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Genesis 4:1.


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Initial post: Dec 27, 2012 8:37:59 PM PST
John D. Brey says:
The very first statement in Genesis 4.1 is wrongly translated, "And Adam knew his wife . . .". The translators are surely aware that there's no conversive waw in the statement (making it a past perfect) so that the correct translation is, "And Adam had known his wife." ---- But at no place in the entire scripture is the statement "had known" (yada without a conversive waw) used to speak of sex where a pregnancy occurs. Wherever the euphemism "knew" is used for sex related to a pregnancy, it is always yada with the conversive waw: "knew," rather than "had known."

Rashi, and many other Jewish exegetes point out that the past perfect use of yada means that the conception took place at a previous time, such that Gen. 4.1 is speaking of sex that took place in the Garden of Eden, prior to the expulsion. The past perfect use of yada is extremely peculiar since in proper translation it means that Adam knew Eve had engaged in sexual congress at a past time, and that the current pregnancy and birth were the product of that past sexual congress.

But if Adam was the one who had engaged in the sexual act with Eve, then there would be no reason to use the past perfect yada without the conversive waw, since the statement would merely be suggesting that Adam was the father of the one being born, as is the case every other time where the euphemism "knew" is used to imply that a man had engaged in sex with his wife. Rashi actually states that according to proper exegesis of the Hebrew words, the use of the past perfect implies that the "had known" means that what is "known" (from this past event) is not related to Adam and Eve having a child because of what is "know" (from the past event). Which is to say that Rashi implies that if the verse were implying that the birth of the child was a result of Adam "knowing" Eve, then the standard use of the euphemism "knew" (yada with a conversive waw) would have been used, and the fact that it wasn't implies something far afield of what the verse seems to be saying once you bollix up the exegesis.

The expositors of the English Bible's who translated yada without the conversive waw "knew" (rather than "had known") are either incompetent, or else they're covering up the true meaning of the Word of God with what they think it must mean. Either way, they're doing a grave disservice to the proper dividing of the Word of God. Similarly, students of the Word of God, who don't take this sort of mishandling of God's word seriously, are joint conspirators in the violence being perpetrated against the Author of God's living and abiding Word.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 9:46:47 PM PST
i dont think the committee of experts that translated the niv were all wrong and you got it right

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:01:46 PM PST
Horse,

Gee this is what I found for the NIV:
4 Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, "With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man."

Now where is it that you think the experts used "knew" again? Made love can be past or present in what I see here.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:03:25 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012 10:04:44 PM PST
made is past tense in english

it was the OP that quibbled about 'knew'
i questioned whether he was smarter than the experts

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:10:04 PM PST
horse,
agreed it is past tense, but it still isn't clear that timing it is closer to what the OP said.

As for the smarter, I'm expecting the OP is talking about a different set of experts --- say rabbis? Although if you had asked that question more precisely you might have gotten a better answer. What I say was you thinking that the NIV had translated KNEW still, and it didn't and I think it made clearer that there is a timing issue.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:10:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012 10:13:23 PM PST
John D. Brey says:
In reply to your post on Dec 27, 2012 9:46:47 PM PST

andthehorseirodeinontoo? says: "i dont think the committee of experts that translated the niv were all wrong and you got it right "

The English translations of the Hebrew are a fiasco plain and simple. . . And it's not that I am correct, it's that Rashi and the Jewish exegetes are correct. In the Hebrew text of the Torah "yada" is in the past perfect so that it can only be translated "had known." All of the English translations are based on the Hebrew idiom used to speak of a husband having sex with his wife to birth a child. That Hebrew idiom is "yada" with a conversive waw, translated "knew," rather than "had known." Only "yada" with a conversive waw is an idiom for sex. In the past perfect, it is not always an idiom for sex, so that whenever it's used to speak of sex (in the past perfect) an additional phrase is added, as is the case at Ex 17:31-32.

The so-called experts who translated the Hebrew into the English all distorted the Word of God to place a Hebrew idiom meaning that Adam had sex with Eve, where there is no such Hebrew idiom. They did this because they believe that it's a legitimate right of theirs to make the text say what they think it must be saying, rather than translating it as it is, even if they don't know why it says what it says.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:11:42 PM PST
i see no timing issue

and i am sure that jewish/hebrew experts were involved in the OT translations

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:12:25 PM PST
so you claim

put it to a jury
and you will lose the verdict every time

everybody is stupid but you and your expert

all the others are chopped liver

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:19:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012 10:21:37 PM PST
John D. Brey says:
>>everybody is stupid but you and your expert<<

It's not a pissing match. It doesn't matter what you or I think. It's simply a fact that in the Hebrew, yada is in the past perfect "had known" and not "knew." It's a fact that the English translations all ignore this fact and translate as though it's yada with the conversive waw, as is the case in every case where "knew" is used to speak of sex leading to offspring.

If it shocks you that all the English translators would make this mistake, and they did, then perhaps you've put them on a pedestal they don't deserve? If you still refuse to believe what is factual, then turn around and watch the flickering lights on the inside of the cave, and leave exploration of painful truths to those with the stomach to swallow truths that are somewhat unsavory.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:20:42 PM PST
horse,

I think you will find more than the jewish community disagreeing with you. While I can't say for sure the LDS disagrees with this translations they have for years believed that there were errors in translation in the Bible. So, depending upon who you are going to put in that jury, you may not get the verdict you expect.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:24:10 PM PST
maybe
maybe not
so everybody gets it wrong but you

i am not buying your version
no matter how much you repeat your claim

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:27:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012 10:27:39 PM PST
is the whole jewish community united in this claim?

if that were true the others would have deferred to their alleged expertise.

for sure many translations have been diddled to prove some false claims like the pope tried to sell their cult members

the KJV certainly had issues and errors
but the NIV folks fixed all valid errors and if there were disputes they noted them and the NKJV seems to have done it too

i will go with the niv experts committee over some random jew that some guy on some forum says knows better how to translate some obsolete old language

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:27:30 PM PST
John D. Brey says:
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:20:42 PM PST

Reed N.D. Dark says:"horse, . . . I think you will find more than the jewish community disagreeing with you. While I can't say for sure the LDS disagrees with this translations they have for years believed that there were errors in translation in the Bible. So, depending upon who you are going to put in that jury, you may not get the verdict you expect."

Rashi is one of the most respected Hebrew exegetes of all time. Here's part of what he says about Genesis 4:1:

1. NOW THE MAN HAD KNOWN -- already, prior to the above topic [the birth of Cain], before he sinned and was driven out of the Garden of Eden. And so, too, the pregnancy and the birth of Cain and Abel took place before the sin. For if it had written, "Now Adam knew," i.e., a future with a ו conversive, instead of "had known," we would hear, i.e., understand, that after he had been driven out he had children.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:28:02 PM PST
John,

It is too late for me to clearly digest all you suggest. As a recent documentary suggested some of the OT was translated from something other than Hebrew when it was first translated! I would argue if that were true that even if they now knew the translation was wrong they would be hard pressed to totally change the meaning.

On another forum Rolling stones talked about a lot of such misunderstanding. Can you tell me what you think changes with the changing of this meaning? I haven't worked with these passages for years so I'm not clear on why it makes a difference, of course I never understood why "knew" had to always mean sex when it was mentioned in the Bible anyway. I can't in fact tell you whether that is only OT or whether it is both parts of that were purported to mean that ;-)

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 10:28:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 27, 2012 10:29:10 PM PST
and why does anybody really care about details of this old stuff now ? except for the few idjuts who think it was literal and not an allegory.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:30:59 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:32:43 PM PST
John,

For me NIV has not been my favorite translation, I was drawn to the first Jerusalem Bible translation. Mainly because they went back with additional documents and then documented how words were traditionally used at the time. I'll have to check out how long the footnotes are on this one, I do know that many more fundamentalistic Christian churches were still stuck with the KJV was the best translation at the time I first read the Jerusalem Bible. I now understand it has a new edition and I don't recall the online one being as good as the original if only because of the missing footnotes.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:34:11 PM PST
Horse,

Obsolete?

Doesn't that refer to something that is no longer used today? Are you kidding?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:36:13 PM PST
John D. Brey says:
andthehorseirodeinontoo? says: "and why does anybody really care about details of this old stuff now ? except for the few idjuts who think it was literal and not an allegory."

. . . The allegory must be based on the literal meaning, and not a bastardized translation. Pseudo-Johnathan has an allegory based on the fact that in the literal text, Adam is not the father of Cain. But the English translations cannot accept that Adam is not the father of Cain, without destroying thousands of years of false theology, so instead of allegorizing the literal text, they distort the literal text to justify their wrong-headed theology.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:38:38 PM PST
John,

One of the problems with translation is knowing how both languages are used. Certainly English has changed. I'm having trouble with the concept of had known as in order for a child to have been born there would have been a past tense. If you are trying to tell me that Cain and Abel were conceived and born either pre or post Eden and that it matters, I'll listen. Somehow I always thought it was post, but like I said it was years ago that I cared about the sequence of things --- of course I hadn't worried much about when sin came into the world either, it just never mattered to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:42:12 PM PST
horse,

oral history certainly existed. But the Jews did a much better job of preserving their "sacred" text than the followers of Jesus. My guess is that the Jews were probably keeping better records about Jesus than his followers were/did. There should have been documents about a lot of what was going on with his teachings as he interacted with the Romans.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 10:43:50 PM PST
John,

What falls apart if Cain is not Adam's son?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 11:07:15 PM PST
'probabilist says:
andthehorse wrote:

> made is past tense in english

Does biblical Hebrew have present tense and past tense?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 11:14:32 PM PST
'probabilist says:
JDB wrote:

> But the English translations cannot accept
> that Adam is not the father of Cain

Could you outline (1) how you conclude that Genesis literally says that Adam is _not_ the father of Cain, and (2) why this conclusion matters to a theology that is based on a literal reading of Genesis?

Thanks in advance,

'prob

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 27, 2012 11:16:49 PM PST
'probabilist says:
RNDD asked:

> John,
> What falls apart if Cain is not Adam's son?

This is what I'm wondering, too.

Thanks.

'prob
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  19
Total posts:  242
Initial post:  Dec 27, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 15, 2013

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