by Matt Slick
Biblically speaking, nothing existed before the universe except God. The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” (Gen. 1:1). It was God who brought the universe into existence.
But what is “nothing”? Well, nothing is what rocks think of. Nothing is emptiness, the lack of anything, the absence of existence. Furthermore, when we think of existence, we think of it in terms of our understanding via our senses. We can touch things, hear them, see them, or detect them with sensitive machines. So to think about what is “nothing” is conceptually difficult, if not impossible.
In the case of the universe, and what was before it, there was just nothing there, nothing in space and nothing in time because there was no space or time. Furthermore, if there was no time, then there really couldn’t be anything that was “before” the universe. As Christians, we would say that when God decided to create, that is when space and time also came into existence.
However, there are scientists who hypothesize that before the universe existed there was a “singularity” where whatever-it-was-that-was existed in the form of a single point that was smaller than a subatomic particle. Then, somehow, it exploded and the universe came into existence.
Another hypothesis is that there was a universe before our universe that led to the one we’re in now. That is problematic, since there is no evidence for it. At best, it is just a theory. Besides, this hypothesis only pushes the question back one more step because we would have to ask what was before that universe?
Non-Christians have a host of theories as to what was before the universe and how the universe came into existence. However, we as Christians trust what the word of God says when it tells us that God created the universe (Gen. 1:1). So, the only thing that existed before the universe was God. Other than him there was nothing -- no time, no space -- just nothing.