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Why are there people who believe that the Torah was written by Man?

by Rabbi Eyal Ravnoy

  

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For one thing, there are translations that completely misrepresent the Torah and mislead people to think that there are contradictions or nonsense in it. I can give you countless examples, but two will have to suffice.

Genesis 2:1-2: "Heaven and earth, and all their components, were [thus] completed. With the seventh day, G-d finished all the work that He had done; He [thus] ceased on the SEVENTH day from all the work that he had been doing."

Contrast that with:

Genesis 2:4: "These are the Chronicles of heaven and earth when they were created, on THE DAY G-d completed earth and heaven."

And:

Genesis 1:11-13: "G-d said, ‘The earth shall send forth vegetation…’ … It was evening and it was morning, a THIRD day."

Genesis 1:24-31: "G-d said, "the earth shall bring forth particular species of living creatures, particular species of livestock, land animals, and beasts of the earth." … G-d said, ‘Let us make man in our image and likeness… It was evening and it was morning, the SIXTH day."

Contrast that with:

Genesis 2:3-9: "All the wild shrubs did NOT YET EXIST on the earth, and all the wild plants had NOT YET SPROUTED… G-d formed man out of dust of the ground…"

Genesis 2:19: "G-d formed every wild beast and every bird of heaven out of the ground…"

It’s hard to not see the contradictions: was the universe created in six days, or one? And when were the plant and animal kingdoms created—before the creation of man, or after?

These led many so-called "Bible scholars" to assume that different people wrote these chapters—hence the different stories. However, if one properly translates (what should be) the fourth verse of Chapter 2, all the questions are answered.

The usual translation has: "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, on the day that the L-rd G-d made the earth and the heavens."

This translation sounds like the beginning of the story. In reality, the verse is a cap-off, not a beginning. It makes it clear that the text to follow only gives more details on a previous text.

In modern English, it might be rendered: "These are the chronicles of the heaven and the earth subsequent to their creation, at the time when Hashem Elokim was completing earth and heaven." In other words: "More details on the account just given."

One can see the difference. My translation clearly indicates that chapter 2 simply reveals more details on everything in chapter 1. There is therefore no contradiction between the two.

To wrap up, when one reads faulty translations (with even worse commentary), one may rightfully conclude: "Nonsense! This could not have possibly be written by G-d, because how can G-d write such stupidity?" However, upon reading a proper translation of the Torah, it becomes convincingly clear that it could only have been written by G-d.


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Thoughts on so-called "Bible scholars"

Posted by: Anonymous on Feb 06, 2006

It seems to me that many of the men and women who claim that there are flaws in the Torah are really quite ignorant. In the case of the two examples Rabbi Ravnoy talked about, if these so-called "scholars" were to read Rashi's commentary on the Torah, they would realize that the assumptions they have made are wrong. It is sad that the opinion's of these "scholars" are so widely known, and that many people take their word as being true. I hope that people will realize that these "scholars" are wrong.

May Moschiach come soon! Shalom!
Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Hashem
"The Name." Out of respect, we do not explicitly mention G-d's name, unless in the course of prayer. Instead, "Hashem" is substituted.
Genesis
The first book of the Five Books of Moses. It records the story of Creation and its aftermath, and chronicles the lives of the Patriarchs.
Chronicles
The final book of the Bible. This book summarizes the events described in the first 23 books of the Bible, from Creation until the destruction of the 1st Temple.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.