In a previous post, Devastating News for Traditional Believers, I wrote about the work of Professor Ellen Van Wolde, an Old Testament scholar and member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, who “said that Genesis 1:1 has been translated incorrectly and that a correct translation of the first verse of Genesis negates the view that God is the creator of heavens and earth.”
Professor Van Wolde also said that the conclusions of her findings “will be devastating to traditional believers.”
Chris Heard at Higgaion has a good study of the word bara’ in which he concludes that the use of bara’ by the biblical writers “just speaks too strongly against her proposal.”
Read Chris’s article and consider his argument against Van Wolde’s proposal.
J. P. van de Giessen has informed me that Professor Van Wolde’s lecture is available in PDF format here (the lecture is in Dutch).
James Spinti at Idle musings of a bookseller wrote me a note and said that Van Wolde expands this argument in her forthcoming book from Eisenbrauns, Reframing Biblical Studies: When Language and Text Meet Culture, Cognition, and Context. The book will be published in December 2009.
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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