Re: [asa] Proposed Revision of Genesis 1-11 in the KJV

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Apr 19 2008 - 15:28:26 EDT

Dick -- who are the people on the translation team, and what are their
qualifications in semitic languages?

On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 3:20 PM, Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
wrote:

> George, you are trying to stick your ancestors in the middle of a Jewish
> history book where they don't belong. It's as simple as that. This
> attempt to contort the history of Israel into the history of all mankind
> appears to put the writer of Genesis 1 at odds with the writer of Genesis 2
> among other incongruities. Although we know that man (not *'adam*)
> evolved from higher primates yet you would like for God to say that all
> mankind, and womankind too, was created in his image. If that was the
> intention of the writer he didn't say exactly that, did he?
>
>
>
> 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:* Saturday, April 19, 2008 8:32 AM
> *To:* Dick Fischer; ASA
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Proposed Revision of Genesis 1-11 in the KJV
>
>
>
> Shalom
> George
> http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
>
> ----- Original Message -----
>
> *From:* Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
>
> *To:* ASA <asa@calvin.edu>
>
> *Sent:* Saturday, April 19, 2008 12:04 AM
>
> *Subject:* RE: [asa] Proposed Revision of Genesis 1-11 in the KJV
>
>
>
> Hi George, you wrote:
>
>
>
> >>You won't be surprised if I tell you that the whole project is
> misguided.<<
>
>
>
> No it is not surprising. Do you know some guides willing to help us here,
> George?
>
>
>
> Yes, translations & commentaries by scholars & committees of scholars who
> don't have concordist axes to grind. For that matter, it's a little strange
> for you to be claiming that the NIV is still using erroneous ideas from KJV
> when it seems pretty clear that NIV strained toward harmonization &
> concordism in some cases (e.g., the "expanse" instead of firmament or dome).
>
>
>
> >>For starters, the notion that translators of RSV, NRSV, NEB, NIV
> have made use of nothing that has been learned since 1611 is simply untrue.
> The reason they haven't put into their versions some of the things you have
> in yours is simply that they've tried to translate what the original Hebrew
> meant, not read into it what modern science has learned about the natural
> world.<<
>
>
>
> There are real questions as to what the writer(s) knew, and what they
> intended to say with the inherent limitations of their rudimentary language,
> antiquated terms of speech, and so on. Some substitutions are easy, land
> for earth, hills for mountains, etc. And some are more difficult. If we
> let X equal the absolute truth of the matter, what actually happened, and
> let Y equal something other than X, we can make certain assumptions that may
> work in some instances but perhaps not in every case. I try to assume
> that the writers wrote X all the time in Genesis and that where there is a
> difference between the translation Y and the truth which is X then the
> translation has to be in error. Of course it is possible that the writers
> wrote Y at times that was translated Y (correctly) and it ends up at
> variance with the truth because the writers themselves were mistaken.
>
>
>
> We should be able to discern from many different sources that the flood
> was local to the area and not worldwide. Thus the word "land" is
> consistent with the actual context of the flood and the land in their
> proximity is all they knew. Yet translators slavishly persist with
> "earth," unable to break with tradition. At least up until Abraham the
> covenant race had to know they were in the company of those outside their
> own line of descent. The Sumerians at Ur and other Mesopotamian cities
> were a constant reminder that there were people unlike themselves in the
> vicinity. We are making the assumption in this "misguided" translation
> that this knowledge was never lost to them even though latter day
> translators may have had no inkling of it and thus all latter day
> translators have been consistently out of the loop on this issue.
>
>
>
> So it's clear that your procedure is eisegetical: If the text doesn't
> express "absolute truth" then you'll make it do so. (Of course that answers
> the question of verbal inerrancy by making it a tautology.) At the very
> least you ought to retain the ambiguity of words like *'eretz*: Yes, it
> can mean "land" but it can also mean "earth."
>
>
>
> >>Your rendering of 1:27, "So God created *Adam*12 in his own image, in
> the image of God created he him; male and female created he them", is
> especially bad.<<
>
>
>
> Are you saying that this word "man" in the original refers to someone
> other than Adam? Who? Or are you saying the word should be "mankind"
> which includes men and women? Read just up to the semicolon. God created
> Adam (or somebody) and he was created in the image of God. Then it
> follows with God created both male and female. If the intent was to say
> that God created "mankind" in his image, then it should have followed with:
> "in the image of God created he [them] " The writer used the word "him"
> referring back to the man created in God's image who would have been Adam.
> Unless you are of the opinion this "man" is some generic man who climbed
> down out of the trees in Africa.
>
>
>
> *'adham* is best rendered "humankind" (as in NRSV), as is clear from the
> reference to "male and female." What you have there is Hebrew parallelism,
> not separate statements. The reason it says "in the image of God created he
> *him*" is probably to emphasize that each individual bears the image of
> God. OTOH your interpretation implies that women weren't created in the
> image of God.
>
>
>
> >>As is clear from the concluding clause, the reference is to humankind,
> "male and female." So to translate *'adham* as "Adam," which people will
> of course read as the proper name of a single male human, is just wrong.<<
>
>
>
> It may be wrong but I think your argument is with the writer, not me.
>
>
>
> No, as I said, it's your "translation" that's wrong.
>
>
>
> Dick Fischer, president
>
> Genesis Proclaimed Association
>
> Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History
>
> www.genesisproclaimed.org
>
>
>
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Sat Apr 19 15:31:29 2008

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