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

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Thu Jan 31 2008 - 15:48:23 EST

This is what Heard says in the post I linked:

*The narrative is formed according to typical Hebrew patterns, in a series
of clauses or sentences that begin with wayyiqtol forms (you might know this
form as the imperfect with ו consecutive/conversive). The plain sense of the
text is that God said, and then God formed, and then God brought. Notice
how the NIV translators have rendered the two wayyiqtol forms ויאמר and ויבא
using the simple English past tense, which is probably our best way to
represent a narrative wayyiqtol sequence in English. However, the NIV
translators have rendered the other wayyiqtol form, ויצר, using the English
past perfect: "the LORD God had formed …" This isn't ruled out by Hebrew
grammar and syntax, as far as I know, but I can see no grammatical or
syntactical justification for rendering a series of three wayyiqtol forms in
a narrative using the English simple past / past perfect / simple past.
On Jan 31, 2008 2:08 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr. <> wrote:

> Iain,
> What you say is true, there are not two past tenses in Hebrew. Some
> languages have several. But I have noted that the switch between the two in
> translations (cf. day 4 in several versions) in the middle of continuous
> narrative is eisegetic. It never would have occurred to the original
> readers.
> Dave (another one) (ASA)
> On Thu, 31 Jan 2008 13:11:59 +0000 "Iain Strachan" <>
> writes:
> David,
> 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.
> Iain

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Received on Thu Jan 31 15:50:26 2008

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