Re: Summary: Something from Nothing (longish)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Feb 20 1996 - 16:42:25 EST

On 2/20/96, David Moore wrote:

> What we would really need to get at the biblical view on this
> matter is a good exegesis of Gen. 1:1. Maybe someone can get that going
> on b-hebrew.

I'm not sure this would really settle matters, as there are sufficient
grounds for understanding the text of Genesis 1:1 in terms of a
pre-existent chaos or "matter" (TOHU W'BOHU) shaped by the creator into a
cosmos. The question Will raises is really (I think?) WHEN the doctrine of
CREATIO EX NIHILO really emerges and whether it is in fact implicit in NT

Another reason is that it may not be a matter of how the Hebrew text was
understood but rather of how the LXX of Genesis 1 was understood. For that
we have ready to hand Philo's treatise De Opificio Mundi, to which I've
made reference before. Even any antecedents of the Logos doctrine are
likely to be found in those very Wisdom texts most (even if not all) of
which come from Alexandria and Hellenistic Judaism.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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