READING GENESIS ONE : Comparing Biblical Hebrew with English Translation
READING GENESIS ONE differs from the usual book on Genesis. This book is an exposition of the biblical Hebrew which both explains the grammar and determines the meaning of important Hebrew words by reference to other uses of the same word in the Bible itself.
Why this approach? Because many arguments about the Bible and its agreement or disagreement with the historical physical record are flawed. They are flawed because the Bible does not say that which the disputing parties claim. This may be either the Bible critic or the Bible advocate. In some cases both are arguing positions which are not in agreement with the biblical text.
In READING GENESIS ONE the reader is informed about important patterns of biblical Hebrew word and verb usage. This is done by presenting examples which show the biblical Hebrew of other well-understood verses. These verses illustrate and verify the patterns of word and verb use.
Biblical Hebrew is limited in what it may express because of its small vocabulary. An ordinary American collegiate dictionary will typically define about 160,000 words. Biblical Hebrew, as defined by Strong's numbers, possesses only 8,674 words. This small vocabulary places important limitations on the possible meanings of the verses of Genesis One. Meaning is also limited by the nature of the biblical Hebrew verb. Biblical Hebrew grammars often describe the Hebrew verb as not having tense.
The limitations imposed by the small number of Hebrew words, the Hebrew verb, and other limitations are discussed and consequences explained. This is done before the verses of Genesis One are considered. Subsequently, the first verses of the Bible are studied on a word-by-word basis. Directly comparable examples illustrate word meaning, word construction, and verb usage. This allows the reader to come to an understanding of the meaning which the Hebrew may express.
The meaning which the Hebrew may express often differs from that offered by supposed "experts" who interpret English translation. The meaning also often differs from the meaning ascribed by "agnostic" critics. Resolution of Genesis creation issues is found by direct reference to the biblical Hebrew.
The first 35 verses of the Bible describe the history of planet Earth from its beginning through the appearance of Adam (mankind). These 35 verses employ less than 100 different Hebrew words augmented by the prepositional prefixes and the suffixes representing pronouns. As a consequence, the description must omit much detail.
Based on the substantiated verb and word use, this book establishes and explains that:
1. Genesis One does not say that the Earth is "young," i.e., about 10,000 years old. This fact is established independent of any interpretation about the length of the six "days" of creation.
2. The translation chosen for the Hebrew word "yom" is shown to not determine the age of the Earth, or the age of the universe. It is also shown that the time between the first "And God said" of Genesis 1:3 and the completion stated in Genesis 2:1 is not limited to 144 hours. An interval of 144 hours (six 24-hour days) is not a required consequence of interpreting the creative "yom" as six 24-hour days. When this fact is understood, many of the often encountered arguments are found to be pointless exercises.
3. Genesis One and the established physical history of planet Earth are not in conflict. There remains a conflict with the interpretations of Darwinism.
4. READING GENESIS ONE explains and critiques the typical arguments by which advocates of the "Young Earth" position arrive at their conclusion.
This is a book about God's creation. This book is a powerful tool for resolving creation issues in Christian witness. Why? Because its readers can study and understand the first 35 Hebrew verses of the Bible directly, for themselves. They can free themselves from dependence on asserted "expert" opinion.
R. Whitefield Publisher