God is not the Creator, claims academic

Professor Ellen van Wolde, a respected Old Testament scholar and author, claims the first sentence of Genesis “in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth” is not a true translation of the Hebrew.

She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb “bara”, which is used in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, does not mean “to create” but to “spatially separate”.

The first sentence should now read “in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth”

Yeah, this’ll go over well.

  • Pkwlsn

    Meh… This souldn’t really be a big deal for us christians who believe the heavens and the earth were just arranged from pre-existing matter.

  • http://www.midnitetease.com Ben

    Doesn’t bother me. Ironically, I was just discussing with the wife this evening that one of the bigger mistakes Christianity has made is imbuing the Old Testament of the Bible with more significance than “relevant history.” I know that concept still get’s a lot of Christians riled up, though…I”m certainly not claiming to speak for all of them. If you’re a believing Christian and therefore take the Creation as recorded in the Bible on faith, then fine. I’ve got my own reservations, but most religions have some version of a creation; many are similar.

    If you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and THEREFORE you’re a Christian…well, in my opinion, you’ve got it backwards to start with. Again, speaking for myself, here.

    But yeah, I can certainly see a lot of the more conservative factions of Christianity, and possibly a lot of religious Jews, getting worked up about this.

  • Randy Campbell

    Not surprising really. This stuff tend to happen when you’re taking a new religion onto a previously existing one to add ‘historical-significane’ as well as over all respectability :o )
    (Playing “fast-and-loose” with translations doesn’t help much when you’re trying to patch-work a religion together. Danm that came out more ‘catty’ than I meant it too ;o)

    Islam too is “based” on being tied into the original Hebrew bible and Judaism so Christians don’t exactly have a ‘lock’ on this issue. Many WANT their interpritations to be the “one-true-word” but things get complicated when supposedly “simple” matters such as this “translation” come up. Having had to deal with a VERY believing person to whom the inerrancy of the bible was paramount I can definatly see a possible up-roar over this.

    I don’t see Jewish folk getting worked up over this issue as, let’s face it they KNEW this already :o )
    The issue of who’s ‘translation’ is right or wrong on various points has been a major source or contention between the three religions BASED on the “Old Testment” and will remain so simply because too many people have too much investment in “their” version being the right one. Not that any OTHER possible translation will effect those who ‘believe’ a certian outcome to be the truth one wit, but it’s an interesting way to pass the time to watch/read/listen to the verbal gymnastics :o )

    Randy

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