Sporadic theological and historical musings by Edgar Foster (Ph.D. in Theology and Religious Studies and one of Jehovah's Witnesses).
I thought Hebrew names are without the definite article?
The initial comment about what naming the animals is exactly what I would expect from modern western thought. Naming, is to fully understand the animals which man has hardly even started to do.
I read Matthews' commentary closely and did not find a denial that Hebrew names are without the definite article. As a matter of fact, he allows for the possibility that Adam might not be used as a proper noun until Gen. 4:25.The naming issue is complex. Matthews mentions one aspect of naming--exercising authority over the animals (compare Gen. 1:26-27), but I would not infer he believes that's the only significance of naming in that verse or elsewhere.
How do we rule that which never needed ruling. As one expert puts it - civilisation is dependant on agriculture and agriculture is the means of turning ecosystems into food. I would suggest that the term "rule" is not a good translation of the original intent. We are part of the ecosystem and very much dependant on it. We came from the dirt as did all life. As stuards with the potential to steer ecosystems to enhanced vibrancy and abundance the term rule seems incorrect.
To be precise Matthews used exercise authority or dominate. Exercise authority seems proper in view of Genesis 1:26-7. Having creation under our dominion hardly vitiates our dependence on the ecosystem or vice versa.
Should have included Gen 1:28 in my earlier remarks.
Here is one ftn from the NET Bible: tn Following the cohortative (“let us make”), the prefixed verb form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result (see Gen 19:20; 34:23; 2 Sam 3:21). God’s purpose in giving humankind his image is that they might rule the created order on behalf of the heavenly king and his royal court. So the divine image, however it is defined, gives humankind the capacity and/or authority to rule over creation.See the ftn for 1:28, which is relevant here.
I agree with the writer of the radah article where he says: "This implies that radah is authority that is firm and effective but never harsh or oppressive.""If this is so, then humanity's radah over the rest of creation should be with authority, under God's authority, and never oppressive or harsh."But nothing I saw in the article forbids the translation, "rule over," etc. Witnesses also do not believe that the earth should be subdued in a harsh or oppressive manner. We should be good stewards of the earth--to the best of our ability.
Many translation do not use rule but rather dominion which I suggest in modern English implies to dominate. History and science show that domination of the ecosystems ends in disaster . Take for example the hanging gardens of Babylon as a civilisation. Producing grains in a region that could not naturally support it. Using irrigation techniques that through long-term use salted the ground several meters deep. Nothing of significance will grow on salted ground and it can take thousands of years to recover. But in positive mode man does poses the strategies that can correct this problem in decades by using horticulture.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_sSduZ8tRoRev 22:2 - this type of imagery is not supprising once the principles are understood.
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