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Something Can’t Come from Nothing

5 Responses

  1. Interesting. For my part, I learnt way back from some biblical scholar or in a book I perhaps read, that God is only ‘Creator’ not ‘Maker’. This is why the Nicence creed was wrong. In order to make something one has to start with something. God only, we are taught, created out of nothing. The latest challenge from the likes of Stephen Dawkings and other like-minded scientists is most intriguing.

  2. Martin Keenan says:

    The Nicene Creed is/was wrong!?

    Sticking with the English language, let us assume that the (highly dubious) premiss is correct: that to “make” something it is necessary to start with something. Well, God formed man, did He not, from dust (Gen.2:7) and “formed out of the ground” every beast of the field and bird of the air (Gen.2:19). And He “made” woman from Adam’s rib (Gen.2:22). God is “only creator not maker”?

    But just read any English translation of the first two chapter of Genesis and note how many times the translation swings from “made” to “created” and back again.

    From the RSV:- “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen.1:1); “And God made the firmament . .” (Gen.1:7); “And God made the two great lights . .” (Gen.1:16); “So God created the great sea monsters . .” (Gen.1:21); “And God made the beasts of the earth . .” (Gen.1:25); “Then God said ‘Let us make man in our own image . .” (Gen.1:26) “So God created man in His own image . . male and female He created them . .” (Gen.1:27; cf. Mt.19:4); “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good . .” (Gen.1:31).

    And in the alternative account of creation in chapter 2:- “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens . .” (Gen.2:4).

    So, did God “make” the heavens (and the earth)? The Psalmist asserts so at Ps.33:6, 95:5, 121:2, 124:8, and 134:3. Did God “make” everything? The writer of Proverbs says He did (Pr.16:4). Did God “make” the world and everything in it? St. Paul is reported as having said that to the people in Athens (Ac.17:24); yet in his letter to the Ephesians he wrote “. . God who created all things” (Eph.3:9) and in his letter to the Colossians he wrote “for in [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . all things were created through him and for him” (Col.1:16). Also in Revelation we read that God “created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it . . ” (Rev.10:6).

    What does Isaiah say in the Cyrus oracle? “I made the earth and created man upon it . .” (Is.44:12), “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens . . who formed the earth and made it (He established it; He did not create it a chaos, He formed it to be inhabited) . .” (Is.45:18, cf. 66:1f. quoted by Stephen – Ac.7:49f. – at the moment of his martyrdom ” . . Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool . . All these things my hand has made . .”)

    Absolutely nothing turns on the use of “make” or “create” in the Sacred Scriptures and the choice of verb seems entirely arbitrary. In the Nicene creed the word is poi?t?n (accusative; Latin “factorem”) from the verb poie?. It was not “wrong”.

  3. Martin,

    A wonderful, awesome response!

    So now you can tell us where the ‘dust’ and the ‘ground’ and the ‘rib’ etc etc came from!

  4. Martin Keenan says:

    My pleasure. The dust and the ground and the rib were made by God, of course.

    It would have been conducive to harmony if you had withdrawn your erroneous statement that the Nicene Creed is/ was “wrong” in its choice of words relative to the origin of the world.

  5. Fr. John Keough says:

    In fact, Rosemary, the Nicene-Constantinople Creed is a dogmatic statement of our faith, i.e. it is normative to being a (Catholic) Christian. Therefore, to say that it is “wrong” is to deny one of the truths of our faith and to put oneself outside of Christianity and the Church. You seem to forget that “dogmatic statements” do not just pertain to the ex cathedra pronouncements of Popes, but also, and most especially, to the Creedal teachings issued by ecumenical councils of the Church. If the Creed is indeed “wrong” then we might as well have the closing down sale of the Catholic Church, because then the Holy Spirit was not leading the Fathers of that Council, and has furthermore not been leading the Church for all these centuries between then and now.