Bad translation upon worse translations manipulated for political ends. Here’s another example that makes the God-was-an-alien-experimental-biogenetisist seem more plausible. Assuming you ignore the staggering amount of physical evidence for evolution, that is.

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 claims she has carried out fresh textual analysis that suggests the writers of the great book never intended to suggest that God created the world — and in fact the Earth was already there when he created humans and animals.
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.”
She writes in her thesis that the new translation fits in with ancient texts.

[…]”There was already water,” she said.

“There were sea monsters. God did create some things, but not the Heaven and Earth. The usual idea of creating-out-of-nothing, creatio ex nihilo, is a big misunderstanding.”

  1. SIDs says:

    The actual translation goes something like:

    And in the beginning there was nothing. Then the Lord’s cat coughed up a nasty hairball and the Lord named it Jupiter.

    Then the Lord said “Let there be light” and holy shit, you could see for fucking miles without a flashlight !!!

    Then the Lord said “Let there be rain”. And Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, it pissed like hell all fucking weekend.

    Then the Lord said unto Moses, “Come forth”. And fucking Moses, being the fucking little jew boy he is, came second. Blew the trifecta. Wow. God had a bundle laid down on that one. Talked about being pissed. Made the fucking jew boy wander around the desert for a few years to teach him a lesson.

    And things started downhill from there.

  2. bobbo, the evangelical anti-theist says:

    #146–Thinker==yes, that all guilt/redemption by Munchhausen is an interesting perversion.

    Somehow, “we” are punished/condemned/must suffer for the sins of other people, Adam and Eve, BUT THEN we are saved/forgiven/offered salvation by the action of another other person, Jesus Christ.

    Being internal as I am==I accept no responsibility for what others do, be it pro or con. Just gripe No 9478 I have with christian dogma. It doesn’t sound true, doesn’t feel true, and if it is true===I’m against it. Hence, I’m “anti.” I don’t see much “knowledge” in such a swirl of logical/moral inconsistency/wrongheadedness. I advise all others to join me on their “personal” journey to meaning.

  3. Wretched Gnu says:

    Again, I think people who like to trace the literary and cultural origins of the bible would really like *The Evolution of God*.

    One of the cool questions it answers is why the bible weirdly says that God, in his creation, has to “subdue” the sea. Why would the creator of the sea have to fight it?

    It turns out it’s because the monotheists who would later “clean up” the bible didn’t bother to remove this reference to an earlier polytheistic story. Most Christians don’t know that Yaweh had a history before monotheism took hold, and the “subdue the sea” passage is left over from that. I forget which god it was that was associated with the sea (was it Baal?), but the passage was clearly put in there to affirm Yaweh’s victory over him.

  4. ECA says:

    “on earth as it is in Heaven..”..

    Ok yu religious nuts, when are ya going to do it??
    MAKE this world as good as heaven?
    Iv been trying my best, but I havent seen any of you HELPING. And Im not religious.

  5. Thinker says:

    #149 Bobbo,

    I know what you mean about the sins of others. Although its doctrinal about the sins of Adam, I really only relate to my own sins, I’m very familiar with them.

  6. Wretched Gnu says:

    Alfred — Your NET Bible commentary proves the point I made quite nicely. Thanks!

  7. Wretched Gnu says:

    Keep posting, Alfred, you’ll convince yourself eventually.

  8. qb says:

    It depends on what you mean by the cleansing of the Septuagint (and others books). More than likely, the somewhat current version of the Septuagint was translated by Hellenistic Jews in Alexandria in the 3rd century by dozens of scholars.

    After this it flowed to the Christian church through the Jews of the Dispersion. Pre 3rd Century, it’s a fragmented mess which is why scholars (faithful or not) study similar texts and languages from earlier times looking for origins. All these stories were oral history for a long time and were written down at various times in various places.

  9. bobbo, libertarianism fails when it becomes dogma says:

    #160–qb==if you make it back here and care to answer: in your opinion, is the bible/god then really a carry on development of an earlier mythos that had THE VERY SAME GOD contesting with other gods in an already formed universe?

    Seems what little comparative religion and history of religion I have dabbled in started after this issue got entangled in the modern/hebrew? bible.

    Fascinating if the Holy Trinity and subduing the oceans and what not is FAIRLY SPEAKING revealing of that apotheosis?

  10. Thomas says:

    Frankly, no one can say with certainty whether the Church deliberately set the date for Christmas. There is insufficient evidence to implicate or exonerate. Most of the customs of the festival definitely derive from non-Catholic sources and what information we do have about his birth, presuming it is accurate would argue against a winter birth but that is not enough to argue a deliberate decision whereby the Church leaders knew his birth to be on a different day but chose December 25th. There is some evidence to suggest that the date was picked to coincide with the Natalis Invicti (solar feast) which would make Mithraism the source of the date but again, there isn’t enough to say for certain.

  11. segaar says:

    Alfred rocks!

  12. The new mam says:

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  13. Joseph says:

    this makes no sense…if it is as you say…the God(Elohim) is not an eternal God…by you saying that you are basically contradicting the bible on His omnipresence….because heaven and earth where already there… answer this where did God come from..and why do all other verse in psalms and Isaiah say “he created” and “he will create”….


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