ahh the void…

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  gesundheit 9 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #1291

    gesundheit
    Member

    Put aside all presuppositions on creatio ex nihilo for a second. What is the void (depending on trans) that is found with God in Gen 1? <img src=” title=”Very Happy” />

    #6527

    Bernardine
    Member

    what the

    #6529

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    talking about Gen 1:2?

    #6536

    gesundheit
    Member

    yup Gen 1:2

    #6540

    Victor
    Member

    [color=darkblue:juor50t7]The concept of [b:juor50t7]empty[/b:juor50t7] is difficult to grasp. There is no equivalent to it today. I was going to say it’s where emptiness lies, coldness creeps. But I cant even say that. I have no idea how an atomless space sounds, smells, feels, looks, tastes like.[/color:juor50t7]

    #6542

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    It’s a vacuum. (no, not the cleaning type)

    #6543

    Victor
    Member

    [quote:1ljoe28j]It’s a vacuum. (no, not the cleaning type)[/quote:1ljoe28j]

    [color=darkblue:1ljoe28j]You need gravity for that.[/color:1ljoe28j]

    #6547

    Benedict
    Member

    It is difficult to put into words, but the concept of void has long been a favorite of mine.

    As a child, I would read Norse mythology. The Norse creation story takes place in Ginnungagap, an utterly endless void that separated the ‘worlds’ of fire (Muspelheim) and ice (Nifleheim). Even as a child, the paradox of an endless void flanked by other realms enticed and confused me. (It should be noted that other sources state Ginnungagap is just incredibly large rather than endless.)

    At Sunday School, we had a class about heaven where we all shared the first question we would ask God. Mine was, “Can you show me the void before the universe existed?”

    But that void predates even Genesis 1:2.

    The Douay-Rheims renders the verse:

    In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

    Void simply refers to the earth being empty, without feature. I would imagine it looked like a big ball of very wet mist. Half the mist was then separated into the heavens and the other half condensed into the oceans. But who knows?

    #6548

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    NAB says “formless wasteland” so that make sense with what Benedict said.

    #6549

    Victor
    Member

    [color=darkblue:3qoyxq6r]Well, it apears Benedict has put much more thought into this then I. Sounds good to me.[/color:3qoyxq6r]

    #6552

    gesundheit
    Member

    Good stuff. I have contemplated this for a while myself. Since I started in the OT area of studies I was always fascinated with Gen 1, especially after I read Enuma Elish and the Baal Epic (among others). Hmm… void. Well, the Hebrew concept here in Gen 1 is unlike anything the other ancient near easterners could dream up. They always said the universe was created from a defeated monster, but ancient Israel comes and “bamm!” you got something quite extra-ordinary.

    I won’t get into the revelation aspect because that would border on imposing our concepts to their time.

    The reason I asked this question is because there is no answer. OT scholars have tried forever to discuss this and can’t. It’s hidden to deep in ancient Israel’s understanding of creation. Even Jewish tradition is unsure and so they’ve developed their Rabbinic thoughts, which, as is fundamental to Rabbic thought, means that every Rabbi is right and every Rabbi is wrong.
    Theologically it baffles us to find that something else existed (if “exist” can even be attributed to the void, but the fact that we can talk about it means it is “something”) with God BEFORE the universe.

    Benedict said

    [quote:26notgkt]he Douay-Rheims renders the verse:

    In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2[/quote:26notgkt]

    This is good but still the JPS is more understandable. (v.2) “Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.” The only difference is “empty” and “unformed”. Unformed gives a much better description in the English language than empty. Therefore:

    [quote:26notgkt]Void simply refers to the earth being empty, without feature. I would imagine it looked like a big ball of very wet mist. Half the mist was then separated into the heavens and the other half condensed into the oceans. But who knows?[/quote:26notgkt]

    It can’t be “empty”. Unformed is closer, but still, we can’t fathom it. In fact the Hebrew translation is nearly untranslatable and that’s the problem (not to mention that nobody is alive that speaks Biblical Hebrew). “tohu vabohu” is “nothingness and void”.

    Can nothingness and void be comprehended? Nope. We know what was, but not what “what” is. No ball of mist (hence nothingness). It’s “void”, no pun intended, of any European mythological concepts or any other for that matter.

    Ok, now how is it possible then for God to move over what appears to be matter (the deep)? We took care of the void stuff of earth but now we find God hovering over water. Is this all just anthropomorphism or can theological truth be literally extracted from all of this? Does it matter to you that this creation account (and others, I won’t go there) is depicted in a language foreign to you (Hebrew, and the ancient near eastern concepts)?

    #6555

    Benedict
    Member

    [quote:3gedqre1]Unformed gives a much better description in the English language than empty[/quote:3gedqre1]
    Depends on the English you speak. My brand of English is probably more unique than most today (I still use ‘wont/want’ to mean lack).

    [quote:3gedqre1]Is this all just anthropomorphism or can theological truth be literally extracted from all of this?[/quote:3gedqre1]
    What theological truth do you have in mind? Young-earth creationism (though it does not stem directly from a literalistic understanding of void, taking Genesis 1:2 literalistically is a basis for viewing the entire passage literalistically)?

    (Yes, literalistically is a big word but I want to distinguish it from literal.)

    #6557

    gesundheit
    Member

    theological truth. not scientific fact or theory.

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