Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Genesis 1 BHT 2024

 

Bodie Hodge Genesis 1 Translation (BHT), 2024

Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., B.Sc., PEI

Biblical Authority Ministries, April 9, 2024

  • ·        An update of the KJV (King James Version 1769 Oxford) and ASV (American Standard Version 1901) as base texts with regular consultation with other respectable translations, lexicons, expert commentaries, and Hebrew dictionaries.
  • ·        Formal Equivalence
  • ·        Capitalize personal pronouns of God

I’ve set out to slowly, but meticulously, translate Genesis 1-11. I don’t do this to add yet another translation to the onslaught of English translations that exist but because I spent so much time in Genesis and the translational debates that occur there, that it helps me understand the intricacies if I were to take the time to translate it myself.

In doing so, I may as well share it with a few footnotes to explain why I went with certain wording choices or arrangements. Like many others who set out to translate in the past, they were not experts on original languages, nor am I. But my experience with the text and translational battles for nearly 25 years, having worked with experts, and the availability of study helps gives me an advantage that many great translators of the past simply didn’t have.

My hope is to have an accurate translation that is readable and honorable to the text and any mistakes are my own, not the original inerrant and inspired Scripture of the Holy Spirit.

 

Genesis 1

Day 1: The beginning of time, space, water, light and the initially created state of heavens and earth.

1 In the beginning[1], created[2] by God[3], the heavens[4] and the earth[5].

2  And the earth was[6] formless and void[7]; and darkness was upon the surface of the deep[8]. And the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the waters.

3 And God said, “Let there be light”. And there was light[9].

4  And God saw that the light was good. And God divided the light from the darkness.

5  And God called the light “Day”, and the darkness He called “Night”. And there was evening and there was morning, one day[10].

Day 2: The creation of the divided expanse between the waters.

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.”

7  And God made the expanded sky[11], and divided the waters which were under the expanded sky from the waters which were above the expanded sky[12]. And it was so.

8  And God called the expanded sky “Heavens[13]”. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

Day 3: God gathered the waters under the Heavens and made dry Earth appear.

9  And God said, “Let the waters under the Heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry[14] land appear.” And it was so.

10  And God called the dry land “Earth”. And the gathering together of the waters He called “Seas”. And God saw that it was good.

11  And God said, “Let the Earth sprout forth vegetation[15] and plants[16] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after its kinds[17], whose seed is in itself upon the Earth.” And it was so.

12  And the Earth brought forth vegetation and plants producing seed after their kinds, and trees bearing fruit, whose seed is in itself, after their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

13  And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

Day 4: God creates the sun, moon, and stars (which includes other physical heavenly bodies) for signs seasons, days and years. 

14 And God said, “Let there be luminaries[18] in the expanse of the Heavens to divide the Day from the Night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.

15  And let them be luminaries in the expanse of the Heavens to give light upon the Earth.” And it was so.

16  And God made the two great luminaries—the greater luminary to rule the Day[19], and the lesser luminary to rule the Night[20]. Also, He made the stars[21].

17  And God put them[22] in the expanse of Heavens to give light upon the earth,

18  and to rule over[23] the Day and Night, dividing the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19  And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

            Day 5: Sea dwelling creatures and winged creatures created

20 And God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let winged creatures[24] fly above the Earth in the face of the expanse of the Heavens.”

21  And God created the great sea-dragons, and every living and moving creature, after their kinds with which the waters teemed, and every winged creature after their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

22  And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the Seas, and let the flying creatures multiply on the Earth.”

23  And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

            Day 6: Land animals and man created

24 And God said, “Let the Earth bring forth living creatures after their kinds—cattle, creeping things, and beasts of the Earth after their kinds.” And it was so.

25  And God made the beasts of the Earth after their kinds, and the cattle after their kinds, and everything that creeps on and under the ground after their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the Seas, and over the wing creatures of the Heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the Earth.”

27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him—male and female created He them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue[25] it. And have dominion[26] over the fish of the Seas and over the winged creatures of the Heavens, and over every living and moving thing upon the Earth.”

29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with fruit yielding seed, it shall be food[27] for you.

30 And to every beast of the Earth, and to every winged creature of the Heavens, and to everything that creeps on the Earth, that has life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very[28] good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.



[1] Beginning sparks the beginning of time, whereas God who is not bound by time, is the uncreated Creator of time. Time is triune in its nature—having past, present, and future and they all converge into one at absolute present.  

[2] In Hebrew, the word created (bara) is prior to the name of God as read in Hebrew (literally: beginning; created; God; heavens; and; earth) and so this translation kept with that order.

[3] The name of God here is Elohim which is a majestic plural and treated as singular in its verbiage. This shows the nature of God having a plural aspect but being singular God which later Scripture explains (e.g., Deuteronomy 6:4; John 17:11; Mark 12:29-34; Galatians 3:20; James 2:19).

[4] The word [heavens] in this instance is a dual (שָׁמַיִם‎ shamayim) indicative of plural. In older English, “heaven” included the plural but English today doesn’t utilize that form.

[5] “Heavens and earth” in this instance is also viewed as a merism to include the whole of the universe and likely the heaven of heavens. It includes the creation of space. Space is triune having length, width, and height.

[6] The translation is correctly “was”—any attempt to render it as “became” is errant due to the waw usage and is based on outside eisegesis of imposing a false time gap here. It is grammatically impossible when the verb haya is combined with a waw disjunctive—in the rest of the Old Testament, waw + a noun + haya (qal perfect, 3rd person) is always translated, “was” or “came,” but never “became.”

[7] Water is naturally formless (as it takes the shape of its container including variations within its own surface tension). Pure water is also empty/void of anything else.

[8] Deep is still indicative of waters. Water is a triune molecule (two hydrogen and one oxygen) and has a unique characteristic where at a particular temperature and pressure it has what scientists call a “Triple Point” where it is solid, liquid, and gas at the same time.  

[9] Light is also triune in its makeup having an electric field, magnetic field, and velocity. The one direction speed of light cannot be known—only a round trip.

[10] It is literally “one day” (a Cardinal number) where the remaining days of the initial week were the second day, the third day, etc. (Ordinal numbers). But the first day is used to define that first day of creation, as a normal approximately 24-hour day as defined by an evening and a morning, hence, “one day”.

[11] The sun (greater light/luminary), moon (lesser light/luminary), and stars are later made in the expanse or sky on Day 4. Expanse or sky (or even expanse of heaven as used in Genesis 1:17) is a better translation of the Hebrew raqiya‘; hence I put the two together (expanded sky) for better clarity to average readers. Many older translations followed the LXX which was influenced by a Greek belief that the heavens were more solid and hence the translation in the LXX/Septuagint (stereôma) was of the nature of something somewhat solid (though some things could move slowly through it). The Latin Vulgate followed this with firmamentum and then into English we got the firmament.

[12] The expanse/sky is not a visible entity to observe but is instead void spacetime; therefore there was nothing to see from a human perspective and hence God did not point to anything visible to call “good”. The expanded sky is still good in light of Genesis 1:31.

[13] Dual, hence plural heavens instead of heaven; could also be translated as “sky” or "expanded sky" which naturally includes the plural having the duality of both the atmosphere and the void of space.

[14] The solid earthen/rocky part of the earth was made in a dry state. I would lean against models that suggest it was wet and then became dry. This is Creation Week after all.

[15] From the Hebrew word (דֶּשֶׁא‎ deshe’) includes grass, herbs, vines, trees, and so on.

[16] From the Hebrew word (עֶשֶׂב‎ ‘eseb) includes grass, herbs, and so on.

[17] Kind (Hebrew: min) is not to be equated with “species” in our modern classification. In Latin-based languages (Romanian, Spanish, etc.) the word for kind is species but the definition of species was changed to be a specific term in a classification system in the days of Carl Linnaeus. A general rule is that is creatures can interbreed and hybridize, then they are part of the same kind (min).

[18] In Hebrew, the word for luminary or lights is מָאוֹר‎ ma’owr. Either can be used here, I used Luminary because the other variant word for light is used specifically in the same context in Genesis 1:18 (אוֹר‎ ‘owr).

[19] Obviously, we call this the sun today.

[20] Obviously, we call this the moon today.

[21] The Hebrew word for stars (כּוֹכָב‎ kowkab) includes all the other natural heavenly bodies like planets, comets, stars, quasars, and so on.

[22] God set these luminaries in place in the heavens/expanded sky in just the right place. All too easy for an all-powerful God.

[23] At this point, the sun and moon took over the duties to now rule as luminaries in the sky—one a light producer and the other a reflector—both illuminate the earth and hence are luminaries. The original light (that was made on Day 1) that initially ruled for the first 3 days was no longer required and has ceased—like the womb and placenta to a newborn child. It served a purpose initially but is no longer necessary to the viability of the child.

[24] Many translations automatically equate this with birds or fowl, but it also flying insects, bats (Leviticus 11:19), and flying reptiles (like pteranodons and pterodactyls; e.g., Isaiah 14:20, 30:6). It is also used of birds today like ostriches (Leviticus 11:16) that have wings but don’t fly (whether they have lost that ability through sin and mutations over the years or not is beyond this scope).

[25] Subduing the earth is stated in a positive sense to control it and take ownership of it—without disregarding, neglecting, and destroying it.

[26] Have rule over it—a ruling God gave man, who is made in the image of ruling God, something to rule over.

[27] Plants were designed to be solar-powered, self-replicating, biological machines that helps keep the atmosphere, land, and water balanced and provide food for man and other creatures.

[28] Exceedingly or exceeded in goodness. Every work of God is perfect per Deuteronomy 32:4. All that God did during Creation Week was good and perfect, without fault or blemish; and God continually built goodness upon goodness on each subsequent Day. 



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