*Man’s Dominion…

I have often wondered about the power a mis-translation can have.

The ‘Book’, which was written by various people in various languages, both colloquial and parochial, over various periods in history, with various meanings both literal and metaphorical, and was then translated by numerous scholars, again, at numerous times, and then copied by numerous scribes in dubious scripts, and finally compiled by a select few, eliminating untold numbers of texts, and then edited according to their personal tastes and purposes, only to be translated into innumerable languages by schools of translators, to be distributed for modern consumption and finally published by royal decree and presented as a work of legal fact (the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth) and moreover, a divine revelation, that we must all refer to and live by daily, without question, has to have untold mis-translations and has had enormous power to forge a destructive course of human history.

If that sentence sounds confusing, it was meant to, to convey the confusion this Book has created. The ‘narrative’ of the story-line within this Book has, I believe, led us horribly astray.

I wish to bring to our attention one entry in this Book with which most people are familiar, and many have come to question:

Genesis 1:26 – And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

This one sentence is a very questionable statement, but the word I want to question is “dominion”. Suppose, for a moment, that this word has been wrongly translated  during its metamorphosis through Sanskrit, or Hebrew, or Greek or Latin or Medieval European, or Olde Englishe.

The standard definition of ‘dominion in modern English is:

early 15c., from Old French dominion: “dominion, rule, power,” from Medieval Latin, corresponding to Latin dominium: “property, ownership,” from dominus: “lord, master”, from DOMUS: “HOUSE”

Dominion over all the earth, fish, fowl and cattle, and every creeping thing, does not suggest to me an absolute right to use everything on this planet for human consumption, power and gain, but something a little more pastoral.

As the definition states, dominion is derived from a Latin word ‘domus’, or ‘house’, of which we can presume a man, with his wife and family, are the owners and have the right to live, or rule, as ‘master’.  To master something means to learn and become skilled in something.

Notice that the quote only mentions fish, fowl, insects and earth…not elephant, whale, pig, dog, tiger, horse, rabbit, fox, beaver…and not rocks, minerals, gems, crystals oil, water , in other words ‘The Whole Earth’, as in planet, but just the earth, or soil.

Does this suggest farming? Does it suggest a man learning and getting good at the craft of providing food for his family from the soil and sea and a cow and hens? If the word ‘dominion’ as used in the translation was only coined around the C15th, in medieval Roman France, how could this apply to the genesis of gods’ creation, in the very beginning… Surely it suggests the division of parcels of land, by the church and state, to share between the people in rural Europe so that they could farm the land and provide for their families in what we may call their ‘domain’, or home. By placing this statement in Genesis in the King James’s Bible, it has misled modern man into thinking that he has the god-given right to use and overpower and profit from (abuse) every living thing and every mineral resource on the whole planet, instructed and permitted from a Book of dubious origins, translations and mis-interpretations.

Let us write A New Narrative of Humanity:  one of self-management and responsibility with a high moral standard. One of caring and sharing, protecting and nurturing the planet we inhabit, and indeed from which we were born. We can master our skills in providing food and shelter for our families without damaging our home, Earth, and then perhaps we will truly live in the likeness of our Creators.

“And the Creators decided to create humans to be like themselves, to  make their home on Planet Earth and feed themselves from the land while enjoying the Garden they gave them.”

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Published in: on April 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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