Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Islam and Christianity: Role of Women, Cultural Changes to, Choices Among, Old Texts

Western Civilization:
Genesis papers

Christianity.

Watch the oldest texts become distorted down, so that the woman by now is accepted as a mere helpmeet, in the context of an established patriarchy, see Vetting Roots, Jerome's Ignoring Ezer Kenegdo.

Middle Eastern Civilization:
They had the Jewish Texts as part of their culture.
Genesis Papers, adapted. 

Islam.

Watch the same process of taking earliest texts that demonstrate woman's full participation and capability into affairs of the culture;  and introducing fear, uncertainty, doubt, and then deleting, changing interpretations to fit the need of the evolved culture - the patriarchy.   See Middle East Forum, Middle East Quarterly, at ://www.meforum.org/717/assessing-english-translations-of-the-quran/.  This process affects not only the role of women, but also the place of Judaism as a respected established religion historically.  The changes can be to support the more conservative, or the more liberal in the faith, as with us. Watch the "modernization" process in Turkey at ://static.rnw.nl/migratie/www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/080229-turkey-hadith-redirected

In both, the nature of the linguistics allows, say some, for a range of interpretations - where there were no vowels in the original text, for example, use of one or another vowel in the modernizing can lead to differing meanings. See ://www.islamset.com/encyclo/qur%27an.html/:  But it does not solve the problems of finding original texts and meaning - it, as the west, cherrypicks many themes, but not addressing others:

"Islam recognizes the divine origins of the earlier Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and represents itself as both a restoration and a continuation of their traditions. Because of this, the Qur'an draws on biblical stories and repeats many biblical themes."

So, the role of woman remains one of evolving cultural choice, not unambiguous deity demand; and one that has linguistic roots favoring her strength and autonomy; not servitude in patriarchy. Is that so?

"Despite the consensus among Muslims on the authenticity of the current format of the Qur'an, they agree that many words in the Qur'an can be interpreted in equally valid ways."
 ://www.islamset.com/encyclo/qur%27an.html#q3

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vox Dei. How Our Texts Came To Be - People of the Book

 The Process: People of the Book
How Were Early Texts Collected, Negotiated, Agreed Upon, Collated 


The Lexicon of kinds of texts is huge: see ://www-english.tamu.edu/pers/fac/myers/hermeneutical_lexicon.html


Faith cannot be blind. Why believe just because someone says so.  There must be some basic vetting of sources, even within highly authoritarian belief systems, is that so?


Follow as we look at some belief systems, and how they came to be.  You decide.

A.  Muslim - 7th Century

1.  How their texts were agreed upon, see ://www.travel-images.com/az-islam.html/
"Mohammed would annually go to Mt. Hira to meditate and pray. One year, upon returning from the mountain, Mohammed declared himself a chosen prophet of God. Mohammed claimed that he had his first vision while in a cave on the mountain. On return to Mecca, he preached his message for nine years, and gained a number of adherents. As one might expect, this caused friction with other established beliefs. Finally, in 612 A.D. he was warned by his followers that his enemies intended to murder him and he was forced to flee. This flight marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar and is called 1A.H. (after Hejrat meaning "after the flight or migration"). His flight allowed him to gather his followers and in 630 A.D. he returned to wrest Mecca from the hands of the Koreish. He was then acknowledged "the prophet" by all Arabia.

"During his lifetime (Mohammed died two years after his return to Mecca), his followers carefully transcribed his words and visions, as he himself did not know how to write. In 645 A.D. (about ten years after his death, 'Ali (Mohammed's brother in law) and other leaders collected together all these transcriptions, collated them and created the book of the Qur'an, which has 114 chapters, and 6236 verses. This became the Holy Book for the followers of Islam."

://www.travel-images.com/az-islam.html

The Qur'an cannot be "translated" since believers see the words as the deity's direct communication in Arabic, and any translation will necessarily change meaning - no two languages present the same world view, having more or fewer words for concepts, and translators having their own agenda.  See discussion at Assessing English Translations of the Qur'an, The Middle East Quarterly 2005, by Khaleel Mohammed, at ://www.meforum.org/717/assessing-english-translations-of-the-quran/.  Mohammed was familiar with Judaism, notes the article; fair use portion here, footnoting omitted:

**** "Evidence of Muhammad's familiarity with Judaism is present in the Qur'an. One verse suggests that his contemporaries accused him of having a Jewish teacher.When some Arabs challenged Muhammad's claim to be a prophet based on his mortality, he suggested that they consult Jewish scholars about history. Early Muslims resorted to Jewish lore so heavily that they produced a genre of literature: the Isra'iliyat, loosely translated as the Judaic traditions An oral tradition was even attributed to Muhammad wherein he supposedly said, "Relate from the people of Israel, and there is no objection," thereby enabling Islamic scholars to cite precedents from Jewish scholarship.

"By the ninth century, this began to change. Muslim jurists, increasingly opposed to reliance upon Jewish lore, created new sayings from the Prophet and his companions that contradicted the original allowances. **** "

B.  Christian

1.  How their texts were agreed upon, see  ://www.williamtyndale.com/0transmissionofbible.htm/; and essay there by Kathleen Campbell


Going further back:
  • 500 BC - Original Hebrew manuscripts completed as to 39 books, OT.  Note that paleo-Hebrew texts predate the Hebrew.  
  • Then, in 200 BC, those Hebrew texts were translated into Greek (the Septuagint, or 70 translators); as well as 14 books known as the Apocrypha

New Testament:
  • First Century AD - Greek manuscripts completed as to the 27 books, NT.
  • 325 AD - Council of Nicea, see Emperor Constantine, hammered out a uniform statement of theology, dogma, see  an everyman's overview source at ://www.gotquestions.org/council-of-Nicea.html
  • 382 AD - NT Canon closed [Canon = roughly what texts are official], west, see ://www.ntcanon.org/closing-west.shtml
  • 384-419 AD - Canon varies, east.  Different places include, exclude texts, little interest in the uniformity imposed in west, see ://www.ntcanon.org/closing-east.shtml
  • Then, in 390 AD, St. Jerome completed translation into Latin of the 39 OT, 14 texts known as the Apocrypha, and the 27 NT.
  • 500 AD - translations of scriptures into more than 500 languages
  • 600 Ad - only Latin allowed
  • 995 AD - Early English forms (Anglo-Saxon) of Bible
  • 1384 - John Wycliffe, relies entirely on Jerome's Latin version to make manuscript of English (reviewed no other text, no Greek, no Hebrew, etc.)
  • 1455 - printing press invented
  • 1516 - Erasmus created a parallel Greek-Latin NT
  • 1522 - Martin Luther translated a German NT
  • 1609 - The official Catholic Douay-Rheims completed in English, and from referring to the Latin only (no earlier texts in Greek, Hebrew or Paleo-Hebrew compared)
  • 1611 - King James Version in English
  • Many versions have followed - see site.

See ://www.williamtyndale.com/0transmissionofbible.htm/; and essay there by Kathleen Campbell.

  • The Aramaic Root. Is Jerome on target with his Latin Vulgate?  Note that The Founder, J, spoke in Aramaic - not Greek, not Latin.  Here is a site for Peshitta Aramaic/English transliteration of the New Testament, at ://www.peshitta.org/.  Go look. Go in the margin to Interlinear and then start on the Gospels.
Note that the site abandons the transliteration approach in the OT.  Try to find how the words are actually translated there and you will lose. Why?  Why not give us the transliteration?
.
C.  Judaism

1. How the texts are agreed upon, see ://en.allexperts.com/q/Orthodox-Judaism-952/TANAKH-3.htm

Site information, and this is an Orthodox view:  The Old Testament, or Tanakh (see discussion at site) is the same set of books as used by Christians.  But Christian translations have errors. So, to study it, believers will go back to original translations.  There is an oral tradition called the Talmud, stemming from Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Study both together to get at meaning, intent. Tanakh, however, is considered eternal and relevent to all peoples, any time.

Sample texts on position of women.  These are from the Pickthall version, the Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an.  See the site for the entirety.
"11 Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females, and if there be women more than two, then theirs is two-thirds of the inheritance, and if there be one (only) then the half....*** "

"34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them....*** "

://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/pick/004.htm/

Text interpretations.

These no more agree in Islam than text interpretations do in the Western religions. See The Compilation of the Qur'an at ://www.abrahamic-faith.com/shamoun/compilation%20of%20the%20quran.html/.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Man stems from Woman; not vice versa: agrees NYT.

 Genes. Love 'em.
Genesis. Any connection?

People.  Genetically.  Women have XX.  Men have Xy.  Note the little y - that corresponds to the information it carries. Far less.
See
 full size image
Do a search for chromosomes XX and XY and see the difference.  Consistent photos. Big and Little.  Clear shape X, and then a squig. Fair use thumbnail here, from ://www.bio.miami.edu/~cmallery/150/mendel/c7.15.X.Y.jpg/

But there is more: The NYT notes these items in an article about rapid changes apparently (finally?) taking place in the y, as the genders differentiate further:
  • Ladies:  that both X's in women have remained complete and stable as they were, over a long time; and
  • Gents:  that the y, in men's Xy, originated as an X.  A Lady-thing. So - goes the reasoning - Men were once XX's also; then one of the X's went rogue.
  • Ladies First. For a reason. Therefore, suggests the evidence, the Gents' y, deriving from the X, has had to evolve into something else in order to make Men.  The y has had to shed, over time, what parts of the X it would not need if it is to be a clear y. That process is ongoing.
It follows then, for those who look to science for proofs, that man stemmed from woman, not woman from man.

The process of shedding so that men could be men is a long one, and not yet done.  Men are still on the road. Most discrepancies, then, have disappeared, but not all.  Does that gray area of gender differentiation in men answer the question why, since men have the vestiges of the X, they are trying so hard to prove that they do not, so there is such animosity among many for men who may have a better formed y, or for people who mate with same gender? Somebody go check.

Meanwhile, read the NYT article.  Then ask of the early paleo-Hebrew, where the "human" was first formed, who decided to make the story of bones and fruits and frauds anti-woman. 
" * * * In the Y, which originally had the same set of genes as the X, most of the X-related genes have disappeared over the last 200 million years.* * * "

See Rapid Change Found in Male Chromosome, by Nicholas Wade, at ://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/science/14gene.html/

Extra credit: 

Evolution debate goes on, apparently. Here is the Bible supporter view.  See Women, Stem-cells and the Darwinian Debate, Developmental Biology May Have Created the First Woman, see ://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1450153/women_stemcells_and_the_darwinian_debate.html/.

That is a religious site that proposes going back to the Bible for facts, not evolution.  And poses this issue against evolution: that evolution would mean that women and men came from the same source and that XX genes somehow morphed into Xy; that the first beings were androgynous or self-perpetuating until the gene pool had an abnormality.  Sounds sensible, and fits with "eadm" meaning "human", see http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen2.pdf/  


Game of clue:  what preceded the paleo-HebrewThere must be multiple versions. Originalism and literalism.  Can any culture leave old ideas, to consider new.


Genesis Papers.  Ongoing. Eve's Role - another look. When it comes to scripture, for those who rely, do reason and practicality have a role in interpretation.  Reason and practicality in interpretation.  A sensible choice if we seek common ground for mutual survival.  See Vetting Roots:  Originalism and Literalism and Violence.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hebrew. Looking for OZR KNGDU. Found: ezer kenegdo. Helper, Helpmeet

What was Eve's Role, Purpose.  Who says.

The Caging of Eve:  The Genesis Papers.
  • From Eve's Role as Ozr Kngdv, "Ezer Kenegdo" - Guide, In front:
  • To the evolved secondary Domestic Organizer: Behind, and Fungible
Here we explore, by way of amateur exegesis,


I.  Context of Eve in Creation
II.  Her Role:  Spelling variations complicate research 
III. Meaning of word root "ozr" - power and strength; "ezer" - help, as God is help (same word ezer used for both)
IV.  Meaning of word root "kngdv" - A. comparable to the man, "meet", not superior (thus the help is modified from that attributed to the deity);  B. in front of him; guide; pulls, stretches, rescuer;
V.  Eve's Role in the Original Blueprint

..........................................................................

I.  Context of Eve in Creation 
The Genesis Papers

A.  Second Creation Story:  The Sequential Creations

The first Creation story has the male and female created at the same time.  The second Creation story provides for a sequential Creation, resulting in man and woman.  The deity concluded it was not good for the human to be alone; the deity makes a "ozr k ngd u" - what do those words mean?   Genesis 2:18,20.  Look up a transliteration site for each verse at ://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Hebrew_Index.htm/; and a translation-transliteration comparison site at ://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/:  showing modern Hebrew; old Paleo-Hebrew (550-600 BC), the Hebrew transliterated (mechanical word and portion for word and portion); the Latin Vulgate; the King James, the American Standard;


........................................................................
II.  Her Role:  

A. Spelling variations complicate research 

 ozr k ngd v
ozr kngdu 

‘ēzer kəneḡədwō:
e'zeh-lo ezer kenegdo
e‘ĕśehh-llwō ‘ēzer kəneḡədwō:  
e'eseh-lo ezer kenegdo
KNGDV


B.  Omissions of the KNGDV component change the meaning


..............................................................................................................

III. Meaning of word root "ozr" - power and strength; "ezer" - help, as God is help (same word ezer used for both)


IV.  Meaning of word root "kngdv" - A. comparable to the man, "meet", not superior (thus the help is modified from that attributed to the deity);  B. in front of him; guide; pulls, stretches, rescuer;
V.  Eve's Role in the Original Blueprint


How was Eve Caged 

Day 1 -Hebrew


Topic:  We see omissions in word components (two words in the earlier language, one ignored in the next) the basic concept of "ezer kenegdo" in differing transliterations and translations, without any indication that something is being left out. We also see omissions in other areas - politics reporting, for example. And sales.
 .
We use a Biblical idea here, however, Eve's job description, to explore the issue not because of a faith, but because the changes have taken place over so many years and affected so many. The omissions process is a human communications issue as agendas emerge.
.
And how a translation chooses a word for the translation can change the meaning. So we  are looking for the original linguistic meaning and root of ozr kngdu, frequently translated "helpmeet" as in Eden, Adam and Eve.  We are looking at old texts for Genesis to see which retain something like the k ndg u or k ngd v that first we found at the transliteration site, scripture4all.org.

Concepts went from an oral tradition, to early Paleo Hebrew symbols, to Hebrew (different forms), and then, about 2000 years ago, the Hebrew was transliterated into Greek, with Phoenician intervening there somewhere.

But the letters and sounds, as with Paleo-Hebrew to the Hebrew, did not necessarily correspond.  See coping with missing letters at  ://www.ancient-hebrew.org/4_missing.html/ People had to get creative. Some believe each step was "inspired" but that is beyond us. We are looking rather at changing meanings. Still, where authority has made a statemenet, it is difficult for many to question the authority. See The Jerome Effect .
  • Why bother trying to reconstruct an ancient idea that has gone through these changes? Because if entire faith positions as to gender intents (subjugation, inferiority, second class status)  by the deity have shaped our cultures, can that change if we find that the original words used do not support that at all.
We find ozr kngdv at Genesis 2:18, 20. See a discussion of its apparent Aramaic roots at Aramaic Root kngdv ; and Mandean roots at Kngdv Mandean Roots.
.

So:  The Hebrew includes the concept of ezer kenegdo, and the issue is what those two words mean, and why sometimes one is omitted. There is a hidden Torah, though, and we're looking that up now for linguistic roots of ezer kenegdo.

1.  Different spellings make searches difficult.

So far we have found different spellings for what began for us as ozr k ngd u or kngdv.  Some sites describe ezer kenegdo as a fitting helper, or a suitable helper. But others omit the descriptive word entirely. Why. What are the specific or various meanings of ezer and kenegdo, so that some will pass it by.  Compare the spellings and then the given translations.

2.  We are suspicious of omissions. Who does it and why. Omission can slant toward an agenda.

Omission can change meaning. Concepts do not easily cross over languages. Look at the variations in worldview among Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, all springing from differing mindsets, see ://www.abwoon.com/pdf/genesis_now.pdf/ See the issue described at ://www.crowndiamond.org/cd/tools.html/  For many ancients, language was not just spellings for sounds, but a complex interaction of principles that derived from creation itself.  How to "translate" that.

We do not expect a pat answer. Some omissions are inadvertent, or a good faith belief that the word is merely repetitive.  How to know unless you find it. Some that say the woman is to be a "suitable" helper, or a similar helper, but others leave out the adjective altogether. Why? See many versions together at hebrewoldestament.com/.

3. Unfamiliar territory. We may backtrack frequently.

Hebrew is not our tradition, so we start from the beginning. We need to rely on people's translations, but we can help keep them accountable by checking up on them with other sites defining specific words.  So far we learn: Tanach means Hebrew Old Testament;  Bereshit means Genesis, especially Creation.  Does it mean the whole book?.
4.  Ezer kenegdo and ozr kngdu. 

The sites that start us:  See FN 1 for our findings so far.  "Ezer kenegdo" seems to recur most.  Our earlier ozr kngdv may be close, in that Hebrew has no vowels, but the ezer kenegdo gives clues to pronunciation and is better for a search.

.....................................................................................

1.  From sacred-texts website.

Here is the phonetic spelling for those symbols in Tanach, the Bereshit, see ‘ēzer kəneḡədwō: 

Find it, this spelling for the Paleo-Hebrew symbols that earlier we had found as kndgv or kngdu, at the Tanach, at ://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/tan/gen002.htm/.

wayyō’mer yəhwâ ’ĕlōhîm lō’-ṭwōḇ hĕywōṯ hā’āḏām ləḇadwō ’e‘ĕśehh-llwō1 ‘ēzer kəneḡədwō: 
Now for a transliteration of that section, into mechanical English words.

levado e'eseh-lo ezer kenegdo.

2.  From Navigating the Bible, at bible.ort.org:

Here is the same passage, different website:  From ://bible.ort.org/books/torahd5.asp?action=displaypage&book=1&chapter=2&verse=18&portion=1

Vayomer Adonay Elohim lo-tov heyot ha'adam levado e'eseh-lo ezer kenegdo.
Translation to English given:  In the English: "God said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a compatible helper for him.' "

Still looking for a word-for-word mechanical, as in scripture4all.

3.  From Believe.com, at  ://mb-soft.com/believe/txw/bereshi2.htm

Can't navigate it to find if it goes beyond Genesis 1. As to Genesis 1, it shows transliterations, translations, many forms. What is this group?

4.  From Sefer Beresheit, Hebrew Transliteration, at ://www.headcoverings-by-devorah.com/HebEngTaNaKh1.html


Vayomer  HASHEM Elokim lo-tov heyot ha'adam levado e'eseh-lo ezer kenegdo. HASHEM G-d said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper for him."

Look - a word is missing.  The earlier translation had "suitable" as a descriptive word for helper.  There is no reference to that here.

5.  From Book of Dis-Order.  No translation given for Scripture Reading Genesis 2:18-24, given as "Vayomer Adonay Elohim lo-tov heyot ha'adam levado e'eseh-lo ezer kenegdo", but the context is at a website called Queer Presbyterians, see ://bookofdis-order.blogspot.com/2007/06/friday-evening-worship.html/  This suggests that the passage is interpreted to mean a helper, no gender specified. The overall site is supportive of same-gender relationships, based on first look.

6.  From hebrew4christians.com, at Parashat Bereshit at ://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Bereshit/Zohar/zohar.html/

This site outlines the process of translations directed in ancient times by Ptolemy of Egypt, directing 72 sages in 72 rooms to translate - the Septuagint - to translate the Torah of Moses into Greekl and that G-d then caused each sage to do the same translation (of the whole thing or just "in the beginning" part?).  See the complexities of translation, what forms are subjects, what forms are direct objects, how it all affects meaning.

No Genesis 2:18, however.

But there are three Torahs - an oral one (Torah Shebal Peh), then after centuries, a written one (Torah shabikhtav), and the two then together, side by side; and also a mystical or hidden one (Torat Ha-Nistar). See the site, click on scriptures. The hidden one is said to go back to Adam.  The written one goes back to Moses. Spend time here.  How do we get to the hidden Torah? Why is it hidden? Where? Will get back to this one.

7. From ://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Bible/Genesis2.html/  But no Hebrew.

"I  will make him a help meet for him."
8.  From ://www.jewishmosaic.org/torah/show_torah/45

I will make a fitting helper for him” (VaYomer Adonai Elohim lo tov heiyot ha Adam levado e’esey lo ezer kenegdo).
So there is another word there - help meet as in #7, or "fitting" helper, as here in #8.  Why do others just say "helper" or "help?"

What does "help" mean as used Biblically in ezer, and how does kenegdo relate to it?

9.  Other sources - unreachable.

Look at all these fragments of manuscripts of Torah, Bibles, everything, from a Jewish Theological Seminary, see ://www.touro.edu/LIBRARY/GuidesTutorials/BiblicalManuscriptJTS.pdf/  This is a long list from a university library, not reproductions of each, but how on earth could all these use precisely the same letters and words without some glitches.  We can't find any that have Genesis 2, but this is a microfilm listing and we did a fast look.

Still, why no references to the part that describes Eve's role.  Paranoia about redacted texts that did not fit with the later patriarchal culture?  Probably.


 

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Paleo Hebrew: Ezer Kenegdo - Paleo Hebrew of Ezer - Roots as Strength, Power, Protection.


Ezer Kenegdo
Ozr k ngd o

Genesis Papers

Was Eve made to be a caddy?

Or was she made to be protector, rescuer, helper, in front of, guide: 
 If so, How Was Eve Caged


Eve's role. The woman. What was she made to do.

With two Creation stories in Genesis, what does each say.  Go back to basics.  Put away your own translation from your own chosen institution and go back to transliteration of the word symbols from the Hebrew, and go back to the roots of those Hebrew words into the Paleo-Hebrew as best we can.

  • First story, the one with the Days.  There, both male and female were created at once, simultaneously - and, as Elohim says, "in image of us." Hold sway over the earth and its creatures, be fruitful and multiply etc.  And both are blessed. And both are to subdue the earth. See ://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen1.pdf/.  The name for the "human" created was "eadm" - male and female he created them "athm".  
  • Second story, beginning Genesis 2:4, see http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen2.pdf/, the one without the creation in Days, where we know it is a second story because the narrator says there was no human ("u adm") to till the ground, and if this were the same story, that would not be so - the two were indeed created.  The first story was over and done, set aside, and another alternative offered.  The human ("u adm") is then created from the ground; and suddenly zoom there is a garden, with the tree of lives in the midst of the garden; and - somewhere unspecified - the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  It gets rather breathless. Was the tree of knowledge also in the midst?  Who knows. No directions. Yahweh Elohim just tells "u adm" (sometimes "e adm") not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Then, it was not good to leave "eadm" alone. Says Yahweh Elohim, "I shall make for him helper as in front of him", ("ozr k ngd u") see Genesis 2:18 at that site.  The animals and birds are created, and u adm is to name them, and u adm does. Then, the animals and birds do not meet the criteria of a "helper as in front of him" so Yahweh Elohim seeks again to make an ozr k ngd u, and
"he is causing to fall Yahweh Elohim stupor on the human and he is sleeping and he is taking one from angular organs of him and he is closing flesh under her and he is building Yahweh Elohim the angular organ which he took from the human to wome ("l ashe") and  he is bringing her to the human and he is saying the human this one the once bone from bones of me and flesh from flesh of me to this one he shall be called woman that from man she was taken this one on so he is leaving he is leaving man father of him and and mother of him and clings in woman of him and they become to flesh one ****"
That is what we have. Read the rest.  There are ambiguities, inconsistencies, but it is what we have and what all the religions of the Book use as a springboard for picking some things to emphasize, and ignore others in their dogma.

Back to the role of the helper, and is that word sufficient to translate the term.

Roots of the Hebrew (here phonetically) words 'yZUr KNGDV suggest that the usual "Helpmeet" and mere Helper translations are inadequate, even wrong; unless carefully parsed into their roots. What did "help" mean, in what context is it used in the Bible; and what does "meet" mean - this meets that, is equal, comparable; or is it from "mate".  Keep the spellings in mind:   Ozr as Ezer; Kngdv as Kenegdo.  Saint Jerome first translated it into Latin from Hebrew, the Latin Vulgate.

The Latin Vulgate of Saint Jerome translates the phrase  'yZUr KNGDV [do your own translating at ://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Latin&to=English/]   as
  • "faciamus ei adiutorium similem sui". (traditional translation - I will make him a helper similar to him)
  • "Adiutorium", athe word chosen by Saint Jerome to translate  'yZUr KNGDV. does mean generally "help".
  • But "help" put into Latin as a cross-check comes out far broader than just "help":  Out come succurro, subvenio, subsidium, obviam ire, solacium, salus, faveo, proficio, opem.  
  • Whiz those into English now, and see all that "help" can mean - there is a choice that the translator makes
"to run up under , to come to the aid , reserve troops , to go to meet , help , safety , be favorable to , to go on , help "

The Quest. For a competent-sounding overview and analysis, see Phroneothinking, by a Bruce Harkins, no other credentials given, at ://phroneothinking.blogspot.com/2009/08/genesis-218-ezer-kenegdo.html/.

People also just chat about the issue of the meaning of 'yZUr KNGDV.. See  ://personalitycafe.com/myers-briggs-forum/9579-religion-mbti-4.html/  This is not just for experts any more.


Day 2.  Paleo Hebrew
Roots

Concerned about the Vulgate, and was it accurate - so many other versions relied on it - we are finding sites that analyze earlier linguistics, from Paleo-Hebrew, to see if the translations of ezer kenegdo as mere "helper" are wrong. We are looking at a fuller view of Eve's role, as given in the very earliest texts we can find, not the later institutional and cultural versions.
  • Our Day 1 posted here:  There are our efforts that focused on the Hebrew: but those those sites do not look deeper into the past linguistic roots, the paleo-Hebrew, and even Mandean or Aramaic. Today we backtrack into the prior Paleo Hebrew, and do not just assumed the later Hebrew was accurate.
Ezer does not seem to be such a complex concept. 

We understand that the paleo-Hebrew first recorded the oral tradition of the Books of Moses, including, of course, Creation.

Find the contrast between Hebrew and Paleo Hebrew at hebrewoldtestament.com/. Navigate to Genesis 2:18, 20. See ://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C002.htm

Finding roots of ezer kenegdo mean finding various spellings.  This one reads, as does Hebrew, right to left.

:wdgnk rzu

See Genesis in the Paleo Hebrew at  ://www.crowndiamond.org/cd/genesis.html/

Read it from right to left, and you get urz kngdw. 

That spelling is very close to scripture4all.org's ozr kngdu. Scripture4all does a mechanical transliteration from Hebrew, however, not the paleo-Hebrew.

Other sites we find:  See FN 1.

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FN 1.  Looking up sites to define
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1.  From ://www.godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm/

This must be a feminist or women's support group site, from its URL, God's Word to Women, but read anyway and see if an agenda taints the scholarship. We will look for supports at other sites to see if what they say is accepted.  Having an agenda does not mean taint.  It can mean more concentrated scholarship, but good scholarship. Is that so?
First is a surprise. 

1.1  Ezer is a word used to describe what kind of help God provides to people - an ezer. 
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Ezer:  Its roots mean power and strength; rescue; save; even military value (given the context in which ezer is used); not a tag-along.  Strength and power corresponding to man.
  • The word has two roots, in gutteral sounds that meant either strength or power.  Then the sounds merged, and the meaning remained the same.  Both concepts survived. See these roots, z-r (help, or "requite someone for something" in other instances) and g-z-r (as an active verb form, "come together as a group"), at this Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, Volume I,  ://books.google.com/books?id=TyJBBDlqdfwC&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=z-r++g-z-r+roots&source=bl&ots=VMro4AaEKI&sig=sJGQ22fvqaivgigj3BOIAJiWFQA&hl=en&ei=39dES-X4FI_llQejl4H7Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=z-r%20%20g-z-r%20roots&f=false/
  • -z-r is one root, and the site refers to R. David Freedman,* meaning "to rescue" or "to save".  
  • g-z-r is another root (still Freedman), meaning "to be strong".  That first letter is silent in Hebrew now.
  • g-z-r as ghayin was pronounced differently, however from something called "ayin". We get the point. Ayin and ghayin, as signs: some linguistic groups distinguished, others did not. Ugaritic (?) did, Hebrew did not, for example. SeeLetters Missing from the Hebrew Alphabet at ://www.ancient-hebrew.org/4_missing.html
Full identification as to the source of much information on the roots is given as R. David Freedman, "Woman, a Power Equal to a Man," Biblical Archaeology  Review 9 [1983]: 56-58).
  • Then the two signs merged in the Phoenician, says the site - two phonemes (separate units of sound in a language) merge into one grapheme (a single unit of writing in a language). Read about them at ://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1691160.html  

  • How often is ezer used in the Old Testament? 21 times.  Two for the woman in Genesis, and the others where God is the "ezer" for someone in distress, including David.  God is my helper, etc. See the long list of all the places that ezer is used, all connoting strength or power in the helper coming to help the afflicted one.  And that ezer as meaning strength was indeed known in Hebrew, that took the old Paleo Hebrew and rewrote it.
Freedman's conclusion as to ezer kenegdo:  "I will make a power [or strength] corresponding to man."

1.2.  Ezer kenegdo   

a.  Helper against the man.  The Torah Study for Reformed Jews site says ezer kenegdo means a helper against him.  That suggests an adversarial relationship. 

Then, a commentator, Rashi (?) says that help is conditional:  If Adam is worthy, she will be with him.  If he is not, she will be against him.  See the references there to Paul and others also, surprisingly, for similar idea of power.

Dr. Susan Hyatt at that site elaborates on the meaning. Her book apparently is "In the Spirit We're Equal". Same site as #1 here, but a click away at ://www.godswordtowomen.org/help.htm/   She points out that "helpmeet" does not occur in Genesis 2:18.  This is what the ezer does: the list from the site
  • surround
  • aid
  • protect
  • help
  • support
Most important to us:  ezer is used as to the woman twice, and as to the deity 14 times.  David said that the Lord was his helper and used the word ezer.  Similar theme: the partnership idea, at ://www.acu.edu/sponsored/restoration_quarterly/documents/451/Reese-Jeannene-451.pdf/

So:  those who study words disagree with the traditional use of ezer just as a helper or help meet.  Will vet  this some more. This is just one site so far. There must be more.

b.  Root ngd - See also Day 4


1.  Aramaic.  There, the root of ngd is to pull, to draw, stretch, drive.  There he is, stuck, and somebody in front goes in to help.  To pull, to draw.  See Vetting Roots, Aramaic, kngdv.

2.  Mandean.  Similarly, see the words in Mandean. See Vetting Roots, Mandean, kngdv. Mandeans are gender-equal, it appears, women are free to go about, and they are vegetarians.  Need to learn more.

 3.  Essenes.  These identified with Adam and Eve, not with later accretions - and not through Jesus.  See ://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/2008/11/kngdv-k-ngd-u-k-ngd-v-eves.html/ at the footnote.   But they appear to affirm (later ones) John the Baptist and Mohammed.What was the Essene meaning for ngd?

 c.  Meet, equal to

From ://exegetist-theberean.blogspot.com/2007/05/ezer-kenegdo.html


Here is a study of roots coming to similar conclusions as the Word to Women  and Reese -
  • it finds the main root to be "azar" and
  •  "kenegdo" means the "corresponding to, counterpart to, equal to or matching".  
And the one who is doing the helping is superior to the one receiving in these contexts, were it not for the modifier "kenegdo".  That brings the helper down from the God-type level to the Adam level.

At ://exegetist-theberean.blogspot.com/2007/05/ezer-kenegdo.html/, find that "kenegdo" does mean "meet" but that is a qualifier, and means equal to, and modifies the otherwise superior status that God holds in helping. Ezer - the strong help. Kenegdo - equal to that of man. Interesting.
Military allies?  Pentagon! Listen up!

So, except in Genesis where the modifier is added as to the woman as ezer, Ezer is used to refer to God or military allies in the Old Testament.  The site goes on to quote each time the "ezer" is used. Read the list:  it appears they are right. God or military references.
  • If all these sites agree, why do the Jewish Bereshit sites not describe ezer kenegdo this way?  Backtrack here.  This Just a Berean site refers back to the Gods Word to Women, so is not original scholarship on its own.  That reduces our number of different sites coming to that conclusion.
Still, the conclusion at the Berean site is that she is a helper comparable to him. That is consistent.

And none of these use the scripture4all transliteration as the woman a helper "in front of" him. However, that is the position of the protector, the shield, so it echoes the strength of the Paleo Hebrew concept - the point person. That could refer to the protection part.

Why has it been defined so narrowly, restricting the role of the woman, if its roots are far broader. Is that politics.Was that in the original? We do not see it so. See the differences even in appearance:  translations cannot be simple.  See the Paleo Hebrew alphabet at ://www.hebrew4christians.com/Grammar/Unit_One/Paleo-Hebrew_Alphabet/paleo-hebrew_alphabet.html/

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

KNGDV: Aramaic and Mandean linguistic support; Eve rescues, guides, leads, kngdv

 The Genesis Papers. 
Understanding, or Seeking, our Spiritual Origins
KNGDV
Linguistic Support, Corroboration of kngdv
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1.  Aramaic.
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Eve's role as an equal, autonomous resource for support, rescue, help with comparable strength and power  is in the Aramaic.  There, the root of ngd is to pull, to draw, stretch, drive.  There he is, stuck, and somebody in front goes in to help.  To pull, to draw.  See Vetting Roots, Aramaic, kngdv.
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2.  Mandean.
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Similarly, see the words in Mandean. See Vetting Roots, Mandean, kngdv.  Hebrew was not the earliest language for scripture.  Look at Syriac, and Iraqi Mandeans.  There are numerologists and mystics, all addressing the meaning of kndgv.  Many are out of our tradition.  Others are rather fun:  Eve was taken from the rib area, not the foot, just so she would not be trod underfoot.  She is breath.  Wonderful.  Good, Mandeans.  Good.
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3.  Essenes.
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These identified with Adam and Eve, not with later accretions such as prophets and kings and even Jesus, as the tribes and cultures developed.  See http://martinlutherstove.blogspot.com/2008/11/kngdv-k-ngd-u-k-ngd-v-eves.html/ at the footnote.
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There is a longer discussion there, but it appears that the group identified with the geneology of Adam and Eve, and not through Jesus.  But they do appear to affirm (the later ones) John the Baptist and Mohammed. 
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The variety of religious belief is astounding, given the funneling into the Roman that took place in the West. Who is to say, except to note who had the administrative and military background to force. Is that so?
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Mandeans are gender-equal, it appears, women are free to go about, and they are vegetarians.  Need to learn more.
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4.  Cathars.
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In Medieval times, look at the Cathars for these kinds of ideas -- including equality of women - and they were killed for them.  See Bogomilia:  Cathars, Albigensians: Vet the So-Called Heresies
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Revisit what was persecuted, and why. What if those old militants, pushing a single institution at the expense of quashing all other ideas, were wrong. Look back.  What was so bad about the systems that were trashed.  Was it only that it deprived the entrenched patriarchy of its justification in theological fantasy, and not just the force that patriarchy represents?

5.  Cain and Abel

Listen to Cain, who tilled the ground, cared for it as the Deity apparently had wanted in the beginning.  Gen.3:23 in transliteration. Disregarded by that same Deity, without explanation, without warning.  The deity does not appreciate me, is is easy to imagine Cain saying to himself.  I have done all this, and now am turned away?  This deity is arbitrary, unfair, capricious and I will take my own vengeance.  So, there went Abel, the herdsman, down and out; in the name of another's force. 
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eve's Job Description, Original Blueprint of Autonomy, Power, Modified with dot dot ....

Word Roots for Original Meanings

 The role of the woman from Genesis 2:18, 20
Not your ordinary "help"


Ezer Kenegdo
or
Ozr k ngd  v

Genesis Papers

See the omission of kngdv yourself: it is not translated at all into English at Genesis 2:18, 20, at ://mirrorh.com/genesis2.html

Summarizing Days 1-4

1. Context:  Eve's role.

Review:  It was not good for Adam to be alone,* so the deity decides to make a suitable helper, ozr kndgv, or some such. Day 1. But in the translation, there is a -- what's this?  No translation for kngdv?  But kngdv is there, see ://www.ccel.org/ccel/bible/hetran.txtDot, dot, dot.

* Note there is no procreative interest in creating Eve. She is not for the babies, but for the ozr kngdv

So, we start looking ourselves at Eve's role --  and why parts are missing, not referenced.  There is another issue here, the meaning of ADAM as the "human", not necessarily a male individual, and this being could even have been androgynous, and that makes sense - until the two genders were separated out.  Old Jewish commentary has suggested that. For another day.

Here, we look at the Dot dot dots of transliteration and translation.  Sleuthing.  What is missing, when did it go missing, and why, and where is it now.

1.  "Ezer", or "help":  Ozr. 

1.1  Linguistic roots of the first part of the phrase, ozr or ezr kndgv or ezer kenegdo.

This means HELP.  But look again.  "Help" here is not a gal Friday, the loyal supporter of the front guy.  Help here is the same word, ezer or ozr, with the same meaning as is used for the help that the deity gives to mankind.  Help me, O God, etc.

But read further:

The word for help recurs in the Old Testament many times, and in terms of the woman in Genesis. two times.  It refers to her relationship to the man.  In the other uses, there are some 21 times that the God relationship to man is "help" - a help to mankind.  From whence cometh my help, etc.  The man beseeches for the help.

1.2  Define that ezr or ozr.

There are two roots to it - zr and gzr, from paleo-Hebrew. Remember that these word forms in the original did not contain vowels.

The meanings:
a) power and
b) strength.

Sites that do the etymology of these forms list a full panoply of uses:  A rescuer-helper. Supporter-helper, protector-helper, and on to other autonomous forms of help (the helper is not dependent on the one being "helped").

Think of a guide, mentor, even a shield.   Autonomous.

The two roots then became one word; from paleo-Hebrew to Hebrew, with Phoenician also in there. Zr and gzr became ezer or ozr.  See Day 2.  With us so far?

2.  "Kenegdo", k ngd u or KNGDV.  

2.1  Linguistic roots

Roog - Gd and Ngd - pull, stretch, in front of (Aramaic and Mandean - in front of, pulls along).  It also means "against the man" - his adversary. Some times the help has to oppose. See this site, that does itself a disservice by looking unprofessionally flowery and lavender.  Please redesign.  Still, get by that, and read the logic and information at ://www.godswordtowomen.org/ezerkenegdo.htm/
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These issues are not at all just for women. They are research into the roots of basic belief systems of men and women and the institutions that chose to stress this and ignore or spin that, and look where it got us. To label a good site as "God's Word to Women" diminishes it. 
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2.2  Defined

The help that is offered is "Meet".  It Meets in qualities.

The help is not "mate". Look at the two roots gd and ngd became a one word-concept, from paleo-Hebrew to Hebrew, with Phoenician also in there.

The "meet" that is referenced is "comparable to", a "meet" in strength and power, equal to, similar. That means equal, "meet" in the sense that this meets that, or is the same or equivalent as, the one being helped.
  • Note the reason this would be there.  Without the kndgu, the "help" would have been left on its own, and like the help that the deity gives.  However, the theology does not provide that the woman is equal to the deity - there is not equality between God and the woman, although both are "helpers". She is "meet" with the man.  See the "kngdu" or "kngdv" and may other spellings, including the ones later phonetics ascribe, ones with vowels, including "kenegdo". 
  • That word k ngd u qualifies the helper status so that there is no claim to be equal to God.  But the woman is equal to man in strength and power.  No dispute, looking at the original blueprint. Easy reading sites (straightforward), not the detailed linguistics, include  ://exegetist-theberean.blogspot.com/2007/05/ezer-kenegdo.html/
    3.  Semantic counting - frequency of use


    The word is used as to Eve in Genesis twice, and as to God and his relationship his Created beings, nearly two dozen times in the Old Testament.  God is my helper, etc.:  "ezer".  The woman also is "ezer".

    4.  Conclusion:

    Omitting the kngdv or kngdu, the kenegdo, led to the diminution of Eve's role into a mere assistant, if her services were asked for. It served Adam the Man's interest to have it so, as the Star, see Kngdu and the Ellipsis Fruit.  Just omit what you don't want.  And institutions followed suit, is that so?

    The deity, however, in the original blueprint did not create a mere domestic organizer, a toady, a supporting cast member.  She is no mere go-fer who wimps in to do her best if Beck-oned.

    Institution changes.  Political reasons, not religious.  Is that act, imposing patriarchy, itself a Disobedience - and greater than that of Eve or Adam.  See Patriarchy, the Third Disobedience.

    Ask. They have access to scholarship. Institutions who restrict the role of the woman have not done their research, or do not care; or their people, once dogmatized, will not care about facts.  Is that so?  And is that the agenda?. Press her role as companion, while the Star of the show sallies forth.

    Or is she autonomous, comparable, intended to step in when it is not good to leave the man to his own devices.  She is capable equally on her own - andeven more independent than the man because she apparently is not in need of the same help from her counterpart.  He is given no obligation as to help her - because she is fine. So:  shall we  Exonerate the Woman.?

    Is that intolerable.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Day 3, Looking in Hidden Torah; Kabbalah. Lilith, Multiple Creations, Multiple Humans

    The Hidden Torah;  Kabbalah
    Anything About Ozr Kngdv?

    The Genesis Papers

    Day 3 - Mysticism
    How Was Eve Caged?



    We are looking for the meaning of the original term, ozr kngdu, or ozr kngdv, or ezer kenegdu: the famous "help" for Adam.  We do this not for a faith reason, but to explore how translations and subtle uses of slant words change meaning of original texts.  Take that idea further: in politics, commerce, how are we sold on something that is not necessarily so, despite the persuasive language used,  if and when we later look objectively at facts. 

    How to get anyone to reconsider a position taken on limited facts, when facts do come in.  Nobody cares. Is that so?  The emotional commitment trumps later objective information.  Let's test.


    1.  Numerology.  

    The hidden Torah appears to be numeric and other structures within the text, and designations of special feasts, see ://www.answering-islam.org/Religions/Numerics/torahk.html, but we see nothing interpretive about specific texts.


    There are three Torahs, see //www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Torah/torah.html - an oral one (Torah Shebal Peh), then after centuries, a written one (Torah shabikhtav), and the two then together, side by side; and also a mystical or hidden one (Torat Ha-Nistar; or Torath haNistar, see ://www.torathmoshe.com/categories/torath-hanistar/).

    2.  "Hidden" because not all aspects are taught to all.

    It is that Torat Ha-Nistar, or sefer ha-Zohar FN 1, or Torat Ha-Sod (secret Torah)  that interested us here, but now see it will not be helpful as to ozr kngdu. Is that so?  See, though, a "hidden" Torah in that some teachings are not even laid out for women and children and mental deficients, see ://www.chayas.com/merqav.pdf/  So, in that sense, if ezer kenegdo is interpreted that way, then the linguistics and original relationship with the deity are being ignored for the sake of culture. Is that so?

    Here is a video on the hidden Torah - at ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBjjnC8DiSo

    3.  Mysticism and Kabbalah - Lilith elements in theology

    Two sets of humans created.  Here we find the theory of two Men and two Women, the first merely "blessed" and his woman was Lilith; the second Man was "ensouled" with the breath of life, and his woman was Eve.  See Donmeh West on A Kabbalistic Midrash on Genesis, at ://www.donmeh-west.com/genseed.shtml/ Michelangelo must not have known that, however, because he had God trying to touch the index finger of the man (why the equipment when there was no such thing as a woman, if Adam is "man"?) in order to bring him to life - but Adam is already alive.  Was that to be ensoulment, but the fingers never touch.  See

    With that theory, only Lilith is equal; and Eve, with breath not specifically breathed into her for her "ensoulment", is inferior?  Is that the gist here?

    See Kabbalah at ://watch.pair.com/HRkabbalah.html/

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    FN 1  Sefer ha-Zohar - 2d Century mystical, written in Aramaic, incorporating and based on older writings, see http://www.servantsofthelight.org/QBL/Books/Zohar_1.html/  The male and the female were created and they were called Adam, text continuing re importance of both being present in a human; the "image" embraces male and female