‘Creation out of nothing’ in Genesis 1?
Terrific discussion in the comments to the post below on 'Was Jesus Wrong?'. Though I haven't had the time to write my own responses yet, I'll do so tonight - especially as a couple of comments are literally begging for response!
Until then, I wanted to draw attention to an online article by Donald E. Hartley: 2 Corinthians 4:4: A Case for Yahweh as the 'God of this Age.' I read the title and thought, 'you have got to be kidding me!', so this is a note to self to give the article a read!
(The following paragraph may annoy some folk, so be warned)
One final thought on 'creation out of nothing' (or 'cree-ayshun ää ov nuffin', if you are cockney; creatio ex nihilo, if you are clever): 'Given that Genesis 1 does not make explicit that God created the formless and empty earth, or the deep, the existence of both could be presupposition for what follows [in the Genesis creation account], like the existence of the primordial waters in the Babylonian story' (John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology. Volume 1: Israel's Gospel (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP, 2003), 81). Right. The most 'explicit conviction regarding' creatio ex nihilo 'was first clearly formulated in the second century A.D.' (ibid., 78), not in Genesis 1 which simply states: 'At the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth, the earth was an empty void, and darkness covered the face of the deep' (Goldingay translation, ibid., 80). But did God create 'out of nothing'? Yes, I am happy to affirm so as it is the best way for moderns to grasp God's freedom and sovereignty in creation. But the metaphorical language of Genesis 1 arguably does not teach it. As Pannenberg writes: 'Tatian was the first to insist that God must have brought forth the primal matter (Or. 5.3)' (Pannenberg, W., Systematic theology 2:14).