1 uses a special Hebrew word for "created." It is a word that is only used in connection with God. The word bara means to make something from nothing, to create something that never existed before. It is used sparingly through the Bible. In Genesis 1:1 is used to state that God created time ("in the beginning"), space ("the heavens"), and matter ("the earth"). These things did not exist prior to the beginning. In the making of light it says that God separated the light from the dark. Since light was made from existing material, the word bara was not used. The word bara is not used again until Genesis 1:21 when God created fish and birds. This was a new creation because life did not exist prior to this. In biblical terms, plants are not living as moving creatures are living. Yet when God made the land animals, bara was not used as this wasn't something new. Life was created the day before. Land creatures was continuation of the previous day's creation. However, bara was used again Genesis 1:27 in the creation of man. In particular, the verse is discussing that man was created in the image of God. Again this is something brand new, without previous existence.
The use of bara on a series of brand-new things is evidence that there was no world prior to the one with which we are familiar. The use of the word "beginning" shows that the creation of the world and mankind started as indicated in Genesis 1.
People searching for a world before Genesis 1 are attempting to merge man's teaching (evolution) with God's teaching (the Bible). Evolutionary theory demands incredibly long time periods in order to make the theory feasible. The biblical account of creation does not allow sufficient time for evolution to take place; hence, the search for others means of circumventing what the Scriptures clearly teach. Man's theories come and go, but what remains is the truth found in God's Word. It has never changed. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17).