Genesis: "Comming into being, generation, creation, nativity; Greek name for the first book of the Bible."
Is it possible that Genesis records the creation of Heaven and Earth? I suspect that it does, and that it represents a version of the same basic story that all ancient cultures have shared throughout the ages. Now, if only we could take the version that was handed down to us and make it intelligible once again.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a story about the creation of Heaven and Earth? One that everybody could believe? It might help to resolve a lot of the world's nagging questions. Questions that doctors, scientists, and politicians have sacrificed like a scapegoat of ignorance. Questions that professors and priests would rather avoid in order to "live on the lamb." Questions that portray human nature on an evolutionary quest for answers in a world of war and disaster.
According to language, the Old Testament comes in various forms. For example, King James English gives a form of English language to millions of people. Millions of people who's common language inhabits a living era hundreds of years removed from King James! For those who read Latin and Greek, the forms of creation move farther still: in a general direction closer akin to Genesis. On through the Hebrew language and beyond we can literally travel backwards through time. Not to a place where no one has gone before, but to a place that appears like a distant shore. A vision that appears after we dispell with the clouds of time-hardened ignorance and the haze of human censorship that mystify its face. The ancient past, the far ancient past (called pre-historic, because it exists prior to "recorded" history) may reveal a world far afield from what we were led to believe.
"In the beginning God created..." The Greek word for God (at least in the New Testament) is "Theo". Hebrew gives the word alhym [Elohim] for this first line of Genesis. Which is correct? The Muslims call their God "Allah," which is curious since both the Jewish and Muslim religions both subscribe to the Old Testament. Remove the pluralizing suffix ym from the "Hebrew" alhym, and the result is alh. Coincidence?
Is the word "God" plural or not? English translation for Genesis 31:30 reads: "And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy fathers's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?" Now, let us look at this same verse in context to Hebrew. "And now, though thou wouldest needs [hlk] be gone [hlk], because thou sore [ksp] longedst [ksp] after thy fathers's [ab] house [byt], yet wherefore hast thou stolen [gnb] my gods [alhym]?"
The Hebrew word alhym appears numerous times in the Old Testament. At least 20 times in the first two books alone. There - in Genesis and Exodus - the word alhym corresponds with "Gods!" It corresponds with the word "Gods" in Genesis 3:5; 28:22; 30:2; 31:30; 31:22, and in Exodus 12:12; 18:11; 20:23; 22:28; 23:13, :24, 32, 33, 32:1, 4, 8, 23, 31; 34:15, 16, 17. In other places the translation for alhym is "great" [Genesis 30:8], "mighty" [Exodus 9:28], and "judges" [Exodus 21:6; 22:8, 9]. In every case the word appears to be plural.
Judaism includes other names for God. One of them, represented by the letters YHVH, is claimed to be the proper name for the God of the Hebrews. Reportedly it [YHVH] was spoken in the Jewish Temple once a year by the High Priest, but its correct pronunciation was lost after the Temple's destruction. The English translation [Genesis 2:4] renders YHVH as "LORD". Exodus 6:3 renders it JEHOVAH: "And I appeared [rah] unto Abraham [abrhm], unto Isaac [ytskk], and unto Jacob [yakb], by the name of God [al] Almighty [sdy], but by my name [sm] JEHOVAH [yhvh] was I not known [yda] to them." Here the name for "God" appears simply as al. So what about YHVH? How many names does history record for "God?"
Throughout this commentary I find myself "Returning to Go" with a desire for further research. Personally speaking, the translations for Genesis commonly available appear highly suspect. "In the beginning God created..." What did God create? "In the beginning God created the heaven..." The Hebrew spelling for heaven is smym. Another word with a plural ending! In Genesis 2:4 the same word [smym] is twice rendered "heavens!"
The root word sm in Hebrew comes with the following meanings: "name" [Genesis 2:19], "renown" [Genesis 6:4], "there", "thither" [after verbs of motion], "yonder", "from there", "then" [as an adverb of time], and sm is the name for Shem, Noah's son. Is it curious then to find Hebrew sma means "to hear" or "to hearken?" and Hebrew sm means "name?" Is it curious then to find Hebrew smr means "keep" [Genesis 2:15] and Sanskrit smr means "remember?"
What comes to mind for me at this point is a peculiar situation regarding the word YHVH. A situation where the pronunciation [along with the correct spelling] for this name of God has become largely prohibited for members of the Jewish religion. In its place the word hashem [hsm] or, "the name" is used instead. And so it stands, "In the beginning God created the heaven...."
Is it possible that people have forgotten the pronounciation for YHVH? Is it possible to correctly spell a word [YHVH] when the pronunciation for that word is uncertain? Possible it is that some people understand "Hebrew" language like some people understand Latin and Greek. They don't!
At one time in history [for more than a century] only a select number of people [priests and clergy] were allowed to own a Bible. For other people it became a crime punishable by death! Why were so many people not allowed to look at the Bible? The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 reportedly contain fragments from every book in the Old Testament [with the exception of Esther], yet for the most part they have remained subject to the state in which they were found [the State of Israel founded in 1948?] for the past fifty years! During those years the original texts have either been edited, or [from oxidation of the leather on which they were written] faded beyond recognition.
Before commenting further, it would probably be practical to illustrate the Old Testament first and then look at it with an objective eye. An eye that can see both Hebrew and English together, and examine exactly how Genesis was [and is today being] translated." [Etznab Mathers]
To be continued...
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