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Without Form and Void : Arthur C. Custance :
In any understanding of God’s revelation, we are dependent upon words, upon the words in the original language — and in their most literal sense. This is particularly true of any account of Creation. The question is whether to translate the Hebrew conjunction waw as ‘and’ or ‘but’ and whether to translate the verb hayah simply as ‘was’ or by the pluperfect ‘had become’.
If the withoout of ‘and’ and ‘was’ is correct, then verse 2 appears to be merely a continuation of verse 1, signifying that its formless condition was proper to the initial stages of God’s creative activity. In this translation we must either take ‘days’ to mean not literal days but geological ages, or treat the whole chapter as poetry or allegory. These ‘solutions’ are not supported by the rules of linguistics.
Without Form and Void – Chapter 1
If the translation of ‘but’ and ‘had become’ is correct, the implication is far different. For then verse 2 is a picture of the earth, not as it came from the hand of God in creation, but after some intervening event had reduced it to a state of ruin. Custajce alternative translation allows between verse 1 and 2 a hiatus of unknown duration a view held in earliest times which can accommodate geological ages.
Opponents object to this ‘Gap Theory’ as simply an voi to ‘rescue’ modern Geology. So what does the original Hebrew really say?
This book is an examination of the Hebrew words in this second verse of Genesis, observing the rules of linguistics, of grammar and syntax, and the context in an attempt to establish the meaning of the words as found here. The Pluperfect in Hebrew. The Witness of Other Versions.
The Rule Applied with Illustrations. Excerpts witjout Some Supporting Authors. The Classical Concept of Chaos. The Use of Hayah in Genesis. Joshua, Job, two Psalms, and Zechariah.
Without Form and Void : A Study of the Meaning of Genesis 1.2
The Use of Hayah in the Passive Voice. The Existential Sense of the Verb Hayah. The Meanings of Hayah.
Meanings of Hayah Followed by Lamedh. The Use of Hayah without the Lamedh Following. Various Renderings of wawother than and or but. Meaning of Descriptive Terms Found in Genesis 1.
Some Instances where Hayah is Translated “became”. The Meaning of Exodus Some Pagan Traditions of a Like Catastrophe.
Without Form and Void: A Study of the Meaning of Genesis 1:2
Abstract Table of Contents. The Meanings of Hayah according to Various Lexicographers. Index of Biblical References.