Saturday, February 27, 2010

Genesis 1:1-2

1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
2 the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2.

Old Testament Committee translator Bruce Vawter, in his book On Genesis, says that the Committee had to choose between separating Verse 1 and Verse 2 with a period, or not doing so. Doing it as the King James Bible does it -- regarding "when" as not implied and so getting rid of it, and then ending the verse with a period -- creates an appearance that the God-inspired author intended to teach creation from nothing.

The propblem with doing that is that that makes Genesis talk at the plaintext level in a fashion the people who wrote it never would have talked. No other contemporary creation epic -- and there are a lot of them -- talks about creation from nothing. All talk about creation from pre-existing materials with no effort to explain where the pre-existing materials came from.

Eliminating the period and adding "when" to Verse 1:1 seemed to make the joinder of Verses 1 and 2 say precisely what the ancient author would have said.

The period at the end of Verse 1:1 therefore seemed to impose modern philosophy on ancient thinking, and to result in propogandistic non-translation.

The Old Testament Committee of the Catholic Church therefore punctuated Genesis 1:1 with a period.

Genesis 1:1 contains 4 types, or words symbolizing Biblical concepts...

"wasteland" = an analog of the Wildernerss Type = "not yet saved world."
"darkness" = the Darkness Type = "God's condemning judgment."
"abyss" = the Abyss Type = "sea of damnable souls.."
"wind" = the Wind Type = "a special presence of God."

Gaster further notes that the Hebrew word underlying "swept" is the same word used in Deuteronomy to describe an eagle hovering protectively over its clutch.

Inserting the types' interpretations, and Gaster's logic...

1 In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was "the not yet saved world," and "God's condemning judgment" covered the "sea of damnable souls," while a "special presence of God" swept lovingly over the waters. Genesis 1:1-2.

In effect, Genesis 1:1-2 sets up a scene where God is poised to save a damnable world.

That's the point of this section. It is not teaching the sciencer of creation. It is about salvation.

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