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God is not the Creator, Bible wrongly translated, claims academic


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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.

[smaller]By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

Published: 5:45PM BST 08 Oct 2009


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."

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I hate people's master's or Phd papers where a single word may be the juxtaposition that they claim new research on . On the whole , this theory may be right , but she is a knob for having very little to base her theory upon. Translation ?... Jesus Christ ! :D

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I'm not an atheist ;)

I don't even understand the concept of being an atheist.

I'm not one either, but an atheist is merely someone who does not believe there is a god. They are the opposite of a theist.

I see nothing wrong with believing in either philosophy. Me personally, I don't know whether there is or there isn't and I don't really care either. If believing in God gives you purpose and makes you happy, then that's what you should do. If not believing in God makes you happy and gives you purpose, then do that.

I've never understood the desire of either group to "convert" the other.

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I know what an atheist is I just don't understand the mindset of them.

I'm not by any means into the organized religion thing either. I don't understand those kinds of beliefs anymore then I do an atheist's way of thinking ;)

I personally don't understand how anyone can claim to know with 100% certainty whether there is a God or is not a God, because I don't believe we humans are qualified to make that distinction.

That being said, I understand that faith is a powerful thing and can make people feel with all their being that something is so, regardless of what anyone or anything say about it.

Now I have nothing against organized religion myself, I was raised Catholic but voluntarily left the church (not excommunicated) because I felt it no longer jived with the way I chose to live, think and feel about other people.

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