Genesis 1:2

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by robycop3, May 30, 2008.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3
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    Attention, Hebrew readers!

    "And the earth WAS without form..."

    I am told by some that the Hebrew word hayah , here translated was, actually means 'being in a different condition than a former condition, and that therefore the verse should read became insteada was.

    Evidently the earth was already in existence because the Holy Spirit was hovering over 'the deep'. So, whaddya think? Did most English BVs take a little liberty here?
     
  2. Salamander

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    And the earth "became" without form:laugh:

    Good one roby.
     
  3. Deacon

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    Hebrew verbs present some difficulties, they don’t work the same way they do in English so translation is problematic.
    In Biblical Hebrew the verbs don’t say when (or for how long) an action occurred.
    The word in Genesis 1:2 is a simple (Qal) perfect verb indicating a completed action.
    It’s root, הָיָה (hāyâ) [Strongs- 1961 TWOT-491] means:
    1. become, take place 2. esp. happen 3. be, become:

    IMO, the word “was” works well.
    To translate it as “became” adds baggage to its context.

    The same word is used 18 times in the Pentateuch.
    Here are a few examples from the Authorized Version.
    [I've underlined and bolded the word in Hebrew]

    And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
    Genesis 3:20 AV 1873

    As you can see, “became” would work very well here.

    Another verse:

    Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.
    Genesis 29:17 AV 1873

    Here “became” doesn’t work at all.

    And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh’s.
    Genesis 47:26 AV 1873

    Here the KJV translated it as "became". :eek:

    Rob
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Read Fields' "Unformed and Unfilled." He conclusively answers the question you pose above by showing that "was" is the correct translation.
     
  5. robycop3

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    [personal attack snipped]

    Evidently, the earth was already there.
     
    #5 robycop3, May 30, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2008
  6. HankD

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    This verbal aspect of Hebrew is typically called perfect or imperfect.

    The verb hayah here in verse 2 is in the perfect state of completed action.

    Although timeless, this probably indicates a pause and that this primal phase of creation was over, complete though no passage of time is mentioned. The primitive creation at this point was also in a state of disarray, this whole picture probably something we can’t really understand.

    This is not an argument for evolution as the creation of life happened after this "pause".

    Verse 3 begins the 2nd creation phase or the 6 days (sidereal/solar) of the imposing of order upon the disarray ending with man who was to put the finishing touch on creation by bringing it under his dominion.

    My opinion of course.


    HankD
     
  7. LeBuick

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    I had an interesting professor in the seminary that reasoned that “created” is not a physical action. Notice after God created he continually said “let there be” and it was.

    Let’s use Walt Disney as an example, he created Mickey Mouse before he was ever in a form we could share with him. The explanation… Created happens in the mind which is a separate action from making. Walt Disney had Mickey in his mind (created) but once he put Mickey on paper he was then made and we were able to share Mickey with him. This concept can be applied to a carpenter building with His hands or even a chef as they make a fine cuisine. The final product exists in their minds (created) before the physical item is made.

    In this light he contends that God created the heavens and the earth means basically “He decided” and put the master plan all together in his mind. He created but there was nothing physical for us to behold. This explains the “was without form, and void”. There was nothing there except the Master plan in God’s mind. He then begins to assemble the elements in v3 when He says, Let there be” and it was. This makes was in v2 simply a description of it's state at that time.

    I have always liked this explanation and it has stuck with me over the years.

    Thoughts...
     
  8. HankD

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    Very interesting. I considered it as a man who wants to build a house from scratch.

    The first thing he does as you say is to construct the house in his mind, draw up the blueprint.

    My view would be a step further, he collects the raw materials for the house (lumber, nails, etc) and brings them to the work site and in some kind of collection but not necessarily in any kind of defined order.

    God in verse 2 has the raw materials of the earth (planets) in one place perhaps in vast pools of atomic and sub-atomic particles.

    HankD
     
  9. Salamander

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    Nice, but the last example makes perfect sense in that the Lord prevented Pharoah from taking the land from the priests.

    BTW, the KJB translators had no "problems"
     
  10. Salamander

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    And for it to "become" void and without form it hasd to be there also.

    [personal attack snipped]
     
    #10 Salamander, May 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2008
  11. Salamander

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    Excuse the Hebrew word "bara" here! meaning to create using nothing previously existing.
     
  12. robycop3

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    That's exactly what the KJV did...after all, it was written by MEN. Same with all other valid translations in any language. All were made by men.

    [personal attack snipped]
     
    #12 robycop3, May 31, 2008
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  13. HankD

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    You are correct. He created the basic building blocks of matter from nothing.

    Then (IMO) He assembled all that is/was from those basics and so the word "bara" can be applied to all things which He created or formed from those materials He had previously created.

    Also, the word "bara" does not always mean "to create from nothing" in the strictest sense of the word as it is also said that He created (bara) Eve. However He formed her from one of Adam's ribs.

    Adam himself having been formed out of the ground.


    HankD
     
  14. LeBuick

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    Hank, you're fairly close to the gap theory. Is that where you're going with this?
     
  15. HankD

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    Well, I really don't have a place that I'm going with this view. But, I'm not sure what you are asking.

    What is your definition of "the gap theory"?

    If you mean the Bullinger ultra-dispensational theory that there were two creations and that the Lord destroyed the 1st earth and started over, no.

    A "gap" requires the passage of time.

    Genesis 1:1-2 Is the actual "beginning" in which the very constituents of matter (atoms, molecules, sub-atomic particles) were created from nothing, outside of time (time being a created entity) apart from the six 24 hour day creation in which God assembled the universe from that primal creation of matter.

    There was no "Big Bang" from a pre-existing Singularity and no such thing as a Darwinian Origin of the Species, a devolpment of mankind from lower life forms out of a Primordial Soup but matter created once from nothing and a six 24 day forming of that matter into all that we presently see including mankind.

    There is also a "new" creation yet to come which will be suited for eternity and our resurrected bodies.

    2 Peter 3
    10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.​


    HankD​
     
  16. franklinmonroe

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    I don't qualify as a Hebrew reader, so I hope you won't mind if I comment anyway--

    First, I think it may be relevant that the writer of Genesis is NOT recording history as it takes place, but rather is reporting facts that have taken place in the past. Notice the verbs particularly in Chapter One (in KJV and most other English versions) are in the past tense (created, moved, saw, divided, said, etc.).

    This can be illustrated by the noticing the difference between the baseball game announcer and the newspaper sports reporter: the live announcer might say on-the-air that the starting pitcher is losing his form and becoming ineffective, while the reporter would have to write that the starting pitcher had lost his form and was ineffective since his readers will not see his account in print until later.

    Second, Genesis 1:1-2 should be interpreted as a 'literary preface' to the rest of the chapter. In this view, "God created the heaven and the earth" is the summary of the upcoming narrative, and "the earth was without form and void" being an elaboration to further emphasize the six day process. The first event of the actual creative process then is described in verse 1:3 when God brings Light into existence (Day One). Verses 1:1 & 1:2 are thus describing events that have already occurred, but are about to be recounted.

    Therefore, "was" is appropriate.
     
  17. franklinmonroe

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    As an artistic person myself, I agree that the creative process begins in the mind. My final product is often different than my original concept, but God could certainly conceive His creation plan perfectly.

    I have applied this concept (creation in the mind) to another aspect of the Genesis account of Creation. The application of this idea can resolve some alleged contradictions between the narratives of Chapter One and Chapter Two. But before I present my unique opinion it is important to remember that there are many details of the Creation that are not described to us in the Bible.

    For example, Genesis does not tell us exactly how many total of each animal (or bird, or fish, or insect, etc.) were first created directly by God. Two? Five? a thousand? And Genesis does not tell us exactly which gender of the beasts were created first. Male? Female? Simultaneous? Genesis does not tell us exactly the proportion of male to female animals. Equal numbers (pairs)? More females? More males? God may have varied His method depending upon the need of the particular species. We cannot know for sure.

    One alleged contradiction of the Bible brought often by skeptics is the apparent differences in the creation accounts of animals in Genesis 1 & 2. They assert that because Genesis 2:19 states "out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam" (after Adam was created on Day Six) but Genesis 1:20 had already stated "Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth" (on Day Five before Adam) there is a problem. This has been solved several ways, but I want to suggest a very elegant solution.

    A possible explanation for the creation of animals and fowl on two different Days is that the land animal males were created first (on Day Five) and the females were created the next Day (Six). It is very clear that Adam was created before Eve, and this could have been the pattern for all life. Adam became the culmination of all the created males. This view corresponds well with the immediate context at the end of Genesis 2; after naming the animals and watching them pair off "there was not found an help meet" for Adam, so then Eve (the culmination of all females) is made. This view also fits well with the scriptural principle that males are the leaders in the home and the church offices. Notice the use of mostly neutral or masculine pronouns in the KJV ("after his/their kind" etc.) which is primarily due to the Hebrew nouns being almost all 'masculine' words. Could God have first created all the males of every species? Yes. I find nothing in scripture to suggest that He did not create in this order, and much to suggest that He might well have used this very order: male first, followed by female.

    An objection to this view would be that after the creation of man in God's own image there is the statement that "male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:26-27). This is where the idea that God had already conceived that humanity was to multiply through sexual reproduction, but executed His plan in two stages. That "God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone" (Genesis 2:18) makes perfect sense in my view; because Eve was not an afterthought.

    This idea can be illustrated this way: Imagine that a person began a manufacturing business making protective gloves; this person designed the gloves to specifically fit the right and left human hand; this person thought it would be efficient to manufacture many right-hand gloves first, then this person would manufacture a bunch of left-handed gloves, and finally pair them together for sale. Before the left-handed gloves were actually produced, the person was asked if the business would only be selling right-handed gloves. The business owner replied, 'No, of course not! I created them lefts and rights'. In a similar thought, perhaps Walt Disney had always planned to have a Minnie Mouse to pair with Mickey.

    Some might object that "God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Genesis 1:28). The plural "them" could be explained by God addressing all the present male land animals plus Adam. God does not just 'speak' to humans; God had already similarly blessed and spoken to just sea creatures and winged fowl (no humans, see Genesis 1:22). Some might object that God would not command only the males to reproduce without the females present. But God clearly gives Adam other commands without Eve being present (Genesis 2:16-17). The scriptural pattern is to make the male responsible; God held Adam responsible for sin. It was not necessary that the females be present at the command to multiply because God would have held the males responsible had there been a failure to obey.

    Thoughts?

    (c) 2008 Frank Monroe, all rights reserved
     
    #17 franklinmonroe, Jun 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2008
  18. Salamander

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    Then you have no inspired word of God and somehow,somewhere, God "died" and isn't able to preserve his word.
     
  19. Salamander

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    You have just described the cascade effect of creation originating from the instance of bara.

    Bara also means having no previous example to go by, meaning there was no model to revert back to for instruction.
     
  20. Salamander

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    And knowing this is soon to come, gives those who argue the gap theory plenty of theological evidence there actually could have been a primordal earth.
     

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