Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creation: Good means merely Functional, in Working Order. Not "good" morally superior.

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Creation. 
Go back to the Old Hebrew mechanical translations of actual word forms.
And the Powers Saw That It Was "Functional."
Not good as a moral preference.  If it worked, it was functional.
 
Shall we take that idea to church?
 If so, we note that there is in texts no moral aspect; merely keeping the thing going.
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Is this so?
Our creation as Adm Human was not "good" either.
Merely functional:  Tend the place.  And Adm messed that up.  It was not functional to leave him in charge.
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We are functionaries, if anything.
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Function of the earth? Not "good", not human-directed, just to be kept "in working order".
אלהים את־חית
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A. Overview:
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What are we good for?  Christian Century magazine, article Eating in Ignorance, by Norman Wirzba 5/30/2012 at p.27 states that Creation is to be good for us; not what we are good for.  "Creation exists for our health and nurture, but it is not made for our exclusive enjoyment."  Fine as to part 2; we are not exclusive beneficiaries.  Wrong as to part 1, what Creation is for. To mix dogma with old texts is one reason why some of us tend to the spiritual, but not to the institutional, see same issue, at http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2012-05/seeker-next-door

Creation exists why?  For reasons unknown and unknowable, but by design, to be at least "functional" -- to keep itself going.  Humankind:  tend it.  Till it.  Eat its seeds. See Mechanical Translation at http://www.mechanical-translation.org/ebook.html. Download and search Genesis 1-4. There are always multiple possibilities in any translation-transliteration, but this one carves out a clearer, nondogmatic meaning than others such as Scripture4all, enthralled by traditional narratives. See http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen1.pdf

If we use Scripture4all's "good", what is the meaning of  "good" in creation's "saw that it was good"?  Mechanical Translation has an answer: Good means "functional",  so that it might follow that any interference with the functionality of creation is the ultimate evil?  Does that prohibition include climate change, pollution, species decimation. Look at old wording and reconsider Adm's place in the world.
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1. God saw that it was good?  
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What is good? a moral determination, or a usefulness, effectiveness measure, a distance measure, etc. Skip the usual sites first, research sites listed at Vetting Lexicons; and go directly to  http://mechanical-translation.org/. Find that that mechanical translation from Hebrew shows that "good" not used to comment upon Creation:  "functional" is.  At the very least, there is ambiguity about what "good" meant then, and how English and dogma treat it now.
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2.  Creation of human Adm has no following trope that that was good. So making the Adm was not even functional. That turned out to be true.  Adm couldn't even do the job he was given.
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3.  Checking uses of "good" as Strong's H 2896 in the King James Genesis, other sites. 
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B. Discussion
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1.  Uses of "good": 
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Traditionally, God, at creation, saw that it was good. That is not necessarily so. See http://mechanical-translation.org/
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A modern word-for-word mechanical translation shows that there is no "good" in moral terms involved;  only that the Powers saw that the thing worked.Get the fast, free download for a word-for-word transliteration. 
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Instead of "he (always a masculine singular in Western religious translation) saw that it was good", find the plural "Elohim" or "Powers" and "given that functional" or "saw that it was functional. 
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2.  We delude ourselves if we think our own "creation" as Adm (the human) was "good" in a moral sense. Not so.  For all of us who think humankind is special, note the absence of the trope that the deity saw, after making Adm, that it was good.  Without the word, Adm is not even functional! Dead silence. Is this so: The Powers knew they blew it from the start, from Adm.  It is only before Adm that the Powers see that it was good.
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Test the theory: This theme of creator's regret recurs with Noah:  the deity says there will not be another deity-inspired destruction like the flood again, but that does not stop his evil-doing humans from doing it themselves:  See Genesis 8:21 -- Deity Straight Talk.

  "*** The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth....***"

http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C008.htm
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3.  Now check the usual old sources.  How did we get to the one meaning, the moral "good" from the Hebrew. Even, our idea that we get dominion in the sense of control for our own use and benefit, from it, see Dominion: Worst Concept in the World; or worse yet, that we are "sanctified" and more worthy than other creatures (the same nphsh in all of us) because of an image. See Sancity for Human Life? Because of an image?
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a.  Old words

'aLHYM KY-TVB
Elohim, or aleim, ki tub, perhaps, phonetically at, for example, http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/gen1.pdf
b. The customary translation appears in the Parallel Old Testament: at http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C001.htm#V10.
The word for "good" has these Strong's designations as appearances in the King James Bible: see http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=good&t=KJV&sf=5
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c. The word appears hundreds of times in the King James. I am focusing on Creation and Genesis, because origins are enchanting. What did the original written words say, and how or if people later spun or omitted in order to further cultural identity, survival, and interest groups' power structures.
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d.  Lexicons

Strong's H 2896:  Descriptive Good. Adjective. 
  • Gen.1:4, the light was good, phonetic KY-TVB;  and the KY - TVB repeats in all these --
  • Gen.1:10, separating earth from seas, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:18, plants yielding seeds and fruits, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:21, making whales and birds and fish, saw it was good;
  • Gen.1:25, making beasts and cattle and creepies saw it was good.  See the old Paleo Hebrew at http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/B01C001.htm#V25. Only the modern Hebrew there is transliterated, however, and we can find there the portion of Elohim "saw that it was good" -- not sure what portion of the Paleo Hebrew stands for that. What word for "good"--
  • Gen.1:31, seeing everything that was made, saw it was good.
  • Gen.2:9, everything that came from the ground and was pleasing to the eye was for food, saw it was good;
  • Gen.2:9, gold is good;
  • Gen.3:5, not good for the man to be alone (adm, human);
  • Gen.3:6, woman saw that the tree of knowledge of good TVB(noun) and evil VUr'y was good (adjective) for food, as well as pleasing to the eye, and desired to make one wise; then the concept jumps a full dozen chapters, to
  • Gen.15:15, die in a good old age, same word, but with an H, what is that? TVBH
  • Gen.18:7, a calf tender and good
  • Gen.19:8, here are my daughters who have not known men, do unto them as is good in your eyes [is that a putting of accountability on the men out there, setting a moral limit to what they can do, was there a limit on what to do with women of another household, or is good merely what feels good? this is not mere permission to rapine], and to these men do nothing because they came under the shadow of my roof [hospitality cannot be violated?]
  • Gen.21:16, a good way off, a bowshot
  • Gen:24:12, send me good speed this day
  • Gen,24:40, the thing proceedeth from the Lord, we cannot speak unto thee bad or good
  • Gen.26:29, thou wilt do us no hurt as we have not touched thee [now, that is a good standard for intervention in others' lives: leave me alone if I have not touched you], and as we have done nothing but good to thee, and sent thee away in peace
  • Gen.27:9, fetch me two good kids from the flock
  • Gen.30:20, Leah had a good dowry.

    Other translations disagree on the number of times "good" is used as Strong's H 2896. 
Strong's H 2896. Noun.
  • Gen.2:9, tree of knowledge of good and evil;
  • Gen. 2:17, don't eat of the tree of good and evil or you die; Gen.3:5, gods know good and evil;
  • Gen.3:22, the gods see that the man (not worried about the woman eating) ate of the good and evil tree, and is now like one of the gods knowing good and evil; and fearing that the man now will reach out and eat of the tree of the lives also, and so live forever (as do the gods)(again, the deity had no worry about the woman doing this - as kngdv, she was not even banned from the garden, all she had done was get deceived. Adm could have informed her about that tree and he was there and stood by and didn't.  He and the NShCh got the book thrown at them, not the woman)
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e. 4100, at Gen.27:46, if this thing happens, what good shall my life do me. That is another use of good.
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f.  Cross check:
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Some other translations must have used other than the H 2896 in their translations of "good" -- Find dozens of uses of "good" in the alternate search at Strong's Hebrew Lexicon, the big dictionary, at  http://www.eliyah.com/cgi-bin/strongs.cgi?file=hebrewlexicon&isindex=good
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See all these other words that mean "good" in Hebrew: 36, 258, 239, 376, 393, 434, 457, 553, 829, 1309, 1319, 1576, 1580, 2388, 2447, 2451, 2492, 2617, 2623, 2869, 2895, 2896, 2897, 2898, and on through the 3000's numbers.
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Where to check the Strong's H 2896?  Strong's is not enough in itself.
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Go to another site, Mechanical Translation: free download of Mechanical Translation of Genesis at http://mechanical-translation.org/
Find this meaning for "he saw that it was good"

Elohim (powers)
"given that functional", or
"saw that it was functional".
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Creation not good but functional? Makes sense. Functional. Works in the system already created. No morality, no good-evil, just in working order. And no pronouncement of "good."  No wonder. The Adm had evil in his heart from his youth. Disobediences Vet your translations.  Vet your tutors tho teach that the earth is to be tamed, exploited, used by you for your benefit because you are sanctified and God will make certain the sun comes up again. Who taught the tutor to toot?

Plug them in, side margin at  Now see the possible translations that can be plugged in. We used the KJV, good shows up 720 times in 655 verses OT. The word "good" is used in a range of settings, some not appearing in the KJV, others in the KJV but not elsewhere, etc. There is no agreed definition and what is 2896 in one translation may well be something else in another.
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