Home » Applied Christianity » The meaning of the word “create” as in ‘God Created’

Recent Posts

Follow Us

The meaning of the word “create” as in ‘God Created’

Few things are as controversial as the concept of God creating the heavens and the earth, the first sentence of the Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament Hebrew was translated between 300 and 200 B.C.E and therein the word for “create” is something quite different from the one English users mean now. But keep in mind that Hebrew scholars would want the Greek translation to be as accurate as it could possibly be.

The word for create as translated from the Hebrew into Greek is epoikodomeo (ἐποικοδομεo) which is a combination of three separate words: Epi, Oikos and Doma.

Epi is a word indicating all inclusive, as in epidemic or epigram. Epi is a word that embraces all.

Oikos is the word for house, but for Jews a house is much more than a building where people reside. It indicates the full inheritance of God and his people, in this case the human race.

Doma means gift. Is this a gift God gives to us, or is it a gift for Himself? My guess is that God gave the earth and its glories to Himself because He says later:

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Finally, the word itself should be translated build upon. There is nothing inherent in the word epiokodomeo to suggest the verb to create. On the contrary, build upon implies the preexistence of the tools and supplies for the project. In other words God revealed the universe as part of a system of designs and projects of His pleasure and the earth and its blessings as simply part of an ongoing system called his house.

So, an exploratory sentence might read like this:

In the beginning God revealed yet anther part of a system He is building across eternity of and for his people and Himself.

Pity that we’ve messed it up so.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: