Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Most students of the Bible are aware that the word for God ('elohiym) and for heaven (shamayim) in Genesis 1:1 are plural in the Hebrew. And yet, only the KJV and the WEB versions render them both as singular. It is not difficult to understand why all the versions render the word "God" in the singular, but why do these two versions translate the word "heaven" in the singular? Let's take a look at Genesis 1:1 in its context.  

"In the beginning, [רֵאשִׁית (re'shiyth)] = the time God's began creation.

God [אֱלֹהִים ('elohiym)] created [בָּרָא (bara')] = the Trinity: one God in three Persons, all involved in Creation; God the Father - Gen. 1:26; the Holy Spirit - Gen. 1:2; and the Son - Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:1-2; speaking into existence as in Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, and 26.

the heaven [שָׁמַיִם (shamayim)] = outer space:  see Gen. 1:14-18 - Note:  there are three heavens:  God's dwelling place which has existed as long as God has existed - eternally (2 Cor. 12:2); earth's atmosphere, the place where the fowl fly (Gen. 1:6-8, 20-22); and outer space, where the Sun, Moon, and Stars are located (Gen. 1:1, 14-18).  Since God's dwelling place has always existed, and the earth's atmosphere was not created until the second day of the creation, the only heaven Genesis 1:1 could be referring to is outer space.  Hence, the King James and the Webster's Bible are correct.

and [אֵת ('eth)] the earth [אֶרֶץ ('erets)]." = our planet surrounded a layer of water:  see Gen. 1:6-8.

If one were to pluralize the words "God" and "heavens," the verse would contradict what the rest of the Bible teaches.  Since the Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God, it is impossible for it to contradict itself (2 Tim. 3:16).  Whenever there appears to be a contradiction, the problem is either in the translation, or it can be explained logically.  For instance, Saul's conversion experience is recorded in Acts 9:3-9; 22:6-10; and 26:12-16.  While some of the details are different, none of them contradict; together, they present a more complete picture of what actually occurred.

While I am not saying the KJV is 100% accurate, I am convinced it is the most accurate English version of the Bible, and that is why I recommend it be studied with other versions used as "commentaries." 

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