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Cosmological Argument Shot Full Of Holes


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According to this scholar's argument, Genesis does not say God created heaven and earth, merely that he separated heaven from earth, and prepared the already-existing earth the life he proceeded to create.

 

Makes sense -- the Genesis account sounds like a bastardized version of Sumerian and Babylonian stories where order was separated from chaos. All that it's missing is a massive fight with a dragon. Oh wait, that comes at the end of the bible.

 

What do our resident Hebrew nerds think of this?

 

And PS -- she's "respected" because she's a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

God is not the Creator, claims academic

The notion of God as the Creator is wrong, claims a top academic, who believes the Bible has been wrongly translated for thousands of years.

 

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

Published: 5:45PM BST 08 Oct 2009

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.

Prof Van Wolde, 54, who will present a thesis on the subject at Radboud University in The Netherlands where she studies, said she had re-analysed the original Hebrew text and placed it in the context of the Bible as a whole, and in the context of other creation stories from ancient Mesopotamia.

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"

According to Judeo-Christian tradition, God created the Earth out of nothing.

Prof Van Wolde, who once worked with the Italian academic and novelist Umberto Eco, said her new analysis showed that the beginning of the Bible was not the beginning of time, but the beginning of a narration.

She said: "It meant to say that God did create humans and animals, but not the Earth itself."

She writes in her thesis that the new translation fits in with ancient texts.

According to them there used to be an enormous body of water in which monsters were living, covered in darkness, she said.

She said technically "bara" does mean "create" but added: "Something was wrong with the verb.

"God was the subject (God created), followed by two or more objects. Why did God not create just one thing or animal, but always more?"

She concluded that God did not create, he separated: the Earth from the Heaven, the land from the sea, the sea monsters from the birds and the swarming at the ground.

"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."

God came later and made the earth livable, separating the water from the land and brought light into the darkness.

She said she hoped that her conclusions would spark "a robust debate", since her finds are not only new, but would also touch the hearts of many religious people.

She said: "Maybe I am even hurting myself. I consider myself to be religious and the Creator used to be very special, as a notion of trust. I want to keep that trust."

A spokesman for the Radboud University said: "The new interpretation is a complete shake up of the story of the Creation as we know it."

Prof Van Wolde added: "The traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now."

 

Original article found here.

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According to this scholar's argument, Genesis does not say God created heaven and earth, merely that he separated heaven from earth, and prepared the already-existing earth the life he proceeded to create.

 

Makes sense -- the Genesis account sounds like a bastardized version of Sumerian and Babylonian stories where order was separated from chaos. All that it's missing is a massive fight with a dragon. Oh wait, that comes at the end of the bible.

 

What do our resident Hebrew nerds think of this?

I'm not a Hebrew Nerd, but I studied ancient Mesopotamian cultures a few years back.

 

Anyone familiar with the stories of Gilgamesh and Utnapishtim knows about the Sumerian creation myths and the similarity with Genesis. I looked at Genesis carefully, and I couldn't tell. Genesis is written in such flowery language that it could be interpreted in many ways (and has been). I don't think the new findings really change anything for Hebrews or others, and I happen to agree with the argument.

 

It doesn't blow Judaism or Christianity out of the water, but it was research like this that ultimately led me to conclude that there wasn't a god.

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"At the start god separated the heavens and the earth." That's roughly how I remember reading it once I deconverted. It didn't take advanced studies. It took the reading of, as Shyone pointed out, Sumerian (et al) creation myths and the Egyptian too. As soon as you read those you can't help but see it. I then took over an hour (I suck at Hebrew) translating Genesis 1:1 by hand.

 

The sea serpent? That's leviathan.

 

mwc

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It doesn't blow Judaism or Christianity out of the water, but it was research like this that ultimately led me to conclude that there wasn't a god.

bathwater_main.jpg

 

:HaHa:

 

I'm just teasing you Shyone. I don't know why, but I like to pick on you. :)

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It doesn't blow Judaism or Christianity out of the water, but it was research like this that ultimately led me to conclude that there wasn't a god.

bathwater_main.jpg

 

:HaHa:

 

I'm just teasing you Shyone. I don't know why, but I like to pick on you. :)

And I love it!

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According to this scholar's argument, Genesis does not say God created heaven and earth, merely that he separated heaven from earth, and prepared the already-existing earth the life he proceeded to create.

 

Makes sense -- the Genesis account sounds like a bastardized version of Sumerian and Babylonian stories where order was separated from chaos. All that it's missing is a massive fight with a dragon. Oh wait, that comes at the end of the bible.

 

What do our resident Hebrew nerds think of this?

 

And PS -- she's "respected" because she's a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

God is not the Creator, claims academic

The notion of God as the Creator is wrong, claims a top academic, who believes the Bible has been wrongly translated for thousands of years.

 

Prof Van Wolde added: "The traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now."

 

Original article found here.

 

Ok... so an external entity terraformed and seeded the planet.... Its a possibility. If the infrastructure needed a bit of nudging to trigger self-sustaining eco-systems... that's fine with me GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif ... why not lol.

 

4 billion years ago, some ancient civilization happened to drop by, spotted our planet and said cool lets plant some seeds here GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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And in a couple of hundred years, we will terraform a planet... then we are the gods. I want to be Thor.

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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 said technically "bara" does mean "create" but added: "Something was wrong with the verb.

"God was the subject (God created), followed by two or more objects. Why did God not create just one thing or animal, but always more?"

She concluded that God did not create, he separated: the Earth from the Heaven, the land from the sea, the sea monsters from the birds and the swarming at the ground.

 

This is interesting.

 

What's the difference between "dividing" and "separating"? "Dividing" light from dark or upper water from lower water vs. "separating" heaven from earth or the sea monsters from the birds?

 

It seems odd to me that the author(s) of the Genesis text, being so fond of repetition, would use a verb that means a totally different thing to convey a meaning they have a perfectly good word in play for already ("divide"). Weird.

 

Phanta

 

Also when I got out my Strongs Concordance, and did a look up for Creation, It says that the Hebrew word translated create here is the same one used for the creation of the whales and the creation of man.

 

1254: bara' te create; (qualified to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes):-choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch. do, make (fat).

 

It does however also point out the word for making the Sun and Moon is a different word, as well as for the firmament.

 

6213 asah

A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows) -- accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck, + displease, do, (ready) dress(-ed), (put in) execute(-ion), exercise, fashion, + feast, (fight-)ing man, + finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great, + hinder, hold ((a feast)), X indeed, + be industrious, + journey, keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer, + officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, pracise, prepare, procure, provide, put, requite, X sacrifice, serve, set, shew, X sin, spend, X surely, take, X thoroughly, trim, X very, + vex, be (warr-)ior, work(-man), yield, use.

 

Can anyone know why bara should be translated seperate in Gen 1:1 when this seems quite different to the intent in the rest of Gen 1. Furthermore can anyone explain the reason for the different words used for light bearers and sky-dome.

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Can anyone know why bara should be translated seperate in Gen 1:1 when this seems quite different to the intent in the rest of Gen 1. Furthermore can anyone explain the reason for the different words used for light bearers and sky-dome.

I looked in Bibleworks 7 and they said that the difference between the two was that "bara" is related to the concept of "creating" while "yasar" is related to the concept of "fashioning." So with the former "god" is "creating" those objects while with the latter he would then be "fashioning" them.

 

So he would "create" whales and men. While he would "fashion" the sun, moon and firmament. (hopefully I've kept the associations straight...if not reverse these)

 

Keep in mind all this ignores what is said about "bara" in the article.

 

mwc

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Makes sense -- the Genesis account sounds like a bastardized version of Sumerian and Babylonian stories where order was separated from chaos. All that it's missing is a massive fight with a dragon. Oh wait, that comes at the end of the bible.

Isn't there a third creation account somewhere in Isaiah where God battles against sea serpents?

 

 

 

 

She said she hoped that her conclusions would spark "a robust debate", since her finds are not only new, but would also touch the hearts of many religious people.

Didn't Baron d'Holbach already argue this point in the 1700s in his book The System Of Nature? I just remember reading one part of it where he says that in the original Hebrew for Genesis, God and matter already co-existed with each other and The System Of Nature was considered the first atheist literature.

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I've understood "BARA" to mean create from nothing and "YATSAR" to create from something already existing.

 

I looked at the Strong's word and the other definitions that are interesting for BARA are "choose" and "make fat" (e.g. fill to excess). If you substitute those words, it appears to seem that Yahweh chooses the earth or possibly fills them up with something. So maybe the argument does have some merit.

 

Also, "b'reshiit" means literally "in (a) beginning". So you could interpet Genesis 1:1 to not mean in "the beginning" of the universe, but a beginning. (of the earth only, perhaps?) I've read some Jewish interpretations that claim their god destroyed earth and rebuilt it many times before based on this translation.

 

As a side note, when I start thinking of stuff like this, I think if the Bible is so true, why is it so hard to figure out what it says? What kind of deity bases whether you suffer in fire forever based on crappy evidence like this?

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I guess now we see why they never trusted women with important spiritual stuff!

 

Seriously, what does it matter what it "really" says since it's a made up story anyway?

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Seriously, what does it matter what it "really" says since it's a made up story anyway?

Well, it does help us to better understand what a group of ancient people thought about God and the origins of the universe and for that reason alone, I find it fascinating, but then I find religious history in general to be an interesting subject. I found the part in The System Of Nature where Baron d'Holbach talks about this alternative reading of Genesis. It's in chapter two of volume one:
Many theologians have acknowledged Nature to be

an active whole. Almost all the ancient philosophers were agreed to

regard the world as eternal. OCELLUS LUCANUS, speaking of the universe,

says, "_it has always been, and it always will be_." VATABLE and GROTIUS

assure us, that to render the Hebrew phrase in the first chapter of

GENESIS correctly, we must say, "_when God made heaven and earth, matter

was without form._" If this be true, and every Hebraist can judge for

himself, then the word which has been rendered _created_, means only to

fashion, form, arrange. We know that the Greek words _create_ and

_form_, have always indicated the same thing. According to ST. JEROME,

_creare_ has the same meaning as _condere_, to found, to build. The

Bible does not anywhere say in a clear manner, that the world was made

of nothing.

So, actually, this argument is a lot older than what the article leads us to believe.
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Also, "b'reshiit" means literally "in (a) beginning". So you could interpet Genesis 1:1 to not mean in "the beginning" of the universe, but a beginning. (of the earth only, perhaps?) I've read some Jewish interpretations that claim their god destroyed earth and rebuilt it many times before based on this translation.

 

My branch of Christianity had a similar understanding of Genesis, except they looked at Genesis 1:2 and translated it "but the Earth became waste and void". I believe this is called gap theory creationism.

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  • 1 month later...

According to this scholar's argument, Genesis does not say God created heaven and earth, merely that he separated heaven from earth, and prepared the already-existing earth the life he proceeded to create.

 

Makes sense -- the Genesis account sounds like a bastardized version of Sumerian and Babylonian stories where order was separated from chaos. All that it's missing is a massive fight with a dragon. Oh wait, that comes at the end of the bible.

 

What do our resident Hebrew nerds think of this?

 

And PS -- she's "respected" because she's a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

God is not the Creator, claims academic

The notion of God as the Creator is wrong, claims a top academic, who believes the Bible has been wrongly translated for thousands of years.

 

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

Published: 5:45PM BST 08 Oct 2009

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.

Prof Van Wolde, 54, who will present a thesis on the subject at Radboud University in The Netherlands where she studies, said she had re-analysed the original Hebrew text and placed it in the context of the Bible as a whole, and in the context of other creation stories from ancient Mesopotamia.

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"

According to Judeo-Christian tradition, God created the Earth out of nothing.

Prof Van Wolde, who once worked with the Italian academic and novelist Umberto Eco, said her new analysis showed that the beginning of the Bible was not the beginning of time, but the beginning of a narration.

She said: "It meant to say that God did create humans and animals, but not the Earth itself."

She writes in her thesis that the new translation fits in with ancient texts.

According to them there used to be an enormous body of water in which monsters were living, covered in darkness, she said.

She said technically "bara" does mean "create" but added: "Something was wrong with the verb.

"God was the subject (God created), followed by two or more objects. Why did God not create just one thing or animal, but always more?"

She concluded that God did not create, he separated: the Earth from the Heaven, the land from the sea, the sea monsters from the birds and the swarming at the ground.

"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."

God came later and made the earth livable, separating the water from the land and brought light into the darkness.

She said she hoped that her conclusions would spark "a robust debate", since her finds are not only new, but would also touch the hearts of many religious people.

She said: "Maybe I am even hurting myself. I consider myself to be religious and the Creator used to be very special, as a notion of trust. I want to keep that trust."

A spokesman for the Radboud University said: "The new interpretation is a complete shake up of the story of the Creation as we know it."

Prof Van Wolde added: "The traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now."

 

Original article found here.

The problem with this article is that this is not the only place in the Bible where it speaks of God creating the universe. Secondly there are others who are don't agree with her conclusions.

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The problem with this article is that this is not the only place in the Bible where it speaks of God creating the universe. Secondly there are others who are don't agree with her conclusions.

 

unsuccessful-troll.jpg

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