The Confessions of St. Augustine, Book 11, Chapter 12
See, I answer the man who says, "What did God do before He made heaven and earth?"
I do not give the answer that someone is said to have given, evading by a joke the
force of the objection: "He was preparing hell, for those prying into such deep subjects."
It is one thing to see the objection; it is another to make a joke of it.
I do not answer this way. I would rather respond, "I do not know,"
concerning what I do not know rather than say something for which a man
inquiring about such profound matters is laughed at,
while the one giving false answer is praised.
A Frivolous Answer
I say that you, our God, are the creator of every creature, and,
if by the phrase heaven and earth all creation is understood,
I boldly say, " Before God made heaven and earth,
he did not make anything."
If he made anything, what else did he make except a creature?
Would that I knew all I want to know that is for my good in the same way
that I know that no creature was made before any creature was made.
St. Augustine, 399 AD
Steve Ryder, Senior Director
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