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One Biblical Word I Am Careful Never to Use

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


There is a biblical word I am careful never to use unless it is in reference to God. I learned a long time ago in my Hebrew language class in seminary that anyone who uses that word is biblically incorrect. Once I learned that the word was only about God, I discovered that there are dozens of synonyms that can be used instead.

That particular word is so important to God that it is the fifth word in the very first verse in the Bible. It is used sparingly, and every one of those times it is used only in reference to God and NEVER about a man.


Only God Can Create

In Hebrew, the original language of the Old Testament, the word is bara. In English, the word is "create." Only God can "bara." Only God can create because He is the only Creator, and we are not.

You can't create a cake. You bake one. You can't create a dress. You design it. You cannot create a house, but you can build one. I didn't create this article. I wrote it. Instead of using the word "create" as a catchword for something you do, start using a synonym that is more appropriate.

  • make
  • develop
  • design
  • bake
  • build
  • construct
  • invent
  • discover
  • renovate
  • refurbish
  • plan

If the truth is told, man can do a lot of things today that he could not have done during biblical times. Man can invent (not create) space crafts and walk on the moon. He can build (not create) driverless cars. He can design (not create) drugs and medicines for pain and to cure some ailments. Yes, man can do all those things with the help of God, but God reserves the act of creating for Himself exclusively.

In Genesis 1:1 we read the words “God created.” In Hebrew “created” is the word, bara that means “creating something out of nothing that has never existed before." In six days, God created everything out of nothing. He had absolutely nothing to work with.

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Jesus never used the word "create" in His humanity during any of His teachings. Abraham was the "Father of Many Nations," but the Bible never said He created anything. Noah built the ark out of things that God made available to Him. Solomon built a magnificent temple out of items God instructed him to use.

David was "a man after God's own heart" who wrote 73 of the 150 Psalms, but he didn't create any of them. He knew God could create. After he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah, her husband killed, he prayed to God using the word about something only God could do.

"Create within me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." (Psalm 51:10)

Man Cannot Create

A story is told about a man who didn't believe only God can create. So, he set out to prove that God was not the only one who could create something out of nothing. In fact, the man believed he was talented enough to create something out of nothing like God did when He formed the world out of nothing.

On a sunny day, the man walked to the beach with the intention of "creating" a sandcastle. With a pail in his hand, he stooped down to pick up a bucket full of sand. Then he heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Put that down! That's my sand!"

That man did not give up. He kept thinking and six months later when snow was on the ground, he decided to "create" a snowman. He picked up a handful of snow and he heard the voice from heaven again saying, "Put that down! That's my snow!"

After that, the man was convinced that there is absolutely nothing he could "create" without using something God had already created.


You have probably never thought about it before. Hopefully, every time you are tempted to use the word "create" from now on, you will remember this article. Know that only God can bara. Only God can create because He is the only Creator, and we are His creatures that He created in His own image. The Bible makes a major point of using the word "created" three times in one verse.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis 1:27)

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