Without Form and Void [An Exegesis of Genesis 1:2]

posted Oct 28, 2020, 10:41 AM by Basic Bible Doctrine   [ updated Oct 28, 2020, 10:50 AM ]
Bible-Teacher: Arthur C. Custance

    In any understanding of God’s revelation, we are dependent upon words, upon the words in the original language -- and in their most literal sense. This is particularly true of any account of Creation.

    Should Genesis 1:2 be rendered (as in the King James Version) “And the earth was without form and void” OR “But the earth had become without form and void”? The question is whether to translate the Hebrew conjunction waw as ‘and’ or ‘but’ and whether to translate the verb hayah simply as ‘was’ or by the pluperfect ‘had become’.

    If the translation of ‘and’ and ‘was’ is correct, then verse 2 appears to be merely a continuation of verse 1, signifying that its formless condition was proper to the initial stages of God’s creative activity. . . .

    If the translation of ‘but’ and ‘had become’ is correct, the implication is far different. For then verse 2 is a picture of the earth, not as it came from the hand of God in creation, but after some intervening event had reduced it to a state of ruin. This alternative translation allows between verse 1 and 2 a hiatus of unknown duration (a view held in earliest times) . . .

    So what does the original Hebrew really say? This book is an examination of the Hebrew words in this second verse of Genesis, observing the rules of linguistics, of grammar and syntax, and the context in an attempt to establish the meaning of the words as found here.

To read the book Without Form and Void by Arthur C. Custance, click on the link below: