CREATION, COVENANT AND REDEMPTION DOCTRINE

 

Creation in Five Contexts:

 

                                 1.  Near East Cultures

                                 2.  Graeco-Roman Cultures

                                 3.  Canon of the Old and New Testaments

                                 4.  17th-20th Century Science

                                 5.  Eastern World Views: New Age, Panentheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Deism, Atheism, etc.

 

Hebrew - origin bara - God process/act of formation

 

Greek -  foundation/beginning - which gives something direction and determination.

 

                                 1.  Ktisis - originally foundation - rather the process of becoming and coming into being, resulting from a decision of the will.

                                 2.  Katabole - results of such an act, the created thing as an entity.

 

LXX

 

                                 1.  Demiourgein - to work on material, manufacture.

                                 2.  Ktizein - expresses the decisive, basic act of will behind the bringing into being, foundation or institution of something.  LXX uses poiein (to make) for bara instead of ktizein (66 times in Foerster III TDNT, 1026 + 39 of without Hebrew equivalent; bara translated ktizo 16 times), whose subject is always God.

 

                                 Genesis 1; Psalm 148.5; Isaiah 40ff. refer to God’s activity in calling the world and individual creatures into being, but also to his actions in history, which lies behind election.  Creation and God’s government of history and salvation (see R. Rendtorff in “Die theologische Stellung des Schopfungs glaubens bei Deuterojesaja,” Z Th K 51, 1945, 3ff.; G. von Rad, The Problem of the Hexateuch and Other Essays, 1966, 131-32.  Both affirm priority to salvation (God, Saviour) over creation (God as Creator).  Ever since the refutation of Marcion (Gnosticism) first and second articles of the Creed of Nicea and Chalcedon.

 

Creation (bara) extended into history and society, i.e., providence (e.g.. Ps. 104 (103):30; Genesis 2; Eccles. 12.1.  The noun creator is foreign to the New Testament; reference is to the creation of the individual, i.e., creation of the king of Tyre (Ezek. 28.13,15; Ps. 102.18) - people to be created will praise; Ps. 51.10 - create a new heart; original creation order is fragmented and God intervenes.  1.3-5 - light is created by The Word; darkness is not created.  Isa. 45.7, ‘makes weal and creates woe,’; creates weapons also created the destroyer of those weapons, Is. 54.16.  “People that God created nonetheless profanes The Covenant, Malachi 2.10.  Qanah (3 times by Ktizo) means to produce (Gen. 14.19,22); Wisdom, Proverbs 8.22 (Jer. 32 (39).15.  Contra Codex Siniaticus/Vaticanus, as shall be bought (ethesontai) rather than created (ktisthesontai).

Bara, qonah, yasar (twice ktizo) form/fashion (like a potter) or plan, directs destinies (Isa. 22.11).

Kun (twice ktizo) original creation and God’s working in history (prepared precious stones (Ezek. 28.13); prepared, established Israel (Deut 32.6d) (see articles in TDOT, TDNT, DNTT).

MT/LXX/Johannine Literature/Qumran - creation fused with demonological and anthropological dualism.  God created spirits of light and darkness (IQ.S 3.25).  Man’s dominion (IQS 3.17f.) doctrine of double predestination (foreknowledge).

 

                                 IQH 1.17F - knew their works

                                 IQH 4.38 - righteous and ungodly

                                 IQH 15.14f. - day of favour/day of conflict

                                 IQH 1.27f - tongue, talk

 

New Testament: Ktizo, create/produce (38 times; 14 verbs, 19 nouns)

 

Ktisma - thing created - 4 times (See articles in TDNT, DNTT, Domain Lexicon).

New Testament Creation:  Domain Lexicon

                                 Ktistes - creator - one I Peter 4.19 though expressed 8 times by a relative clause or a participle, as in the Hebrew verbal construction.

                                 Poieo - to make

                                 Plasso - to form

                                 Kataskeuazo - prepare (Heb. 3.4)

                                 Themeleoo - found

                                 Demiourgas - craftsman/shaper

                                 Tapanta - all things

                                 Arche - beginning - abs. Jn 1.1; Rom 4.17; Mt 6.26; II Cor 4.6

 

                                 Ktizo - Mt (1), Mk (4), Paul (22), (Rom 8; Eph/Col 4/5; I Tim 2; Jas 1; Heb 2; I Tim 2; I Pet 2, II Pet 1, Rev 5).

 

NT Presupposes the OT Jewish Doctrine of Creation

 

                                 Creation, Providence, Kingdom (Mt 5-7, historical presence of God), e.g. Mt 6.24 (vs. 33) worry/creation; faith in creation, seek first; Lord’s prayer petition.

 

NT Creation: Jesus and Creation

 

Preaching and Creation, position of unbroken confidence in Creator

                                 a.  Sabbath made for man, egeneto, Mark 2.27

                                 b.  Food does not defile a man, Mt 15.11

                                 c.  Fasting is not appropriate in the presence of Jesus, Mark 2.18f/Mt 11.19.

                                 d.  In His service there is no lack of the necessities of life, Lk 22.35.

                                 e.  He gives thanks in breaking bread - feeding the 5000.

                                 f.  Monogamy and indissolubility of marriage are based in creation, Mk 10.6 Ktisis; Mt 19.4, Ktizo.  Divorce arises from selfish hardness of heart.

                                 g.  Does not arbitrarily use creation in opposition to the will of God, Mt 4.1-11, Creation and Temptation.

 

 

 

Nature and Creation: Mk 4.41, Who is this?

 

                                 Exorcisms/Healings/Raising the dead - whole creation in need of the Gospel, Mk 16.15.

Resurrection, Jesus the mediator of creation: I Cor 8.6; Col 1.16; Heb 1.2,10; Jn 1.1f. Whole creation made through Him and with Him in view of Jn 1.3, 9-12. Basis in Rev 3.14 and its goal in Him, Heb 1.11f.

 

Paul and Creation

 

                                 a.  Nature of first creation

                                 b.  New creation (Kaine ktisis) has begun in Christ, Rom 8.19f; II Cor 5.17; Gal 6.15.

                                 c.  Creator alone is worthy of Worship and Praise (Jesus in Revelation.  The creature is limited by the fact that it is created; limitation of creaturehood.  Where worship is nevertheless offered to creatures, God given them up (Rom 1.25); all creatures are without excuse (Rom 1.20; Rom 3.21f); All Ktisma is good (Gen 1-3; I Tim 4.3f).

 

                                 Creature - arrogance, rebelliousness - temptation of creation (Rom 8.39).  Man is the goal of the whole creation, the state of the created order is determined by Him and subject to finitude and futility (Rom 8.19a, 20,22).

 

Woman and Creation (vs. culture) I Cor 11.9; Gen 2.18 (head)

 

                                 Gal 3.28 - equality of sexes in the unity which exists in the fellowship of Christ’s authority ascribed to man not ascribed to woman on the basis of Gen 2.18; it nevertheless asserts mutual dependence on each other and their (own) joint dependence on God (I Cor 11.11f).

 

                                 All creatures are dependent on the restoration of a right relationship between God and His representative in the created world.  This can be achieved only through God’s intervention and incarnation.

 

                                 Rom 8.19b (vs. 23c/d acceptance as sons has already been promised/hope, vs. 21).

                                 Rom 8.39/II Cor 5.17 - final realization of sonship lies outside the believer hidden ready in Christ.

 

Creation, Recreation - complete assurance about the new reality.

 

                                 Former/later things (have passed away) put-off/put-on.

                                 Old Creation - James 1.18.

                                 New Creation: Living in dependence on God, rather than dependence on the world (Gal 6.14f; Eph 2.15, removal of distinctions.

                                 New Man - God’s act of creation in Christ (Eph 2.10; 4.24, “created after the likeness of God;” (Col 3.10-12).

                                 Cosmological/Soteriological

                                 Hebrew - God’s unlimited knowledge of all His creatures and our duty to give account of our/themselves (Heb 4.13; Rom 1.20b; Rev 4.11; 5.13).

                                 First Covenant - created order.

                                 Second Covenant - recreated order (Heb 9.11/I Pet 4.19) Interpretation of Ktisis in I Peter 2.13).

 

Creation and Subordination:;  “Submit to every human creature” - make creature a god, II Peter 3.4, “from the beginning of creation.”

 

Creation/Literary Genre of The Revelation:  4.11; 5.13 - worship of every creature - Ktisma

 

                                 Col 3.10-12/Rev 8.8f, praise

Eph 4.24; 2.10/Rev 21.1f - not ktizo but poieo - make - 21.5, work - poieo - act of praise goes out from heaven reaching in concentric circles (Foerster, TDNT, III, 1130ff).

 

Biblical Hermeneutics and Creation:

 

Scientific Revolution - loss of creation

                                 Matter/Thermodynamics/time/space

                                 Origin in finite time/space - Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry

                                 Creation - then Creator - Deism, Atheism, Positivism, Existentialism, Reductionism, Pluralism

 

Two Biblical Presuppositions: Absolute Origin and Absolute Consummation of the Universe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

James Strauss

Lincoln Christian Seminary

Lincoln, IL 62656