What is the difference between created and made?

by Matt Slick

The difference between something being created and something being made is that when something is created, it is brought into existence out of nothing. But, when something is made it has been formed out of something else that already exists. So, when God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), he did not form them out of something that already existed.  Instead, he brought them into existence when there was no existence beforehand.

However, God made man out of the dust of the ground.  He formed man out of that which already existed, the ground.

  •  "Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being," (Genesis 2:7).
  • "Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth,'" (Genesis 1:26-28).

In addition, and to make our actions performed upon something else. In other words, something does not bring itself into existence, and something does not make itself.

In the context of God's work, his creating the heavens and the earth reveals his great power and ability. When you consider the incredibly vast expanse of the universe, the billions of galaxies and the billions of stars in those galaxies, then you can get a brief glimpse of the incredibly wondrous creative power and ability of God. I say brief glimpse because we cannot possibly comprehend the expanse of the universe in God's creative work associated with it.

When you consider that God has the ability to take matter and form it into other things, like a human being, then you should be struck by the incredible ability of God to form basic elements and molecules into incredibly complex information structures found in DNA that make life possible.

Indeed, Yahweh is a wondrous God whose power, wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, and abilities can be clearly seen in the universe and in the creation of life.

  • "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made..." (Romans 1:20).

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.