From the very first verse of the Bible, God clearly declares that He is the Creator of all things from nothing. From the very first verse, the Bible is against the pagan and anti-science idea of evolution, as we will see in this article.
The Spirit of God says:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Contrary to what many people think, God has clearly interpreted this verse in the Bible. Let’s see how.
A key to understand what it means that God created (Hebrew bara) is the expression “in the beginning” (Hebrew bereshit). So when did God create? Answer: in the beginning. There was no time, and as soon as God created, that was the beginning of time. There was nothing, and as soon as God created, there was something. As that was the beginning, then there was nothing before that. All began at that moment of creation. If there were anything before this time zero, then this would not be the beginning. And indeed, the Spirit of God tells us again in John 1:1:
“In [the] beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
Again this expression “in the beginning” is used, and it is said that the Word who is God WAS in the beginning. God existed in the beginning, and there was NOTHING, as John 1:3 explains:
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3)
There was nothing that came into being (i.e. existed) without the creative work of God. All things without exception came into being (were created) from nothing through the Word who is God.
The above study clearly shows that the Hebrew bara (create) means “to make something exist from nothing”, as that was the beginning of everything. Men can speculate about the meaning of this Hebrew verb bara as much as they want, but they deceive themselves to deny the Creator. God clearly says, even from the very first verse of His Word, that when He says “bara” (created), then He means that He made all things exist from nothing, as that was the beginning of all things, and as nothing existed before that.
What did God create? Did He just create an atom or a matter and then made all things by a natural process from that atom or matter? Not at all! Our verse says that God created the heavens and the earth. The heavens and the earth are all things that exist. So in the beginning, God made all things (the heavens and the earth) exist from nothing. This first verse of Genesis gives us a summary of all what we will read in Genesis 1: That God made all those things described in Genesis 1 exist from nothing. Now this first matter called “the heavens and the earth” came into being from nothing, as that was the beginning of everything, and this first matter was all water, as the following verse clearly says:
“And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2)
The earth was all the universe that was created in the beginning, and it was all water. And now God would finish His creative work step by step, in six days. The heavens and the earth mentioned in the first verse are now still only the earth, all water, and now God will make the distinction between the heavens and the earth by making the separating space called “expanse” (cf. Genesis 1:6-8). But first, He creates the light:
“And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)
This verse once again explains the Hebrew verb bara (create). What did God use to make the light? Answer: Nothing! He just said “let there be”, and it was! It existed from nothing by the sole Word of God, without any pre-existing matter. And indeed, John 1 says that it is by the sole Word of God that all things came into being, and that without this Word NOTHING existed:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:1-3)
As everything came into being by this Word “let there be” of God, then there was not a matter that evolved to become the universe under the providence of God. If that were the case, then God would not say that ALL things came into being through the Word of God. In other words, theistic evolutionists are practically denying the deity of the Word who is Jesus Christ (maybe many of them ignorantly, and we believe that if they are truly born of God they will wake up from this deception).
Now that we made sure about what God means by the verb “bara” (to create), let’s pass to the next verses of Genesis 1.
In the next verses of Genesis 1, we continue to see that all things were created (came into being) from nothing, by the creative work of God by His sole Word “let there be”. In the context, we sometimes see the Hebrew verb asah (make) used instead of bara (create). As we have seen above, bara means to make something exist from nothing. But we all know that the verb asah (make) can be also used about things made from a previous matter, as it is in the case of a man who makes a chair from wood. A clear example of this is found in Exodus 32:2-4, where it is said that Aaron made (Hebrew asah) the gold into a molten calf. But even in this example of a man making something from something else, we should notice that “made” (Hebrew asah) does NOT mean to make something from something else by a natural process. For instance, gold cannot naturally give a statue of a calf! Aaron had to fashion it with a graving tool, as Exodus 32:4 says. In the same manner, when in Genesis 1 it is said that God made some things, the same verb asah means that those pre-created matters could not give the other things by a natural process, unless God made them by His creative power that gave the pre-created matter a new nature. Theistic evolutionists are clearly opposed by this interchangeable use of the two verbs “create” and “make” in Genesis 1, as we will see. But we should note also that there are some very important differences between the verb “made” as used about God, and the same verb “made” as used about man. In the case of God, He makes things from previous things that He Himself created from nothing, and thus the verbs “make” and “create” can be used interchangeably about that act. In the case of man, he makes things from previous things that he did NOT create from nothing, and thus the verb “create” cannot be properly used about man, and only the verb “make” can be used. Again, in the case of God, when He makes something from a previous thing, He gives it some new characteristics and a new nature that did not exist before, and thus the verbs “make” and “create” can be used interchangeably about that act, as in all cases something non-existent is becoming existent as we will see in an example after a few lines. In the case of man, when he makes a chair from wood, he doesn’t give that wood another nature that didn’t exist before, and thus only the verb “make” can be used. That chair is a wood! Even when a man makes something have new natural characteristics (like when man makes cheese from milk), it is not him who is creating those characteristics, but it is God who has put that nature in the milk to become cheese by the work of man. So in all cases, the verb “make” actually means “create” when used about God in Genesis 1, as in all cases God made the first matter exist from nothing and as He gave the pre-created matter a new nature that did not exist before in order to make the next thing. So even when He made something from something else, God made something exist from nothing: that new nature that did not exist in that previous matter. Thus, from the very first chapter of His Word, and by using this verb “make” instead of “create”, God opposes the pagan opinions of theistic evolutionists who think that some previous matters gave some other matters by natural processes under the providence of God.
Let’s see all this in the following example of the creation of man:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth. And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
In this passage, you see how “make” and “create” are used interchangeably about man. Let’s read also this verse:
“And Jehovah Elohim formed Man, dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and Man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
A careful study of these verses shows what we have seen above: Man was made by God from the dust, although dust cannot naturally give a human. Let anyone try to make a human from dust, and let’s see if he will succeed… So there was a creative work, even when God made man from a previous matter. God gave the dust a new nature that did NOT exist before, i.e. the human nature. Notice also that it is God who created that previous matter, i.e. dust, from nothing, as we have seen above. We see also that God did NOT make the human breath of life (soul) from the dust! AFTER He formed man from the dust of the ground, God created (made from nothing) his spiritual soul, and thus human life was created! I say “spiritual soul”, because man was created in the image of God, and thus he has a spiritual soul that reflects the nature of God. Thus “create” and “make” can be used interchangeably in this context, as in all cases something is existing from nothing. Indeed, the Word of God makes it clear that the human spiritual soul has not the dust as its origin:
“and the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
So it is the body of man that is made from dust (although dust cannot naturally give a human, as we already said), but the spirit of man is not from the dust; it existed from nothing by the creative work of God on day six of creation. Therefore the verb “create” can be properly used in this case, especially when God says that He created us in His image.
Animals also were made from the ground and became living souls (cf. Genesis 2:19), but they were not created in the image of God, so they do not have a spiritual soul. Notice with me that the ground could not give animals by a natural process…
So the context of Genesis 1, when interpreted by the Word of God as we have seen above, gives us the meaning of the verbs “create” and “make” in this context:
Create: A verb only used about God in the Bible, and it means to make something exist from nothing.
Make: In this context, it is interchangeably used with “create” in order to give the meaning of “make something from something previously created and/or from nothing”.
So the whole heavens and earth of Genesis 1 were created and made at the same time, because God in His creative work both made things exist from nothing and things exist from previously created things, and yet NOT by natural processes.
In conclusion, Genesis 1, when interpreted by the Word of God and not by human speculations, reveals to us the clear truth that God created all things from nothing, and that was the beginning. There was nothing before that, as all began at that time zero. Even when He used something that He had previously created, God was not just making something from something else by a natural process as theistic evolutionists imagine, but He was making something new exist, as we have seen above.
To see how science and logic agree with the Bible in the truth of creation from nothing, you can read our article: What is the evidence for God’s existence?
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ