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Creation

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Category: Bible

GLOSSARY

God created ex nihilo which is a Latin phrase meaning “out of nothing”: as ex nihilo nihil fit it means that the universe was formed from eternal matter, as “nothing comes from nothing”; as creatio ex nihilo, in contrast, it means that God created the cosmos out of nothing.

The Genesis creation narrative is the creation myth of both Judaism and Christianity. The narrative is made up of two stories, roughly equivalent to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. In the first, Elohim (the Hebrew generic word for God) creates the heavens and the Earth in six days, then rests on, blesses and sanctifies the seventh. In the second story, God, now referred to by the personal name Yahweh, creates Adam, the first man, from dust and places him in the Garden of Eden, where he is given dominion over the animals. Eve, the first woman, is created from Adam and as his companion.

Borrowing themes from Mesopotamian mythology, but adapting them to the Israelite people’s belief in one God, the first major comprehensive draft of the Pentateuch (the series of five books which begins with Genesis and ends with Deuteronomy) was composed in the late 7th or the 6th century BCE (the Jahwist source) and was later expanded by other authors (the Priestly source) into a work very like the one we have today. The two sources can be identified in the creation narrative: Priestly and Jahwistic. The combined narrative is a critique of the Mesopotamian theology of creation: Genesis affirms monotheism and denies polytheism.Robert Alter described the combined narrative as “compelling in its archetypal character, its adaptation of myth to monotheistic ends”.

Misunderstanding the genre of the Genesis creation narrative, meaning the intention of the author(s) and the culture within which they wrote, can result in misreadings of the myth as history. This has inspired some believers to promote creationism and deny evolution.

VIDEOSDETAILSCATECHISMRELATED PAGES

Apostles’ Creed and faith in God the Creator, 325-27
beauty and goodness of, 299, 341, 353, 1333
catechesis about, 282-89
Christ’s relationship with, 792, 2105, 2637
fulfillment of, 668, 1015
God keeps in being, 421
God as the master builder of, 317, 337
God’s plan and, 257, 280, 315, 759, 1066
God’s providence and, 216, 301, 314
God’s revelation and, 287-89, 337
good of creation intended for all, 299, 2402, 2452
Holy Spirit and, 243, 291, 703
human dignity and, 1700
human work as man’s collaboration in, 2427, 2460
imperfection of, 302, 307, 310, 378
as an inheritance entrusted to man, 299
knowing God through, 31, 32, 1147, 2500
man’s relationship with, 343, 355, 396, 1469
marriage in the order of, 1603-05
new creation in Christ, 315, 374
original sin and, 400, 1608
prayer and, 2569, 2793
purposes and reasons of, 293-94, 314, 319, 353, 358
respect for the integrity of, 354, 2415-18
role of the Word of God in, 291, 320
seventh day and, 2169, 2190
significance of, 326
thanksgiving to God for, 1352, 1359-60
Trinity and, 258, 290-92, 316

God as Creator

Creator of the universe and of man, 279, 324
carries out His plan, 302-14, 320-24
cause, reason, and purpose of creation, 293-94, 319, 760
creates
all things visible and invisible, 325, 327, 337-38
an ordered and good world, 299
out of nothing, 296-98
with wisdom and love, 295
the Creator alone, 290, 317
entrusting to man the governance of the world, 1884
first cause, 308
forming man, 362, 371, 704
Lord of life, 2280, 2318
man created in His image, 355-61, 1701-09
possibility of knowing the existence of the Creator, 286
progressively revealing the mystery of creation, 287-88
question of origins of the world, 285
upholds and sustains creation, 301

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