Re: [asa] Gen 2, NASB vs. NIV -- Which came first, animals or man?

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Thu Jan 31 2008 - 08:11:59 EST


I seem to remember hearing somewhere that there is no difference in the
Hebrew between past tense (formed), and pluperfect tense (had formed).
Hence it would seem that either translation is possible. The context of Ch
1 seems to indicate that the pluperfect is the preferred translation.

However, I'm sure someone on the list knows more about Hebrew than I do and
will be able to confirm or deny.


On Jan 30, 2008 4:26 PM, David Opderbeck <> wrote:

> Here is another interesting translation question.
> In the NIV, Gen. 2:18-19 reads:
> *18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will
> make a helper suitable for him." *
> * 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the
> field and all the birds of the air.*
> In the NASB, however, the text reads as follows:
> *Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; (S<>
> )I will make him a helper [a<>
> ]suitable for him." *
> * 19(T<>
> )Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every
> bird of the sky, and (U<>
> )brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the
> man called a living creature, that was its name.*
> This difference in translation is crucial if one wants to read Gen. 2
> literally and harmonize it with Gen.1, because the NASB translation
> implies that the man was created before the animals -- that the animals were
> created specifically in response to man's need for a helper. The NIV, in
> contrast, uses the past perfect to indicate that the creation of the animals
> already was complete.
> My general understanding is that the NASB is a more direct translation
> than the NIV (and in my sorry efforts to learn Greek, trying to translate
> small parts of the Gospel of John, I've found that to be the case in
> spades). If the NASB is correct, that would seem to suggest that these
> really are different versions of the story, which probably suggests
> something about genre and interpretation.
> **

After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
- Italian Proverb
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Received on Thu Jan 31 08:13:27 2008

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