By Samuel M. Frost, Th. M.
One of the more problematic passages for the Full Preterist (FP) is Romans 8.19-ff. The FP is under extreme stress to interpret this passage in light of their propositions that every shred of prophecy in the Christian Bible was fulfilled in 70 A.D., culminating in that horrible razing of the Herodian Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman military and its alliances. Although many passages in Scripture do speak directly to that event, not all of them do, and this one is one of them that doesn’t.
The passage in view is this: “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (English Standard Version, ESV).
Based on a plain reading of the text, it appears to say what so many millions in the past and present have said: creation was subjected to a corruption by God with the purpose of bringing it into an even greater realization which will never again be subjected to corruption. That the people of God groan until this realization, the transformation of their bodies (resurrection of the dead), and that until such manifestation, they hope in what is not yet seen, but one day will be seen.
Pretty straightforward. Not so fast, says the FP. This “utopian” dream (as it is caricatured to mean) is a myth. The Bible never speaks about anything like this at all. It was invented and read into the Bible by false men and women with false, vain, fleshly hopes. Christianity and the foundations upon which was (and is) being built is false (a totally false hope). This passage was entirely fulfilled in 70 A.D.
So, how do they get there? How do they come up with such an extravagant claim that until recently no one ever announced? Well, it’s not easy. But, first, it has to do with the word, “creation” in the text. In fact, “the creation”, “the whole creation”, “firstfruits”, “redemption of the body”, and “we/us”. These terms have to be defined in such a way that is not normally understood.
The first line that an example of this type of argument (and I pick on Rick Cassidy, a FP) is that there is something fishy going on here. How can “the creation” itself “eagerly expect” something? That is, how can “rocks, trees, birds and worms” expect something? Sounds absurd, right? Well, no. In the Psalms, creation itself actively “reveals” the Glory of God (Romans 1.20,25). And, Cassidy points to these two verses. He takes 1.20 to mean “creation” itself, and 1.25 to mean “birds, beasts, and men” – created things; creation. Same word. The Greek word simply means, “creation, what is created, created order, creature (of living beings); act of creation” (UBS 4th Ed, Greek NT). Thus, man is “creation” or a “creature.” So is a mountain. So is a bird. In the Scripture, creation is not some lifeless thing. It is personified numerous times poetically so. Trees clap their hands. Stars sing. Cows worship. All of creation is sustained by, held together through, and brings glory to God. It’s not pantheism, or even panentheism. But, it is living in the sense that God sustains it by “the kol” – the Voice – Hebrew). His voice moves all things, holds all things, superintends all things. And, creation itself does reveal the Glory of God, and would so loudly and clearly to all – if it were not for one problem: Sin and Death, which has so marred the message of creation that even the Sun, Moon and Stars cannot convey their message so naturally infused in their being that God alone is God of all. Man has fallen. His sense of right and wrong have become seriously damaged.
Cassidy writes, however, “That is the usage by Paul in Romans 8…nothing more. We must always put ourselves into the language , culture , and time period of the writer and not impose common English word definitions that immediate (sic) strike our mind.” In other words, since Paul calls a convert a “new creation”, then new converts are called “creatures” or “creation” and, thus, other created things (creatures like birds, trees, and lions) cannot at all be understood here. Not good logic, for, as Cassidy has already noted, “creation” is understood in 1.20. Paul knows what it means, and what it can mean. He is not restricted to just one meaning, in other words.
Now, it is an interesting bit of language theory here. Cassidy is against “imposing” on the text anything foreign. And, that’s to be admired. If he is guilty of such, then shame on him for breaking his own rule. But, is there something necessarily wrong with first impressions? If I see a word and think immediately of its meaning, then commonality in that expression has occurred (I am not even going to begin on Augustine or Malebranche and de Magistro at this point). Did the sun have a different “impression” 2000 years ago? Was it not that big yellow ball up there? Were human brains wired differently? I digress. The point Cassidy wishes to set up at this point is plain: how millions upon millions of Christians, scholars and non-scholars alike have in the past and present understood this passage is based not upon Paul’s “time” and “culture”, but upon what immediately strikes their minds. And, sense we should not always rely on this fashion of defining terms, we are warranted to dive deeper into the text to discover what hardly anyone has ever discovered. And, always keep this in mind: we must dig deeper here to find another meaning than that which is ordinary because this passage MUST be interpreted to fit in with Full Preterism. Sure, we all do this with the Bible. The question is, how far, how deep and how much? If one comes out with an almost entirely if not opposite meaning from what so many others have commonly seen together from all walks of life past and present, then it makes ones attempt at least highly suspect. I mean, one can say, “everyone thinks Adam ate an apple, when the Bible does not say that” – and this can be easily shown, and we all have a chuckle (a keen logician would state, however, that it could have been an apple – we are not told either way)! But, to come up with Adam was never a real person, never ate anything, and no fall ever occurred, well, that’s a stretch.
Nonetheless, there is enough there in this text to ask questions. For Cassidy, “creation” or as some translations have it, “creature” can be spoken of man, a creature. Reasonable enough. Thus, “the creature” is eagerly expecting the manifestation of the sons of God. Man is expecting this.
Even further, Cassidy argues that it the new creation (Christians) that is “the creature” in 8.19. But, does this make sense? The new creation (Christian) is eagerly awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God (the new creation – Christians)? Well, he sort of changes his meaning. The creature is “referring to humans destined to be children of God.” But, in the verse he cites (II Corinthians 5.17) Paul already calls Christians, “new creations” and “sons of God”. They were not awaiting to be called sons of God, they already were. What the sons of God (or to be more gender-inclusive, children of God) were awaiting was the redemption of their bodies. The fact that they were awaiting meant that they had already had a hope for it, which qualifies them as sons of God. They were not sons-of-God-in-waiting, but waiting-sons-of-God. Huge difference.
Thus, the creation itself is waiting for the sons of God to be manifested in terms of resurrection/redemption of their bodies: resurrection of the dead. It wouldn’t make any sense any other way around.
Now, ever allowed to present his case, Cassidy thinks there is another reason in the text for suggesting something fishy. Paul wrote, “the whole creation” which may mean something different from “the creation” (or may not, logically speaking). “I saw the game.” “Really?” “Yes! The whole game!” Here, “the game” and “the whole game” are the same. One has an adjective, the other doesn’t. No big deal. Thus, it appears that based on the “the whole creation” and the phrase, “together with” implies two subjects here: the sons of God, and the creation – the whole creation “itself”. That is, the whole creation itself will participate in the manifestation of the sons of God, when the Spirit quickens even the mortal bodies that quickened the mortal body of Jesus in the tomb (8.11). When the sons of God are “glorified” (8.17) with Jesus (who is already glorified), after they have suffered with him. Suffering comes before glorification. Suffering with Jesus is something the FP doesn’t want to talk about much. It ruins their eschatology.
Cassidy’s more candid words now take on a bolder charge, thinking thus far he has made his case indubitably: “So…specifically…in context…Paul means… the whole saved human creation. There is no reason to think Paul is injecting a completely different subject with that one sentence (v22)…the restoration of the physical universal creation of Genesis. The KJV translators with a restored creation bias decided to use the words “the whole creation” instead of the equally accurate “every creature” and that impression has permeated all English readers. However that is not what Paul is discussing.” So, in 1611, at least, the bias KJV Greek scholars were so blind to Cassidy’s thinking (and Paul’s) that they completely, practically, rewrote the text. What this means is this: in order for Cassidy’s FP to work, you must think that this is, in fact, the case! Which, more or less, shows my point above. This kind of charge does not help an argument….it weakens it. However, why can’t Paul “introduce” a new subject matter wherever he wants? Is there some rule against that? I mean, how far away is “creature” from “creation” when it has already been attested by Cassidy that it can mean in other places, “creation”? The fact that Paul introduces it is due to the fact that “the creation itself” (an emphatic form in Greek) was marred by the sin of Adam and mankind in Adam. Here is some “Hebrew mind” for you: in Noah’s day God was not upset just about mankind, but by the LAND itself – IT itself had “become corrupt” (Genesis 6.11). Same word used here in our text (see Septuagint). The whole creation (typical in Second Temple Judaism) will come into the glorious renovation of the Sons of God.
Yet, there is one more point Cassidy thinks he has: Paul says, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (ESV). Does this not prove that Paul does not have in mind the creation, but created people, and that he is contrasting them with us/we in his own day? The created people, the whole creation, every creature (in Cassidy’s view, the Gentiles), are contrasted with The Jews who are in Christ. How does he get this? The word “firstfruits”. I’ll let him speak to this point in his own words: “Verse 23 represents the strongest argument that the passage is referring to the Gentiles and not the non-rational creation. The first part “Not only so” is a reference to the suffering of those mentioned in verse 22. The verse contrasts those mentioned in verse 22 to “we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit.” This might seem to be some obscure, unknown reference, but its meaning is quite clear from the rest of scripture.
There are a few things wrong here. Paul is not writing to Jews only. Paul was an Apostle to the Gentiles. There is no indication here at all that he is singling out “we” as “Jews only”. Although in other places, James, for example, calls his Jewish audience a “kind of firstfuits”, that does not mean Paul is using it in the same manner here. Secondly, and more plain, it is the “firstfruits of the Spirit.” This phrase is not at all talking about people who are called, “firstfruits”! It is, rather, those who have the Spirit’s firstfuits, the guarantee, the adoption of sons, “For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God” (8.16). The firstfuits of the Spirit is the “testimony” that we are sons of God. “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (8.11). Two things here: the Spirit now “dwells” in the believer (the firstfruits of the Spirit), and will quicken the mortal bodies of believers (the harvest of the Spirit). From the first workings of the Spirit in the believer, we are being conformed to the image of the Son, through suffering and mortification of the desires of sin, resistance, patient enduring unto the quickening even of the body, glorification. From first to last, the Spirit of Jesus is at work, proclaiming liberty, setting us free, and, ultimately, bringing us into glory and honor at its highest peak, higher than even Adam in his pristine day.
22 thoughts on “Response to Rick Cassidy on Romans 8.19-ff”
Thanks Sam , there are 39 verses in Chapter 8 , and we are stuck on the one that has the English phrase “the whole creation”. I agree that I too , when I read this , immediately think of all of God’s creation being restored. But when we read the entire chapter in context…that is not the topic. Yes , Paul could have switched to a new topic for one or two verses…but did he? The problem lies in the fact that Paul did not write in English. He wrote in Greek as a Jewish Rabbi. I am not a Greek scholar , though I have studied it. Other Christian Greek scholars who believe in a restored creation , have translated these verses without the English phrase “the whole creation” Read the Roman Catholic version…(Douay-Rheims)
“19 For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope:
21 Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now.”
I was raised a Catholic , five years as a Jehovah’s Witness , then Protestant and now an “Independent” Preterist Christian. I have experienced how easily it is to get a variety of understandings from the same Bible with different English translations. If the only English translation in the western world was the DR Christians would not think “the whole creation” is the subject here. I am not “married” to any one English translation of the NT.
I understand the strong desire for Christians to believe that God has a plan for restoring the world to a pre-sin condition. I also have learned that all Christians have strong arguments for their beliefs. I offer my understanding of Romans 8 because I learned that you indicated that you have never seen an adequate explanation of it. I have offered mine.
Thank you for your strong defense of the actual bodily resurrection of the Christian’s body against Preston’s error. God Bless , Rick
Rick, thanks for the response, and I do note the ways in which the translations differ. It remains a problematic text for the Full Preterist. I guess the “rule” for me is based on how much does one have to “read into” or “read out of” the text to get their interpretation?
Is it your position that “the whole creation” was subject to corruption based on the curse on the ground in Genesis 3 ?
Rick, yes. The “creation” (19), “creation” (20) “creation itself” (21) all refer to the “creation” of Genesis 1. The “whole creation” or “all creation” includes humanity, but it of the same of Genesis 1. Thus, Paul can say, ‘and not only’ because two subjects are here: creation (the whole creation), and not only creation, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit. We groan along with all of creation. There is a good article here: http://www.blessedearth.org/blogs/romans-819-21-we-are-so-connected-part-3-of-7/
Thanks , Sam…I will read the article. I am trying to understand how a curse on the ground would affect the entire creation. What is included in the term “the whole creation”? The entire universe? Just the Planet Earth? Just some of the things God created? Thanks
God lifted the curse on the ground after the flood ” And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” Gen 8:21. So…since the post flood world there is no longer any curse on the ground or “the whole creation” that was affected by that curse. We are left only with that part of creation that was sentenced to death…humans.
Rick, thanks for the responses. And, thanks for interacting on the subject as well. It is my hope that you can be persuaded by the Scriptures. you said, “God lifted the curse on the ground after the flood.” Then, you quote Gen. 8.21. I used to think the same thing. But, the text does not say “I will lift the curse”….it says, “I will not AGAIN curse…” Read the other translations. Actually, the word there means “add to”. I will not add to again. Young’s has, “I continue not to disesteem any more the ground because of man.” This is something YHWH has said in his heart. However, in Leviticus, 18.27-ff we see that the land itself had become “corrupt” and as a result, God was sending in the Israelites to cleanse it. Further, the Day of Atonement was for “the land” as well. There was no “lifting the curse” that came through Adam. The ground, or land, is “cursed”. God will not continue to add to it (the “ground broke up and waters came forth”). Imagine if God cursed the bounderies of the oceans. Well, he is not going to that anymore. No universal floods are on the horizon (although several floods do still occur). Secondly, unlike the press treats anyone in power who is Conservative, we should not extremely labor over every possible facet and aspect of a word in all of its supposed inferences. This would produce, I think, a “strained” exegesis. We have to be cautious of that tendency. When you say “whole creation”, and then say, “does that mean slugs, and owls”, this is straining. I don’t know. Paul said, “all creation” (a common phrase). As to the each and every minutiae of detail that is included in that in his mind at the time, or in the mind of God, I am not obliged to answer. It is a fallacy to think that a person who can’t give an answer to every excruciating detail exhaustively has somehow failed to answer. I stopped using that method. I am entirely comfortable without contradiction that “the whole creation” is the Genesis one, and that somehow, someway, without any contradiction to the Flood of Noah, God will transform it into a new heavens and new earth. What that means for the “sun”, or the “moon”? I don’t know. I don’t really care. Maybe there “will be no more sun, nor moon, for the Lord is its light.” But, I do groan…I eagerly await for it, and I hope in that which is not seen, yet. I press on.
Thanks , Sam. That is a better understanding of the text. God promises to himself… “I will not AGAIN curse…”…the ground ? , Earth ?, or the entire Earth on account of man’s wickedness. We know the “curse” of the flood waters was a complete worldwide destruction because of man’s wickedness. God promises he will “not AGAIN” do that. Therefore he will “not AGAIN” curse the Earth an account of man’s wickedness. Not by water , fire , global warming , nuclear holocaust , etc. He promised to “no AGAIN” curse the Entire Earth again. He did and still does curse sections of the Earth. As regards…“the whole creation” is the Genesis one…” which Genesis creation account? (LXX) There are two and they are very different separate creations. The first is the creation of the normal world we see. The second is the creation of Paradise where God places Adam for his test. Jesus and Paul say Paradise is in Heaven. “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into (παράδεισον) Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”2 Corinthians 12:2-4 (NKJV) Gen 2:8 And God planted a παραδείσου (Paradise) eastward in Εδέν (Delight), and placed there the man whom he had formed.(LXX) The Paradise in Genesis is in the third Heaven , and was never on our normal Earth. That is the Paradise we go to and live forever in , not this globe.
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Rich, I have to confess that I do not at all agree with your assessment of Eden (paradise). As with the Tabernacle (a shadow) of the heavenly Temple (Moses’ vision), so to with Paradise. Paradise was a real place on earth (shadow) of the Paradise in heaven. I do not see at all any textual indication in Genesis 2 that Eden was “heaven”, but every indication of topography/geography on earth. In fact, it says just that! Another point, quite different, is Paul’s statement: “whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know.” In other words, it could have been both. If “in the body” (which is a possibility), then God has no issues with translating bodies. the fact that it could have been that, lets me know that God can do things to the body that are not on our “scientific” radar screen.
Thanks , Sam. What about God’s promise to Noah…(LXX) Gen 8:18 “And Noe came forth, and his wife and his sons, and his sons’ wives with him.
And all the wild beasts and all the cattle and every bird, and every reptile creeping upon the earth after their kind, came forth out of the ark.
And Noe built an altar to the Lord, and took of all clean beasts, and of all clean birds, and offered a whole burnt-offering upon the altar.
And the Lord God smelled a smell of sweetness, and the Lord God having considered, said, I will not any more curse the earth, because of the works of men, because the imagination of man is intently bent upon evil things from his youth, I will not therefore any more smite all living flesh as I have done.
All the days of the earth, seed and harvest, cold and heat, summer and spring, shall not cease by day or night.”.
Later , in chapter 9 God gives his “Flood waters” covenant , but this here is a promise God gives himself. After just killing everyone for their evil deeds , he promises himself that he will NEVER do that again because now re realizes that man does not choose to do evil (6:5) , but evil is his very nature “from his youth up” and man can’t help it. Are you saying that the phrase “as I have done” means “with flood water” and that there is a “fire clause” here ? Are you saying that “as I have done” does NOT refer to the “smite all living flesh” phrase just preceding it? Would not the grammar dictate that? The subject of the promise is the evil and the smiting…not the means (water).
In fact, I will go even further. The original creation of the earth and paradise are shadows of the reality of heaven. Two, this “comes down” from heaven to earth (Revelation 21). three, “on earth as it is in heaven” is then fulfilled when this is accomplished. This is what Abraham foresaw: a better COUNTRY, a new heavens and new earth (reality) transforming the present order of things (shadow). Isn’t it interesting that “souls” in the underworld are called, “shadows”? A shadow of what? the whole man. The so called “soul” in the Scriptures is never the whole man, is naked, is a mere shadow of its true existence. This is why Saint Paul INSISTS on the resurrection of the body, leaving NO claim to Death whatsoever. Full Preterism lets Death have the body…how is that for victory? There will be NO Death in the new heavens and earth. NONE. beyond our scope of imagination!
The same victory that Christ championed will be the same for us: Death will have NO mastery over us, in ANY form.
God’s promise to himself Gen 8:21 (LXX) “And the Lord God smelled a smell of sweetness, and the Lord God having considered, said, I will not any more curse the earth, because of the works of men, because the imagination of man is intently bent upon evil things from his youth, I will not therefore any more smite all living flesh as I have done.”
You will note that the Greek word here for “as” καθώς , in this sentence , is an adverb. In a sentence , an adverb modifies the verb in the sentence. The verb in the sentence is πατάξαι , to strike or smite. The adverb is better translated “to the degree that” instead of “as”. The text would be more clearly translated as …
“I will not therefore any more smite all living flesh to the degree that I have done.”
2531 kathṓs (an adverb derived from 2596 /katá, “according to” and 5613 /hōs, “as compared to, to the extent of”) – properly, “in proportion, to the degree that” (J. Thayer); just as (in direct proportion), corresponding to fully (exactly).
Strong’s Concordance kathos: just as, as Original Word: καθώς
Part of Speech: Adverb
Phonetic Spelling: (kath-oce’)
Short Definition: just as, as
Definition: according to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as, as.
This promise of God to himself, to never destroy all humans and animals again…is separate and has no relation to the Rainbow “no flood again” covenant God makes later to Noah in the next chapter. They are both still in force today. The Rainbow promise was to ally any fear they may have of another universal flood and to not fear rain , clouds , or normal regional floods.
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I understand the renewal of creation in the new heavens and new earth through the caterpillar and butterfly. The flood was a total holocaust. Yet, even then, God saved “some” living things, and “some” people, and although the topography was greatly changed ( we will never know how the creation looked before that Deluge), the materiality (substance) remained of the original creation. It was “remade” – a “make over” – of you will. In terms of viewing the Deluge, it was a display of a makeover of heaven and earth, and an introduction of seasons, along with eating meat. In the NHNE things are much different. Death is no more (see my blog, Facing Death). Secondly, billions upon billions are raised from the dead (far more in number I think, in the end, than the wicked). That’s a huge contrast from simply “Noah and his family.” Secondly, because of the unimaginable power that God will display in this event (a power he has, the Almighty, who creates things from nothing), and because it is a renewal, the materiality and underlying substance of the original creation will remain (creatures, plants, what have you). the NHNE is not an entire replacement anymore than the Deluge was. Creation was made for this higher Purpose. It is its goal (telos). To leave it as it is right now, with its upheavals, travails, catastrophes and the like (call it “groanings” under the weight of sin, for these catastrophes is the “wrath of God” revealed from heaven, and the wrath of God is due because of sin – the earth is utilized to bring about massive catastrophes (wrath) for sin. It breaks up the earth, bends the clouds, causes dryness in places where fertility can be had) is to leave it without remedy. Thus, with the removal of Death and Sin, the removal of those things which brings about convulsions of creation itself, will mean that creation itself will no longer be used for such tribulations. No sin, no wrath, no death. With such a view, we can place ourselves in the logic of Paul when he says that “creation itself also groans” and will “enter in” the glory to be revealed, the redemption of our bodies (NHNE), for then the creation itself will be set free from its role of being against Mankind in the form of wrath (or, what we like to nicely call, “natural catastrophes”).
if we cannot agree on sentence grammar , we cannot have a discussion. In my view , this subject does not deal with salvation or heresy , so i will excuse myself for now. I am convinced of your sincerity and devotion to Christ , brother. God Bless , Sam .
I am not necessarily disagreeing with what you are saying, but the whole council of Scripture must be brought to bear. “As long as the land remains…” There, in the Hebrew, the sentence is introduced with a conditional clause, “as long as” (indicative of time). “While the land endures, seedtime…shall not cease.” How long will the land endure? We are not told, but the suggestion is there that it will not endure forever. Yet, since we have passages that say that it will endure forever, then we either have a contradiction or we can pose a solution. The solution is that the substance of creation exists forever. It’s foundations cannot be moved. Even with the Flood, and even with the language that ‘everything’ was destroyed, it was not. The “then world” was destroyed, says Peter. but God spared some. So, also, we may expect that the NHNE be of the same degree – the substance abides, but the “now world” will be destroyed (yet far more will be saved than just a few in number). A new, eternal world, a better country will result.
“As long as the land remains…” There, in the Hebrew, the sentence is introduced with a conditional clause, “as long as” (indicative of time). “While the land endures, seedtime…shall not cease.”
I agree that the English translation “As long as” or “While” is a conditional clause , but those English words are NOT in the Bible and the Hebrew does not say that.
There is no contradiction in the original languages. There are no Hebrew or Greek words at the beginning of the text of Gen 8:22 , that should be translated “as long as” or “while”giving the incorrect impression that all the details listed will only be around “as long as” the earth is around. The vast majority of English translations are simply…incorrect …
Here some correct ones…
All the days of the earth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, night and day, shall not cease.
Darby Bible Translation
Henceforth, all the days of the earth, seed [time] and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.
od: a going around, continuance, still, yet, again, beside
Original Word: עוֹד
Part of Speech: substantive; adverb accusative; adverb
Phonetic Spelling: (ode)
Short Definition: again
“a going around” all day
“continuance” all day
“still” all day
“yet” all day
“again” all day
“beside” all day
“while” or “as long as” are not correct translations
The Hebrew means a continuance…forever…”shall not cease”
LXX “All the days of the earth, seed and harvest, cold and heat, summer and spring, shall not cease by day or night.”
all, any, every, the whole
“all” the days
“the whole” days
The Greek means “every day of the Earth, these details will not cease”
Never trust just one English translation.
Rick, while I appreciate the work you have done here, I simply strongly disagree. The Hebrew word there DOES occur, and looking, not at Strong’s (which is rather outdated), but at Brown, Driver, Briggs, which is the standard, my argument remains. “Od” is a conditional word. Secondly, you appear to rely on the LXX over and against the Hebrew (DhRh translation is based on LXX). When MOST major translations express the clause, I would think you would have to have more credentials than just, “they are all wrong.” If I were to side with the evidence alone in a court and had to make a decision, it could easily be argued that the evidence for the condition sided in my favor. It’s a conditional clause, “while” (even as Strong’s noted) a going round, continuance, but used mostly as adv. acc. still, yet, again, besides — 1. as adv.: a. (a) expressing continuance, persistence, usu. of the past or present, still, yet, lit. in the continuance of …, i.e. (a) while yet while he was yet alive;so long as I live. (b) within yet, usu. of time, within yet three days, etc., (sq. pf. cons.); The Theological Workbook of the Ot has, “, as far as, even to, until, while.” I took Hebrew for two years, and one year with Bruce Waltke. I stand by my assertion with very favorable evidence for the majority of the translations.
עוֺד and (14 t.: FrMM 256) עֹד,
…substantive a going round, continuance, but used mostly as adverb accusative still, yet, again, besides
1b. as adverb: “often”, עוד ֗֗֗ לא Genesis 8:22
2a. With prefixes: — בְּעוֺד, literally in the continuance of …, i.e. (a) while yet: Genesis 25:6 בְּעוֺדֶנּוּ חַי while he was yet alive, Deuteronomy 31:27; 2 Samuel 12:22 בְּעוֺד הַיֶּלֶד חַי, Isaiah 28:4; Psalm 39:2; Job 29:5; בְּעוֺדִי alone, = so long as I live, Psalm 104:33; Psalm 146:22 (“” בְּחַיַּי); 2 Samuel 3:35 בעוד היום, Jeremiah 15:9 בעוד יומם, Proverbs 31:15. (b) within yet, usually of time, Genesis 40:13 ׳בְּעוֺד שְׁלשֶׁת יָמִים יִשָּׂא וגו
BDB says that in Gen 8:22 the word is an adverb . An adverb modifies the verb in a sentence. The verb in the sentence is “continue”. I would translate …”The days of the Earth often continue”
BDB says the words “while” and “so long as” meaning “only a certain time” do not apply to Gen 8:22 but only to those texts containing prefixes.
Just because a certain word can be translated a certain way , does not mean we can use that word whenever we want. The original language grammar sometimes dictates it use…or not.
I could not find this…”The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament”. If you have it or could link it for me that would be good. I would be interested in everything that it says about this word in context.
I suspect that the word “all” (in both LXX and BH) plays a role in most translations. “All” is a contained “set” (has a beginning and an end, by definition). Thus, the only verb is “cease” with the negative. Thus, one can see the “comparison” – all the days with “cease”. The days will cease, eventually (the idea of infinity is not here). Therefore, “as long as all the days have these seasons”. The verb “cease” is plural, which is another factor. “They will not cease”. What will not cease? The Seasons (plural)? That would be the immediate antecedent. “These seasons will not cease all the days of the earth” is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it’s the only thing that makes sense. “earth” shall not cease fails because it is singular. “all the days” cannot be the subject, for that would leave the seasons without any grammatical connection. Hence, the “verb” is supplied by translators (“endures” with the adverb ‘as long as’ or ‘while’. The seasons are the plural subject of the plural verb (cease), and the adverb stands by itself with “all the days” (as long as all the days shall be, while all the days are – being verbs are often left out). Again, the text implies that the days are numbered (all), and as long as there are days, there will be seasons, and these seasons shall not cease as long as there are days. Pretty straightforward. At least I can say confidently that this text does not teach that the earth (genesis 1) will endure forever as it currently is (marked by seasons).
God Bless , Sam