In a beginning, God had created the form of Heaven and the form of Earth. And when Earth was an astonishing-desert with darkness over a face of abyss, and the Spirit of God oscillating over the face of the waters: (My Translation)
A Definition of the Hebrew Ruwach
It is not good enough for a translator and interpreter to define the Hebrew word concept ruwach as spirit or wind or breath or mind etc. At best these are synonyms at worst they are lazy attempts at defining a key term. The Hebrew ruwach is a key term of the sacred author's context and all of Sacred Scripture! Defining this term will make or break an interpretation. From a subjective view I have the entire history of the plant and animal kingdom as well as Mankind based on the word ruwach. Ruwach must be defined so that it can be used consistently in an exposition of a context of the Sacred Script whether Genesis 1:2 or Isaiah or anywhere. I have no idea who first conceived of the Hebrew ruwach. I am guessing that the sacred author used this pre-conceived Hebrew word to label what he saw in the vision.
I have the Hebrew word concept ruwach reduced to a single unambiguous meaning:
that which is effused from a source object
This clear definition should be applicable in almost all contexts of Sacred Scripture. 'That' is a place holder for any word of all languages. Now let me apply my definition to a simple example in context to the body (specifically the mouth and lungs). That which the body effuses resolves to the objective CO2 molecules poured out from the lungs through the mouth. That is why breath is a synonym for the Hebrew word ruwach. Breath is a concrete example of the Hebrew word concept.
If a spirit refers to a concept then my definition is to be understood figuratively. Example: a spirit of prudence. A man who has a spirit of prudence does not literally have an object named prudence effused into his body. A relational activity is effused from him, so to speak. He acts prudently in relation to others or communicates prudence through use of words. Perhaps God stimulates the relation of prudence in him, and through him.
Later I will use my definition to kill the myth mongers and correct every single 'wind' translation ever conceived of by translators. But first
What does the ruwach resolve to in the Genesis 1:2 context?
Does the the 'Ruwach' refer to an Object or to a Concept?
In the Gen 1:2 context, the Hebrew ruwach is traditionally translated as Spirit (capital 'S' with a definite article 'the'). And this is my translation from here on out. I note that the sacred author did not mark the word 'ruwach' with a definite article and this seems to imply that he did not quite understand what he saw. Regardless he described what he saw and this is traced as "a spirit of God" or " a divine spirit."
I assume the sacred author experienced a prophetic 3D movie stimulated by God. And then he described what he saw. He described objects and dynamic relations mediated by objects. Some of these objects were Divine and some of the phenomena were miraculous (or supernatural). He saw the form of the Earth as if from orbit. And later he traced a basic description of her facial features: astonishing-desert, abyss and the waters. He described the background of her surface as darkness which I have interpreted as interstellar space. And he traced a contrast to the darkness of space described in the words 'a Spirit of God moving'. This Spirit of God was moving in direct relation to the Earth.
The first issue to resolve is whether or not this Spirit refers to an object or to a concept. Did the sacred author see an object, with a prophetically visible form that he could distinguish? My answer is an unequivocal yes. Why? Because the sacred author describes this Spirit of God performing an action: the Spirit was moving or was moved . . . in relation to Earth's surface. One can only apply motion to objects of existence. If the Spirit of God referred to a concept the sacred author would have traced nonsense since motion does not apply to concepts. Concepts do not move. The sacred author did not irrationally convert a concept into an object. Some assume the sacred authors and the God who inspired them uttered and traced nonsense in these most crucial of contexts but I am not one of them. The Sacred Script CANNOT be reasoned without assuming Faith.
And if you do assume Faith in the Sacred Script like I do, then the event of the sacred author describing this effused object moving over the Earth's surface is another argument in favor of associating this Script with Prophecy. How else would the sacred author have known that some object defied Mother Nature performing some action over the surface of the Earth? Did he make up the description and entire subsequent story, or did God induce him to experience an ancient unseen history lost to memory? The more one critically thinks through this Script it almost becomes black or white. Which camp do you fall in???
The sacred author described an object using the Hebrew name 'ruwach'. That word refers to an object effused from a source object. Now it is left for us to resolve what type of object this mysterious spirit may be. And this is not so difficult anymore. The sacred author qualifies the Spirit with the genitive noun form: God. This object has an asymmetrical relation with God. By virtue of the genitive form this Spirit belongs to God or better yet originates in God. The Spirit is an object effused from God who is in Heaven down to the Earth. The Spirit is an objective Mediator between the two objects God and Earth.
And this is why I think the author decided to label this object as Spirit. He saw that an object was effused from God to the Earth. Spirit is a word concept that in this context refers to an object effused from God. In this context, the word concept translated Spirit resolves to an object that the sacred author saw in his vision. Little did the sacred author know that this effused would be recognized by Christians as the Holy Spirit.
For this context most Christians in history have interpreted this word to refer to the Third Divine Object who the First Divine Object and Second Divine Object eternally generate in a singular relation that defies reason and rationale. The Trinitarian relations are inconceivable and impossible to reason alone. The Third Divine Presence labelled 'Holy Spirit' eternally effuses from the Father and the Son. This singular Divine relation is applied to mediate miraculous Divine phenomena such as the light event of Genesis 1. From Heaven, the Father and the Son effuse the Spirit to the Earth similar to how the Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son. Yet back to the sacred author. The sacred author understood that this object was effused from God in Heaven to the Earth without perhaps yet understanding that this object was a Personal Identity of the Trinity. Blessed Pope John Paul II explains this well.
Even though in the light of the texts of Isaiah the salvific work of the Messiah, the Servant of the Lord, includes the action of the Spirit which is carried out through himself, nevertheless in the Old Testament context there is no suggestion of a distinction of subjects, or of the Divine Persons as they subsist in the mystery of the Trinity, and as they are later revealed in the New Testament. Both in Isaiah and in the whole of the Old Testament the personality of the Holy Spirit is completely hidden: in the revelation of the one God, as also in the foretelling of the future Messiah. (Dominum et Vivificantem, n. 17)
The sacred author did not realize that this Divine Object he saw was a Divine Personal Identity. But he understood that what he saw was Divine and modified the label as such: of God: ruah Elohim.
I assume that the sacred author saw a miraculous appearance of the Spirit for the purposes of relating events to all Mankind. Assuming the sacred author had use of his brain in this prophetically induced 3D movie he would not be able to discern a sending forth of the Spirit. God is a singular type of object disconnected from our senses. And it goes without saying that this type of object does not fall within the EM bandwidth response of our vision. The Spirit will (if He desires) appear so as to inform one that He is present and/or sent by God. A true appearance of the Spirit teaches the beholder or auditor a type of relation between God and the receptor of the effused object.
But it is important for me to note that the existent shape of the Spirit is not that of a dove or a man with wings or even that which physically mediates light. The Spirit does NOT assume a physical form at least according to our notions. He does not derive his form from the fundamental subatomic objects from which atoms do. But he does have a Divine Form eternally derived from the Father and the Son. I don't know what this form is other than some qualities like eternal, almighty, able to superpose and so on. To us the Spirit will on occasion miraculously generate an appearance (not bound from its immediate environs, with no internal structure) of a dove, etc. for the purposes of those present to see the event and relate it to others. The Spirit is not Incarnate like Jesus. He is not bound to a physical form. He miraculously induces an appearance and/or sound (as in the event of Pentecost) for the sake of his viewers and audience, to teach them that he is present or at work in his Divine Form which is impossible for a human to associate with via his body alone.
What is the form of the Spirit? I do not know. I have never seen the Spirit. That privilege is reserved for those He assumes to the Heaven. All I know are the qualities of the Spirit such as Holy, Almighty, Immortal. But the Spirit’s form defies all reason and rationale. God’s form defies reason. It is inconceivable to reason alone. And even in Faith it is difficult to conceptualize. All I can assume is that the Spirit is bound from His immediate surrounding by the Father and the Son who eternally generate the Spirit in a singular relation not found in all of Nature. The Spirit is fully God. The Three Persons of God are distinct and yet each the One God. Like I said the Roman Catholic definition defies reason and amen to that. Assuming there is a God, God alone should defy the mediation of petty neurons.
The Spirit is not spatially separated from all objects of existence. He is Divinely separated from all objects of existence. The Father and the Son prevent Him from blending in with matter or any other object He is effused to like in the example of a human being or the Earth. The Spirit does not rely on matter or a concept to relate His form. He relies solely on the Father and the Son for His form and location.
So now all that is left is to speculate on why God effused the Spirit . . . how the Spirit miraculously appeared to the sacred author in the vision . . . and why he may have appeared that way? What Divine concept was conveyed to us via the prophetic experience and tracing of the sacred author? You might be surprised at the simplicity of what I have come up with. But you should not be. A hint has always been traced in the third verse saying: Let light happen.
But first I would like to correct some associations in context to Genesis 1:2.
The Myth Mongers
From the appearance of Christ Jesus to the present Christians have understood that the Spirit described by the sacred author in this Gen 1:2 context refers to the Third Divine Person of the Holy Trinity. The Spirit proceeds (springs up) from the Father and the Son (Nicene Creed). And consistent with the One Divine Eternal Generation He is effused to mediate Divine Acts. The Christian association is indisputable, and I could run a pretty long list of references but this will only waste internet space. With the Christian interpretation came the capitalization of the word 'Spirit' with a definite article "the" in reference to His Divine Majesty. The understanding of the Sacred Script has evolved with the coming of Christ Jesus. Jesus unveiled the Sacred Script.
Suffice it to say that the modern myth mongers propose a 'mighty wind' or a 'divine wind' translation which challenges the traditional interpretation. In Faith, there is no rationale or justification for the translation and interpretation of 'a mighty wind'. The rational translations provide for Spirit of God as do the faith inspired translations.
The 'mighty wind' translation stems from the scholar's romance with the Ancient Near East myths. They were so convinced of a correlation between Genesis 1 and Enuma Elish or some other myth that they took it upon themselves to irrationally manipulate words. Wind is an abstract concept relating physical objects (air molecules: nitrogen atoms, oxygen atoms, etc) in two or more locations parallel to the Earth's surface. You cannot move wind. By conception wind is moving air. Whoever first conceived of 'wind' in whatever language associated something moving parallel to the Earth's surface. They conceptualized to understand invisible air colliding with objects (like trees) parallel to the Earth's surface. Wind is by definition atoms moving parallel to the surface of the Earth. Wind is a superverb with the subject air, built into the verb to move or rush. Thus their translation and interpretation critically fails in contextual grammar. "mighty wind moving over a surface" is a superfluous contradiction. You cannot move concepts. To move wind is to irrationally convert a concept into an object.
Spirit of God refers to an effused Divine object that the sacred author saw moving over the Earth's surface and mediated the Divine phenomena. This object was clarified by Christ Jesus and His Church as the Third Divine Object of the Trinity. The Spirit of Christ was moving over the surface of the Earth in view of Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is a Divine Object who performs actions. Concepts conceived of by Man such as wind do not perform actions. Objects, whether Divine, angelic, spiritual (as in the soul) or physical impart causal actions.
The myth mongers are addicted to syntactical grammar and myths, when they should assume Faith and apply contextual grammar. Sentences in linguistic grammars are context-sensitive and thus have two stages of grammatical verification: syntax and context. Once we verify that the syntax conforms to the syntactical rules of grammar, we ascribe meaning to the sentence using the analytical phase of contextual grammar. 'Mighty wind' or 'divine wind' moved over the surface of the Earth fails in the analytical phase of contextual grammar. And it fails in a Faith analysis.
And more, wind has no source object. From what source object does the wind come from? Do angels blow the wind out of their mouths? Wind is a conceptual embodiment or invocation of two or more locations of gaseous atoms parallel the internal structure of the Earth. Atoms of the outer layers interact with the atoms of structures built up from the crust. That is the action labelled wind. The myth mongers use of wind defies the definition of the Hebrew word concept 'ruwach': that which effuses from a source object. There is no source of wind. It is a concept: a relation of two or more objects. Concepts have no source. They are conceptualized by Man via neurons banking memories of objects.
The mythic manipulation of Genesis 1 is ridiculous. It is a terrible experience to witness the 'mighty wind' or 'divine wind' translation and interpretations among scholars with assumed authority.
Some Corrections of 'Wind' Translations in the Sacred Scripts
I suggest a few corrections of Sacred Scripts that translate the Hebrew 'ruwach' as wind instead of Spirit.
In Genesis 1:8 the sacred author traces the Hebrew word 'ruwach' in context to God performing an action, namely subsiding the waters of the Great Flood.
And God remembereth Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle which [are] with him in the ark, and God causeth a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subside, (YLT version)Wind is an irrational translation for this context. God did not cause a concept (wind) to pass over the Earth. This is nonsense. God miraculously subsided the Great Flood waters via the Holy Spirit. If not the Holy Spirit then by a spirit also known as an angel. I will just assume that it was the Spirit. God caused the Holy Spirit to pass over the Earth. The Holy Spirit was brought over the Earth and mediated a Divine Act.
Do you really think God moved moving air over the Earth? Isn't that what is always happening: naturally? And in Faith do you really think this moving air could subside the Great Flood waters? In the Sacred Script it says that God caused to pass over the Earth a 'ruwach'. Cause necessitates two objects one being the mediator and the other being the target. In this example the mediator is God and the target is the Holy Spirit. God imparts causal action on the Spirit. The Father and the Son cause the Spirit to pass over the Earth so as to perform the act of miraculously diminishing these Flood waters. My translation:
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle which were with him in the ark, and God caused the Spirit to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided . . .From the Book of Numbers 11:31
Then a wind, going out from the Lord and moving forcefully across the sea, brought quails and cast them into the camp, across a distance of one day’s journey, in every part of the camp all around, and they flew in the air two cubits high above the ground. (CPDV version)
Since when does the human concept labelled 'wind' go out from the Holy One of Israel? And since when does 'wind' perform miracles? I mean the quails come out of nowhere and are cast across a distance of a day's journey? What is the distance of a day's journey? Maybe 40 kilometers? And the quails are all magically flying a few feet above ground so that the Jews could conveniently snatch them for dinner. The wind did this? Are you serious?
No. The 'ruwach' described in this verse resolves to the Holy Spirit. The Lord sent him out to mediate a miracle. The Spirit moved 'forcefully' across the sea. He miraculously made His Presence felt in Nature. By strength of His Almighty Power He gathered and induced the quails to conveniently flew a few feet above the ground for dinner: at will. My translation:
Then the Spirit, going out from the Lord . . . etc.
For here he is! He formed the mountains and created the wind. He reveals his plans to men.He turns the dawn into darkness and marches on the heights of the earth.The LORD, the God who commands armies, is his name!” (NET version)
'created the wind' . . . The sacred prophet Amos used the Hebrew words 'bara' and 'ruwach' in this context. Bara is a verb used exclusively with God. God alone creates, and he creates objects, not concepts that His objective children conceive of via neural actions of the brain. Since when did the Lord create the concept wind? I thought God ultimately creates objects for example the air molecules, the Earth, Adam and Eve, etc. Then Adam and Eve come along and picked out the dynamic relation of invisible objects moving over the Earth's surface, interacting contact with objects such as trees in a surface-to-surface contact. They signaled their conceptualization: wind. You cannot point to wind. All you can do is conceptualize, name and define wind.
Amos is referring to the soul. The soul is creatively effused from God immediately ex nihilo. The soul is a type of spirit that effuses from the body while remaining bound by the body or leaves the body after death. This translation and interpretation is confirmed by the next phrase which says that God reveals his Word to men. The type of spirit, qualified by grace and with the same form as the body, interfacing the body most thoroughly and perfectly enables men to conceive of and understand God's Word. My translation:
For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the spirit and announces his word to man . . . etc.The Hebrew 'ruwach' is used 378 times in the Bible so I have a long way to go. But these translations and interpretations should illustrate my understanding well enough.
This article will be continued in Part II.