Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form and void? Part Two

In continuing with Monday's question,

So should Genesis 1:2 be translated as in the King James Version,

"And the earth was without form and void"


"But the earth had become without form and void"?

The question is whether to translate the Hebrew word "hayah" as "was" or "had become". Both are acceptable translations. To translate it as "was", verse two would be a simple continuation of verse one, signifying that its present formless condition was ripe for God's continuing creative activity. Opponents say that this view does not allow for enough time for the fossil observations we have at this time.

If the translation of "hayah" as being "had become" or "became" is correct, the implications are far different. For then verse two is a picture of the earth, not as it came from the hand of God in creation, but after some intervening event which had reduced it to a state of ruin.

This alternative translation allows for a space of time of unknown duration between verse one and two which can accommodate "geological ages". By the way and contrary to what you have been taught in church, this was one of the views held within the early church and some Jews prior to the time of Yeshua. This is called the "Gap Theory". Opponents object to this 'Gap Theory' as simply an attempt to rescue modern Geology.

As I said earlier, both translations are good Hebrew and does not cause any problems with the rest of the creation account here in Genesis. However, one view does have an apparent problem when compared with the rest of scripture. Both views have supporting scripture and will be examined over the next few blogs.

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