The Use of Asah, Yatsar and Bara

I’ve watched a lot of lecture videos of Joshua Moritz at Voice of Light Productions, and have found him to be a very thoughtful and yet down-to-earth guy when it come to science and theology.

In the above link is an article by Joshua. What do you think of Moritz’ arguments of the use of the Hebrew “creation terms”, Asah, Yatsar and Bara, in how they are used in a multitude or ways through the Bible? What do you think of his argument of “creation through a process” versus “creation-instantaneous” … Which ideas are more biblically sound?


Timothy, If you mean is “creation through a process” more REALISTIC … then certainly.

But doesn’t strike me as the tone we find in the Old Testament.

George Brooks


Hey George.

I think Joshua’s Moritz’s strongest argument is God’s “direct” action and “indirect” action is an unbiblical dichotomy. Nowadays we are fond of debating such things as, “Did God create through supernatural means or did he act through natural laws?” But these are artificial distinctions and I don’t see strong evidence to support that the ancient Hebrews thought in these terms at all. Phenomologically speaking, it seems to me that the Hebrews were thinking in more basic terms… God is responsible for life and all things — in whatever shape or form He would make it happen that wasn’t the point.

Moritz uses the “forming babies in the womb” as an example for something that can easily be defined as “process creation”. You don’t need an ultrasound to know that babies don’t just pop up out of nowhere – and I think the Hebrews knew this too. It gives us a clue that the Hebrews had no special terms that were designated for quote-unquote “God’s supernatural activity” versus “God’s regular activity”. It’s all just the activity of God, in whatever shape or form it takes.

God also is said to have created lightning and snow … Yet both of these can be replicated in a lab. Are we going to say that God is no longer acting simply because we can re-create it? Or are we going to say that the creation of lighting and snow is a reflection of God’s sovereignty and power? I’m going to go with the latter.

Another example is that God is said to have created rain. Yet in the book of Job, the hydrological cycle of rain is pretty well described: “He brings up the drops of dew, and falls down as rain. The clouds are heavy with water yet do not fall.” (Paraphrased) <<< this is another obvious example of creation-process having no distinction between “instantaneous creation”. Are we going to say that because we can learn more about the weather, and predict it to a certain extinct, then that means that God is no longer acting? That seems silly to me.

I think that’s what Moritz is trying to get at.


I find this perfectly reasonable.

So when I go “on the record” that God used Cosmic Rays to create selective mutations…
I don’t think it is strange at all.


No I don’t think that’s strange. For whatever reason though, their are some people on this site (whom I will not mention) that find that argumentation very bizarre and I’m not sure why. From an atheistic perspective it probably sounds weird … But should it be weird for a theist?

I’m not going to really argue HOW God guides certain things, but rather just acknowledge that He does. I don’t agree with the theology that claims certain events were “accidental” as if somehow, it caught God off guard.


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