Thursday, November 8, 2007

Adam and Eve-Mistranslations Cause Misinterpretations

In Genesis 3:7 Adam and Eve discovered they were naked so they sewed together fig leaves (leaves as in the plural) for clothing. But the original Hebrew scrolls use the word leaf (leaf as in the singular). Now you ask, why do we all read a mistranslated version of the original? Well, it would appear that it was decided years ago that more than one leaf should have been used for an adequate ensemble so in translating to other languages the plural was used.

So who cares?!

We should all care because without the proper translation of the original Hebrew we cannot arrive at a proper interpretation of what this meant in the parable of Eden story.

We should all care because with a proper interpretation of the parable of Eden- the many details of that story appearing vague- we learn the Torah actually says women are the equal of men, women are not responsible for original sin, etc.

In the case of 'leaves', we learn in chapter 2 that clothing represented the contrition of expressed remorse and an explanation for their conduct, all in metaphorial language. We learn that the excuses offered by Adam and Eve both were lacking and inadequate. We learn this is all reflected by use of a single leaf (each offered the same excuse by blaming others for their conduct) and this proved to be unacceptable. Therefore God had to prepare other 'clothing' (understanding of what true contrition should have been) and Adam and Eve both were not forgiven and instead were expelled from the Garden.