Did God create the universe from nothing?
Question: Did God create the universe from nothing?
Answer: Due to misunderstanding of the creation narrative, we are led to believe that God created the universe from nothing; and some people of faith even adhere to the Big Bang theory and evolution. But did God create something from nothing?
We read from the translation of the most recognizable verse in the Bible.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 1:1
This translation is not necessarily wrong, because the verb to create by no means implies that something comes out of nothing. The simplest example would be that a potter creates a pot from the clay of the earth. The Hebrew verb behind to create is bara and it literally means to feed, to make [an animal] fat literally and figuratively.
Wherefore kick ye at My sacrifice and at Mine offering, which I have commanded in My habitation; and honourest thy sons above Me, to make yourselves fat (bara) with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel My people? (1Sa 2:29 JPS)
By extension, bara means also to fill up, to shape or form something. Thus, we read Gen 1:1 anew:
In the culmination God filled up the heavens and the earth. Gen 1:1 (literal translation)
Therefore, we understand that the Creator filled up (or shaped) the universe; but He filled up the universe with what? Apostle Paul gives us the answer; he tells us that God created the visible from the invisible things:
By faith, we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of Elohim, so that what is seen was not made of what is visible. (Heb 11:3)
By the work of faith, we understand that the universe was made as the Creator spoke out His Words, so that all we observe today was made of what had not been seen in the beginning of the creation.
So, how did Paul come to the conclusion that God did not create the universe from nothing? Well, being a Hebrew, Paul read Gen 1:1 in Hebrew. And unlike the theologians today, he must have been very familiar with the Book of Enoch that says,
2Enoch, Chapter 24: Of the great secrets of God, which God revealed and told Enoch, and spoke with him face to face 2 … Enoch, beloved, all that you see, all things that are standing finished I tell to you even before the very beginning, all that I created from non-being, and visible things from invisible… 4 For before all things were visible, I alone used to go about in the invisible things, like the sun from east to west, and from west to east. 5… I conceived the thought of placing foundations, and of creating visible creation.
And what is this that is invisible for our eyes, but the atoms and molecules: the building blocks of matter?
Read more in the article “Einstein’s formula encoded in Genesis”.