Documentation Problems in the Intelligent Design

To Split or To Create?
jwr1947

The Dutch Professor Ellen van Wolde 2009 initiated a discussion over the correct translation of the Hebraic word 'bara' in the Bible, which had been mistranslated from the very beginning: “The notion of God as the Creator is wrong, claims a top academic, who believes the Bible has been wrongly translated for thousands of years”1. Prof. Van Wolde said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb "“bārā”, 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". This however is not the only serious translation problem which had been diagnosed. Another case had been found in the creation legend of the first man, in which the same word “bārā” already had been investigated by the Pharisees around 30AD, who had been questioning the words in Genesis in Hebrew language. The Pharisees were not discussing translation problems. They were discussing the misunderstanding of the Hebrew verb “bārā” in Jewish tradition around 30AD. In fact the Pharisees had detected the same problem Ellen van Wolde analyzed in splitting Heaven and Earth, which is one of the preceding phases the design needed to prepare the readers for the halving phase of Man into a couple consisting of man and woman. Unlike the translation problem, which merely indicates a bad quality in the translation job, the discussion of the Pharisees is a serious flaw in understanding the Master Plan in its original Hebrew language. These contradictions already had been made public by the Pharisees (ca. 30 AD)2, Jeremiah ben Eleazar3, a Palestinian scholar of the 2nd century, the highly respected medieval rabbis Rashi (→ 1105) and Rashbam (→ 1158) and the Zohar4. All of these experts all described symmetrical creation processes in which the male and female partners were to be created simultaneously and split up in a following phase. Investigating the fundamental line in Genesis, which might contain the keywords for understanding this creation legend, we may start with the traditional translation: Genesis 1-27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. According to Genesis 1-27 this line contains three words bārā5, which traditionally are being translated as “created”. Of course it had been noticed that the five preceding creation days always started with a divine utterance, to be followed by a creation and a splitting phase. The “splitting” phase used the word “bārā” in the sense of “cutting wood”. That's how the last word “bārā” in “male and female created He them” was to be understood, as the result of the operational action is a plural word “them”.

1 God is not the Creator, claims academic 2 From the Jewish Encyclopedia: Adam Kadmon ( Er. 18a, Gen. R. viii.) - In explaining the various views concerning Eve's creation, the Pharisees taught that Adam was created as a man-woman (androgynous). 3 Info from the website: Jewish Encyclopedia 4 The Zohar first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, and was published by a Jewish writer named Moses de Leon. 5 bara' (baw-raw'): (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes) -- choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat).

Traditionally the other two preceding words “bārā” always had been understood as another translation “to create”. This surprises the reader as three identical words may normally also be used in a identical sense obviously resulting in a plural word. How was this paradox to be understood? There only could be one explanation for the plural: it had be understood as a plural in all three cases. If the word “man” was to represent a dual image of each a male and a female half and the image of God had to be understood as a dual image then the line might have to be translated as Genesis 1-27 And God did split man in His own image, in the image of God He did split him; male and female He did split them. In contrast to the first translation version this one made sense. The plurals matched the image of a dual “man”, which according to the Pharisees and Rabbis had to be halved in a male and a female individual person. If Genesis 1-27 had been misunderstood for centuries the standard creation legend of a male Adam, whose rib had to be operated and removed to procreate Eve turned out to be an illusion. The same procedure had to be followed for the other splitting steps in the creation legend. Ellen van Wolde correctly pointed out that “bārā” had to be translated as “to split” in the sense of “cutting wood”. She also might have referred to the Pharisees' analysis to prove her thesis. The Intelligent Design started with a misunderstood description and could not help to be mistranslated.

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