Nothing comes from nothing
Cancers in Genesis 09
On September 16, 2011 a Sunday school teacher from Tennessee sent in a question from one of her fourth grade students to the Answers in Genesis ministry. Unable to answer immediately, this teacher hoped to find clarification before coming back to the student with a ‘complete’ answer.
The student’s question that left the teacher clueless was the following:
“In Genesis 1: 2, why does the verse refer to “over the surface of the deep” and “the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters?” Does this presume there was water at the beginning of God’s creation?”
The question shows how a 9 or 10 year old girl was already paying much more attention to the bible than billions of Christians before her. The answer given by Answers in Genesis was a complete denial of the bible text or a gross misinterpretation at best, demonstrating how difficult it is for bible literalists to read the bible literally when their bible contradicts their assertions. AiG tries to save face with quotes from John 1: 1-3 and Hebrews 11: 3, but that does nothing to clarify the justified observation of the Sunday school student. AiG simply regurgitates that their god created everything in spite of their bible. Let’s take a look at what their own god says in verses 1 and 2 of Genesis chapter 1:
“ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος καὶ σκότος ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ ἐπεφέρετο ἐπάνω τοῦ ὕδατος” – Septuagint.
“In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Terra autem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebrae erant super faciem abyssi: et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas.” – Biblia Sacra Vulgata
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – New International Version
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” – New Revised Standard Version
The young student was absolutely right to ask her question, because contrary to what is believed by and taught to millions, the answer is a cancer in the eye of Christian theology: Yes, before god’s creation there existed what is called “the waters”. Regardless of what the bible meant by these waters, they or it was not created by god.
The bible says: in the beginning god created the heavens and the earth. The bible does not say: in the beginning god created the waters, the heavens and the earth. On the second day of creation, god created a dome of unspecified substance to separate these waters, but he did not create them.
AiG grasps at straws when quoting John 1: 1-3 - English Standard Version:
“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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
Note how verse 3 only confirms the conclusion based on Genesis 1: 1-3. It says that everything that was made, was made by god. That excludes everything that was not made and already existed before god’s creation.
The quote from Hebrews 3:11 is but a coup de grâce to the already sinking ship of bible based theology.
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
Reading this verse alone would lead to the conclusion that god only framed the worlds, without any indication that he created them. Lastly, things being visible to humans says nothing about their existence, whether they are made from visible things or not.
I am unaware whether the teacher C.G. did in fact employ the article by AiG, but I doubt it would assure the critical mind of the student. The verses of Genesis themselves give a clear answer after all, one that supersedes the self-proclaimed authority of the non-Answers-in-Genesis ministry.
David PHD, 24 March 2022
AnswersinGenesis.org, "KIDS FEEDBACK: DOES GENESIS 1:2 PRESUME THERE WAS WATER AT THE BEGINNING OF GOD’S CREATION?", 16 September 2011, https://answersingenesis.org/kids/bible-questions/does-genesis-12-presume-there-was-water-at-creation/ Consulted on 09 March and 13 March 2022
Retrieved from Erik Ortiz, "'Absolutely Wrong': Bill Nye the Science Guy Takes on Noah's Ark Exhibit", 17 July 2016, NBC News > Science, photo by John Minchillo, AP https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/absolutely-wrong-bill-nye-science-guy-takes-noah-s-ark-n608721