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Gender Issues in Ancient and Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4$
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Helen Kraus

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600786.001.0001

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The Hebrew Text

The Hebrew Text

(p.16) Chapter 2 The Hebrew Text
Gender Issues in Ancient and Reformation Translations of Genesis 1-4

Helen Kraus

Oxford University Press

The Hebrew text functions here as the standard against which each of the five translated texts is measured. Genesis differs from other creation narratives from the Ancient Near East in that there is no sexual union; man is not begotten but made. Man, the Adam, is created as a clay artefact, animated by the divine breath, and subsequently woman is made out of man. The Hebrew is ambiguous regarding the male‐female relationship; they share a genetic make‐up, suggesting gender equality, and monogamy is emphasized. The reason and nature of their shame is obscure but is traditionally associated with original sin and carnal knowledge. Woman, through her dialogue with the serpent, shoulders the blame for the disobedience but all bear the consequences and receive punishment. Woman will suffer the strains and pains of childbirth and rearing children.

Keywords:   Ancient Near East, sexual union, Adam, gender equality, monogamy, disobedience, shame, original sin, punishment, childbirth

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