Sunday, June 22, 2008


The second word in the Bible transliterates to "bara."

Create, in English.

Bereshit bara. When/in the beginning [God] created ...

The footnote to my LDS version provides also the synonyms "shaped" and "fashioned."

Those would be more conducive to the LDS concept of "bara" being carried out with pre-existent matter, not "ex nihilo."

I'm no expert on the whole ex nihilo (from nothing) doctrine or why "traditional Christianity" weds itself so tightly to the notion.

Richard Hopkins, How Greek Philosophy Corrupted the Christian Concept of God, finds no direct Biblical support for ex nihilo. (p. 290).

Ex nihilo is a purely Platonic concept, based on the idea that the universe was created from illusory matter having no being. (p. 295).


Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Cliff, thanks for your comment on my poem! I think your place here is wonderful, thoughtful and well-explained. I only wish many more people knew about it!

Did you get an email from Check it out--your blog should be a great addition!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

PS I'm adding you to my bloglist, if that's ok with you. Let me know if you have objections.

Clifford said...


Thanks for the compliment!

And I will check out

I'm honored to be added to your bloglist.

Suzette Haynie said...

I stumbled onto your eighth-grader will begin a study of atoms and I searched lds,creation,bible,matter. I have enjoyed your entries, especially those explaining the Hebrew context of many biblical references

Clifford said...


Thanks for your visit. What a wonderful thing, to be a mother and to be able to share in the miracle of a child's learning,from his first words to the study of atoms.

Anonymous said...

Hopkins may be right that there is no Biblical support for creatio ex nihilo, but there is support for such a concept in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. See the Deep Waters section of my blog for info on that.

Clifford said...

LDS anarchy:

That just goes to show that no scripture, not even the modern scrptures of the LDS Church, are of any private interpretation.

Determined critics -- as pointed out so well by the late, great Hugh Nibley -- have wrested the Book of Mormon, claiming to find both support and denunciation within its pages for every permutation of Christian doctrine and for every sect that Christianity has produced.