Translations: Genesis 15:1-6

Just a reminder, this is largely a blog dedicated to learning to read and understand biblical Hebrew. So, these posts are intended to focus on the Hebrew, not the theology. However, sometimes theology cannot be avoided and the theology advanced by these 6 verses simply cannot be ignored.

In this post, I provide translations for Genesis 15:1-3, 6 – a set of verses that constitute the lynchpin of the Christian doctrine of salvation by faith. A doctrine that holds that we will attain eternal life, not by good deeds or by good works, but by our belief.

St. Paul’s mistranslation of the Greek Old Testament version Genesis 15:6

You may be surprised to know that many scholars claim that 15:6 is an egregious mistranslation and that all English Bibles get it exactly backwards. However, the Hebrew text is quite explicit: God does NOT judge Avram. In fact, it is Avram who does the judging and he (begrudgingly, it seems) judges God as righteous.

The five preceeding verses, Genesis 15:1-5, are important because they set the context. Specifically, they show Avram to have become frustrated (and maybe a little angry) with God for His incessent promising of descendents without any follow-through.

  • Genesis 15:1 
  • Genesis 15:2 
  • Genesis 15:3 
  • Genesis 15:4
  • Genesis 15:51)I will be providing the translations to verses 4 & 5 shortly.
  • Genesis 15:6 – long and technical. Best studied with a cup of coffee and Bach concertos in the background.

Let me know what you think.

לֵךָ־נָא וְדִּבְרֵי (Now, go and study)



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