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Bibil Identifier bibil:207889
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Did God Create Chaos? Unresolved Tension in Genesis 1:1-2
Author Routledge, Robin
Journal Tyndale Bulletin (Volume: 61, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2010
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2010
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2010
Year (Second publication) 2010
Language English
Pages 69-88 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract OT writers appear to use imagery found in other Ancient Near Eastern texts and portray creation as God's victory over, and transformation of, 'chaos'. This is sometimes associated with the expression tohu wabohu, translated 'formless and empty', in Genesis 1:2 (NIV). Recent interpretations of Genesis 1:1-2 imply that this chaos existed before God began his creative work. A more traditional view is that Genesis 1:1 implies that the cosmos was created out of nothing. This paper argues that Genesis 1 does point to God as the originator of all things, and also to creation as an ordering of chaos, with little attempt to resolve that tension. More important is the theological significance of holding these ideas side by side. One points to the transcendence, power and pre-existence of God. The other understands creation as a process, in which chaos, not unbeing, is the opposite of creation. This allows the possibility that chaos may return as a result of human sin (e.g. in the flood), and that new life and hope may be brought to desperate situations such as the exile (also portrayed as a return to chaos-­e.g. in Jeremiah 4:23).
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Chaos
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Creation
Pericopes Genesis 1,1-1,2
Last modification 2017-10-27