3. Did God make the universe out of some pre-existent matter?



No, He didn’t. In that God made the universe out of nothing, thus without using any pre-existent matter. For the Scripture says: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3. The second part of this verse in the NIV reads: “So that what is seen was not made out of what was visible”), that is, of pre-existent things. As it is said in the Psalms: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth …. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:6,8-9 – NIV).

When we read in some books of theology (and not only in books of theology) the expression ‘creation ex nihilo,’ it refers to the creation of things out of nothing.