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Creatio ex-nihilo, for the purposes of this question, meaning that matter is not eternal and was therefore brought into existence by God at a specific moment (the beginning) and this creation is also inclusive of space, time, and any other dimension understood to be necessary for material existence. In other words, creatio ex-nihilo means that, prior to creating everything (if saying prior to time even makes any sense) there was only God.

Also see this related (closed) question.

Following are two quotes from an article at Biblical Unitarian.com entitled "John 1:1- But what about John 1:1?". I was searching whether Biblical Unitarians (BU) believe that God created everything out of nothing (creatio ex-nihilo) but could not find any direct statement (the search was not exhaustive).

If we understand that the logos is God’s expression—His plan, purposes, reason and wisdom, it is clear that they were indeed with Him “in the beginning.”

Most Jewish readers of the Gospel of John would have been familiar with the concept of God’s “word” being with God as He worked to bring His creation into existence. There is an obvious working of God’s power in Genesis 1 as He brings His plan into concretion by speaking things into being.

It seems clear that John 1:1 is linked to Genesis 1:1 as referring to the same "beginning" in BU thought but it is unclear whether BU believe that everything was created "ex-nihilo" and what "everything" might encompass.

  1. Do Biblical Unitarians believe that God created everything out of nothing and does everything include matter, space, time, etc (as defined above), or 1a) did God create matter into an existing space-time, or 1b) did God "create/form" things from already existing elemental matter, or 1c) is there some other alternative that escapes me?

*Note: Part of the reason for this question is, if something existed into which or from which God created then how can God be said to have created everything (if indeed such is claimed)?

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    By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible Heb 11:3. I'm not sure what you mean by nothing. Nor am I really sure what you are asking. You already said matter in sot eternal - therefore has a beginning. – user47952 Mar 3 at 20:12
  • @user47952 As per my sub questions there are those who limit creation to formation from existing elements or to matter only; God having created, they say, matter into a preexisting time/space. I could not find a stated BU stance on ex-nihilo creation and am wondering if there is one. – Mike Borden Mar 4 at 12:54
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    I don't know either. They are not about making stuff up, but sticking to the text. If it is not explicit, they have nothing to say - it is not important to waste words on. While these things might be interesting they can develop past their usefulness to become unnecessarily contentious if a stance is made by human wit alone. – user47952 Mar 4 at 20:01
  • @user47952 Please see my edited in note. – Mike Borden Mar 5 at 13:04
  • Can you say why you think biblical unitarians might have a typical position on this, as opposed to trinitarians? – One God the Father Mar 12 at 17:34
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"Our approach is to use Scripture as our sole and final authority in understanding who God has revealed Himself to be, and who is Jesus the Messiah." (https://www.biblicalunitarian.com/about)

With this statement in mind, I see no reason to believe Biblical Unitarians do not believe in creatio ex nihilo. They hold to the teachings of Genesis 1:1 and Hebrews 11:3 like any Christian would.

Unitarians distinguish themselves from classically orthodox Christians (think Council of Nicea) by denying trinitarianism. They believe the Godhead to be unitary, with only God the Father. They identify the word "Word" in English translations of John 1:1 (it's logos in Greek) not as Jesus, but as "God’s expression" or God's wisdom (https://www.biblicalunitarian.com/videos/but-what-about-john-1-1). It is true that logos is a word with many meanings and a kind of elasticity and lexical richness that no single English word can capture. As for the identification of the Word "as God" in 1:1, Biblical Unitarians will likewise highlight the lexical richness of the Greek theos and note that lesser beings than the true God can be called theos. In the Septuagint translation of Psalm 82:1, theos and related forms are used to speak of lesser divine beings or lowercase-'g'-gods.

Classically orthodox Christians suggest that John 1:1-18 refers to Jesus, with vv. 14-18 especially linking "the Word" with Jesus.

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  • There doesn't seem to be an official statement in the literature? Just to be clear. Biblical Unitarians would say that, at some point, there was just God and nothing else? No matter, time/space, or any other dimension or energy? – Mike Borden Mar 17 at 12:18

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