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God is not the Creator, claims academic

10 October 2009 121 Comments

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.”

AAAAAAAA

121 Comments »

  • Bustednuckles said:

    Very interesting.
    I would suggest that the nice lady find a fortified bunker for sale.
    Myself, I am always open to new ideas and new interpretations, during my short life I have seen many new revelations that back up what the bible says and some that debunk traditional interpretations.

    There are, however, some not the least tolerant and some of those have recently deleted any liberal bias as they see fit from the bible they so strongly say they live by.

    Good luck to ya lady.

  • MadMonkey said:

    Interesting. This would fit with the theory that God created life as we know it through evolution…

  • stranger said:

    very necessary step in re-discovering the true history of ‘mankind’. next step – drop the capital ‘g’ in god – and use the plural where appropriate .. and get over the supreme being meme – replace it with gods = more advanced entities .. of which there are many

  • Benjamin Frey said:

    This is clearly the amoral atheist contingent trying to slowly chip away at human’s faith. Richard Dawkins couldn’t do it in one fell swoop like he so desired to and van Wolde will fail to gradually destroy the world.

    van Wolde is Satan. She is trying to convince us to relinquish our faith one bit at a time until the world is in her clutches. Before you take van Wolde’s devilry seriously, I implore you to read the bible. On the first page it SAYS in black and white: “in the beginning God CREATED the Heaven and the Earth.” Why do we quibble over man’s interpretation when it says it right there in plain English?

    B. D. Frey

  • AC said:

    Did she find any pictures of ‘His’ spaceship?

  • Daniel Davis said:

    Repeating Satan’s lie (which he has believed himself, first, and then repeated to anyone who would listen) that God was not first but matter was. Hence, “materialists” and all pagan stories hold that water was first, and God showed up sometime later (about when Satan did.)
    It certainly couldn’t be something God said happened because He was there.

  • Some Guy said:

    This is not any major breakthru. Mormons have known this since the 1800′s

  • Some Guy said:

    Of course, Mormons still belive God is the Creator, however only a fool believes something can be created from nothing. Creating is merely a synonym for organizing. Matter has always existed, it can not be created nor destroyed, it can only be manipulated, or organized or “created”. Duh! when you “make” or create a cake do you make it out of nothing? no, you mix in the ingredients and bake it, and you have cake!

  • Marc Shapiro said:

    This doesn’t seem like such a radical insight to me. While it’s obviously not the usual interpretation, I’d argue that you could sort it out from the first eight verses of the King James translation. As I did in my blog:

    http://beret-sheet.blogspot.com/2009/09/second-day.html

  • Ha « TCP 3-Way Handshake said:

    [...] 11 10 2009 creation story has been misinterpreted of course a couple comments in someone already says that she is satan. I liked the first comment [...]

  • simpson said:

    I wonder if Mr Frey above appreciates any irony in his comment?

  • Nate said:

    Interesting interpretation. I see how she concludes that Genesis is the beginning of a story and not THE story, but I fail to see the logical connection between not mentioning how the earth was created and the earth was not created by God. Other than that, I like the idea of God being the controller of making things distinct.

  • Don said:

    @BD Frey: “I implore you to read the bible. On the first page it SAYS in black and white: “in the beginning God CREATED the Heaven and the Earth.” Why do we quibble over man’s interpretation when it says it right there in plain English?”

    Seriously? The Israelites/biblical scribes didn’t communicate in English. Bear in mind you’re reading an interpretation of the Word that has been translated into English.

  • KH said:

    BD Frey…
    You’re not serious are you? The Tanakh (Jewish Bible) or Old Testament wasn’t originally written in English…sorry to burst your logical bubble there.

    If you were joking then fine, it’s hard to read sarcasm…

    KH

  • Alan Cecil said:

    It never ceases to amaze me, these “respected scholars” who keep coming up with “fresh textual analysis” to the Torah. Had van Molde bothered to check with the people who have been speaking, writing, and analyzing Hebrew continuously for the past 3000+ years, she might have found out that, yes, Christian translations are wrong because Christians simply do not know what they are talking about. Christians believe that the universe is only six thousand years old, and that Jesus rode around on a dinosaur. According to the Jewish Sages, the narrative of Bereishis (Genesis) does not say “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” If “In the beginning” had meant to be an isolated phrase, the first word would have been “Barishonah”. As it is, the Hebrew text can be properly translated as “In the beginning OF God’s creating the heavens and the earth,” or, “FROM the beginning of God’s creating the heavens and the earth.”
    And, yes, the Jewish Sages have known that the “six” days of creation were actually long epochs, and that there is a lot more in the Hebrew text than meets the casual eye. Rabbi Yitzhad D’Min Acco, who lived long before Galileo was even born, calculated the age of the universe to be 15,340,500,000 years old. The Sages of the Talmud (Shabbat 88, Hagigah 13b) taught that there were 974 generations of pre-Adamite man, which means that the Jewish Sages understood that modern man has been around for nearly 45,000 years. This is approximately the same time as the appearance of Cro-Magnon man, according to modern science. Shouldn’t some of these modern “scholars” want to know where these Sages got their information?
    This sort of shoddy scholarship is what has kept us from the true understanding of what the Bible is all about. But of course, that is why both Christians and secular atheists will study the Hebrew Scripture in any way possible as long as they avoid the primary sources–the teachings of the Jewish Sages.

  • dingobully said:

    Not sure if Benjamin Frey above is joking or just didn’t read what the article is about. It’s even funnier if he’s serious.

    No matter how we and the Earth came to be it is still beyond our comprehension, no matter what language we discuss it in, even “plain English”.

  • Wango138 said:

    Those of you that take a book of parables, translated many times over the course of history, as a “literal” word of God are imbeciles. Also, if you say the words “plain English” in relation to any translation of the bible, you are not only stupid, but intellectually dishonest and you know it. Shut up.

  • Wow.. said:

    bible. On the first page it SAYS in black and white: “in the beginning God CREATED the Heaven and the Earth.” Why do we quibble over man’s interpretation when it says it right there in plain English?

    @ B. D. Frey:

    Wow! It does NOT say ‘created’ in plain English. That’s the point. The Bible was not written in English. The Jews, Pharaohs, Caananites, and all the biblical people did not speak English, it wasn’t invented yet. Humans, with their own individual versions of ‘man’s interpretation’ put the word ‘created’ into the English version. We want to know what it says in the -original- version of the Bible. I would prefer to know God’s word, not man’s, especially not the 3 or 4 times translated, corrupted -English- version that you seem to prefer. If anything is ‘Satan’ it is the lies done to the Bible, that you seem to believe. Find the truth, go to the original Bible, learn the language it was written in (Hint – NOT English).
    Cheers to her for having the courage to do it, as a believer seeking TRUTH.

  • Dave said:

    I hope Benjamin Frey is joking, because the existence of anyone stupid enough to believe that would be proof against any sort of “intelligent” design. What a concept – if you’re not sure what the Hebrew says, just go to the King James version and look it up!

  • Ric Romero said:

    I think Benjamin Frey is having a laugh… considering the Bible was never written in english in the first place. Now there are hundreds upon hundreds of variations of the original translation. Pick a variation of the original, and make it true for you.

  • Genesis 1 « Menachem Mendel said:

    [...] the meaning of the first few chapters of Genesis, specifically the meaning of ברא, is in the news. A recently published dissertation claims that the writers of the great book never intended to [...]

  • Kate said:

    LOL at Frey

    “I implore you to read the bible. On the first page it SAYS in black and white: “in the beginning God CREATED the Heaven and the Earth.” Why do we quibble over man’s interpretation when it says it right there in plain English?”

    It was written in Hebrew first, man. Nobody’s arguing about the Hebrew word ‘bara’ being there or not. People are arguing over what it means in English. Yay, ignorance and misunderstanding.

  • Sebastian said:

    Since there’s no such thing as a ‘god’, and the bible is a fictional story, this is not a breakthrough at all. Finding a mistranslation in an old fictional work is not a major breakthrough, specially when it’s found in low quality literature like the bible. Also, the article says title says ‘god is not the creator’ … we already knew that, because: a) nobody is the creator b) god is a generic term that refers to a mythical character found in many narrations, and this articles talks specifically about the mythical create known as the christian god. Also, god shouldn’t be written in caps, sine it’s not a name. There are many dogs, just like there are many unicorns, and both share two characteristics: they do not exist but in fiction, and they are written in small caps.

    Sebastian.
    almafuerte@gmail.com

  • Jfm said:

    I feel bad for these people quoting the bible, don’t they understand that the translations and linguistic relativity mar and change the meaning of ancient texts. Unless you watched someone write the word of god in context please stop assuming there is integrity behind an author-less book. empiricism happened almost 200 years ago, why are there so many stubborn, uneducated people willing to look so foolish.

  • Ronbo said:

    It is truly hilarious that in this age when we know so much about the true nature of the Earth and how we got here, that people still argue about these silly old myths as if they were real. They have no more “truth” to them than a Bugs Bunny cartoon – they’re merely older, but like the cartoon they are simple narratives meant for children. Even the Bible itself is filled with contradictions and ridiculous notions. How any sensible person could take any of it more seriously than any other fairy tale is incomprehensible.
    But for the faithful, please do emulate the life of Jesus: He never voted, and never used the internet. Yes, you should live by his example.

  • Frank said:

    ALERT! SPOILER AHEAD!
    —–

    God may be separator, Ernest Borgnine was creator!

  • Yisrael Medad said:

    The lady academic has a problem. In Genesis 1:4, 1:6, 1:7 and 1:18 the act of separating is described by the Hebrew root בדל. So why would the Bible need to use the root ברא to signify an act of separation rather than creation?

  • God is not the Creator, he is the Separator, claims academic « DoctorE said:

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

  • Renier said:

    @ Sebastian, Jfm & Ronbo,

    It appears atheists do have a holiday dedicated to them,
    Happy April (1) Fool’s day! Sorry I’m a bit late though…

    Here is a quote for you though:
    Psalm 53:1
    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

    …but I will keep praying for you!

  • Steppen said:

    This is not the first person to theorize this, so I’m not sure why she’s getting so much credit. You can take a basic course on bilical history and learn this!

  • Steppen said:

    Biblical, even…

  • Fresh Bilge » God the Separator said:

    [...] thanks to the scholarship and dedication of my biblical consultant. So a Daily Global article really caught my attention. (BTW, this was a stumble-in. I never heard of Daily Global before.) Professor Ellen van Wolde, a [...]

  • The Question said:

    Why do we have a tail-bone.

  • Not one of the sheep said:

    Benjamin Frey – On the first page it SAYS in black and white: “in the beginning God CREATED the Heaven and the Earth.” Why do we quibble over man’s interpretation when it says it right there in plain English?

    HAHAAaaaa… plain English.
    … plain English?

    I must admit, it’s a great story and this just proves that we’ve twisted the original words and made them fit.

    Now they should move it to the “Fiction” section of the library.

    Not one of the sheep…

  • angie said:

    I implore anyone who thinks translating from one language to another a “sure” thing to read the writings of Language Theorist such as A.J.Ayer about translation. In brief, say a person comes across a new language that hasn’t been translated and tries to learn the unknown language by observation. Who is to know what the actual “meaning” of the words he is trying to learn? He can attempt use it in context that the others are but the translation isn’t necessarily sound. Also remember that the victors are the one’s who write history and political spin isn’t a new concept.

  • e. borgnine said:

    the sun does not rise nor set, the moon has no phases, and intelligence is just a matter of opinion – why quibble? Created or separated – both presuppose omnipotency; would you believe me if I told you I was omnipotent, omnipresent? – if not, then you’re a sinner; but that’s ok, I forgive you your sins; you’re only human and flawed by design, on purpose. love me, love my dogs.

  • Another interpretation of Biblical Creation - - Interfaithforums.com said:

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  • pligg.com said:

    God is not the Creator, claims academic…

    Interesting…

  • Chris said:

    uh, Benjamin Frey, because it wasn’t originally printed in black and white in English and we have been struggling for hundreds of years to interpret a language that was very different from ours?

  • Scott said:

    Everyone does realize that the bible was written hundreds and thousands of years after the fact. The Church has rewritten to suit itself and to keep it stranglehold on its power. Religion was “invented” for two reasons. To explain the “unexplainable” and for the power it gave its shamans.

  • John Kineman said:

    I don’t know if the opinion of another ‘professor’ albeit not “highly respected” (yet) will help, but it seems that the general level of this ‘public’ discourse is higher than on most lists (at least no really nasty words), so I would like to add some information that I have been studying rather intensely for some years.

    First, on some points made, most of the Bible was ‘originally’ written in Aramaic, prior to Hebrew. It was written my many authors at different times and portions were edited together, selecting portions thought to be best for such a compilation. This does not discredit its authenticity as the “word of God” because the authors and editors were very serious about trying to convey what they thought was this truth. And if we humans do not have any access to that truth directly or intuitively, then no single edition of it will be accepted as a final truth.

    That point aside, the idea of ‘separating’ vs. ‘creating’ is not a mystery if you really go to the ancient texts, all the way back to the Vedas and Upanishads from which elements of all modern religions may have originated. There, creation is discussed much more in scientific terms, as a fundamental relation between ‘existence’ and ‘non-existence’ which form what philosophers today know as our ‘dualistic’ perception. In other words, it refers to separation of observer and observed, mind and matter. A relationship between that kind of duality is a whole and it is a creative whole. This is the understanding in post-modern physics and we are discovering that it can be taken as a fundamental picture of reality. So Van Wolde is on the right track, but still at a very shallow and trivial level that will only fuel arguments and confusion. At her pre-school level of understanding of Biblical MEANINGS it is perhaps better to keep it as “created”. The deepest understanding of reality in the most ancient text and most mystical texts of the Jewish tradition (Kabala) is ‘non-dualism’ or in the Sanskrit ‘advaita’ which means ‘non-separation’ or ‘non-duality’. It is both dual and not dual, which is the meaning of non-dual. We cannot comprehend the complex union of subject and object, mind and matter, observer and observed, but it is the basis of not only mental constructs (subjective) but also of the objective world which has been shown not to be reducible to actual ‘particles’ as such, but non-dual relations of this sort.

    I encourage anyone truly interested in this to look at the ancient mystical texts. F. Max Muller’s translation of the Upanishads is perhaps the most scholarly. Rohit Mehta’s interpretation is one of the deepest and easy to read explanations of what it meant.

    The deeper understanding I am relating does not make a decision about the existence of ‘God.’ There is always an ultimate indescribably whole. It is indescribable because it is our own origin and no system can comprehend its own origin. It is like taking a video of the television screen of the same video – the origin retreats to infinity. ‘God’ is our word for ultimate source and all traditions agree, even science, that it is indescribable. The Vedic word is “Brahman” which is beyond knowability. If you personalize that, you get one mode of understanding. If you impersonalize it you get another. They are both correct in that they capture aspects of the indescribable mystery, which is us and our own origin.

    In any case. Cheer up.

    Dr. John J. Kineman

  • Steve said:

    Wow – this means that for 2,000 years thousands and thousands of translators in hundreds of seminaries, monasteries, Bible colleges universities and synagogues have all been wrong – every single one of them translating the opening words of the Bible incorrectly.

    Are you kidding me?

    This will not “shake up” anything. This one professor disagreeing with thousands of years of translation and translators will write her thesis and perhaps a book or two, make a bit of noise, perhaps get on Oprah, get her fifteen minutes of fame and then be forgotten and pass away.

    God’s Word has been around a lot longer than she, and God’s Word – after having stood the test of considerable time thus far – will never pass away.

  • Ron Lawry said:

    I’m a Christian and I don’t believe in the 6000 year old earth. I don’t believe that Jesus rode a dinosaur. I am not a researcher like the lady. I do not believe she is right. Has anybody asked the people that have been using this writing, since long before Christ first came what the scripture says & means? It does look like she is stirring up trouble. I work on cars, must be nice to get to be a researcher.

  • John Kineman said:

    Another comment, more on the side of religious belief.

    We also know that in the ancient Aramaic and later Hebrew you don’t have past and future tenses but perfect and imperfect tenses. So there is always a problem interpreting time. Also, many pronounced vowels can sound alike, and since many writings came from oral tradition there could be mix ups there. the words from ancient civilizations cannot be translated literally, they have to be translated in the context of meanings, and it is not true that ancient people were dumb. There were many who were quite deep thinkers, and the surviving texts are mostly from them, because they were preserved carefully by the learned sectors of society, mostly the high Priests, who if nothing else, were into preservation, mostly honest preservation.

    We also know that Genesis was written kind of as an add-on, an introduction to the Bible. It is likely a summary of traditional wisdom.

    So, adding my own biases (an un-scholarly thing to do, so I admit it) the original could as easily have said: “The origin of that which ‘exists’ [at any time]is the separation of ultimate reality (Heaven, Mind) and material reality (Earth, body).” i.e., the ‘seen’ and the ‘unseen’ as in the truly ancient texts.

    That would be consistent with the deepest mystical writings of all times, and with the much better preserved (because of the excruciatingly intricate encoding system used) Vedas. So that is my vote.

    The Genesis story later explains that this separation is created by the acquisition of knowledge, that is, the act of perception itself (i.e., separation of observer and observed). Throughout the Upanishads this basic principle is explained over and over again. When one sees, one creates the duality which is inherent in everything we experience or know. Also, if we accept this explanation, the relation between observer and observed is what jointly forms what is observed, as seen in the quantum experiments (no, not individually on a personal wish level, fundamentally, then aggregated into the world we experience in complex ways that also give us a more stable reality that is commonly observed).

    Many if not most of the early quantum physicists were students of the Vedas and Upanishads. Oppenheimer so much so his colleagues thought he would give up physics for it. Schroedinger directly attributed his insight (the quantum wave equation) to his study of the Upanishads. Wheeler, Bohr, Bohm, Tesla and many others. Even Einstein was aware of this (probably via colleagues), though not so steeped in its study.

    John Kineman

  • Robert said:

    The origin of all things is God. It is impossible for man to comprehend what God the Father is. When one tries to put a end on infinity, it is impossible because there is always something on the other side of “end”. That’s the same with the beginning. There was nothing before God. He has existed before anything and is the sole reference for all beginning – energy and matter included. The old saying, “Show me a worm that understands man and I will show you a man that understands God.” still rings true. The only real picture of what God is like is from the Bible and the human form of Jesus. Jesus said when you see me; you see the Father. His nature is the only thing we can look at and see God’s nature. If you were to try and look into the face of the Father, it would be like looking directly into the sun. But the sun is just one of his creations.
    By the way Satan is Hebrew for contrary; adversary; enemy; accuser. This is exactly what I see the learned professor attempting to do – be contrary to the truth.

  • Some other guy said:

    How do we know that ALL of the known versions of the bible — and ALL of the religions based on it — weren’t planted by Satan to lead us all astray?

  • The Unwanted Blog » Blog Archive » Ooops. said:

    [...] God is not the Creator, claims academic 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. [...]

  • Miriam said:

    Why do all these people believe so emphatically in something unknown to them and the writers of religious fables?

    It is one thing to wonder if a god might exist, but quite another to insist that it does in the face of overwhelming lack of evidence. And don’t bother to point to the religious texts as “evidence”. They are shot full of inconsistencies, immorality, and outright fallacies — clearly the superstitious ramblings of ancient savages intent on murdering others who disagreed with them.

    [sigh] Can’t we get past this silliness?

  • GDub said:

    There seems to be a recurring lack of understanding of what translation means. It means that early inaccuracies are perpetuated for so long they become accepted as hard fact. It means that political interests have had hundreds of years to shape meaning as they chose, taking advantage of ignorance and cultural differences. Even in modern translations of literary texts, for example, subtleties of meaning are often lost. Essentially, the Bible, whatever its origins, is a human text, full of human idiosyncracies and prejudices. To take it as hard fact–to deny multiple interpretations–is to limit ourselves to a very narrow window into life.

    At the same time, to simply dismiss it out of hand for failing to hold up to our modern religion, “reason,” means denying an enormous part of what has shaped Western civilization, and by extent, our cultural values and mindsets. My personal beliefs aside, I think that there is a lot to be said for religion as a guiding, stabilizing, uplifting force–just as there is a great capability for narrow-mindedness and destructiveness. But to assume we know everything about the world–or about the existence of God–is sheer arrogance.

    The meaning of an individual word does not matter so much as the significance we attribute to that meaning. Whether we choose to believe God “separated” or “created,” should that really threaten our spiritual beliefs, or reinforce a lack thereof?

  • K. Litteras said:

    If by chance the translation of one word has been discovered to be ‘inaccurate’ then is it not possible that another word has been translated inaccurately as well and therefore quite feasible that the word god has been misinterpreted all these years – after all, aren’t there many many many ways to say god (certainly these three anglo/english letters were not the original way to say or write god back in ancient non-english times)? Isn’t it possible that god-the-word is referencing the interpretive and intellectual realization that “I am”, that there is an “I” and a “not I”, that there is a creation (a birth) inherent in that separation idea, and that yes, the word god, is being misapplied to that spirit of discovery of existence vs non-existence (as discovered by man) and should therefore be re-translated as “man separated … “?

  • Some other guy said:

    @Ronbo: … the Bible itself is filled with contradictions and ridiculous notions.

    The self-contradictory nature of the Bible may actually have helped it survive for millenia, as people have used it to justify just about anything. (see Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine)

    The Rev. Jim Huber on (mis)use of the Bible in recent centuries by conservative elements of the Church: Learn from History! – http://www.jhuger.com/learn

  • Some other guy said:

    Never mind the “Bible say[ing] it right there in plain English”; the popular claims of an “amoral atheist contingent” are easily refuted.

    Most immoral acts are commited by theists. Most criminals are theists. Atheists are significantly underrepresented in prisons. It’s worth asking why.

    One relevant fact is that atheists reject unfounded stories about an afterlife, about the hypothetical heaven and hell that some religions find so convenient to keep followers in line. “Just be good, don’t complain, and everything will be better in the next life.”

    On the contrary: This life counts. It’s the only life we have. And we’re all in it together. It’s up to us to create the kind of world we’d like to live in. The ethic of reciprocity, a.k.a. the “Golden Rule”, arises from empathy with our fellow human beings, as a rational way to live together in a society.

    If there were a God who was the source of morality, you’d expect that god’s followers to be more upright and moral than nonbelievers; you’d expect religious leaders to be paragons of virtue.

    What we actually see among religious leaders is the same mixed bag we see in people in general, believers or not: sometimes outstanding examples of goodness and kindness, sometimes nothing special, sometimes horrendous moral outrages that leave victims scarred for life.

  • Jordan said:

    Christianity never stayed unified and that is the only reason needed to say it ain’t real. Why trust a deity that allowed its adherents to split His/She/Zir’s religion into more than 4,000 flavors? Where is the evidence besides throwing a tantrum and saying God will kill me that your denomination is the right one?

  • Acoustic Bob said:

    To open up a DIFFERNT can of worms,
    many Biblical scholars say that the Immaculate Conception myth results from a mistranslation, too.
    They say the word translated as “virgin” actually means “young girl.”
    I read this in James Michener’s _The Source_.

  • Alexander said:

    Professor Ellen van Wold apparently has never read Job, which includes the longest creation story in the Bible, because it clearly indicates God is the creator of everything in this universe.

    And on the topic of Bible languages I believe that every man should have the opportunity to read the bible in it’s original form and language but true understanding of the Bible can only come from deep study of it’s original language and form.

    For standard believers I wouldn’t consider it top priority but for those who want to teach the Bible I would.

    and btw, the KJV doesn’t count as the original language and form.

    If you want a better idea of the form try asking Yisrael Medad or Alan Cecil. Any good scholar of the Bible will draw on the form of the original.

  • The Don said:

    All of these arguements about the wording of the Bible; if one wants the best idea review “Star Trek, the New Generation” TV series that is the best sense the REAL bible. “God” was “humanoid,” a Star Fleet captain, perhaps admiral of a task force, that “discovered,” teraformed, and evolved Earth’s life beings. Angels are God’s military, the higher ranking ars simply the higher ranking. Apperances of angels in the bibical writings were staff and soldiers beamed down. I also understand that God chose man as his favorite species and God “Our Father,” may probably have genetically engineered man using his own DNA, to be like him. That would explain why God never showed his face to Moses. It was/is not “human” per se.

    Star Trek science answers all the “mysteries” of the Bible, including the virgin birth of Jesus, his actual son. No theologian can explain it, they always say “mystery.” I suggest simply “artificial insemination,” and for mere reasons of hygene. There are no bibical “mysteries” that Star Trek thinking cannot answer.

    Save your typing, hospitals revive the recent dead daily. Simply cloaked now, God appeared to man in “clouds” in bibical times. “Clouds” were buzz words for UFOs as “flying saucers” are today’s buzz word. Another question? dfarrow@kc.rr.com

  • the prophecy library & biblical education center » Blog Archive » “God is not the Creator,” claims academic said:

    [...] has not been translated properly from the Hebrew – God didn’t create the world, He separated it out from the waters: She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb “bara”, which is used in the first [...]

  • jimmie boswell said:

    ahh! not realy, since every time HaShem G-D gives TheTorah again, HE shall always create the earth and all that is here in IT. and this today here in IT is no different than all the other thousands and thousands of third and fourth visitations of TheWhole TorahStory, just aaagain being given. and just in case you have not noticed, day one in TheTorah, always beguins with a big ball of water, in Parashas Noach. while HaShem G-D makes all of Totality, all over agains’es. with no more than one deluvian occurance for each Torah Time, you are all not here in IT sinning. as you can’t ever seem to figure out, just what story TheG-D of Only and Always TheTorah is only giving just aaagains’es right now. so that you can mythologicially proclaim the world seems older than it really is. there is only 6818 man years per Torah Occurance, so that you can deny TheG-D, WHO is consistantly giving Only TheTorah. with HIS Son adam, having a difficult time, finding a true mate and her grandchildren, who are actually here in TheOnly Story, HaShem G-D ever is actually giving. shalomcha vshalomech???,?…

  • Michael K said:

    To Benjamin Frey:

    I have not read all of the comments, so I ask that the group at large excuse me if this has already been addressed.

    The bible was not originally written in English. It was originally assembled on Greek. But the story in question was originally written in Hebrew.

    Professor van Wolde contends that the English version may be a mistranslation of the original Hebrew.

  • tar said:

    The mormon prophet weights in on this in the original Hebrew
    http://gods-wr.ath.cx/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2328&p=8210#p8210

  • Christian Wall said:

    You got to be kidding me… If God wasn’t the creator of Earth, than where did it come from!? Are you saying God was incapable of creating an Earth? If you say God did not create the Earth, than you are definitely not a creationist, because you would be saying the Earth came from something besides the one and only creator.

    This sounds as ridiculous as every non-creation theory i have ever heard. And if you want to know why i say that, read the book “The PROOF”. You will leave behind everything you think about evolution, the big bang theory, etc, and see why the only logical answer to everything is there is a God and the Bible is true.

    Which means God DID create the Heavens and the Earth. Period.

  • Nancy said:

    God is not matter. God created matter.

    An anonymous writer wrote:
    ATHEISM
    The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.

    Makes sense?

  • Steve said:

    @ Nancy:

    That quote is nonsense.

    The singularity from which the big bang arose contained all the energy and matter in the universe, compressed into an infinitesimally small point.

    How then, do you interpret “absolutely everything” to mean “absolutely nothing?

    Only creationists believe that matter can be magically conjured into existence, and by an invisible sky djinn, no less.

  • michael hobbis said:

    In considering the recent attack upon Genesis by Professor Ellen Van Wolde; the opening Hebrew words of Genesis “Bereshith bara Elohim eth hashshamayim…” are, according to the noted 19th century Hebrew scholar Dr Adam Clarke (published 1838), revealing for the following reasons;- The verb bara, he created, being joined in the singular number with Elohim the plural noun, exemplifies the unity of the trinity. Moreover Dr Clarke goes on to comment that the particle eth not only denotes the things created but also the sum and substance of the very created things themselves. Thus, I might construct/create a table, but for me to create the substance of the wood itself from nothing is in the prerogative and power only of God.
    Interestingly eth also contains the first and last letters of the Hebrew; or as in the Greek Alpha and Omega so Revelation in the first chapter- “I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the ending”. Indeed the words opening Genesis may be translated ‘God in the beginning created the substance of the heavens and the substance of the earth’, i.e.the prima materia or the first elements out of which the very worlds were created.Thus confirming Hebrews chapter 11: 3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” It fills th is writer with awe to consider that the same words recorded in Genesis with which time began are to be used at the end of the world when the angel draws the final curtain over created time itself; Revelation 10:6.
    It may be that by bringing our attention to these things Professor van Wolde has not only provoked the “robust debate” that she desired; but has rather shot herself in her intellectual foot.
    Michael Hobbis

  • Nancy said:

    Steve:

    And where did the infinitesimally small point of energy and matter come from?

    God is laughing. He is not an invisible “sky djinn”.

    You funny, Steve!

  • Mind'itiative: The Need-To-Know said:

    [...] she has carried out fresh textual analysis that suggests the writers of the great book of Genesis, never intended to suggest that God created the world — and in fact the Earth was already there when he created humans and [...]

  • frank said:

    I have been saying this for years. I did a few papers on it in college. It is true.

    In fact, using this formula, we can surmise how good and evil works. He created neither. Rather He is good; therefore evil must exist in some form and in some way.

    Even more compelling, ancient creation stories from around the world speak of the earth being “formless”. and the God or gods separate the various elements to make the earth as we know it.

  • jr cline said:

    I’d like to see her translation and detailed analysis to cross check. It is an interesting idea that I am not opposed too. It makes other things fit together a little more nicely.

  • Moji said:

    My dad has an MA in theology and he is kind of shocked someone is trying to pass this off as a new idea. This belief has been around in the theologian community for decades.

  • The Baldchemist said:

    Why are we still attempting to give truth to a myth? Gods! What happened to the Norse Gods? The Greek and Roman Gods+ whose God are we taliking about?

    The World is in total turmoil thanks to vastly differing religious beliefs and now someone has decided that because Darwins relativity theory is acceptable, that perhaps the Bible should be tweeked a little.

    Never mind about what the bible says start to see how your culture and way of life is being changed by the three main religions.

    Who is going to be saved? The Jew? The Muslim? The Catholic? The Sihk? The Buddhist? They all think its their choice of religion. And they are all killing each other in the name of their God for the control.

    And..what do you believe the objective s are of the Jew, the Muslim, The catholic etc…?

    To dominate the World! Take a good hard look in your own country.

  • Jay said:

    yea, the bible, and all religious testaments were usually written by higher powers/kings in an attempt to control the people. I think deep analysis of the bible or any religious text is somewhat pointless, and the yields very little besides religious propaganda.I am very religious, but just dont think we can label our “god” with a name per say as no one knows what he is, who he is, what form he is, etc. I dont think we are supposed to understand “god” and that is part of the point of faith.. not knowing barely anything but still having hope and faith. I also believe many answers to spiritual questions lie in conscious exploration…..

  • Jay said:

    and also, she may be completely right, Im just saying I think it is fairly ludicrous to make such claims on unproven and obviously objective writings.

  • kyle said:

    @ Sebastian
    “Also, god shouldn’t be written in caps, sine it’s not a name. There are many dogs, just like there are many unicorns, and both share two characteristics: they do not exist but in fiction, and they are written in small caps.”

    what if you name your dog “Dog”? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in “God” or any gods – but “God” is the name that is used by Christians to represent their god. like a dog named “Dog”, or even a unicorn named “Unicorn”.

    What’s interesting to me is this puts christianity back in line with the majority of creation stories.

  • vince said:

    I believe genesis is more why than how. Why not “our” beginning instead of “the” beginning. It’s the only thing that really matters to us on the “why” question. Anyway, Lawrence Krauss gives an interesting lecture on the universe created from nothing. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/a-universe-from-nothing-lecture/ Even so, God is God however defined.

  • atheist said:

    this is a very interesting article, but my comment goes to many of the posters here:

    I find it amusing that you feel sorry for us godless infidels, and that you pray for us. even more amusing, is thinking about how fucking dissappointed you will be when you die, and there really isn’t anything more. nothing. you’ll realise your whole lives that you dedicated to getting into heaven has been a great waste, because there is no heaven and there is no hell. neither is there a devil, nor a god. its all evolved modern folklore.

    (yes, i am aware that you cant really “realise” anything when you are clinically dead, but point made.)

  • atheist said:

    *alternative comment, in case previously submitted comment will be consored because of the f-word*

    this is a very interesting article, but my comment goes to many of the posters here:

    I find it amusing that you feel sorry for us godless infidels, and that you pray for us. even more amusing, is thinking about how f—ing dissappointed you will be when you die, and there really isn’t anything more. nothing. you’ll realise your whole lives that you dedicated to getting into heaven has been a great waste, because there is no heaven and there is no hell. neither is there a devil, nor a god. its all evolved modern folklore.

    (yes, i am aware that you cant really “realise” anything when you are clinically dead, but point made.)

  • Anshul said:

    God doesn’t exists. QED bitches

  • The Baldchemist said:

    Why not start like all the other fairey tales; “once upon a time”.
    It never ceases to amaze how far “believers” will go as soon as clear thought comes into play.
    The “torah” and the “bible” weren’t written down 3000 years ago but passed down by word of mouth for 3 ´400 years. Then written on shhep skinsin Aramaic, then hebrew, then latin, then greek, then russian and german before being translated to english and printed by Caxton for the first version of the St James bible.

    How many transaltions of this fairey tale got lost is irrelevant.Religious belief has been used as a control method for far too long.

    Our kids (me too) were indoctrinated and brought up in fear of unseen Gods.

    Teach kids how to think not what to think.

    Just take a look at all the rubbish and wars in”Gods Name”.

    The lies being brainwashed into young Muslims. The dogma into young Christians and so on, the list is endless.

    Who is going to be saved? They all think its their faith and the non believers in their faith will go to hell.

    Thanks I’ll take my chances.
    Take good care and get as much joy as you can every day.

  • spectrekitty said:

    Brilliant, Benjamin Frey! “Why do we quibble over man’s interpretation when it says it right there in plain English?”

    Uh, the whole point is that the Bible wasn’t written in English. It’s a translation. The real issue is this: how reliable is the translation??

    Sorry to repeat what’s basically already been said, but this kind of ignorance makes my skin crawl…

  • spectrekitty said:

    Can I change my reference page? I goofed the HTML…

  • Old Blue said:

    Religious debates seems to always lure the moronic and ignorant out of the woodwork.

  • someone said:

    i cant believe that people really spend time on this.
    i just read 5 comments each saying that the bible was originally written in so-and-so language. everyone reads a book and thinks they know what was in the past. did you live there?
    everything we learn about the past is from stories and not all of them are verifiable. it would be nice if we dont discuss these all as fact.

  • anon said:

    it doesn’t matter. because the lord didn’t write it so it is a fake debate. morons.

  • Dumbpeople said:

    Woot! Crackers and cheese! Down with the man, yo! Religion is for suckers! Does anyone else not actually care what anyone has to say about religion anymore?

  • bob said:

    What is INTERESTING is so many people telling others how they must think…why we are required to obey another interpretation of ANYTHING. How about this…respect all thinking…stop degrading others as if we had the ultimate truth…observe silence and start listening instead of preaching, like saying..”There is no God” Did God tell you that? Or do you possess greater intelligence? Life is short…try humility…or not!!! Ask for the truth, and the door will open. No ask…no truth. That’s arrogance. In the end we must realize we didn’t create ourselves.

  • joe of ark said:

    bob, you have just done exactly what you said was the wrong way to go about religion. Instead of going against what one person said like every1 else on this response board, you have spoken out against everyone.

  • A human said:

    Benjamin Frey, that was a nice one. I laughed. I’m still not quite sure if you were joking or not, but I would think you were because this so ridiculously put in.

    I LOVE the question: “Why do we have a tail-bone?”

  • Not Impressed said:

    It’s easy to see but everyone just does not.. The bible is not the word of GOD.. It is nothing more then a book written by man to control man it’s just that simple.. Back in the day when the church was in control it was the goverment and law so what better way to control the people then through fear of a got that will smite you if you do wrong and toss you into HELL! LOL all of you are sad sad people..There is however one true religion, one true way to live and that is through Love, Comapssion, and Peace, NOT by fearing some man made image of GOD.

  • Marcus said:

    In the beginning, man created god. Simple as that. We wonder to this very day where we came from, and we’ll probably never find an answer. Should you really believe what a bunch of other humans wrote in a book back when we thought the earth was flat? Look at the people of your kind around you. saying that without god, there would be no morals. This morality system must always lead back to your own self interest. You only do things good for others, because if not, you’ll get fucked in the afterlife. It’s just sad like the poster prior to me said. Don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself. We’re all humans, and we only have one life to live. All this separation because of who’s right and wrong is just disappointing, especially since it’s over something as childish as a hope for the afterlife. I would say more, but some of my atheist brethren seem to have said everything else. It’s lonely being an atheist in this world, but I’m never going to hide it because I don’t want my children to be raised into a totalitarian theocracy.

  • oneear said:

    good to see some common sense written in a few of these posts,how ever the vast majority of the decision makers of the world are still using religion as a tool for control for their own self interests and greed.i would like to think that socially mankind has evolved and that we really dont need a god to be a respectful and honest person,after all we are all what we were taught to be.and that is why the logical thing for mankind to do is to improve on global education for everyone in the masses,after all most religious fanatics are uneducated and poor which is exactly where the rich and powerful want us to be.if any of these apparent religious scholars studied religion as a whole, they would have to conclude that all religion evolved from the Egyptian astrology later to become mythology .much like the myans.from there came the druids muslims jews then christians each believing in the same thing but in a different way but all written and controlled by mankind.we have to come to the reality their is no god when you die thats it my friend we become carbon again thats it.so we must respect one another and this beautiful planet because life is the true gift not death.be water my friends be water.ps merry winter solace lol

  • blee said:

    nutters one and all sort yourselves out first and then the world is waiting.

  • studying said:

    The textuality of the Bible is very interesting, the truth is that meaning is something that we project onto the texts as well as something the texts impart to us. “God separated the Heavens and the Earth”…amazing how changing one word can affect so much of what we believe, especially this line that has been so deeply ingrained into the collective consciousness over the years.
    The thing is, the creatio ex nihilo question /is/ a fundamental one that philosophers have always asked. And the Bible leaves this question unanswered?
    The thing is, our holy books are embarrassingly outdated, the fundamentals of humanity’s psychology has, or should have, changed drastically since these books were written. 99 percent of it makes no sense whatsoever to us today, and our religious leaders have to flounder around for explanations and prescriptions in these texts, when they could lead people spiritually much more effectively if they could only trust themselves.
    Thoughts, you know. Been researching in the religious vein a lot in the last couple months…

  • Frustrated Artist said:

    There is a lot of questions behind every book or text the bible has. I for one has a lot of questions about it. For instance, is it not that a number of people called prophets of the Lord wrote the bible? How sure are we that they were the prophets of the Lord and not of the Devil? Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God and of the higher being that governs all of us, it is just that I do not believe in the humans that use the Lord’s name to control, manipulate and use our faith in Him for their advantage. How many Priest, Layman, Pastors, Rabi and other religious people have claimed,is claiming that they are the prophet and have violated the very laws or commandments they themselves say was from God?

    So how sure are we that this scriptures in the bible are truly from God and not some make believe story that they have created from the very depths of their minds. Make believe stories just like Peter Pan or Snow white.

  • Tom Cruise said:

    As a Scientologist, I fail to see how this will benefit anyone if they can’t purge the evil theatons within them.

  • Shamus said:

    That’s all fine and dandy, but ‘bara’ was never described as ‘seperated’ in Hebrew anywhere, at any given time. I believe the author confused ‘bara’ with ‘barar’, which actually means seprated.

  • Lady said:

    If we could only find the original scriptures…… Seems to me, the Bible begins the story — In the beginning there was the Word….. Amazing to believe that writing it down made it more true. Until then, everything was spoken and memorized – handed down from father to son and I tend to believe that the handed down versions were not changed as much as the written ones have been. Why would they be. After the myriad translations, we are left with a collection of writings (words) that may be more or less true to the original. And lots of books that are omitted for political (small p) reasons. Someday we will all know… Until then, we can only believe what we will.

  • to not one of the sheep said:

    Just because men corrupts does not mean the bible is fictional. Although I admit I do not trust anything created by man, I do believe in god. too each is own, but you can’t explain how the big bang theory was caused, two particles didn’t appear out of no where. Just like the believers in a supreme being(s) can’t explain where they came from.

    Something always comes from something else.

  • Uncorrect said:

    Yep, science has shown absolutely nothing since the beginning of logical thought. There is in fact, no such thing as a fossil record. No such thing as atomic decay exists and is measurable, and living organisms don’t pass characteristics favorable for survival on to their progeny. The universe around us is not in fact observable, measurable, and able to be experienced through rational thought – it is actually a miraculous incarnation that human minds are too puny to interpret.

    The earth is not made up of layers of different types of solidity and composition, in fact there is a flaming lake of fire somewhere far below where a fallen servant of a being who did not create evil or set humans up to fall but somehow remains omniscient without seeing that one coming decided that he should alternately help and destroy his creations. Everything went ZOOP in 6 days, then an omnipotent being rested though he can’t get tired. He flooded the world because it wasn’t going the way he omnisciently decided it should and started over yet that being doesn’t make mistakes. He sent a version of himself to pray to himself and die for the sake of everyone else so they can be saved from a system he set up for the need to prove himself right. The only way to exist correctly in this world is to believe that this version of this being died, became undead and asked people to pretend they were eating his flesh and drinking his blood, and that they were to stop being the violent bigots he told them to be in the first place and love everyone instead – though he is always the same and never changes. Also, his favorite people in the world are the Jews (though he seems to have no problem letting them suffer horribly at his whim throughout history), his zombie son version of himself was a Jew, but that has nothing to do with anything in the long run and the Jews have it wrong now apparently. There is absolutely only one truly “correct” way to interpret this being’s manifesto, and thousands of churches and proselytes around the world preach different versions and spins and translations of an infallible theology and each and every one of them believe theirs is the True Way.

    I see where the logical interpretation of an ancient propaganda tool is obviously ill advised and would of course lead to hell. Maybe Professor Van Wolde should pray about it more. Which prayers of which version should she use though? The prayers to Allah from the version of the one god the Muslims follow, stemming from the same source of original lineage of every man woman and child that fled the cradle of civilization and egyptian, ,sumerian, and mesopotamian rule? The prayers to Yahweh those of the Jewish faith follow, considering that is who Jesus would have been praying to except for the fact he was praying to himself? The God of Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and apparently the Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Non-denominational Christians, Alcoholic’s Anonymous, Street Corner Doomsday Prophets, and the arguably sociopathic and homophobic Westboro Baptist Church (godhatesfags dot com)? Doesn’t really matter does it? There is only one correct interpretation! Read the book!

  • SkepticalKat said:

    to not one of the sheep said:

    “Just because men corrupts does not mean the bible is fictional. Although I admit I do not trust anything created by man, I do believe in god”

    Ok, one-of-the-sheeple, then turn over your car, TV, medicines, clothing, food, house phone, clean water, COMPUTER, and everything else “created by man”. Then go live naked in ‘god-created’ hole in the ground w/ your bible & pick some berries for dinner. Oops, no-can-do, you know that really thin ‘bible’ paper? Created by man.

    The stoopidity of typing before thinking.

  • BiblicalStudent said:

    Ephesians 3:9
    and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

    Revelation 10:6
    and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer,

    Here are two NT scriptures that discuss this concept. If you believe in the authority of the Bible which if you are studying that one word that intently I think you would, then you need to explain these scriptures as being mistranslated as well. I had a few other OT scriptures I could’ve used but since you are arguing concerning the Hebrew text I thought this might be more appropriate.

  • A. H. Wayne said:

    While I don’t think van Wolde is part of some shadow atheist campaign to undermine Judeo-Christian and Islamic faith, I also don’t think her new “interpretation” is necessarily an objective one. Some Biblical scholars are constantly looking for some new and exciting way to re-interpret the text. Sometimes, their theories seem far fetched, which seems to stem from a desire to be new and innovative, rather than a responsible and objective analysis of the text.

    The verb Bara (Bet/Resh/Aleph) is always rendered “to fashion or create,” and is always used with God as the subject. Van Wolde’s suggestion that this word is just another mundane way to talk about “separating things” does not hold up against the textual witness. The verb “to separate,” Badal (Bet/Dalet/Lamed) is indeed used many times in Genesis, but not in the same sense as the creative Bara.

    Whatever the theological implications of van Wolde’s interpretation, it is not linguistically viable. All of this “satan” nonsense is really unnecessary, and quite ignorant. Of course, whatever Genesis says, it has no bearing on the scientific realities of evolutionary theory.

  • Michael Todd said:

    This scholar is not impressive. Jewish rabbis have known about this for over 2,000 years. It is called Gap Theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_creationism

  • Michael Lovewittz said:

    You guys realize that Frey is a huge Troll right, i mean its obvious he knows what he is sayign adn he only wanted to get a rise out of you. Hes a troll and an amazing one at that, i applaud him. Sebastian too, big frikkin troll. Thank you Ric Romero for making me realize im not the only one on the internet who could catch something like that.

  • lemming said:

    You know what happens when you play telephone with translations? You get: In the beginning God created the earth, purple monkey dishwasher

  • sam said:

    So a hebrew text changes everything? The text itself is rubbish, as is everything created by jews.

  • Sue said:

    I agree with lemming!

  • Dan said:

    Why even care what the original text says, or is supposed to say? Will we somehow gain new insight into the science and history of the universe by trying to understand ancient myth?

  • Franklearn said:

    God needs us. We don’t need God.

  • Brandon said:

    Should I point out the irony that 85% of the posts on an article regarding the Bible are all atheists? I mean honestly, which is the more foolish: us who believe or you who seem to jump at every opportunity to flame and bash a being that you say doesn’t even exist? Do you flame this hard on ‘unicorn’ discussions? One could say that the vehemency with which you attack it only lends to the possibility of something actually being there.
    And honestly, the belief that everything in the universe was birthed out of chaos takes more faith than creation. Just about everything in the universe, especially this earth, suggests order, intention and yes, even love. I mean seriously, the big-bang and chaos? Seriously? The universe testifies against you.

  • Robert said:

    The bible was an oral tradition for many generations before it was written down. The argument was the original author intended is moot.

  • AnonyMouse said:

    How about… No matter your opinion, we can all agree that the bible is a pretty darn old book, and being human, we make mistakes and I am pretty sure that hundreds of years ago people made mistakes as well, and considering that Rosetta stone didn’t exist back in the olde days of archeology, I think it’s safe to say that some textual language may have been slightly altered.
    Either way, the bible is a beautiful story, whether you take it literal or not is your personal ideal, but I think as a whole we can all agree its a quite a read and something special in its own way, same with the Koran, Torah, and many other religious texts.
    I found the aforementioned article very interesting and makes the story of creationism a little more beautiful.
    p.s.
    Humans evolved… just saying.

  • AnonyMouse said:

    Also like to add, that God, be he or a she or an amoeba, would kind of have embraced the idea of chaos. Physics says that all chaos in some sense is perfect order. Just saying.
    Furthermore, Atheists, I know you sort are super smart and know probably more about religion than those of us born into religion or are just spiritual, but take it easy. Personally, I do believe in a supreme being, although logic dictates that it’s irrational, but sometimes rationality isn’t enough. Call it a gut feeling or the human response in search of an answer for the philosophical question “Where did I come from”, what ever it may be, some of us simply call it…Faith.
    Personally I believe in the big bang, and evolution and DNA and all that jazz, but even in the chaos of things, you have to admit… The design is somewhat, dare I say…’Holy’? I mean c’mon its pretty cool. Just seems to me, that not having an architect to shape and manipulate the universe or universes, and throw reality into some sort of chaos seems… Anticlimactic.
    And again, when I say God, I don’t mean some super dude with a perfect white beard in a kingdom of clouds and singing cherubs, I simply mean an architect. A designer. Even something that pushed the button to start the machine. For all I know considering that “Man was created in Gods’ image”, God could be nothing more than an single cell paramecium somewhere in hyperspace.
    Just saying.
    Sincerely,
    Anonymouse

  • Eetwo said:

    It WAS the Aliens. Now we are getting closer to the truth. Just as we are becoming Gods ourselves.

  • gene said:

    That is the very reason well part of it,cannot enter Heaven,you are your lil demons not being funny,being real,you can`t see it but it visible the you are the DEVIL the race of white demons you continue to fight for that position and it been yours from the start,but you still are in KILL MODE,and more,if God Himself remove the knowledge of Him from you,THATS SERIOUS,but better you than me.

  • Ryan said:

    I’ve been saying this for years. After studing the historical Bible and it’s origins this makes it fit more closely with the sumarian narrative that Yahweh was an extraterrestial being that came here to mine gold with a team of the same species as Himself and created us as a slave race to serve or “worship” Him. While He didn’t create the universe He did create humans and our main staples; wheat, barely, oats Biologist agree that these things don’t fit into any eco system on earth, and that the DNA of these living things appear to be pieced together from different sorces. This would make the kingdom of heaven a physical place on another planet, not a place we go when we die.

  • Frank said:

    I’m afraid than Van Wolde is not original in interpreting Genesis 1 in this way. Read “Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament” by John H. Walton (2006)and you will find this argument already there. The people’s in the Ancient Near East simply were not interested in the material origins of the universe. Genesis 1 is primarily a theological polemic written against the creation myths of surrounding cultures, but using their thought world to express the author’s views. The primary aim of Genesis 1 is to teach that there is only ONE God and that He is responsible for all the workings of the universe. If you want to find creation out of nothing in the Bible, a more explicit and clear account of the universe’s origins can be found in John 1:1-3.

  • Seth Powell said:

    Hmmm very interesting post indeed. Love what you’ve done with this WordPress theme. To see another example, check out http://www.beyondesl.com where my partner and I are currently living and teaching ESL in Japan for the next year! Peace.

  • Brenda Farley said:

    God did create the universe.
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
    “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:3
    Brenda Farley BMI Author/Artist
    http://www.causes.com/causes/360975-stop-abortion/about?m=4237c946

  • TL said:

    Overstand this. The original sanscript language which is the first language ever spoken was spoken on the continent of Africa. Where the original people had a working knowledge of the creator. Most of you keep refering to the creator as “God or he”. This is not somthing you should dwell over and try to overstand, because the Creator of All, The infinite, The All is not somthing any person can conceptionalize into some typical man made GOD. There are Gods and There is the infinite energy that is all. instead of wasting time trying to define and identify this energy we should focus on channeling what our purpose is.

  • Frikkie Botes said:

    God is not the creator. God is Baal. The creator is the creator. All religions today worship Baal and not the creator. For we are created in the image of the gods, but our being comes from the creator. Jesus told the church that and they murdered him for the truth.

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