Though my main objection is, that Gen.1-11 is being read as a science
paper, I will try to answer the objection about the use of "bara'" in Gen.1. In
the first place, if you want to read Gen.1:1 literally, you must conclude that
time was created first, before the "real" creating began. Is it physically
possible, that time exists before anything else? Does God live in time? What
is eternity compared to time? While I believe that we will experience eternity,
I also believe that eternity is not extended time. It may sound like a minor
detail, but it is important to realize, that Gen.1 does not say: "God began by
creating heaven and earth". Before starting debating this read Meredith Kline's
article on "Space and Time in the Genesis Cosmogony" in the March issue of
Perspectives on Faith and Science. Some words, and some ideas I might want to
express a little different, but I agree with the purpose and conclusion of the
article. I read these chapters as glorifying God in poetic form, pointing to
the great things God did.
That leaves, I believe, only one argument for me to reply to, namely the
translation of the word "bara'". Gesenius' English edition (1976 printing),
Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, gives as first translation: to cut, to carve out, to
form by cutting; see Joshua 17:15 and 17,. Second meaning: to create, to
produce, to make smooth, to polish, hence to fashion, to create. He refers to
the German "schaffen", Danish "skabe", Dutch "scheppen". These Germanic words
are related to German "schaben", Dutch "schaven", English "to shave". Gen.1:1;
1:27; 5:1,2; Isa.43:1,15; Jer.31:22; Isa. 65.18. Gen.2:3 should be read
according to Gesenius "he produced by making." Third meaning "to beget"
Eze.23:47; Fourth meaning: to eat, to feed, to grow fat. 1Sam.2:29.
I quote from John H.Stek, chapter 6 : "What says the Scripture? (Rom.4:3)
Chapter 6. I only have it as photocopy, (I believe a pre-print, even that I
don't know for sure) and I made the error of not noting the title of the
book(?), if it became a book. The paper is dated July 24, 1985 (revised
"Inquiry into the context of human activity from which "bara'" was
borrowed is hindered, however, by lack of adequate data. In biblical usage it
obviously expresses the idea " to bring something into being," bring into being
some specific reality that had not existed before. However, it does not as such
signify giving existence to something that has never before existed in kind (for
example, a future human generation, Ps.102:18; cf. 104:30 [cf. Isa.42:5];
Nor is bara' used only of physical entities. In the language of the Old
Testament, God "creates" historical events that effect judgment or redemption
(Ex.34:10; Num.16:30; Isa.48:7); he 'creates" conditions such as can be
characterized as "darkness" and "evil" (Isa.45:7) . . . ) Other texts mentioned
here are Isa.45:9; Ps.51:10; Isa.65:18; Isa.57:19; Isa. 54:16. . . ."The
frequent observation that God never said explicitly to "create" (bara') "with"
or "from" some prior existent is true enough, but its significance for
determining the specific semantic value has been exaggerated." Thus far John
Again: My main objection is that Gen.1 is read as a science paper which
it is not. That objection has not been answered yet, even when I agree that
Gen.1 is in the Bible to tell us God's "TRUTH" about creation. As I tried to
explain before, that Truth is not necessarily truth as we define it in science.
If I need to clarify more points, please, let me know.
Jan de Koning