Talk:Genesis 1-8 (Translated)

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Perhaps chapters one and two could be combined in some way so that they clearly tell the same story in the same order? Liberals often claim that they show two differently ordered creation stories and it would be a good idea to clarify this.--British_cons (talk) 15:09, 11 October 2009 (EDT)

That's a major re-write, something we're not doing. While I agree we should make clear that Genesis 2:6-25 expands on what happened in Genesis 1:26-27, re-writing Genesis is a more drastic step than that action requires. JacobB 15:31, 11 October 2009 (EDT)
I agree, but it would be best to ensure that the two chronologies are the same. As it is, it looks like a different story starts from genesis 2:4 - and this is the usual Liberal complaint.--British_cons (talk) 16:29, 16 October 2009 (EDT)
Not required, actually. Genesis 1 gives the overview, and Genesis 2 gives the details. Verse 4 makes this clear, as you can see from my translation: "This is the story..." Notice also that Verse 5 undergoes a badly needed repair, because as it was, it didn't make a bit of sense.--TerryHTalk 18:27, 27 October 2009 (EDT)
But verse 4 says: This is the story of the skies and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the skies. This still looks like the start of a different story doesn't it? And for example, Gen 2 - 19 has the animals created after Adam, while Gen 1 - 23 has the animals on the filth day - before Adam. --British_cons (talk) 17:48, 29 October 2009 (EDT)
Somehow, I don't think it's right to rewrite the Bible to suit our views when the whole point of this project is to create a version that doesn't do that. Gregkochuconn 16:19, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

Contents

Genesis 1:1

Should a modern interpretation distinguish between the terms "heaven" and "earth" used in verse 1 as fundamental elements of nature versus "Heaven" and "Earth" as places.
(1) In the beginning God created all elements of heaven and earth. (2) The earthly elements were dispersed and mixed among the heavenly elements (as dust in the sunlight) but all was dark and the Spirit of God moved upon the waters. --Tboxx 19:37, 20 April 2011 (EDT)


Genesis 1:2

If "the waters under the heaven [were] gathered together unto one place, and ... the dry land appear[ed]" on the third day (Gen. 1:9), can it really be said that there were "oceans" on the first day? AngusF 18:10, 14 October 2009 (EDT)

Take your absurd gotcha questions elsewhere. Maybe wikipedia will appreciate them. DouglasA 14:28, 19 October 2009 (EDT)
Let me get this straight. You guys are changing the words of the most revered English-language Bible, and then, when asked to account for a word-change, call the question "absurd". Gotcha. AngusF 18:44, 20 October 2009 (EDT)

For the benefit of all observers: "Oceans" can mean the full quantity of all the waters.--TerryHTalk 18:27, 27 October 2009 (EDT)

I humbly defer to your expertise, and "oceans" can be seen as an expansive term, but "ocean" is most commonly seen as a body of water, and the reference here is clearly to water uncontained and undifferentiated. I still plump for "waters" as the better rendering. ChrisFV 22:46, 28 October 2009 (EDT)

24 hours rather than days?

Is this desirable? In my opinion no, as it takes away from the beauty of the book - '24 hours' rather than 'day' seems to be more suited to a textbook, rather than a beautiful book like the Bible. I will remove it, but feel free to put it back in if you disagree. DerickC 13:07, 15 October 2009 (EDT)

As you can see, I left an explanation in the Analysis column that "day" means "solar day" and thus 24 hours.
The notion of changing to a 24 hour day would be historically and theologically inaccurate. The current usage of the terms hour, day, week, etc. are based on the commonly-accepted standard, the Gregorian Calendar. On the basis that this standard was adopted following a papal bull from Gregory XIII in 1582, clearly after Genesis was written, by a mortal being, and not by God, it is unacceptable to alter the original syntax.
More significantly, our conception of time is dependent upon human perception. In other words, what a day is to a human (approx. 24 hrs) is not likely to be the same as what it is to God. How do we know that it didn't take six thousand years to create the Heavens and the Earth, with one day of Gods work being the equivalent of six thousand years within our own perception of time?
Of course, "one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years is one day." However, the Hebrew calendar, which was in use at the time of the writing of the Bible, does not specify a definite length of one day, only that there is a sunrise and a sunset. Of course, this would mean that days in the extreme north and south could last for months, since the Sun does not set during the Summer. Hence, even this consideration is subject to debate.
Based on this, there should be little doubt that the language in this section of the text is stated definitively, and should not be altered. As a result, I have removed the portion of the analysis section defining the meaning of 'yowm'. zlul355 08:10, 28 Nov 2009 (EDT)
I reverted it back. The reason is simple: it is only that verse in which a secular scientist, theologian, or atheist has a problem with concerning a 24-hour period. It has to do with creation vs. evolution, and these people expect that verse - and only that verse - to mean an unlimited amount of time, citing the oft-quoted "a day to God is as a thousand years." With that logic in mind, how much time did Moses spend in the Wilderness? Moses wrote both Genesis and Exodus, so if he meant one thing when God was involved with the Creation, then he meant the same thing while traveling in the Wilderness. So was it forty years, or 14,600,000 years? After Moses died, his protegie Joshua took up the leadership, and circled Jericho for a week...or did they circle the town for 7,000 years? Did Jonah spend three days or three thousand years inside that whale? Did Jesus spend 40,000 years being tempted by Satan? A "day" in the Bible means exactly 24 hours; nothing more, nothing less. Karajou 12:39, 28 November 2009 (EST)


Before I begin, I apologize for the length of my response. Hopefully it isn't difficult to read. If it would be helpful for me to edit some of the post for clarity, I'd be happy to do so...
Karajou - Are you implying that I must be a secular scientist, theologian or atheist if I attempt to provide evidence for a claim? Respectfully, if this is the case you are sorely mistaken. In addition, I hasten to add that in my opinion my argument does not involve creation vs. evolution, only the evidence that my claim can be valid, while still maintaining His word. More on that later.
On the whole, you bring up an excellent point which I did not consider at the time of my initial justification. For this, I apologize. However, I don't believe your argument is definitive, and I still believe that both viewpoints should be considered for further debate. As such, I will not change anything until a final decision has been agreed upon.
In my opinion, there are two essential areas where your response is lacking. Firstly, as I mentioned earlier, higher latitudes experience longer or shorted solar days based on the season. From what I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the Hebrew calendar took this into account and adjusted the observation of days accordingly in these parts of the world. Naturally, this system would have been in affect at the time Genesis was written. However, it certainly wouldn't have been in effect at the dawn of creation. Those who eventually created the calendar would have had to adopt these rules to account for the fact that one day (sunset to sunset) in the far north during the summer or winter would equal 60-70 days in Jerusalem during the same period. Again, this was a construct of mortals, not God. In my opinion, the notion of God designing and creating a World in which time would eventually be experienced by His people differently based on where they were located on it does not seem plausible. I know this doesn't sound like a good reponse but stay with me because it leads into my second point.
As we know from Exodus 7:7, Moses was 80 when he led the Jews out of Egypt in the year 1446 BC and lived for 120 years, meaning he was born in 1526 BC and died in 1406 BC. We also know that Adam was created in the first year of the Jewish calendar, and we are currently in the 5770th year, meaning that the time between the creation of man and Moses's birth is around 2234 years (I know they aren't equivalent or congruent systems but for the purposes of this discussion, I believe they should suffice). During these 2200+ years, the Lord lowered the average lifespan from infinity (Enoch has not died) to 120 (Genesis 6:3), with many figures prior to this event living well into their ninth century, including Adam who died at the age of 930.
This being said, I'm fairly certain that by the time of Moses, civilizations had moved far enough north that a midnight sun would have been observed for weeks or months on end. Assuming that these civilizations had followed the Hebrew Calendar, this would have meant that one "solar day", as observed by these peoples, would have been the equivalent of 60-70 days as observed by Moses in the same period, while he was writting Genesis. According to your claim, Moses states one day of creation was the equivalent of one of our solar 24-hr day. If this is true, Moses - and therefore God - seems to have overlooked the fact that His concept of time doesn't apply to all of His subjects.
Now, this may not seem like a significant issue. It is true, there may be one or more aspects that I overlooked, which I welcome you or someone else to mention. In the absence of these considerations, however, my argument on this point is simple:
-- If God intended His word to apply to everyone made in His image, why wouldn't he create a World where everyone followed the same word, i.e. observing the Sabbath at the same time as people in other parts of the world?
--Why would He rather create a universe where adjustments or decrees needed to be made by mortal human beings, after the fact? Though I don't wish to be guilty of blasphemy, to be frank, my understanding of the all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipotent God of Abraham would not allow for such an oversight to be possible.
Given this, I feel that it is implausible that Moses intended a day in Creation to be the equivalent of a solar day. Instead, I prefer to believe what is stated in the Book of Jubilees (4:29-31):
"...that he [Adam] lacked 70 years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die."
Without going into any further detail (my fingers are starting to hurt from all the typing :-)), this would mean that Adam died in the same day of his creation, paving the road for everything that followed and NOT affecting Creationism theory, as you mentioned in your response. As for why we observe time as we do, I feel it is similar to what God did when he lowered the average age on two occasions (the first already mentioned above and the second from 120 years to 70-80 years as per Psalms 90:10), speeding up time in the process. In other words, if we take the average lifespan in the time of Methuselah (969 years in his case or slightly less than one day of Creation) and compare it to the average lifespan of today (70-80 years), you can make a plausible inference as to why the 1000 year theory is valid.
Of course, no one including myself can know for sure if this is the definitive truth. Nevertheless, given the considerations I have just presented, I hope that you and everyone else affected by this issue can agree that a discussion is worth pursuing, instead of merely appealing to blind faith.
Note: I apologize for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. I'm quite new at this and am still trying to get acquainted. Also, there are probably some sources that should have been mentioned. It was not a deliberate act, I was simply trying to save time. If you would like, I will be happy to post links. I look forward to your response, as well as anyone else willing to offer their views on this important matter. zlul355 19:45, 28 Nov 2009 (EDT)

baramin

Would it be better to use the modern conservative word baramin rather than the Old English word "kind" in verses 12 onwards?--British_cons (talk) 15:10, 15 October 2009 (EDT)

I don't know that enough people are going to know what 'baramin' means for this to be helpful. According to Albert Barnes, the phrase 'after its kind' " intimates that like produces like, and therefore that the “kinds” or species are fixed, and do not run into one another. In this little phrase the theory of one species being developed from another is denied."—The preceding unsigned comment was added by BruceR (talk)

Not to worry. I left a link to Baraminology and a full explanation of where that name comes from. "Kind" is correct; it is the word that God actually used, or at least how it translated. But everyone will know what we mean by that, especially after we write the commentary.--TerryHTalk 18:30, 27 October 2009 (EDT)


I just read a lot of the discussion concerning "baraminology" on Conservapedia. What it comes down to is just how much of a scientific work is the Bible? And is the use of the term "baraminology" justified? While in its defense, its said that baraminology is a new system of classification, it does seem kind of confused. The "holobaramin" of dogs is said to include all canids, which were descended from the "two individuals taken aboard the Ark". Since canids include foxes, wolves, coyotes, domestic dogs, dholes, cape hunting dogs, etc., then it would appear that baraminology accepts the idea of speciation - which another article in Conservapedia confirms. So the holobaramin of canids includes all species of canids which speciated or evolved from the Noachian two. Or did some of them speciate from species that speciated from the original two? From the holobaramin, we go "up", to the apobaramin, which are groups of holobaramins. The article on baraminology states that the holobaramins of wolves and humans are grouped in one apobaramin. Since the holobaramin involves species which speciated from the original two or from those which speciated from the original two, is such a biological relationship implied for the groups in a apobaramin? What exactly determines membership in a holobaramin, or a apobaramin? And why bother coming up with "baraminology", when the classification system of kingdom, phylum, class, order, etc., works perfectly well? If the answer is that this implies evolutionary relationships, then so does baraminology when you get down to it.

Getting back to the first question, how scientific is the Bible, I examined that with my discussions of the expanse and of the tannin. But researching baraminology led me to "classification system" on Conservapedia, where it stated that the Biblical reference to bats as birds was based on the Bible "using a different classification system", the "flying creatures" level of baramin. The verse where bats are "classified" with birds is Leviticus 11:19 (and Deuteronomy 14:18). This verse is in the section of Leviticus forbidding the eating of unclean birds. Another verse in this section, 16, lists "the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk" (KJV) The JPS translates verse 16 as "the ostrich, the night hawk, the sea gull and hawks of every kind". The discrepancy is obvious: Owls and ostriches may both be birds - of course, according to the statement in Conservapedia, the ostrich wouldn't be a bird, since it is not a "flying creature" - but they are very different. Looking at the Hebrew, we see that ostrich is yaen, while owl is yaanah, which is the feminine form of yaen. The Hebrew for hawk is tachmas, which comes from chamas, to be violent, and, Strong's Concordance says, can mean either owl or hawk. But the Hebrew for hawk can also be nets, from natsats, to glare or be brightly colored. What's interesting, is that nets can also mean flower; and in Job 15:33, the term nitsah - the feminine of nets - is used for flower. The Hebrew for cuckoo or gull is shachaph, to peel or be emaciated. From this we can see that the words for these animals is based not on scientific rigor, but is rather more descriptive of these animals. Both owls and hawks are violent in their attack, and both merit the word tachmas, which has nothing to do with their biological relationship. An owl is also termed a yaanah, the feminine of yaen - again, perhaps descriptive - an owl is a feminine ostrich - but of course it is not biologically correct. And then we get to the word nets used for both hawk and flower, which may be highly descriptive of both as colorful, but hardly signifies a close relationship in any classification system. - Danielitld

Despite having meandered through your wandering post and never having reached a point, I managed to scry something of what you were attempting to communicate. The Bible is unscientific? The Bible is extraordinarily scientific, and possesses scientific knowledge nobody could have possibly possessed when it was written, other than God. Don't believe me? See for yourself.
Regardless of whether a bat is a bird, God may have simply wanted people not to eat them because of something they had in common with birds - perhaps flight or a diet of insects exposes them to some disease that non-flying birds don't have, I don't know.
We should not ever be attempting to tear down the Bible with knowledge that we've gained through genetics or other modern science (like ostriches having more in common with birds than bats), but instead use the Bible to understand our world better, and using modern knowledge as a supplement to that. I pray you learn to stop trying to tear down the Bible. JacobB 13:51, 21 November 2009 (EST)
Look no further than our own article, Bible scientific foreknowledge. However, I must concur with Jacob: Daniel, your writing is so roundabout that I can barely read it. Conciseness is key. To the point, baraminology is a fledgling but burgeoning field of research, with extraordinary predictive power. I suggest you research it more before presenting paltry criticism. DouglasA 14:14, 21 November 2009 (EST)

Since when is trying to understand the Bible considered tearing it down? Someone wants to claim that dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible. If I look at that claim, and find it questionable if not plain wrong, is the Bible "damaged", or only the claim? JacobB's link in support of that claim, says that Behemoth and Leviathan, from Job, were dinosaurs. Were they? The footnote in the Good News Bible states that "some identify this [Behemoth] with the hippopotamus", while Leviathan "some take . . to be the crocodile". Believe what you want, since there's no way to be sure. Of course, both the hippo and the crocodile are dangerous creatures, and were surely known to the writer of Job. There doesn't seem to be any need to interpret them as being dinosaurs.

Take the word tannin, which JacobB's link mentions as referring to dinosaurs. I've already covered that with a discussion below. So I'll just repeat that, in Lamentations 4:3, a tannin is described as suckling its young - a mammalian trait, not a dinosaurian one. If you want to believe that the term tannin at least is broad enough to include dinosaurs, then you are free to do so. But a term so broad which can mean any type of animal is hardly scientific. And that is the point I was making referring to Leviticus 11:16, even without delving into the "bat is a bird" notion. The terms used are descriptive, not scientific. Shown the Hebrew term "nets" by itself, you wouldn't know if the "brightly-colored" object being referred to was a hawk or a flower. The Hebrew term yaen and its feminine form yaanah refer to what? The male ostrich and one might assume the female ostrich. Yet yaanah is translated in the KJV as "owl", which is also how the term tachmas is rendered, when its not translated as hawk. Researching all of this hardly "tears down" the Bible. It just points out that "the Bible is not a scientific book", as JacobB's link first states. And understanding how the ancient Hebrews looked at things means you don't have to go chasing down dinosaurs to understand the Bible. - Danielitld

3:14

"You will crawl on your belly and eat dry-powder food throughout the days of your life." Again, I defer to the expert(s), but I don't see the basis for "dry-powder food". Throughout the Old Testament, עפר (`aphar) is used in two senses: dust/dry earth (as in Gen. 2:7), and a vast number (as in Gen. 13:16). I don't see any basis for "food". Also, serpents (snakes) are almost exclusively carnivorous. Meat doesn't register as a "dry-powder food". ChrisFV 22:59, 28 October 2009 (EDT)

I agree, to "eat dust" makes more sense to me as well. But of course the original poster can explain his reasons for using "dry-powder food" before any change is made. --MarcoT 08:48, 12 June 2010 (EDT)

The expanse

The JPS Torah commentary states that "the verbal form [of expanse or rakia in Hebrew] is often used for hammering out metal or flattening out earth". What the expanse or the sky was actually supposed to be is unclear. The commentary points out that, in Ezekiel 1:22, the expanse is equated to ice. Whether metal or ice, the water beyond it was taken to be the source for rain. What I find interesting is that, in the translation, while it is stated how the ancient Hebrews understood things, it apparently seems necessary to point out how creation scientists understand the expanse. But is it even appropriate to take that ancient understanding - to even understand that that was the way the ancient Hebrews understood things - and somehow try to give it scientific legitimacy with ideas of water-vapor barriers or notions of Einsteinian physics? The Jehovah's Witnesses have "theorized" that a belt or a sphere of water orbited the Earth, even though this goes against what is said in Genesis. If the ancient Hebrews understood the expanse as a metallic or an ice barrier from which rain came, then obviously that was wrong, as we now know. But if we try to interpret the ancient text in a modern way, then aren't we actually misinterpreting it? Shouldn't we look at it with Hebrew eyes, and try to see the Hebrew understanding - even if it is scientifically inaccurate?

The same goes for the notion of dinosaurs being mentioned at Genesis 1:21. Just as the Hebrews didn't understand how rain came about, how much of a notion did they even have about dinosaurs? The Hebrew word used for "great sea monsters" is tannin. But from its use in the Bible, we can see that it is not an exact scientific term. In Ezekiel 29:3, the pharaoh is described as "the great tannin that crouches in the midst of his streams". The KJV translates this as dragon. But the Jerusalem (Hebrew) Bible translates it as crocodile, which would seem appropriate. However, in Lamentations 4:3, we read how the tannins "draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones". The KJV translates this as "sea monsters", while the Jerusalem Bible renders it as jackals. Whatever these tannins are supposed to be, they are definitely mammals, since only mammals suckle their young. If someone would want to interpret tannin as including dinosaurs along with all other kinds of animals, then I suppose he or she would be free to do so. However, such an interpretation would definitely have to be a very loose one. - Danielitld````

Genesis 3:1

Is the serpent really Satan? Genesis 3:1 says that the serpent was a "wild beast" "that the Lord God had made". This reflects the words of Genesis 1:24-5, with the stipulation that "God saw that this was good". The Hebrew word for serpent used here is nachash, and it appears in many places in the Bible, where it is not equated with Satan. In Genesis 49:17, we are told that Dan, "one of the tribes of Israel", "shall be a serpent by the road, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider is thrown backward". (JPS translation) Its difficult to imagine one of the tribes of Israel "who shall judge his people" (KJV) being equated with Satan. In Numbers 21:9, we are told that Moses "made a serpent of brass", that would cure any man if he had been bitten by a serpent. Again, its difficult to imagine this as being somehow satanic, when the allusion to the nachash is as a "beast of the field". While the serpent in Genesis 3 may be "subtil" or cunning - the Hebrew word is arum - equating this "beast of the field" with Satan is not supported by the text. Danielitld

It would seem to be entirely plausible that all animals could talk before the fall. After all, we know that, for instance T Rex was vegetarian and used its teeth for opening coconuts. So it requires no great stretch of the imagination to suggest that apart from being entirely herbivorous the animals were also capable of speech. This would explain the fact that Eve is in no way recorded as being surprised by being accosted by a talking snake. It would also make the punishment which the snakes received as a group a lot more fair - as if it was only an unwilling tool of Satan then the permenant cursing would seem rather harsh - but if the snake was acting of its own violation then the punishment is more reasonable.--British_cons (talk) 12:57, 9 November 2009 (EST)

I have never heard about T. rex using its teeth to open coconuts, so I searched for any information on that on line. The only reference I found to this is on the website fishfeet2007.blogspot.com. Whoever wrote this reference said that, when he or she asked a guide at the Creation Museum what T. rex used its recurved teeth for, the guide responded that they were used for opening coconuts. However, a blogger named Hans Mast at HansMast.com states that this "fact" was made up by someone trying to "belittle" the Creation Museum in Kentucky, even before it opened. HansMast.com also points out that there are no guides at that museum, since it is a self-guided museum. When I tried to find a reference to this on the Creation Museum site, I found none. So it appears that Hans Mast is right - this is a hoax which has spread over the internet. - Danielitld

That is most interesting. Nevertheless T Rex must have used its teeth for something before the Fall.--British_cons (talk) 17:45, 9 November 2009 (EST)

I found the comment to Genesis 1:6, about the expanse, most interesting: "The ancient Hebrews believed that the sky was in fact a solid object that separated two classes of water". I commented before that, understanding that that is what the ancient Hebrews believed, why then do creation scientists seek an explanation for this expanse that we now know doesn't exist? Put another way, since we can no longer believe what the ancient Hebrews believed, then how can we interpret the Bible literally? When you state that the T. rex must have used its teeth for something, the answer is in its teeth: The T. rex used its teeth for eating meat. This may contradict a supposed literal interpretation of Genesis. But as the "expanse" of Genesis 1:6 shows, a literal interpretation is just not possible. We might even ask ourselves how the ancient Hebrews themselves read the Torah. W. Gunther Plaut, in the introduction to his Torah commentary writes: "Even the ancient Jewish Sages, who believed that the Torah was a divinely authored book, did not take the text literally. They took it seriously, but they always looked behind the flat literal meaning. They realized that the Bible - in addition to everything else it was to them - abounded in subtle metaphors and allusions, that it used word plays and other literary devices, that it sometimes spoke satirically, and that its poetry could not be subject to a simple approach. They agreed without embarrassment that one could disagree on what the Torah meant, and on this sound principle we ourselves should base our approach to the text." An example of word play can be found in Genesis 3, where the serpent is "cunning" - the Hebrew word is arum - and then Adam and Eve found themselves ashamed because they were naked - aram in Hebrew. It is difficult to imagine this play on words being taken in a "flat literal" sense. Which takes us back to the expanse of verse 1:6. Did the ancient Hebrews actually believe, then, that the sky was a solid object? Or does this verse also have a meaning behind its "flat literal meaning"? If they really did believe the sky was a solid object, at a time which was centuries before Galileo, Kepler and Copernicus, then do Jews still believe that? I really don't believe that they do. - Danielitld

Noah and Utnapishtim

In the comment to verse 6:14, we are told that, with the word pitch or kaphar in Hebrew "the ransom Jesus Christ paid for mankind" is prefigured. But since the ark or tebah only appears again in Exodus in connection with Moses, it would seem that Moses is prefigured here. The Hebrew word for pitch, kaphar, means to cover, according to Strong's Concordance, and , figuratively, to expiate, condone, placate, and cancel. But the word for pitch in Exodus is zepheth or asphalt, not kaphar. Where kaphar does appear is in the Epic of Gilgamesh, according to the JPS Torah Commentary, where the Akkadian word kupru is used: "six 'sar' (measures) of bitumen I poured into the furnace", Utnapishtim relates in the Epic. Instead of "prefiguring" a future event, kaphar represents a rewriting of the Epic. Utnapishtim is told by the gods to "Give up possessions, seek thou life. Forswear (worldly) goods and keep the soul alive!" If with kaphar/kupru we are meant to understand an atonement because "the earth became corrupt" (v. 6:11), then the expiation of that corruption was attained through the flood in both Genesis and the Epic. - Danielitld


In the Epic of Gilgamesh, we read that the god of the underworld "Erragal tears out the posts" of "the world dam", while the god of war Ninurta "causes the dikes to follow", thus unleashing the deluge. Is it possible to read this account of the flood and give it any kind of scientific credibility? After reading Walt Brown's "hydroplate theory", it would appear that that is what was done. Brown refers to pillars that held the crust of the earth up over his theorized subcrustal ocean, whose "tearing out" caused the waters of that subterranean ocean to spew out. But basing the hypothesized pillars on the "science" of Gilgamesh is highly dubious, to say the least. Aside from the science, is Brown's hypothesized "subcrustal ocean" even Biblically correct?

In verse 7:11, we read that the "fountains of the great deep [were] broken up". In Genesis 1:2, we first encountered the "great deep" or tehom - the "cosmic abyssal water" that existed when the earth was "unformed and void". (from the JPS Torah Commentary) On the second day of creation, God made the expanse - rakia - to "separate water from water", "and it separated the water which was below the expanse from the water which was above the expanse". On the third day, God bade "the water below the sky [the expanse] be gathered into one area, that the dry land may appear". We are then told that "God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of waters He called Seas". What I get from this is the world as we now know it, with its continents and oceans - but not a "subcrustal ocean".

Tehom also appears in other Biblical verses. In Isaiah 51:10, the "arm of the Lord" is asked "Art thou not it which dried the sea, the waters of the great deep [tehom]; that made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?" (Jerusalem Bible) - referring to the Exodus crossing of the Sea of Reeds. In Habakkuk 3:10, we read how the mountains tremble upon seeing God, and "the deep [tehom] uttered its voice, and lifted up its hands on high". (Jerusalem Bible) In Genesis 49:25, we read that God "blesses you with the blessings of heaven above, [and the] blessings of the deep that crouches below". (JPS) Similarly in Deuteronomy 33:13, we read of Joseph "blessed of the Lord be his land with the bounty of the dew of heaven, and of the deep that crouches below". (JPS) From these verses, the idea of a "subcrustal ocean" is just not there. Reading the verses from Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33, if we were to equate the "deep" or tehom with a "subcrustal ocean", we would even get the impression that Brown's "subcrustal ocean" is still there after the flood.

Reading Genesis 7:11 with Genesis 1:6-10 in mind, what we are to understand is that "creation is being undone", according to the JPS commentary. The waters which were separated by the expanse are coming together again, making the earth again "unformed and void". But "God remembered Noah", and basically created the earth again, in chapter 8. The water above the expanse was "held back", and the waters below the expanse returned to the seas. There is no room here for a "subcrustal ocean", and any hypothesizing to that effect is inane, not only scientifically, but Biblically as well. - Danielitld

Will vs Shall

I suggest replacing "shall" with "will"; after all the purpose of this project is to use more modern language, and "shall" is increasingly becoming obsolete. Furthermore, this change would improve internal consistency, as "will" is used in other instances. So I suggest replacing every instance of "shall" (e.g. 1:6, 1:11) with the more commonly used "will". --MarcoT 08:32, 12 June 2010 (EDT)

Tense of YHWH as a verb

I was taught that God's Hebrew name (which my computer does not support typing) combines elements of the present, past, and future forms of "to be" into some impossible grammatical conjugation. The future form is YHYH (yud-hay-yud-hay, pronounced y'hiyeh), the present form (if Hebrew had a word for the present form "is", which it doesn't), would be HVH (hay-vov-hay, pronounced hoveh), and the past form is HYH (hay-yud-hay, pronounced hayah, like you're karate-chopping somebody). I don't know if this is exclusively a Jewish concept, and it might very well be since Christians don't typically study the Bible in Hebrew, with the exception of people who are full-blown religious scholars. But the point was that God is, was, and will be. In other words, He is eternal. You kind of have to stretch your mind to see the "was" hidden in the name, but I guess that's moot anyway since if 2,000 years ago they said "is", it's clear that He "was" at this current time anyway (and still "is" and "will be"). Gregkochuconn 16:10, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

"Before All Else"

I've seen translations that begin Genesis 1 with "Before all else" instead of "In the beginning" to resolve the paradox of the "If God created everything, then who created God" objection. It makes it clear that God existed before the Universe, something that would be seemingly impossible if the Universe was literally created "In the beginning". That is, God is an intelligence that antedates the Universe. (Bonus points if you can tell me where I got that last phrase from - you'd be surprised who said it.) It's not a perfectly literal translation, but some argue it's more effective. What are other people's thoughts? Gregkochuconn 16:15, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

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