Gen 1:1 "When God began to create"?

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Wed Aug 30 13:23:09 EDT 2000

At 18.01 30/08/00 +0100, Ben Crick wrote:
>On Tue 29 Aug 2000 (22:30:55), lizfried at wrote:
>> The Hebrew Bible does not have creatio ex nihilo.
> That's a very sweeping statement. Creation /ex nihilo/ is the
*implication* of
> Gen 1:1. 

No, it is not.

> BaRa' is used of creation /ex nihilo/; `a&aH and YaTSa' are possibly
> used of new creatures made of newly existent raw material.

Only when you assume it does.

> B:ReY$iYT implies
> that there was "nothing there" before the "beginning".

All that br'$yt implies is "in the beginning (when)" nothing much else. You
bring this notion of  '"nothing there" before' to the text.

> Psalm 33:6 and 9
> clearly imply creation ex nihilo by the Word of the LORD, by his breath, his
> statements, and his commandments. 

No, it definitely doesn't. There is nothing to make one think that this was
creation out of nothing. You "merely" have divine fiat. That only says that
God didn't get his hands dirty, not what he created from.

As late as the Wisdom of Solomon we read, regarding God, "thy all-powerful
hand, which created the world from formless matter." This text was almost
certainly written after all the examples of divine fiat we know.


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