Summary: Something from Nothing

From: Will Wagers (
Date: Mon Feb 12 1996 - 13:53:56 EST

>Is it Christian thought that Jesus created the world from nothing ? (Jn 1:1)

The references kindly provided me by the list were 2 Mc 7:28, Rm 4:17, Hb 11:3.
As I understand them, these passages refer more to things which occur during
ordinary, natural changes, e.g. embryonic development, or to things which are
predicted by faith, but still occur through apparently natural mechanisms, e.g.
floods. Making the dead live in Rm 4:17 refers to God's ability to animate with
the spark of life, rather than to creating from non-existent material. In other
words, "things not seen" seems to refer to things not *fore*seen, to things not
observed during development, and/or to things being formed of other materials,
e.g. man from dust. So, "things" seem to refer to formed, temporal objects and
not to the materials (matter) from which they are made, e.g. no one suggests
that floods are not made from water nor babies from food. It is God's presumed
role in commonplace, but little-understood, natural events which is alluded to.
It is the spiritual process, rather than the material element, which is of

No one commented on the creation in Jn 1:1 which refers to the logos as an
essential ingredient, but not as the only one.

Therefore, creation ex nihilo seems to have no support in the NT without
unnecessarily extending the range of the references.

Thanks for your help,


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