בינך ובין האישה
ובין זרעך ובין זרעה
הוא ישופך ראש
ואתה תשופנו עקב
God speaking to the serpent:
I will put emnity
between you and the woman
and between your seed and her seed
he shall strike your head
and you shall strike his heal
Gen 3.15. I post this verse because it demonstrates the absolute value of knowing the languages to sort out theology and history.
In the 4th line the pronoun is masculine (he הוא αυτος) not feminine. It is in Hebrew and the Greek translation. Somewhere in the Latin texts of the Vulgate the pronoun was translated as feminine (ipsa) in complete opposition to the Hebrew original pronoun and the verb with it and the ancient Greek translation, thus being translated as ‘she shall strike’. This led to some very seriously bad theology concerning Mary; making her the one who defeats the serpent/satan and not Jesus, raising her to a point of prominence that is not in the original and the first translation at all. This carried over in English in the Douay-Rheims translation. Fortunately, more contemporary Catholic translations have corrected this but the effects remain.
ויברא אלהים את האדם בצלמו
בצלם אלהים ברא אתו
זכר ונקבה ברא אתם
And God created the man in his image (εικονα)
In the image of God he created him
Male and female he created them
Text note, in the Greek translation the first phrases’s ‘in his image’ (בצלמו) is left out.
One of the most interesting discussions that come up with Theological Anthropology is “what constitutes ‘the image of God’”? Most arguments entail ‘soul’, ‘mind’, ‘spirit’ ‘conscience’ etc. Not often do you see the two genders (male and female) put forth as part of what makes up ‘image of God.’ But, in the text it is noted. This verse, which is made up of three clauses centering around three uses of the the word ‘create’ (ברא), is a literary unit – it is meant to be taken as a whole. Grammatically, then, when discussing the ‘Image of God’, the first thing mentioned should be ‘male and female.’
בראשׁית ברא אלהים
Holy Writ opens with ‘In [the] beginning God created . . . ‘ The construction is anarthrous (no definite article [the] in Hebrew) leading many commentators to note that this indicates, not the ‘point in time’ beginning but rather the start of all that there is. Science argues that space and time are absolutely related elements – no space, no time. So, for God to create space and time he has to be outside of both-the creator of time is not bound by time. The Greek translation of this text too is anarthrous (εν αρχη) as is the opening of John which makes the very strong point of identifying The Logos (ο λογος) with God (אלהים θεος).