When humans produce a child, that child is said to be a product of procreation. This is different from creation. What do these two words mean? That is, what is the difference between creation and procreation?
In the strictest sense of the term, creation is the production of something from nothing. Although an artist may produce a great painting and we marvel at his “creativity”, he or she did, after all, start with something. Perhaps a canvas and paints!
Of course what we mean is his marvelous painting never existed before and since he did paint it, we have something new and beautiful we can enjoy. So we speak of the painting’s creation.
Most of us are familiar with the account that says God formed the first man out of the dust [Genesis 2:7]. Someone might be inclined to say, “This is not creation, since man was created, not from nothing, but from dust.”
However, the very first verse of the Bible informs us that that dust, as part of the earth, was created beforehand by the same individual, namely God. Hence, the making of the first man (named Adam), everything taken into account, was also creation.
And, finally, it was not the making of a body that introduced life into it. Rather, it was a special act, the “blowing into” the body something very special. No, not mere air. It is called in Scripture “the breath of life”.
But keep in mind, the Bible was not written in English! The Hebrew word translated breath of life is neshamah, which can mean vital breath, inspiration, spirit, etc. It was a special life-imparting breath that brought Adam to life.
The Bible also tells us the first woman (later named Eve) was created by God. Sometime afterward, the couple had the first child mentioned in Scripture, whom they named Cain. Did they create Cain?
No they did not. Cain was procreated. Thus we can define procreation as the passing on of life. We might illustrate this by considering a campfire. If we already have a campfire, we can take a burning branch from it and start a new campfire. Or, we can take a strong magnet and rub it against a piece of steel that, itself, becomes magnetic.
In fact, procreation often is not the product of a single individual. In humans, it takes two to produce a new life. Sperm and eggs alone are not alive. It is the union of these two that produces life. And that new life benefits from the original life-imbuing breath that was blown into the “nostrils” of Adam.
Note: You might also enjoy What is the Origin of Races
- The Bible
- Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (1894)