In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unseen and without form and darkness was over the abyss; and the Spirit of God rushed upon the waters. — Genesis 1:1-2
The word used in the Greek to translate the word "created" (a word exclusively used for God) is episen — the root for the English words "poet" and "poetry." In other words, God the Poet created the world using His Word. As such, we are invited to interact with Scripture as one might interact with a poem — study the language, how it is used and play with the images of Scripture and its metaphors.
Law vs. Chaos
In this light, there are two interesting linguistic flavors found in Genesis 1:1-2 that not only are often lost in translation, but invite us to see the act of creation as a struggle against Chaos.
In the Hebrew, it is possible to translate the first line of Genesis as "When God created..." Thus, the second verse becomes more confrontational. Darkness, invisibility, void, the abyss, the deep (all words used in various translations of Gen 1:2) call to mind a roiling Chaos that is fighting against God as He begins to create. This image is reinforced by the Greek word used to describe the action of the Spirit — epephereto. Usually translated as "moving over" or "hovering," it has a hostile, confrontational connotation. It comes from the verb "to rush upon."
As reflected in later Jewish thought and ultimately Christian dogma, 2Mac 7:28 states, "Look at heaven and earth and see everything in them, and know that God made them out of nothing." Since creation, by its very nature, comes out of nothing, by nature it is doomed to return to nothing. Thus, the picture painted in Gen 1:1-2 can be understood in terms of the Law vs. Chaos dynamic in D&D. God wills creation to be according to His Word. The roiling Chaos that the Spirit moves against is the force that is struggling against God's will — it is trying to return creation to the nothing from whence it came. Thus, the three alignment system of D&D becomes a simple Us vs. Them schematic similar to that found in war games. The forces of Law side with God's will for creation to exist. The forces of Chaos strive to return creation to the nothing. Neutrals are willing to side with either Law or Chaos as it suits them (which calls into question the validity of having a Neutral alignment — one is either for or against God — but that is a topic for another day).
Keep in mind, Scripture has two different accounts of creation. This reality invites us to use different metaphors to describe the same truths. So, when imagining a creation story for a fantasy world, we are free to attach any kind of imagery to the creation story we want as long as the following are true:
- The One God creates from nothing.
- Sans God, creation returns to the nothing from whence it came.