Thursday, November 26, 2009

Genesis One a Mistranslation?

It’s a few days now since we ran the story of Old Testament scholar Professor Ellen van Wolde claiming that the start of the book of Genesis was based on a mistranslation and God didn’t “create” the world, but (simply!) “spatially separated” Heaven and Earth.

The comment thread to that story has, depressingly and predictably, broadly divided between Creationists saying something like “God still made it all” and secularists going “Told you so – it’s all a fairy story”.

It has to be said that the good Professor didn’t really aid her case by adding some really breathtaking silliness by way of commentary. Try this:

“There was already water. 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….The traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now.”

Phew, thanks Prof. I think that’s cleared up the mystery of creation once and for all.

Actually, I think her etymological point about the translation is fascinating. She just shouldn’t have gone off on one, as though she had a seat at top table in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Read it all here.


Alice C. Linsley said...

Quite right! Clearly she misses the thrust of Genesis and the entire Bible. I believe the best work on the first chapter of Genesis is John Walton's The Lost World of Genesis One. Here we find scholarhip and personal experience of the Living God. You may read more about Walton's book here:

Rob said...

Thanks for the reference. Reading your blog is like taking a fascinating class!

Have a blessed Advent season.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Rob.

"Reading your blog is like taking a fascinating class!"

High praise indeed. :)