Professor Ellen van Wolde, a world acclaimed Old Testament scholar, may have introduced a considerable problem for creationists. What if the Bible never actually said God “created the Heaven and the Earth”? Van Wolde has issued an intriguing paper suggesting that a mistranslation is responsible for an error in the first sentence of Genesis and that in reality the Bible says that God merely rearranged things on the pre-existing Earth. Much of this turns on the Hebrew verb “bara”, which she says did not mean “to create” but to “spatially separate.” That would require Creationists to rename themselves as “separatists.” “Baristas” may cause trademark issues with Starbucks.
Professor van Wolde looked at the first line of Genesis that reads “in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth” and found that the Hebrew text had been translated incorrectly. The proper translation, she argues, is that the Earth was already there when God created humans and animals.
The use of bara she argues was “meant to say that God did create humans and animals, but not the Earth itself.”
She concludes “[t]he traditional view of God the Creator is untenable now.”
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