Genesis 3:16 NET Notes

I got my wife an NLT One Year Bible for Christmas (since the new NIV won’t be out for a while) and she seemed taken aback at the NLT’s translation of Genesis 3:16:

Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. ” (Gen 3:16 NLT)

When most other translations are more like the following:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16 NRS)

I noticed that the NET Bible is similar to the NLT: ‘

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you.” (Gen 3:16 NET)

So, I thought, this was interesting so I wanted to see the exegetical notes for the NET that I have on BW8.  They read as follows:

NET Notes (Gen 3:16)
48 ) tn Heb “and toward your husband [will be] your desire.” The nominal sentence does not have a verb; a future verb must be supplied, because the focus of the oracle is on the future struggle. The precise meaning of the noun hq’WvT. (t®shuqah, “desire”) is debated.

Many interpreters conclude that it refers to sexual desire here, because the subject of the passage is the relationship between a wife and her husband, and because the word is used in a romantic sense in Song 7:11 HT (7:10 ET).

However, this interpretation makes little sense in Gen 3:16. First, it does not fit well with the assertion “he will dominate you.” Second, it implies that sexual desire was not part of the original creation, even though the man and the woman were told to multiply. And third, it ignores the usage of the word in Gen 4:7 where it refers to sin’s desire to control and dominate Cain. (Even in Song of Songs it carries the basic idea of “control,” for it describes the young man’s desire to “have his way sexually” with the young woman.)

In Gen 3:16 the LORD announces a struggle, a conflict between the man and the woman. She will desire to control him, but he will dominate her instead. This interpretation also fits the tone of the passage, which is a judgment oracle. See further Susan T. Foh, “What is the Woman’s Desire?” WTJ 37 (1975): 376-83.
49 )tn The Hebrew verb lv;m’ (mashal) means “to rule over,” but in a way that emphasizes powerful control, domination, or mastery. This also is part of the baser human nature. The translation assumes the imperfect verb form has an objective/indicative sense here. Another option is to understand it as having a modal, desiderative nuance, “but he will want to dominate you.” In this case, the LORD simply announces the struggle without indicating who will emerge victorious.
sn This passage is a judgment oracle. It announces that conflict between man and woman will become the norm in human society. It does not depict the NT ideal, where the husband sacrificially loves his wife, as Christ loved the church, and where the wife recognizes the husband’s loving leadership in the family and voluntarily submits to it. Sin produces a conflict or power struggle between the man and the woman, but in Christ man and woman call a truce and live harmoniously (Eph 5:18–32).

So here was my initial reaction…  🙂   It made me wonder if complementarianism is a consequence of the fall and not God’s ideal?  Because of the indication of a future struggle to desire to control one another, I wondered if just prior to the fall God intended a more egalitarian partnership in both the man and woman relationship and in the care for the earth?  Does the indication of a future struggle mean there wasn’t one before?   Did God intend for each to be equal to each other working together?  Notice too that God had all the animals pass before Adam and he found no equal – til he saw Eve and said “AH, now I have found my equal!”  All kinds of questions for me to think about!  lol!

Now, I fully recognize this could be a completely ridiculous assertion, but I just wonder if it might hold up.

This is why we need to know out bible languages people (or interact with those who do) – it greatly helps in exegetical method!

on Bibles and translations

Over at Abberation blog there is a post regarding Christian incivility toward the Bible with a few examples as:

#1  During the holidays at our local Christian retailer, customer walks in and examines the Bible section to see if they carry The Message Bible. Customer finds they do so he orders the clerk to come over. He begins to berate her for the store carrying it and stated it’s not a Bible and it belongs in a garbage can. Long story short, he ends up flicking a couple Message Bible’s off the store shelf onto the floor. At that point she threatened to call the police and he leaves.

#2  Over on the Puritanboard this was written about the Today’s New International Version,

the TNIV is a TERRIBLE translation. Its novelty is NO reason to trust it…look at how the original languages are represented (and look at the motivations of the translators!)

Do you have a wood burning fireplace? You might remove the covers from your TNIV and use the pages to help start fires.

…TNIV is the most accurate reflection of contemporary western society’s declining morals…

The Nearly Inspired Version?

yesTerday’s New International Version.

Truly Non-Inspired Version

#3  The New Living Translation (NLT) has a new fanpage. Considering the source, I don’t take this one very seriously. It’s announcing that it’s “straight from Hell.”

Then there is Gary sharing about his dilemma about what translation to go with for his regular Bible.  He also describes an instance where he couldn’t just sit with one Bible and read it – he kept switching around

Then, one person commented on TC’s blog post about if the unreached will be saved or not, stating in part:

“Of course if we read the NLT only all this would be clearer and we wouldn’t need to think so hard…. Or we could be ESV-onlyists, and be none the wiser, but at least bathe in the glow of our illusion that literal = accurate.”


Whew, where to begin?  I want to suggest as well that you read this article on The Art of Manliness blog about the problem of consumerism creating a lack of creativity and even commitment – more choices hasn’t help creativity it’s inhibited it, in fact even blocked it because it takes too much work to create – it’s easier just to consume and toss out – and I think this problem of consumerism as other Christian philosophers and scholar/pastors have noted, has completely consumed the church even to the point it is inhibiting our ability to really and faithfully live out the Christian life and witness to Jesus. 

How does this relate to the post and my title?  Well, I think the problem of incivility towards the Bible is possibly a part of this problem with consumerism on two fronts.  One  front is some are getting worn out by the consumer mentality and it is showing in the example #1 above – though this man’s temper tantrum reveals another problem of a general lack of understanding about Bible languages and how they work, thus the comment about our illusion that literal = accurate.  


In my opinion proper understanding of the biblical languages and how they work (linguistically, syntactically, etc) should lead to a more or less dynamic and smooth translation not a more literal one (e.g., TNIV, NLT, etc).   A literal translation only leads to one feeling as if one is reading his or her Greek Bible in English, not necessarily to a better understanding of the text at hand per se.


Which leads to the problem on the other front: we want to badly to be right that we have trouble dealing with any sense of inaccuracy or even ambiguity – which is leading to the problem of being willing to just stick with ONE Bible and go with that one – to read it through and through, to know it well. 

I wonder if the whole issue of multiple Bible translations and the vast array of types or editions of Bibles is a result of this consumer mentality – we want our choices and so much so we are not willing to stick with one Bible for fear a more accurate one might come out and so on.

This is the same problem with Church life – we can hardly stay at the same church for too long anymore because we want freedom of choice and to be able to consume and move on and he same with Bibles, as I mentioned. 

Well, mymind is still reeling on this issue but these are some thoughts for now.

Nick’s Mosaic NLT Giveaway

468x60_mosaicNick has a gift certificate to purchase a Mosaic Edition of the NLT at your local Christian bookstore – all you have to do is convince him in 50 words or less why you should have a copy and post it in the comments on his blog post about the contest.  Then you need to either post the contest on your own blog (or tell someone about it if you don’t blog) and then that’s it! Check it out!

You can sample the Mosiac online here.

Here was my comment:

As a small church pastor it’s my responsibility to keep our congregation grounded both theologically and historically within the larger Christian church both locally and globally – I sincerely think the Mosaic edition of the NLT would help me in accomplishing this momentous task!

Mosaic Edition of the NLT Bible released today!

mosaicHoly Bible: Mosaic releases today from!  The folks at the NLT Blog are hosting a giveaway today only.   The amazing prize is a leather edition of the Bible and a pretty hefty Amazon gift card that will depend on the sales ranking of the Bible at the end of the day – anywhere between $100 – $500!  It looks to be a pretty interesting edition of the NLT Bible – one that seeks to ground Christians not only in the Word of God but also in the historic Christian faith as seen through the centuries from the time of Christ!

To learn more, Keven O’Brien of Tyndale shares about how this edition of the NLT came about, and Joel has put up is own review

For information on the Mosaic Bible you can go to their web site at:

Go here for a video presentation of the Bible by Keith Willams.

Bible Review: 24/7 A One Year Chronological Bible

7-nltThanks to Laura Bartlett for sending along Tyndale’s newest edition of the NLT Bible: 24/7 A One Year Chronological Bible. Tyndale, 2008.  

First off, this edition is in a unique format.  It is more or less in a square shape with the dimensions 6.5 x 5 x 1.8 inches.  So, it’s trendy, and probably, it will appeal to a younger crowed.  

Secondly, there are historic Christian symbols throughout that are connected to the Christian Faith – these are new woodblock prints specially commissioned for this edition of the NLT.   This adds to the visual appeal of the Scriptures in a similar manner that I imagine Icons do for those of the EOC and related communions.

Thirdly, in a manner similar to the typical One Year Bible format, in the margins are what they call “verse callouts” that are more or less “Scriptures of the day” highlighted in bold.  Often these are the typically “important” verses or are ones that most recognize as being significant in one way or another.   The intent is for folks to think upon the slected verses in times of meditation and throughout the day.

Finally, the most significant feature is the Scriptures in chronological order, as is understood by the editors.  

My thoughts:

When asked if I wanted to review a chronological Bible for Tyndale, to be honest at first I hesitated.  If I’ve been listening properly on the biblical studies e-list the whole concept of a chronological Bible can be a bit noxious, especially with the Old Testament.  So much of what was written when is hotly debated and often not always conclusively verifiable.  In fact, one lister argued that “only Evangelicals” would put an early date on Daniel, etc.  This is less so with the NT but still there is debate as to which Gospel was first and which was Paul’s first letter and so on.  

Let me share an example.  Jan 2, one reads Genesis 4:1-5:32; 1 Chronicles 1:1-4; Genesis 6:1-22.  The last part of the first Genesis reading has the genealogy from Adam to Noah – then the Chronicles reading has another brief listing of Adam and Noah’s descendants.  Then you carry on with the Flood account.   This might be interesting but the problem I have is, there is a reason Chronicles falls where it does in the Hebrew Bible – some may not know this but in the Hebrew Scriptures, Chronicles comes last – its more theological than historical but is believed to be written for a post-exilic Israel to help them get back on track with the Lord – there is lots of idilic language (note: it does not account David’s adultery with Bathsheba, even Menassah is shed in a positive light as an example of the benefits of repentance) but I am not sure the genealogy of Adam and Noah from the Chronicles belongs with the Genesis account of the same in a chronological Bible – the purpose of the genealogy in the Chronicles is to remind the people of Israel who they were and are and are to be.   So, I guess that is one problem I have with how the editors of this edition of the NLT structured the chronology.   Does reading Job fit well between Genesis and Exodus?

Another example would be that the “historical” books of Samuel – accounts of David are blended with Psalms attributed to David (The Kings only have a couple of Psalms blended in, a Psalm of Solomon and David). Some of the Psalms are clearly Davidic and obviously written by him such as Ps 51 for example. The problem is the superscriptions (read: titles) are all believed to be post-exilic, meaning many of Psalms are anonymous.  Certainly Hebrew tradition knew certain psalms belonged to certain folks but for the most part the Hebrew “lamed” functions as a preposition meaning “to, for, by or of” so plugging them in certain places in the historical accounts can be a bit subjective.  A Psalm can be to David, for David, of David, or by David.  For a Psalm to be “Davidic” it has elements of similarity to Psalms known to be written by King David.  Otherwise, because the superscriptions are late, there is no real way to know who wrote what Psalm when.   But to be fair, looking at the reading schedule, it seems the editors took care to be sure that Psalm 34 belonged appropriately with the reading of 1 Samuel 20:1-21:15 (April 15).   

The Gospels are read more or less like a harmony.  They do the same with the historical books in the OT with I&II Samuel, I&II Kings, and I&II Chronicles but I would probably have done that only with Samuel and Kings since they both have a pre-exilic message (this is why Israel went into exile), Chronicles should be separate, as I see it, since it is clearly post-exilic.  Some of the Prophets are also blended into the Samuel and Kings narratives.  

In regard to Paul, being a South Galatians guy, I was pleased to see the editors put Galatians first in the reading of Paul’s letters.  I do believe he visited Galatia before he went to Thessalonika.  Typically in any NT Survey book the Thessalonian correspondence is believed to be Paul’s first letters.  Paul’s letters are blended into the Acts narrative, so the Thessalonians come after the account of Paul being at Thessalonika and so on.    

With the Johannine writings I expected that since the Fourth Gospel is typically dated late (80’s-90’s) that it would come at the end the readings, well after Paul’s letters, and not blended in with the Synoptics, but in fact, all four Gospels are blended and all come before Paul’s letters. which is interesting since chronologically, a significant majority of Paul’s letter were written well before Mark even got started.  In fact, if you’ve read Strobel’s, The Case for Christ, you know that Paul is the best witness to the validity of the Gospels since he was prior to them.  

So I suppose the 24/7 Chronological Bible is really only chronological to a point – if the Editors were technical about it, they would have had Paul’s letters first, then the Synoptics (Luke-Acts together) then the rest of the NT, and then the Johannine corpus would close it out, if I understand NT Chronology in a basic sense.  Blending Paul into the Acts narrative does seem to help put his letters in “context.”  But strictly speaking, Paul was before even Acts was written.  

So, you can see the potential problems of putting together a Chronological Bible  and why it would be hard to read in some sense and how in some sense it could be potentially misleading.  

All that aside, I think it probably will be fun to read through the Bible in an imaginative way as to how God’s redemptive story plays out in history!   And of course reading all that in the NLT!  

Thanks again to the folks at Tyndale for the opportunity to review the 24/7 Chronological edition of the NLT!

A Lesson Learned: Matthew 7:1-5 (NLT)

It’s easier to criticize than it is to affirm another person, especially if you don’t like them.  

Matt 7:1-6 reads, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat othersThe standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.  “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?  How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

How true is this?  We have no problem sitting around knocking other people but I have to ask myself, “when is the last time you said something good about someone, someone you had trouble liking or who was not exactly friendly to you?” 

What would our lives be like if we worked to affirm others more them criticize them?

Matthew 5:43-48 – NLT

Today, Dave Black posted a prayer request for some fellow worker and evangelists in Ethiopia who have been jailed for their faith (See post for Monday Aug 18th, 2008, 8:38 am).  He writes:

Here’s what I’m saying, friends.  Please listen carefully.  God is looking for disciples who will live for Him sacrificially. People who love their enemies.  People who do good to those who persecute them.  People who love those who hate them. And here’s the most amazing thing about it all: As much as God loves this wonderful couple, He loves their persecutors — He loves their daughter’s murderer! — to the very same degree.  I’ll put it plainly: If you do not love the enemies of Christianity, you are not my brother.  That’s because you are not a Jesus-follower.  If you are not willing to be martyred to share Jesus’ love with the persecutors of Jesus, you are not a Christian.  Don’t tell me about your church membership.  Don’t tell me about your tithing.  Don’t tell me about your perfect Sunday School attendance.  Do you love Muslims? (This is not a rhetorical question.  Please answer yes or no.)  Do you love Iraqis?  Do you love Iranians?  Do you love Hispanics?  Do you show it?  Do you prove it by your deeds?  I write in my forthcoming book The Downward Path of Jesus:

Radical disciples of Jesus embrace those on the other side of the dividing walls of hostility in our world, even including our “enemies.” Christianity transcendsall boundaries – cultural, racial, political, geographical, natural, even national.

Do you really believe that?  If so, while you are praying for this precious couple in Jesus as well as for their persecutors, it might also be a good time for you to remove those idolatrous American flags from your sanctuaries and get real about the Body of Christ. Friends, Jesus is not an American. He’s not a Democrat or a Republican.  He’s a foot washer.  Are you? Am I?

This is some serious stuff.  We Americans know and understand little what real persecution is – to us persecution might be a boss who won’t adjust our schedule for church or something.  Do we even know what it means to love our enemies?”  I wonder because too often we struggle enough to “love one another.” I think we hardly even know what that means too, loving one another.  

As I have shared before I am reading through Philip Comfort, Jason Driesbach’s The Many Gospels of Jesus (Tyndale, 2008), which has all four Gospels in it to compare with other gnostic and non-canonical Gospels to figure the real story of Jesus.  I am continually amazed at how the new updated NLT renders things.  Here is the passage from the “Sermon on the Mount” about loving our enemies: 

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.  But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?  Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

This has to be one of the more challenging parts of Jesus teachings for me than most others – when I know someone has a problem with me, in the sense of being an enemy – I really have a hard time getting along with them or even wanting to make the effort to work things out or continue to relate to him or her despite the tension – a really hard time.  Yet, what is Jesus challenging me to do?  He calls us to live for him sacrificially.  Why?  Because it is not about me or what I want – it is about the Kingdom and pursuing the purposes of God in both my life and in the life of others.  Are we willing to live the life God has called us to live?  It is up to us, it is up to you.

Matt 7:7/Luke 11:9 – Ask, Seek, Knock… or?

In a recent conversation, it was wondered if the NLT over interpreted this verse.  This verse is noted frequently, especially when related to prayer.  It occurs in Matthew (7:7) and in Luke (11:9).  Let’s compare using the NLT and TNIV as our base translations:

Here is the TNIV for Matt:

Matt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 

Here is the NLT for Matt:

Matt 7:7 – “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 

Here is the TNIV for Luke

Luke 11:9 – “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Here is the NLT for Luke:

Luke 11:9 –  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 

Here is the verse in the Greek

Matthew 7:7 – Αιτειτε και δοθησεται υμιν, ζητειτε και ευρησετε,  κρουετε και ανοιγσεται υμιν·

Luke 11:9 – καγω υμιν λεγω, αιειτε και δοθησεται υμιν, ζητειτε και ευρησετε, κρουετε και ανοιγησεται, υμιν.

The differences are that Matthew leaves out καγω υμιν λεγω, where Luke has it.  Otherwise the statements are identical in spelling and tense.  

Looking at each of the verbs here we see that  αιειτε, ζητειτε, and κρουετε are each in the present active imperative with the present being in a customary sense as in “make it a habit” to ask, seek, knock – iow: ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking.  

If we look at how the NLT translated these verbs, I think they might have captured the real meaning of the text.  This is what Jesus wants of us isn’t it?  He wants is to keep pressing him about our needs before him in prayer.  To many of us give up after a time when instead we need to keep on pressing into the Lord in prayer for the needs we have.  God wants us to keep on pressing him – to ask and keep on asking, to seek and keep on seeking, to knock and keep on knocking on heaven’s door!

ps. this is not to say the TNIV is not right but did the NLT over interpret?  The TNIV seems to reflect the traditional rendering but the NLT seems to reflect a little more literally the sense of the Greek in this verse.

The NLT Study Bible on Genesis

When it comes to the book of Genesis, especially the first section Ch 1-11, much controversy ensues.  Why? What is the controversy?  Well, there is the creation narrative for one (was the world created in a literal six days or not, does it speak to our issues today regarding the Creation and Evolution debate? and more), the fall of man for another (what is the nature of sin? is there a thing as “original sin”?, did “the devil make me do it”? what are men and women’s roles to be, or who’s the boss?), the flood for another (was it global or local? where is the Ark? etc)  and the Tower of Babel (what happened there and more).

Lots of Books and Bibles may address these issues, or not.  Thankfully the NLT Study Bible does not dwell in issues of “Creation vs. Evolution” or and thing of this nature.  It does have a little excursus on original sin and addresses sexuality and marriage issues (I can only see what is on the download from the NLT Stud Bible blog.  Instead, it seems to deal more with the larger issues of the text and how they impacted the culture of the day.  It is trying to set up the historical context so the reader can attempt to understand the biblical narrative from the view of the original audience.  

For example they write

One way in which this goal works out is this: In many passages, we don’t discuss the theological implications “for us” in our culture, where it is different from the biblical world. We simply discuss what the text meant in the original context and let people extrapolate from there. This means, for instance, that we don’t have a discussion of “Creation vs. Evolution” in Genesis 1—because that question was really not at play for the original human author and readers of Genesis (I’ll probably post more about Gen 1 in the future).

I think they did the right thing.  They don’t discuss the theological implications “for us” in our culture” but instead, they focus on “the original context and let people extrapolate from there.”  I think the NLT guys are on to something here – If we let the Bible speak for itself this will help things along quite a bit.  Naturally application will come when we’ve taken the time to be sure what the text says and doesn’t say.  Afterall good interpretation flows out of observation leading naturally to personal and corporate application of various biblical truths.  The upcoming NLT Study Bible will be a refreshing addition to the plethora of Study Bibles already on the market.

Rise of the New Living Translation

Please go over to Rick Mansfield’s blog and read his most excellent article on the rise of the New Living Translation and its possibilities of taking first place over the NIV as many folks common Bible.

He writes,

Suddenly and seemingly unexpectedly, signs are starting to point to the New Living Translation as a major contender for the spot of top English translation that the NIV has held onto for the last two decades. How did this come about?

Read on to see