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

From: Dick Fischer <>
Date: Sat Apr 19 2008 - 16:09:03 EDT

I didn't write any of Genesis. I didn't change any of the Hebrew words
Genesis was written in. In all cases but maybe one or two the English
equivalents used are identical to English equivalents used elsewhere by
previous translators. We have no "team of translators" to answer Dave's
I doubt any of us knows precisely what the writer intended by his use of
the word "image." The image of Baal was an idol set to represent the
god, Baal. If by "image" the writer meant that such a person
represented God in some respect, it should not be astonishing in the
Jewish mindset to think it applied only to men and exclusively to their
own race. Peter was disinclined to preach to Gentiles, Paul told women
to keep silent in church - these are just two possible examples.
Remember, Christ completely changed the equation. He ushered in the New
Covenant, and told the disciples to preach to all the creatures - men
and women, Jews and Gentiles. But there is no need to saddle the Jews
with our Christian contortions and struggles to get inside their heads
and in their book.
Dick Fischer. author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham
-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of George Murphy
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 3:37 PM
To: Dick Fischer; ASA
Subject: Re: [asa] Proposed Revision of Genesis 1-11 in the KJV
To your last question, in fact he did.
(Are you actually saying that women are not to bear the image of God?)
& as to your major claim, that the Bible (or at least the OT, or at
least Genesis) is only "a Jewish history book," it is pure assertion on
your part. "What I tell you three times is true" still isn't a valid
proof. Simply as one example of your error, the Noachic covenant (as
distinguished from those with Abraham, at Sinai &c) has always been seen
in the Jewish tradition as applying to all humanity & Acts 15:19-20
----- Original Message -----
From: Dick <> Fischer
To: ASA <>
Sent: Saturday, April 19, 2008 3:20 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Proposed Revision of Genesis 1-11 in the KJV
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
-----Original Message-----
From: [] 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
----- Original Message -----
From: Dick <> Fischer
To: ASA <>
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
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 Adam12 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
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 <>

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Received on Sat Apr 19 16:12:11 2008

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