Construct + Finite = Relative?

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Sun Sep 10 13:02:04 EDT 2000

At 18.48 09/09/00 +0300, Alviero Niccacci wrote:
>I analyze Gen 1:1-3 as follows: "In the beginning of (the fact that) God 
>created heaven and earth, i.e. When God began to create heaven and earth 
>[sentence 1], the earth was chaos and void [sentence 2], darkness was on the 
>surface of the abyss [sentence 3], and the Spirit of God was hovering over 
>the surface of the water [sentence 4]. Then God said [sentence 5] etc."


>Semantically, Gen 1:1-2 means that when God created the universe (this is
>meaning of "heaven and earth"), He proceeded step by step. He first
created a 
>raw reality (if I can put it this way), then He adorned it in its various 

Dear Alviero,

I don't understand the step from saying

  "the earth was chaos and void"


  "He first created a raw reality"

You give no support for this augmenting of the meaning of 

  yh'rc hyth thw wbhw

At the same time it nullifies the notion of God creating the world in six
days and resting on the seventh, if one accepts the literary form placed on
the day structure which began with a divine fiat. Such a creation of "raw
reality" would have taken place on day 0 -- a Sabbath.

>A major difference is that the *creatio ex nihilo* seems to me clearly 
>indicated in the Biblical text--the creation was first chaotic, then God 
>ornamented it in different steps. Lengthy discussions on the *creatio ex 
>nihilo* were conducted mainly on a philosophical basis by both Jewish and 
>Christian scholars, esp. in Medieval times. See, e.g., S. Kamin in _Scripta 
>Hierosolymitana_ 31 (1986) 91-132.

I have cited a number of times on this list on this topic, Wisdom of
Solomon 11:17a, which is clearly much earlier than Mediaeval times
specifically contradicts the notion of "creatio ex nihilo". We must
remember that later times were even more influenced by Platonic ideas.

Distinti saluti,


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