IBRI Research Report #43
1996, Revised 2000



Dallas E. Cain
Scotia, New York

Copyright © 2000 by Dallas E. Cain. All rights reserved.*


  • This is primarily a literature search on Creation in Genesis One. The results are a surprise.
  • In hindsight the time is right for a first-ever update to the science in our English translations of Genesis One. The problems are localized in the four stages pertaining to our environment— light, sky, land-sea, and sun-moon-stars. There is no call for change to the Hebrew text; as given to early flat-earth hearers it is surprisingly also realistic for us today—just as is!
  • Samples of updated translation are tendered. Adjustments are all drawn from respectable literature on Genesis One. Adjustments are all within the latitude of the Hebrew text.


Although the author is in agreement with the doctrinal statement of IBRI, it does not follow that all of the viewpoints espoused in this paper represent official positions of IBRI. Since one of the purposes of the IBRI report series is to serve as a preprint forum, it is possible that the author has revised some aspects of this work since it was first written. 

ISBN 0-944788-43-2


Hindsight Translation of Genesis One

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”
Proverbs 25:2, NIV

Table of Contents

1.0 Scope the Problem
2.0 How Did the Problems Arise?
3.0 Concordism Post-1800
4.0 Back to Concordism 1633
4.5 Genesis One Outline: KJV Family
4.6 Genesis One Outline: KJV-2000 Hindsight
5.0 Hindsight Corrections 2000
6.1 Minimum Adjustment, 1:1-5, 14-19
6.2 Free Expansion, 1:1-5, 14-19
7.0 Figure-of-Merit for Various Translations
8.1 Published Surveys
8.2 Interlinear Translations
8.3 Translations of Direct Interest
8.4 Foundational Commentaries
8.5 Footnotes
9.0 Bibliography

Hindsight Translation of Genesis One
Literature search shows that English translation of Genesis One has not been given a reality check since 1800—when geology came of age. In fact, not even since 1600—when astronomy came of age. Four hundred years is too long. Today if Genesis One were to be translated into English for the very first time, it would read differently touching science!

To those willing to forego the math-like development to verify all of that, skip over to sections 4.5 and 4.6 showing outlines of Genesis One. Then find at sections 6.1 and 6.2, two versions of Hindsight Corrections demonstrated for the two critical passages at 1:1-5 and 14-19. Note that here is presented a minimal adjustment version that sends a message of conservatism, and following that a freer expansion version. We will work with the King James Version (KJV) of 1611, to show that we mean the adjustments are to be of general application to translations of Genesis One.

1.0 Scope the Problem

1.1 Mid-course corrections are in order for Genesis One. Such will be likened to the rocket guidance practice of making a correction to the course long after initial launch. It is a calculated correction based upon having thoroughly evaluated the accuracy of the launch trajectory. For Genesis One, fine-tuning the accuracy is in order.

Accuracy is essential to the success of the mission. By definition a mid-course correction is a "hindsight" adjustment—"Hindsight is 20/20."

1.2 "Correction" and "Genesis One" being mentioned together in the same sentence sounds like heresy. Scripture makes it clear we are not to change or add to the Word of God. That is nonnegotiable.

1.3 Discovery: There is no call for change to the Hebrew text regarding science; as given to early flat-earth hearers, surprisingly it is also realistic for us today—just as is!

Changes belong to interpretation and translation. We could have expected that. The Hebrew text is found to be far ahead of us; as though the Author—the Designer of DNA—knew about science all along. Hear William Buckland in 1836 when the problem was fresh upon us: "the question is not respecting the correctness of the mosaic narrative, but of our interpretation of it."

1.4 Discovery: The problem is not in theology. Theology is the thrust of Genesis One; the sovereignty of God is the theme of Genesis One. The stages of Creation introduce science by way of unquestionably defining the sovereignty of God. The problem centers on our interpretation of the science in Genesis One.

1.5 Discovery: Today's problem with science in Genesis One is mainly localized in the four stages relating to our environment: 1) light, 2) sky, 3) land-sea, and 5) sun-moon-stars. Pivotal is light at 1:3-5 vs. sun-moon-stars at 1:14-19.1 The six days pose a problem but hopefully when the environmental stages are resolved the days will no longer be so confusing.

2.0 How Did the Problems Arise?

2.1 Problem One: Genesis One is "The Book of God's WORDS" about Creation. On the other hand, the heavens and the earth are "The Book of God's WORKS" in Creation. This clarification has a long history; it was used in 1605 by Sir Francis Bacon. [see Hummel] Today we are found to have interpreted the Author's Book of WORDS as contradicting his Book of WORKS. Thus to scientists, the Holy Bible is launched as incredible! —unbelievable! The differentiation made between the two books served well to keep enthusiasts from bringing scripture into interpreting the discoveries of science in science's early years.

2.2 Discovery: With both of these books, we work with translations.

Behold the Book of WORDS was translated before the beginning of the revolution in science and the Book of WORKS was translated after the beginning of the revolution in science was over. Today the revolution in science is reality.2

Up to 1600 there was a consensus about Creation in Genesis One, but the beginning of the revolution in science brought that to an end. Contradictions with the Book of WORDS can be traced to c. 1600-1800. Science since 1800 is far from science before 1600.

2.3 Translation of the Book of WORDS into English was launched two centuries prior to the beginning of the revolution in science. As to be expected, translation was made in accordance with the world view of that day. Contemporary presuppositions of the 1500s dictated the options that were taken in the translations that eventually led up to the KJV. And since then translations of Genesis One show few word-changes affecting the contradictions to science. [see Section 7.2]

Five pioneer English translations were:

Genesis One is very much alike in main line Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish versions. [see Section 8.3]

2.4 True translation of the Book of WORKS did not begin in earnest until the scientific revolution was fully underway c. 1800. Translation of the Book of WORKS is a byproduct of the scientific revolution, and this translation is not static; it stays abreast of the data of science.

As for the pioneer translations of the Book of WORKS, Copernicus-Brahe-Kepler-Galileo of planetary motion (1543-1633), made astronomy a science. The scientific method was formally defined by Sir Francis Bacon c. 1600. [see Hummel] Geology pointing to Earth's great age arrived as a science c. 1800 with the work of William "Strata" Smith et al. [see Strahler]

2.5 Discovery: The progressive developments of the data of science presented moving targets to the Book of WORDS. Moving targets were the result of the Book of WORKS being subjected to science's own changes in interpretation; its own mid-course corrections to translation. Contradiction developed when the Book of WORDS failed to see that changing its science would be different from changing its theology.

2.6 Discovery: Mid-course adjustment to the Book of WORDS might have started as early as 1700, and then it would have been well above having given impetus to the experiments toward the 'left'—1700s Deism and 1800s Atheism. By 1700 there were available, works by Augustine (415), Copernicus (1543), Galileo (1633), and William Whiston (1696).3 [See Augustine, Whiston]

2.7 Problem Two: New scientific meanings brought to 1611 words, have compounded the problem of discord. Along with the developing accuracy of the translation of the Book of WORKS came specialization in the meanings of some of the same words that were used in translating Genesis One. Today the KJV does not carry the same meaning that was in mind when it was translated in 1611.

2.8 Discovery: Bringing new meanings to old words can put our translations outside of the latitude of the Hebrew text—indeed, looking back, new meanings already have.

3.0 Concordism Post-1800

3.1 "Concordism" became the concerted effort to harmonize the growing discord of the KJV by philosophizing. Six-Day Creation with its sudden-massive-miracles was at issue—the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 confirms Six-Day Creation as imbedded in the KJV. Discord of the KJV has been so clear that Concordism has produced dozens of proposals, however in the meantime scientific developments have raised discord to unanswerable levels.

Concordism: So far, its approaches have fizzled. But in hindsight, Concordism has not been useless since it has conducted necessary experiments and the results are all posted for posterity.

3.2 Discovery: Nonliteral interpretations have been thoroughly probed in Concordism's many proposals. In the main those in varying degrees are open denials of what the KJV actually says touching science.

3.3 Concordism / Lewis: One experiment in literal interpretation must be clearly posted as significant. In 1855 Tayler Lewis published his determined work limiting himself solely to the Hebrew text of the Book of WORDS, avoiding the data from the Book of WORKS. He was uniquely qualified in ancient languages. His approach was flatly rejected by his peers writing in Bibliotheca Sacra, regardless of his better understanding of the Hebrew of Genesis One. In hindsight, Lewis seems to have meant we must understand that Genesis One was a revelation to earliest flat-earth hearers; it spoke of things they would be familiar with; to draw on the science of 3000 years later would be grossly out of context. Lewis worked over the words but was too close to the trees to see the woods. That he expected Genesis One to be literal means it is not to have taken poetic license with reality! This is the kind of reality check that is needed. [see Lewis]

3.4 Concordism / Price And there exists a second experiment in literal interpretation. That flourishes yet today, amidst an encouraging move to take the Word of God seriously. This experiment was originally launched c. 1920 by George McCready Price. From a distance it looks as though Price was desperate—he obviously admits that Six-Day Creation could not be harmonized with science, so he with vehemence turns around denying validity of selected scientific data in order to force "harmony." That approach does not solve the riddle of discord, but on the other hand his followers have found a vital role in the challenge of unscientific interpretations born subjectively of atheism.

4.0 Back to the Mandate-1633 Concordism

4.1 Today we face the Galileo mandate for a reality check, and this time: Make mid-course adjustments normative for two of the four stages on the environment. With that the Book of God's WORDS can now be kept worthy of the Designer of DNA.4, 5

There is no difficulty keeping all necessary adjustments within the latitude of the Hebrew text; we could have expected that since the two books are by the same Author. Theology is not changed.

4.2 Discovery: Adjustments upgrade the viability of Genesis One for pre-science hearers as well as for today's scientists. Today, there are multitudes of pre-science hearers, perhaps more than ever before in history—this includes all of our children.

4.3 Discovery: The statement that Genesis One makes about origins is absolutely unique among the 'ten great religions of the world.' Their sacred literature scarcely deals with creation at all, and then in fragments grossly poetic.

4.4 The following outline of Genesis One in Section 4.5 is representative of the KJV family. [see Section 8.3]

Next, the outline of Genesis One in Section 4.6 portrays a corrected Hindsight scenario that is direct and plain, and is not to be threatened by Ockham's Razor.

4.5 Genesis One Outline: KJV Family
           Presenting traditional paragraph partitioning
            Typical Hebrew poetry is found at 1:27 and 2:2-3
1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
        And earth was without form and void
        And darkness was upon the deep
        And God was here
        LIGHT Command 1
        And there was light
        And the light was good
        And God divided the light from the darkness
        And the evening and the morning were the first day

1:6-8 FIRMAMENT Command 2
        And it was so
        And the evening and the morning were the second day

1:9-13 GATHER WATERS Command 3a
        DRY LAND APPEAR Command 3b
        And it was so.
        And it was good
        LAND VEGETATION Command 4
        And it was so
        And it was good
        And the evening and the morning were the third day

1:14-19 LIGHTS Command 5
        And it was so
        And God made the lights
        And God set them in the firmament
        And it was good
        And the evening and the morning were the fourth day

1:20-23 WATER CREATURES Command 6a
        AIR CREATURES Command 6b
        And it was good
        And the evening and the morning were the fifth day

1:24-25 LAND CREATURES Command 7
        And it was so
        And it was good

1:26-31 MANKIND Command 8
        So God created man
        And God instructed them regarding food
        And all God had made was very good
        And the evening and the morning were the sixth day

2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished 
        And God rested

2:4... These are the generations of the heavens and the earth

Westminster Confession of Faith 1647 [underscore added]
IV. OF CREATION 1. It pleased God. . . to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein. . . in the space of six days, and all very good.

4.6 Genesis One Outline: KJV-2000 Hindsight
After each stage is obviously assured, comes its Epilogue 
Typical Hebrew poetry is found at 1:27 and 2:2-3
1:1    In the beginning time span
        God created the skies and the land.

Early Status Report Here at Eye-level
1:2   Occluded sky, land underwater or awash, no life
        God as sovereign was here in command

Dominant Theme: Overlapping Stages & Counterpoint: Six Days
1:3-5 DAYLIGHT Command 1 - given in the darkness of 1:2
                So there came to be daylight- bright fog yet
                God saw the daylight: "That is Good ..."
                God had divided the daylight and the darkness
                Day One

1:6-8 . EXPANSE OF SKY Command 2
                So it came to be—high cloud-cover yet
                Day Second

1:9-10 . . GATHER WATERS Command 3a
               DRY LAND APPEAR Command 3b
                    So it came to be—via specified processes
                   "That is Good. . ."

1:11-13 . . . LAND VEGETATION Command 4 
                                So it came to be
                                "That is Good..." 
                                Day Third

1:14-19 . . . . UNVEIL LIGHTS Command 5
                                So it came to be—first blue sky
                                God had made the lights—before 1:2
                                God gave them in the expanse
                                "That is Good..."
                                Day Fourth

1:20-23 . . . . . WATER CREATURES Command 6a
                      AIR CREATURES Command 6b
                                "That is Good ..."
                                Day Fifth

1:24-25 . . . . . . LAND CREATURES Command 7
                               So it came to be
                                "That is Good..."

1:26-31 . . . . . . . MANKIND 'Command' 8
                                So God created man
                                God instructed them regarding food
                                All God had made was "Very Good..."
                                Day The Sixth

2:1                 Thus the skies and the land were finished.

'Day The Seventh' Models the Sabbath
2:2-3         God 'rested'
                The 'work' of Creation was finished
                The 'work' of Providence continued
                The 'work' of Redemption was soon to begin

2:4a          These are the 'generations' of the skies and the land.

5.0 Hindsight Correction 2000 to the KJV 1611

These corrections to Genesis One are mandated as making "the most sense" in the context of reality—the reality being that which our first parents (1:29) perceived as earliest flat-earth hearers. [see Barker] Reality comes easy when viewing Genesis One as "… written in measured and majestic prose and in formal—almost liturgical—style."; of Genesis 1:27: "It is the first bit of poetry in the Old Testament..." p. 32. [see Youngblood]

Launch this approach realizing that Gen. 1:2 is a status report that doubles back in time as far as early hearers could be expected to imagine. 1:2 does not go back to time zero. It goes back into the time span of 1:1 to when occlusion above must have produced darkness at earth's surface. Then 1:3 begins the narrative of the eight key stages chosen by the Author to make the theological point about Creation. Stage five reveals the sun-moon-stars which must have been made long before the daylight of stage one. This scenario is not new; Bush by 1838 presents it as already mature; Cook in 1871 gives it a thorough commentary.

The eight stages of Creation pertain only to Planet Earth and its atmosphere—1696 William Whiston.

Commentaries and translations on Genesis One by authorities in Biblical Hebrew supply appropriate options for mid-course adjustments.6 Commentaries are endless; translations number over a hundred. [see Sections 8.1 Surveys, 8.2 Interlinear Translations, etc., 8.3 List of Translations and 8.4 Commentaries] "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"

5.01 Put a paragraph division at 1:2, and insert "time span"after 1:1a.

Whiston 1696.
Setting 1:1 as a paragraph apart frees it to be a title or summary. In traditional interpretation the lack of a break here has caused endless juggling in the attempt to smoothly incorporate 1:1 into the narrative which actually starts at 1:2 with the introductory status report. "Time span"reminds us of the effectual time overlap of 1:1 and 1:2. And starting 1:2 with "Now" is proper (See Section 5.05).

5.02 Put paragraph divisions at the eight commands, not at the six days.

Tyndale 1530
Young 1862
Boice 1982 shows command paragraphs pp. 69 and 75.
William Tyndale 1530 initiated this paragraphing, but it was thrown out with the bath water before the Geneva Bible 1560. Genesis One is teaching the theology that all has been made by God, and it will be seen that the eight stages of Creation are the dominant theme, precise as if teaching science—even today! The six days model a counterpoint theme, the theology of the Sabbath.

5.03 Left-justify each sentence and select phrases.

Guyot 1884
This clearly projects the formal repetitive literary structure built into Genesis One. But a left-justifying structure is modern, as are punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, indentations, and verse numbers.

5.04 Indent the package that follows after each work completion line "And it was so."
Significant it is that there is to be no work-lines after we are told "And it was so." So there are two mentions of work, 1:16 and 1:4, that must be addressed in the adjustments (see 5.11) that follow. Packages highlighted by indenting would today be called "De-briefing," or "Conclusions," or historically "Epilogues." Though epiogues in Genesis are mentioned in the literature, this is the only adjustment step not mentioned in the literature in connection with Genesis One.

5.05 "Now" for "And" at I :2a

Wycliffe 1382 and 1388
Sometime, perhaps in the 1900s it was realized that the Hebrew "and" has a second near-by utility other than being a normal conjunction—such as sequencing thought packages as a pre-cursor to our use of capitals and periods making sentences. This second "and" is an "and-connective." Now that we have capitals and periods, we have an option with the and-connectives; we may use an alternate connective or even just drop the "and." Today, "Now" has become common at 1:2, reflecting its use in 1611 at Genesis 3:1. This is crucial since many in the past have taken a wrong turn at 1:2 clinging tenaciously to "and" as being a straight forward bridge from 1:1 into 1:2, thereby making 1:1 a dependent clause, and involving far more problems than it solves. The ensuing discussion becomes a setup for Ockham's Razor.

5.06 Use "sky" and "land" replacing "heaven" and "earth"

Ainsworth 1621
Bush 1838
Murphy 1863
TORAH 1962, "sky" in 6 of 9 places, "land" in 1 of 22 places (at 1:30)
NIV 1978, "sky" in 6 of 9 places, "land" in 10 of 22 places [see Section 7.2]
In our space age, "heavens" and "earth" have taken on broader meanings than at the time of the KJV, actually Genesis One was revealed so early that "round-earth" would have been inappropriate. Fortunately "land" is an appropriate alternate for "earth," being satisfactory to reflect the pre-science earth-surface context: "And God called the dry land Land."

"Heavens" has today come to mean outer space. Heavens must be replaced with "skies": "God called the expanse Sky."

Tyndale supplied "A TABLE, EXPOUNDING CERTAIN WORDS" wherein he defines firmament as "The sky."

Duffield adds "firmamentum. . ." Tyndale, adopting the word firmament, which he found in general use, has explained it by sky;that his readers might understand that strength was not to be taken as any part of the idea attached to his use of the word."

Though George Bush in 1838 proposed the use of skies and land, and in 1863 James Murphy incorporated them into a Genesis One translation, to this day only the 1962 TORAH and the 1978 NIV concur with Bush and Murphy. [see Section 7.2]

5.07 "expanse" for "firmament"

Tyndale 1530, see his mind on "firmament" and "sky' [see Section 5.06 above]
Bush 1838
Lewis 1855
Young 1862
Newman 1972
KJV 1611, in margin note [see Section 7.2]
RV 1885, in margin note  [see Section 7.2]
ASV 1901, in margin note  [see Section 7.2]
NASB 1960, in 9 of 9 places  [see Section 7.2]
Torah 1962, in 9 of 9 places
NIV 1978, in 9 of 9 places  [see Section 7.2]
So this correction has become a trend. The word "firmament" need not have been brought over from the Septuagint. In Genesis One the Author speaks in the third person: "firmament" sounds like an attempt to convey what early hearers thought and does not apply here in Genesis One—"What did God say" counts! This is the same as we expect in the Decalogue!

5.08 Insert "seen"at 1:14 and I :15—"lights seen in the expanse."
This is an added reminder that the point of reference is at eye-level looking up to observe the appearance of the lights upon break-up of the cloud cover.

5.09 Use "shine upon" for "give light upon" in 1:15 and 1:17.

Wycliffe 1388, 2 of 2 places [see Section 7.2]
Tyndale 1530, 2 of 2 places [see Section 7.2]
R-DB 1609, 1 of 2 places
GB 1560, 1 of 2 places [see Section 7.2]
Torah 1962, 2 of 2 places
"Give light upon" is an imported metaphor, the Hebrew word is "shine." "Give light upon" actually applies to the fulfillment in stage one, while "shine upon" is precise for the lights of stage five.

5.10 Use "God gave them" for "God set them" at 1:17.

Ainsworth 1621
Young 1862
Murphy 1863
Cassuto 1944
The Hebrew word behind "gave" is "nathan / gift" giving rise to our use of Nathan as a first name, regardless of other equivalents available. "Presented" would be appropriate here. "Nathan" is used again in 1:29, translated "Give."

5.11 The Past Perfect Tense to the rescue in 1:16 and 1:4.

Whiston 1696
Bush 1838
Murphy 1863
There is no specific Past Perfect Tense in Hebrew, so preference in English translation is to be given to the tense that makes the most sense. At 1:16 this tense allows the lights to have been made previously and not in the Epilogue, hence the break up of the cloud cover at this stage clears the sky for their being exposed to view for the first time ever at eye-level.

At 1:4 the Past Perfect authenticates our suspicions that the "dividing" had already been accomplished in the provision for "Day." The use of the pluperfect at 1:16 and 1:4 makes a "flashback" of these two statements.7  [see Barker]

The pluperfect carries no stigma for it is used three other times Genesis One— 1:29, 30, and 31.

Obviously the Past Perfect would also defuse a world of words about Genesis Two being a "second account of Creation," when used in 2:19 to make "had formed."

5.12 "daylight" for "light"

Ainsworth 1621
Bush 1838
Lewis 1855
Botterweck and Ringgren 1974
Unger and White 1980
Ross 1994
Unfortunately, "light" has come to mean the phenomenon of light as in science and this in turn is made acceptable by improperly switching the perspective to God's Heaven thereby viewing the whole universe. In space there is no cyclic lightness and darkness. That switch is in the face of the fact that scientific concepts reaching beyond eye-level observation are not realistic for flat-earth earliest-hearers of Genesis One!

In 1:5 "God called the light, Day," so His meaning for "light" is "daylight." For the six days, the very mention of "evening and morning" points to solar days—meaning solar days in the experience of early hearers.

5.13 Use the literal Hebrew names for the six days.

Young 1862
Murphy 1863
These days find their significance in pre-figuring the Sabbath- theology. Literally, the Hebrew presents "day one…, day second…, day third… day the sixth."

5.14 Discovery:
We have since found there is more to Hindsight than had surfaced when this report was first written, in 1996. Those mid-course corrections met the need, and still stand. Though that effort was truly instigated by the Genesis One mismatch with science, the basic list of changes however reflects bringing Genesis One literarily into alignment, as a piece of precise prose. Note that the disconnect involving the creation of light in the first stage and the creation of the sun-moon-stars in the fifth stage would not have been intended by any author; even an ancient author; much less the Author of DNA. Therein perhaps we missed what Tayler  Lewis missed—woods and trees again? [see Section 3.3]

6.1 Hindsight Translation of Genesis 1:1-5 and 14-19
Minimum mid-course adjustment, KJV-2000—fifteen items            ©DEC
1:1  In the beginning time span
      God created the skies and the land.

2     Now the land was without form and void,
       and darkness was upon the face of the deep,
       and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3     And God said:
       Let there be daylight.
       And there was daylight.
4         And God saw the daylight that it was good. 
           And God had divided the daylight from the darkness.
5         And God called the daylight Day,
           and the darkness he called Night.
           And the evening and the morning were day one.

6    And God said:                 Sky, cloud covered
9    And God said:                 Land / Seas
11  And God said:                 Vegetation

14   And God said:
       Let there be lights seen in the expanse of the sky
       to divide the day from the night,
       and let them be for signs and for seasons
       and for days and years.
15   And let them be for lights seen in the expanse of the sky
       to shine upon the land.
       And it was so.
16         And God had made two great lights;
            the greater light to rule the day
            and the lesser light to rule the night,
            he had made the stars also.
17        And God gave them in the expanse of the sky
            to shine upon the land,
18         and to rule over the day and over the night,
            and to divide the daylight from the darkness.
            And God saw that it was good.
19        And the evening and the morning were day fourth.

6.2 Free Hindsight Translation of Genesis 1:1-5 and 14-19
Free mid-course adjustment, KJV-2000—fifteen items                     ©DEC
1:1   In the beginning time span
       God created the skies and the land—Abstract

2     Now the land was without form and void—underwater or awash
       darkness was upon the face of the deep—.
       And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters—in command

3     God said—as if to the darkness about:
       Let there come to be daylight—here.
       So there came to be daylight—bright daylight.
4         So God saw the daylight that it was good.
           (Now God had daily divided the daylight from the darkness.)
5         And God called the daylight Day
           and the darkness he called Night.
           So the evening and the morning were Day One.

6     God said:                             Sky, cloud covered
9     God said:                             Land \ Seas
11   God said:                             Vegetation

14    God said—as if to the cloud cover above:
        Let there come to be lights seen in the expanse of the sky
        to divide the day from the night,
        and let them be for signs and for seasons
        and for days and years,
15     and let them be for lights seenin the expanse of the sky
        to shine upon the land here.
        And it came to be so—precisely so.
16         (Now God had made two great lights—before the daylight,
            the greater light to rule the day
            and the lesser light to rule the night,
            he had made the stars also.)
17         So God gave them in the expanse of the sky
            to shine upon the land,
18         and to rule over the day and the night,
            and to divide the daylight from the darkness.
            And God saw that it was good.
19         So the evening and the morning were Day Fourth.

7.0 Figure of Merit of Various Translations

The question arises as to how various English translations of Genesis One would compare regarding reality. Once a master list of mid-course corrections has been formulated, a figure-of-merit for a translation can be derived by totaling the number of those individual corrections found in that version.

7.1 Figure of Merit of Various Translations
of Merit
51* 2000 KJV King James Version-2000
3 1388 Wycliffe Holy Bible (by Purvey)
7.5 1530 Tyndale The Pentateuch
1 1560 GB Geneva Bible
0.5* 1611 KJV King James Version
0.5* 1885 RV Revised Version [British]
0.5* 1901 ASV American Standard Version
0* 1952 RSV Revised Standard Version
5* 1960 NASB New American Standard Bible
12 1978 NIV New International Version
0* 1982 NKJV New King James Version
4* 1989 NRSV New Revised Standard Version
* Marks the King James Version family, although the distinct character of the KJV goes back to William Tyndale 1525 and 1530.

7.2 Deriving the Figure-of-Merit for Various Translations
5.01 start paragraph 1:2a 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 n.a.
5.01 "time span" inserted 1:1a 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 n.a.
5.02 command paragraphs X5 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.03 left-justify throughout X5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.04 indent lines after "lt was so" X5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.05 "Now"for "And" 2a 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 n.a.
5.06 "skies" for "heavens" X5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4
5.06 "land"for "earth" X5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
5.07 "expanse" for "firmament" X5 5 0 0.5 0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 5 5 0 0
5.08 "seen"inserted 14b,15a 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.09 "shine light"for "give light" 15b,17b 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.10 "gave" for "set" 17a 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.11 past perfect tense 4a,16a,
3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.12 "daylight" for "light" X5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5.13 Hebrew names for the six days X5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
51 3 7.5 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 5 12 0 4
      KJV Wycliff Tyndale Geneva KJV RV ASV RSV NASB NIV NKJV NRSV
0.5 = expanse is put in a margin note
n.a. = 1:1 is made a dependent clause

8.0 Footnotes

*  This paper is an edited version of the paper given first at the annual meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation, July 1995, Montreat College, NC, then given at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 1995, Philadelphia.

8.1 Surveys

Herbert, A.S. 1968 Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible 1525-1961, (British and Foreign Bible Society / American Bible Society.)

The Catalogue starts with Tyndale's translations; Wycliffe's translations of the 1300s never saw the printing press until published in 1850, edited by Forshall and Madden. [see Forshall and Madden]
Mansell Publishing, 1979 The National Union Catalog, presenting a photo copy of the file card for each book in a major U.S. Library, published up to 1956, and lists the libraries where they are available! Originally this took nearly 300 great volumes, and has recently been reduced to a cabinet of microfiche.

Proposals separate from Young in which the works were not done within their corresponding days— the following four hold the greatest potential for eventually solving the riddle of the six days in Genesis One:

1792 Geddes "Opening Days" translation, borrowing the name from Newman
1875 Warring "Completion Days" proposal
1971 Dunzweiler "Essential Completion Days" proposal
1977 Newman and Ecklemann "Opening Days" proposal
8.2 Interlinear Hebrew - English Translations

Berry, George Ricker 1897 The Interlinear literal Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, Genesis and Exodus (Hinds and Noble, 1897. Reprint by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI 1970)

Kohlengerger, John R. III 1979 The NIV Interlinear Hebrew- English Old Testament(Volume 1/Genesis - Deuteronomy, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1979)

Owens, John Joseph 1990 Analytical Key to the Old Testament,vol. I Genesis - Joshua (Baker, MI 1990)

Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible,(Abingdon-Cooksbury Press, New York, Nashville, Sixteenth Printing, March 1946).



8.3 English Translations of Interest (Asterisks identify the King James family)

1388 Wycliffe Bible (Revision by Purvey) The Holy Bible Herbert #1876 (Editors Forshall and Madden University Press, Oxford, 1850 first in print)

1530 Tyndale, The Pentateuch Herbert #4 (1884 reprint, edited by J. I. Mombert, Anson D. F. Randolph & Co., New York) (1991 Tyndale's Old Testament, Pentateuch of 1530, Joshua to 2 Chronicles of 1537, and Jonah, modern spelling, Editor David Daniell, © 1992 Yale University Press) (1999 The Pentateuch by: William Tyndale, fascimile reprint of 1884 Mombert, ©1999 Lazarus Ministry Press)

1560 GB Geneva Bible Herbert #107 (facsimile of the 1599 edition, Herbert #248, © 1990 L. L. Brown Publishing, MO)

1609 R-DB Rheims-Douay Bible Herbert #300 Catholic, first English translation of the Latin Vulgate, NT 1610

* 1611 KJV King James Version Herbert #309 (Reprint of 1611 edition by Thomas Nelson Publishers 1990)

1792 Geddes The Holy Bible, Genesis-Joshua Herbert #1416 Alexander Geddes (J. Davis, London 1792)

* 1885 RV Revised Version [British] Herbert #2037 (University Press, Oxford 1885) 1898 Oxford University Press)

* 1901 ASV American Standard Version of the Revised Bible Herbert #2103 1901 Thomas Nelson and Sons, © 1929 International Council of Religious Education)

* 1952 RSV Revised Standard Version Herbert #2304 1952 Thomas Nelson and Sons, NY)

* 1960 NASB New American Standard Bible  (©1960 The Lockman Foundation, CA latest revision 1995)

1962 TORAH the Pentateuch1962 The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia)

1978 NIV New International Version  (©1978 International Bible Society, NY)

* 1982 NKJV New King James Version  (©1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

* 1989 NRSV New Revised Standard Version  (©1989 National Council of Churches of Christ)

8.4 Foundational Commentaries

415 St. Augustine best mental computer program, wish he were here.

1553 Calvin literal days but no thought of indicting science

1696 Whiston, earliest past perfect tense and earth's surface

1838 Bush solid commentary

1863 Murphy translation in commentary

1871 Cook, occlusion scenario

1982 Boice, occlusion scenario pp. 64-66, five views

8.5 Footnotes Proper

1 Unlike the 'environment' stages, the four life kind stages in Genesis I can stand essentially as interpreted / translated. With the life kind stages, we must post grave differentiation between the'data of science' and the 'subjective interpretation' by science. The experiment of atheistic science presupposes a closed system, a blatant denial of the preponderance of the evidence. (In court, the preponderance of the evidence is the prescription for determining truth when faced with a judgement call on factual matters.)

2 The date for the definition of the scientific method recognized as the work of Sir Francis Bacon is c. 1600. The date of Galileo's trial marks astronomy coming of age as c. 1633. By c. 1800 geology became of age as a science in the University.

3 St. Augustine 415 Bishop of Hippo North Africa. We are impressed with the thought patterns he modeled for us as he looks at Genesis One and at the world about, at such an early date. We recognize that his conclusions were tentative, due to his struggling with a poor translation- the "Old Latin" translations which preceded the Latin Vulgate of Jerome (405) by upwards of two hundred years. [see St Augustine]

4 Consider this characterization of Genesis One:
    a) It is earthy, it uses the language of appearances, it is free-standing as is the Decalogue.
    b) The Author, using the third person, basically teaches theology in citing geologic history.
    c) It does not allow us poetic licence with words. The account of Genesis 1 is not Hebrew poetry in spite of the formal format employed. To steer us away from a general classification of poetry it provides two short models of Hebrew poetry at 1:27, without figure, and at 2:2-3 with poetic figure.
Barton Payne 1962 calls Genesis One "straight-forward historical prose."
Bruce Waltke 1974 calls Genesis One "precise prose."
Ronald Youngblood 1980 calls Genesis One "written in measured and majestic prose and in formal- almost liturgical- style.... It [1:27] is the first bit of poetry in the Old Testament..."
    d) Anthropomorphisms in teaching theology, are not poetic figure. They are where theology starts.
    e) Genesis One does not find it timely to teach science by correcting early notions of pre-science hearers; least of all does it use words that could be construed to support false notions of pre-science hearers.
    f) Accommodation (Calvin's use of the term) avoids using words that will later be found to contradict reality. It thus is an accommodation to today's study of Genesis One.
    g) Withal, the Author does not confuse early hearers with items of modern science. This is summed by Hugh Ross (1994): "I believe God intended that the meaning of His Word be accessible to all people, regardless of intellect or education.... God makes the Bible (and nature, as well) comprehensible to the simplest minds and yet a challenge to the most brilliant and learned."

5 At Galileo's time 1633, theology had long before bought into its contemporary science of the Aristotelian /Ptolemaic system with its central earth. Likewise the KJV bought into its contemporary science of the 1500s—a science unsuspecting of the great antiquity in Creation. Alas, sudden-massive-miracles came to dominate interpretation prior to the KJV (1611). That may have been appropriate for them, but with today's hindsight the time has come for mid-course adjustment.

6 The changes in Section 5.0 are essentially in the literature and as such pose a puzzle in that they have never collectively been used in a translation. This is the question of the Figure-of-Merit table in Section 7.0.

7 The pluperfect sets up a "flashback" when used in a single statement as in 1:4 and 1:16. [see Barker]

9.0 Bibliography

Ainsworth, Henry 1621 Annotations on the Pentateuch and Psalms vol. 1 of 2 (Reprint by Solo Deo Gloria, Ligonier, PA 1991) ISBN 1-877611-35-2

St. Augustine of Hippo 415 AD The Literal Meaning of Genesis [1-3], vol. I and II, Ancient Christian Writers,Nos. 41 and 42 (Newman Press, New York, NY / Ramsey, NJ 1982) ISBN 0-8091-0326-5 This is first translated
into English in 1982 by John Hammond Taylor

Barker, Kenneth L. 1995 Accuracy Defined and Illustrated,p. 28 (International Bible Society)

Boice, James M. 1982 Genesis An Expositional Commentary vol.1, Genesis 1:1 - 11:32 (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids 1982) ISBN 0-310-21540-4

Botterweck and Ringgren 1974 Theological Dictionary of The Old Testament,TDOT vol. I, p. 152

Buckland, William 1836 THE BRIDGEWATER TREATISES, TREATISE VI, Geology and Mineralology, vol. I, p. 33

Bush, George 1838 Notes on Genesis,vol. 1 of 2, pp. 3-51.
        Bush gives early definition to the sequence of events applicable to the Age-Days interpretation of Genesis 1.

Calvin, John 1554 Commentaries on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis,vol. 1, pp. 1-103, John King's 1847 translation of Calvin's Latin. (Wm. B. Erdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids 1948) By his comment p. 103 he reminds us that prior to the six-day-144-hour interpretation, there were those who interpreted the world as having been formed in a moment. 2:4b: "In the day that the LORD God made the earth, and the heavens...

Cassuto, U. 1944 A Commentary on the Book of Genesis,vol. 1 of two, p.46 (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1944)

Cook, F. C., 1871 The Bible Commentary, vol. 1 of 10, pp. 32-37 (Cook was Editor, E. Harold Browne wrote on Genesis, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1871-1881, Reprinted by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Ml 1981) ISBN 0-8010-2431-5

Daniell, David 1991 Tyndale's Old Testament, Being the Pentateuch of 1530, Joshua to 2 Chronicles of 1537 (In a modern-spelling edition and with an introduction by Daniell, Yale University Press 1991)
ISBN 0-300-05211-1

Duffield, G. E. 1965 The Work of William Tyndale,p.45 (Fortress Press, Philadelphia 1965)

Dunzweiler, Robert J. 1971 A Proposed CreationistAlternative to Evolutionism (Research Report #12), Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, P.O. Box 423, Hatfield, PA 19440, 1983) ISBN 0-944788-12-2. [Available at http://www.ibri.org/] His proposal is 24-hour Essential Completion Days, p. 18-20; p. 14 may present the first meaningful time-line chart of overlapping stages, Days, geology, and paleontology. Otherwise, Completion Days is found proposed by Charles B. Warring 1875, listed below.

Forshall, J. and Sir F. Madden 1850 The Holy Bible 4 volumes, first printing of Wycliffe's versions (University Press, Oxford 1850) Herbert #1876

Geddes, Alexander 1792 The Holy Bible, translation and remarks, Genesis - Joshua (J. Davis, London 1792) Herbert #1416
In Genesis I of his translation he moves the day-statements to lead off the following paragraphs as if introducing the next command. He does not assign a name to this understanding of the days. This is next proposed independently by Robert C. Newman 1977.

Guyot, Arnold 1884  Creation p. 13  Prof. Henry C. Cameron supplied Guyot's translation of Genesis One left-justifying the lines.

Herbert, A. 5. 1968 Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible 1525-1961 See 8.1 Surveys

Hummel, Charles 1986 The Galileo Connection (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL  1986)

Lewis, Tayler 1855 The Six Days of Creation Second Edition (G.Y. Van Derbogert, Schenectady, NY 1855) Lewis ran the Concordism experiment addressing discord by working solely within Scripture—avoiding the Book of WORKS to resolve the discord. That failed. But by 1868 he had acquiesced to the Book of WORKS: "Each day, as a beginning by itself, contains the incipient powers and elements of its peculiar work, but does not exhaust those energies. The light is still evolving in the second day; the fluids are still parting in the third; the firmament, though having its auroral light before, is becoming still brighter in the fourth; vegetable and animal life are coming to still greater perfection in the fifth and sixth.'" (Lewis' editorial note in his English translation of John Peter Lange's German commentary Genesis p.134.)

Mombert, J. I. 1884 William Tyndale's Five Books of Moses called The Pentateuch,1530 text, this edition edited by Mombert (Anson D. F. Randolph & Co., New York 1884) Herbert # 2032

Murphy, James G. 1863 A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis, pp. 1-86 The Barnes commentary set uses this commentary for Genesis. His translation of Genesis One is more mature regarding reality than any of the major translations. He does carry a slant towards the Gap Theory.

Newman, Robert C. 1972 The Biblical Firmament: Vault or Vapor?(Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, P0 Box 423, Hatfield, PA 19440, 2000)

Newman, Robert C. and Herman J. Ecklemann 1977 Genesis One & the Origin of the Earth (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 1977)

Payne, J. Barton 1962 The Theology of the Older Testament, footnote p. 134 (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids) ISBN 0-310-30721-X

Ross, Hugh 1994 Creation and Time, pp. 149-151 (Reasons to Believe, P.O. Box 5978, Pasadena CA 91117) ISBN 0-89109-776-7

Strahler, Arthur N. Physical Geology, p. 126 (Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc., New York 1981) ISBN 0-16-046462-3

Tyndale, William 1530 Five Books of Moses Called the Pentateuch
See Daniell 1992
See Duffield 1965
See Mombert 1884

Unger and White 1980 Nelson's Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament, p.222

Waltke, Bruce 1974 Creation and Chaos (Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland, Oregon 1974)

Warring, Charles B. 1875 The Mosaic Account of Creation, the Miracle of To-day (New York, NY 1875)

Whiston, William 1696 A New Theory of the Earth (Arno Press, New York 1978) Reprint of the 1696 edition by R. Roberts for B. Tooke, London.) ISBN 0-405-10463-4 Only pp. 1-95 pertain to Creation. This title has actually been through five revisions, the last posthumously, but this first section does not seem to have been the focus of revision. Whiston was an Anglican priest, he is the translator of the common volumes of the works of Josephus, and he succeeded Newton in the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge.

Wycliffe, William 1383, 1388
        See Forshall and Madden 1850

Young, Robert 1862  Young's Literal Translation of the Holy Bible (Reprint by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids) ISBN 0-8010-9910-2  This is the Robert Young of concordance fame.

Youngblood, Ronald 1980 How It All Began (Regal Books, CA 1980) ISBN 0-8307-0675-5