RE: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Sun Mar 30 2008 - 08:31:10 EDT

Dear George and Dave:
 
Your arguments are not just that all these translators used the past or
past perfect tense in agreement with each other, which I agree with as
well, but you leave unspoken the rest of the argument which is that they
stand united counter to the facts. We all know - at least most of us on
this list do - that the earth is some 4.6 billion years old and for any
one writer or translator to say that no rain had fallen since creation
until mankind was brought into existence is patently incorrect. So your
arguments are not that the translators were wrong, it seems to be that
the translators were right and they faithfully translated the stupid
writer of Genesis who had no clue. The writer must have thought the
Tigris, Euphrates, Pishon and Gihon flowed from some mysterious source
of abundant fog I suppose.
 
This verse was written in the present tense as is all Hebrew which in
this case if translated in the present tense makes sense. Southern
Mesopotamia, the setting of the Garden of Eden, is in a desert area
still today. It doesn't rain there very often. God still today does
not cause it to rain there. And that's what the Bible writer could have
told us if the translators knew anything about the climatology of the
region. So my translation may contrast with typical translations but it
is consistent with the Hebrew and with the facts. Your idea that
Genesis is one way and the facts are the other way falls on my deaf ears
- much as I respect you guys.
 
Dick Fischer. author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham
www.historicalgenesis.com
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 6:55 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis
 
Yes, I just mentioned versions that I had copies of at home - though I
forgot to include NKJV which of course has the perfect. (I did include
TEV & CEV though.) The Living Bible & the Jehovah's Witness version
also have perfect tenses but I don't give them much weight.
 
In fact this raises the question: Is there any translation of the Bible
that does render the verb as Dick suggests?
 
Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
----- Original Message -----
From: D. F. Siemens, <mailto:dfsiemensjr@juno.com> Jr.
To: gmurphy@raex.com
Cc: dickfischer@verizon.net ; asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 12:09 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis
 
George,
You missed JPV (1917 and 1955) and Tanakh. Also Young's, Knox, New
American Bible, TEV, CEV. Jerusalem. All the Spanish translations I have
also: Reina-Valera (1602), version moderna, revision de 1960, Dios habla
hoy-version popular, NVI (1999). The unanimity on what Dick recognizes
as an error is amazing.
Dave (ASA)
 
On Sat, 29 Mar 2008 20:12:38 -0400 "George Murphy" <gmurphy@raex.com>
writes:
I don't recognize the initial quote as mine. Nevertheless, let me
comment on Gen.2:5. It is not just KJV & NIV but the Septuagint,
Vulgate, Luther, Douai-Rheims-Challoner, Goodspeed, Moffat, Beck, RSV,
NRSV, NEB, TEV & CEV which all render this with a simple past or a
perfect tense.
 
Maybe they all did this "out of ignorance." (& in most of those cases
cases ignorance independent of the ignorance of other versions. I.e.,
the translators were making an effort to avoid just "following along"
other versions.) But maybe concordists need to awaken from their
dogmatic slumbers.
 
It's true that a Hebrew verb form taken in isolation doesn't have an
intrinsic temporal sense. But in context, & especially in a sequence
with other verbs, the temporal referent may be clear.
 
 
Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
----- Original Message -----
From: Dick <mailto:dickfischer@verizon.net> Fischer
To: ASA <mailto:asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 12:33 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis
 
George (I think) wrote:
 
>>This reference is not from Genesis 1, but from the time after God
placed Adam in the garden (2:15). In verse 19, "God formed every beast
of the field". That could be interpreted "God formed every beast that
was in the field" in the sense that it was a duplication process. It is
unlikely that every beast for all the Earth suddenly were made "out of
the ground", else there would be no ground left to have a garden. Only
replications were necessary for the purpose that seemed obviously
intended -- the allowance of Adam to name them.<<
 
One of the questions I get asked is why the reversal of the order of
creation between animals then man in Genesis 1 and man then animals in
Genesis 2. In my view, the Genesis 2 narrative pertains to Adam
specifically not to generic mankind and the emphasis is on Adam giving
names to the animals that had been formed by God. Keep in mind there is
no verb tense in Hebrew. Past and past perfect tenses were applied by
translators according to what they thought was appropriate and
unfortunately what they thought occasionally was wrong. In Genesis 2:5
the King James translators decided that God "had not caused it to rain
upon the earth," where they could have said God "did not cause it to
rain upon the [land]." The NIV out of ignorance followed along: "Lord
God had not sent rain on the earth ."
 
Now in Genesis 2:19, the KJV translators chose a simple past tense where
a past perfect tense would have worked better and was chosen for the
NIV. The sense of the verse is that Adam gave names to some animals God
had formed previously, not like in the young-earth scenario where Adam
had to complete the task of naming every animal on earth on the first
day of his creation, and God was popping animals out of the ground like
machine gun rounds so that turtles and snails had to gallop past Adam
like cheetahs and gazelles while Adam chanted out names like a Tennessee
auctioneer. The "straight forward" reading, of course.
 
Dick Fischer. author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham
www.historicalgenesis.com
 
-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of George Cooper
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 6:57 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: [asa] A few literal problems in Genesis
 
 
As one of the few literalist here, and one wanting to learn, even if it
is iron on wood, please tolerate my unorthodox literal view.
 
Jon,
 
First, I was pondering the statement that the animals and Adam were
created "out of the dust of the ground". I realize that some have
inferred that this statement could include evolution, as the earth
itself is what produces the variety of creatures.
 
This reference is not from Genesis 1, but from the time after God placed
Adam in the garden (2:15). In verse 19, "God formed every beast of the
field". That could be interpreted "God formed every beast that was in
the field" in the sense that it was a duplication process. It is
unlikely that every beast for all the Earth suddenly were made "out of
the ground", else there would be no ground left to have a garden. Only
replications were necessary for the purpose that seemed obviously
intended -- the allowance of Adam to name them.
 
I disagree with those that view that Chapter 2 is to be taken as an
enhancement to the day 6 account, or a greater level of differentiation.
I take Chapter 2 as a separate and important event for mankind, since a
"living soul" (KJV) was given to a very special man.
 
Since there was no mention of the formation of things "out of the
ground" in chapter 1, then a broader view that allows for an
evolutionary process may be warranted.
 
.then for consistency what would the creation of Eve be taken to mean
scientifically, as being from Adam's rib? In other words, for those who
take the one statement as a scientific inference of Adam's evolution,
how can they apply consistent interpretation when it comes to Eve's
creation as a scientific event?
 
Agreed. But, if our observer is simply giving an account of mankind's
presence to establish God as the responsible Creator, then a 6th day
mankind evolutionary view, along with a specific creation account for
Adam and Eve, doesn't seem that illogical. The necessary molecular and
neurological components necessary to create an Adam from scratch that
would make him compatible for our planet would be available in any of
the evolved homo sapiens already in existence.
 
Perhaps, when the evolutionary process reaches such a level as the early
homo sapiens, then credit is given to the one person who made it
possible - God. Further, such species could be candidates for eternal
life. That would be a very, very special event, one worth establishing
in a special chapter, too.
 
That may sound a little radical, but I predicted, through a crude math
extrapolation, that we would discover 62 new exoplanets last year. I
missed it by one; there were 61 new ones. The rate of exoplanets
discovery is not linear. It seems clear the universe will have
trillions of planets. This does not diminish God's glory, of course,
but should magnify it for our own eyes to see and admire.
 
[While we are on the subject of exoplanets, take a look at this story I
just read while typing here.
<http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326123135.htm>
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326123135.htm
 
It shows a dark spot in the insert image that represents the likely
formation area of a protoplanet within the star's accretion disk. Is it
not plausible for an ancient observer to see such a region and describe
it as "without form and void"? This is the first image of its kind that
I've seen, though I am not an astronomer, nor heavily active in this
field.]
 
Second, the sun and moon were made to "divide the day from the night",
with the sun to rule over the day, and the moon to rule over the night.
If this was so (according to a "literal" interpretation), then why do we
see the moon come out in the daytime and disappear at night sometimes?
It seems that if this verse were to be taken literally, the moon has
ceased functioning according to its created purpose, which was to rule
over the night.
 
I think others have addressed this well enough. Only one is seen at
night, and it is 2000 times brighter than Venus (the second brightest
object in the sky) and 30,000x brighter than the brightest star, Sirius.
The Moon rules, as kids might say today. Since everyone knew in those
days the Moon's pattern, no further elaboration about it would be
necessary in the passage. Their own rulers roamed around, too, no
doubt.
 
 Also, since God divided the light from the darkness in Gen 1:4, why did
it need to be divided again in verse 14 by the sun and moon? How do the
sun and moon divide the light from darkness, since both of them cast
light on the earth (the moon for at least most of the month)?
The emission of light into darkness creates the division. Recall that
there was first darkness." and darkness was on the face of the deep".
Space is both deep and dark. Only light changes that view. It is also
seen in our shadows where the division from light and dark are obvious.
It is the light that creates the division, and only the Moon and Sun
create these personal light/dark divisions, excluding some nit-pickin'
wimpy exceptions.
 
(Delete)
 

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sun Mar 30 08:33:13 2008

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Mar 30 2008 - 08:33:13 EDT