How Do the Writers of the Bible Explain the Concept of God as Creator? Essay
How do the writers of the Bible explain the concept of God as creator? The concept of God as Creator is explained by the writers of the bible in various ways. In Genesis chapter one, God creates things ex-nihilo, by simply stating them to exist; when it says that “God says” something it then comes into being. Another example is when God says “let there be light”, which shows He is the spontaneous designer of all creation. The Judaeo-Christian thought of God as creator is that God created the entire universe and is the sole cause of everything’s existence and everything’s purpose.
The Apostle’s Creed refers to God as the “father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”, which shows they believe that God is the first cause and creator of all things. This relates to Genesis chapter two when God is spoken of using anthropomorphic terms such as saying he is “walking in the garden”, which implies His immanence to His creation rather than suggesting God is merely a human being. The Bible also presents examples of God’s transcendence as well as His immanence such as in Genesis where God is portrayed as the Supreme Being who is unequal and separate from his creation.
God has been personally active in the world since its creation and yet He is also set apart from it, superior in nature. These two attributes are opposite but complimentary, and need to be balanced in order to understand the concept of God as creator. There are numerous references to God’s immanence in Scripture as seen in Psalm 65:9-13 “You care for the land and water it”. Another example of God’s presence with man is noted in Job 33:4: “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
This also suggests Anthropomorphism when it refers to God as having “breath” like a human being. God’s omnipotence and omnipresence demonstrate God’s immanence, as he has universal presence and power within the world. God’s transcendence is referred to in Isaiah 55:89: “As the heavens than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways”. This shows that humans are inferior to God and, although connected with him, they are far from him in terms of his power and thoughts. Humans are incapable of understanding the mind of God with our sense of reason and experiences.
We cannot imagine anything as great as God or fully understand every aspect of God. He does not possess a physical nature and we do not think in the same way as Him, therefore he can be considered transcendent to his creation. This idea contrasts with Aristotle’s Prime Mover, where God is impersonal and isn’t involved with His creation. Whereas in the Bible, it suggests He is personally involved in the world. In the book of Job God is described as the designer who laid the foundations of the earth. God’s action in creation can be compared to that often craftsman.
This suggests that God has deliberately planned His creation and that all things have purpose, which means that God has given that purpose to them. In Genesis chapter two the creation of man from dust is similar to a sculptor shaping the clay, and shows that God’s design of creation is purposeful. Aquinas also suggested that everything that exists does so by the hand of God. . Another point would be that if God created something it would surely be an impressive design but why is it that things can be destroyed so easily if built by a God who is omniscient.
Despite of this the fact that life is not perfect does not prove that it did not come from an intelligent and omnipotent source. This would reflect on Aristotle’s idea that all things are an imperfect reflection of their Creator and are drawn to the Prime Mover’s perfection. There isn’t a specific part of Scripture which states the manner in which the world came to be, but several verses might be used to imply that the world was created ex-nihilo. Genesis one states “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep”. This can suggest that there was nothing before God and that he created things from nothing.
Another example of this is also in Genesis one when He says “let there be light”, which implies that the world was created out of nothing on God’s command. Psalm 33:6 says “By the word of the lord were the heavens made” which also shows that the world was formed from the word of God. The idea that challenges this proposal is an evolutionist point of view that the world came into being as the result of a random clash of pre-existent matter; and that all things evolved through natural selection, which would contradict the suggestion in the Bible that God carefully designed the world out of nothing.
There is an empirical problem with the view that God created the world ex-nihilo, and also Genesis two suggests creation from something rather than out of nothing in the verse: “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground”. In the bible God is described as a Supreme Being who creates all things through command, as he isn’t contingent upon anything. He is not only personal and connected with man, but absent and removed due to his superiority. God is sovereign and His involvement in creation shows His omnipotence and omnipresence in the world.
Some may say there is eternal matter and God was not involved in creation, but in Judaeo-Christian though, the concept of God as creator is that everything came to be by the word of God. The view of humanity’s purpose is shown in Genesis one, where humans are created to have dominion, be stewards, and populate the earth: “To rule over all creation”. The bible says humans were created by God in his image to glorify Him. Whereas some may say humanity has no purpose, and that Genesis one suggests no personal involvement of God with humanity. God created humans to rule over the world, and to reflect Him imperfectly in the world.
God’s immanence to his creation implies that they have a purpose. He answers prayers and gives laws through the bible to guide his creation, which suggests a purpose for their existence. Saying this, we do not know for sure if God responds to every prayer, and he must have a plan for each individual which may answer their prayers without them realising. This contrasts with Aristotle’s idea of a transcendent being that has no personal involvement or plan for creation; as Prime matter is simply attracted to the Prime Mover. But Aristotle does believe that everything is created with purpose.
If God is omniscient then he may have a purpose to allow things such as suffering for a greater cause. The fact that God exists gives humanity incentive to worship God, and gives some kind of moral duty to fulfil our purpose. On the other hand, the suggestion that god may allow suffering and other things to occur as part of His plan; implies that we have no free will. If we have no full freedom then is our purpose to serve God like robots, or is it possible we are without purpose. Also why is it that we have the ability to make negative as well as positive choices, if we are created for an explicit purpose.
Although God has foreknowledge of humanity’s sins, he did not cause us to sin, we choose this ourselves. From an evolutionist point of view, God was not involved in creation and humanity evolved through the process of natural selection, which implies an accidental existence. This may suggest that humanity has no specific purpose, as no matter what we achieve as a whole we have no grand destination. Also is one believes there is no God then there cannot be any predetermined purpose. The Bible says “you have put all things under their feet” which ultimately suggests humans role is to dwell on the earth, rocreating, dominating and continuing to glorify God and imperfectly reflect his image. Despite of the sin that God allows, which may be part of God’s plan, our purpose could be to display the goodness of man and to worship our maker. The only argument against humanity being made with a purpose includes the argument against God’s existence and the evolutionist view. Isaiah 43:7 says “Everyone who is called by my name whom I created for my glory”, which further adds to the point that God created humanity for a purpose, and maybe for several purposes of which some go unrealised.