Translations of Genesis

These are examples of my new translations of two small portions of Genesis: © 2007 Laurence H. Kant:


A Personal View of Kashrut (Kosher)

See Laurence H. Kant, A Personal View of Kashrut,” Opinion, Shalom, September, 2010, p. 11: Kashrut2


Who Are We, You and I: Meditations on Death and Afterlife

See my talk:  Laurence H. Kant, “Who Are We, You and I: Meditations on Death and Afterlife”: Late Life Concerns: The Final Miles, Newman Center, Lexington, Kentucky, August, 2010: © 2010, Laurence H. Kant, All rights reserved:  Who Are We


Aqedah (Genesis 22): Binding of Abraham and Isaac

See Laurence H. Kant, “Some Restorative Thoughts on an Agonizing Text:  Abraham’s Binding of Isaac and the Horror on  Mt. Moriah  (Gen. 22)”:  “Part 1,”Lexington Theological Quarterly 38 (2003) 77-109; “Part 2, Lexington Theological Quarterly 38 (2003) 161- 94: AqedahPart1a andAqedahPart2a

See also Laurence H. Kant, “Arguing with God and Tiqqun Olam:  A Response to Andre LaCocque on the Aqedah,” Lexington Theological Quarterly 40 (2005) 203-19 (this was a response to an article by André Lacocque, “About the ‘Akedah’ in Genesis 22:  A Response to Laurence H. Kant,”Lexington Theological Quarterly 40 (2005) 191-201): AqedahResponseToLacocque


Jewish Inscriptions in Greek and Latin

See Laurence H. Kant, “Jewish Inscription in Greek and Latin,” in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, 2.20.2:671-713.  Berlin:  Walter de Gruyter, 1987 at the following two links:  JewishInscriptions1JewishInscriptions2


Fish and Fishing Symbolism in the Synoptic Gospels

See my talk:  Laurence H. Kant, “Fish and Fishing Symbolism in the Synoptic Gospels,” Synoptic Gospels Section, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Chicago, November, 1994: © 1994, Laurence H. Kant, All rights reserved:  FishNTTalk1


Ancient Synagogues in Jewish Inscriptions

See my talk:  Laurence H. Kant, “Early Jewish Synagogues in Epigraphic Evidence,” Archaeology of the New Testament World Group, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November, 1992: © 1992, Laurence H. Kant, All rights reserved:  SynagogueTalk1


DaVinci Code and Passion of the Christ: Two Peas in a Pod

See Dianne M. Bazell and Laurence H. Kant, “First-Century Christians in the Twenty-First Century:  Does Evidence Matter?”,  in Restoring the First-century Church in the Twenty-first Century: Essays on the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement in Honor of Don Haymes, pp. 355-66.  Edited by Hans Rollman and Warren Lewis.  Eugene, OR:  Wipf and Stock, 2005:  Haymes


Avercius (aka Abercius)

Final Draft before publication of Laurence H. Kant “The Earliest Christian Inscription:  Bishop Avercius’ Last Words Document the Emergence of the Church,” in Bible Review 17.1, February, 2001, pp. 10-19, 47:  AverciusBAS1

3b) Here is my most up-to-date edition of the text:  AverciusText


Fish Symbolism

Here is my dissertation:  Laurence H. Kant, “The Interpretation of Religious Symbols in the Graeco-Roman World:  A Case Study of   Early  Christian Fish Symbolism” (3 vols):  Yale University, 1993.  Please note that the pagination in the PDF files, though close, is not exactly the same as in my original dissertation (due to formatting issues).

I originally intended this as part of a comparative study of ancient symbols, including the menorah for Jews.   Given the length of the project, this was not practical.  However, I regard my dissertation as comparative project whose goal is to understand the nature of religious symbolism.

There are many things that I would now change, including writing style.  Of note is the Avercius (Abercius) inscription text, which has several errors; for a correct edition, see above.  I also wish that I had  included a section on the use of fish and fishing symbolism in the gospels.  If interested, take a look at the text of a talk I gave on this topic in “Essays and Talks” in “Larry Kant.”

I have also somewhat changed my views of Freud and Jung.  I always appreciated them, but my dissertation is more critical of them than I would be now.



A Name

Naming the Source is impossible.  Once you name “God,” you are no longer describing the Source.


Holy Texts

Our lives are holy texts, chapters in the sacred scripture of humanity.


Sacred Stories

Our lives are sacred stories. We are here to tell them and inspire others.



Where do we find justice? Only by pursuing it. (Deut 16:20)


Jacob’s Ladder

Where is Jacob’s ladder now? Inside each of us.



“Suckling honey from a rock” (Deut. 32:13): In difficult moments, that’s what we have to do.


Jesus Knows You’re Here

I received this over email:

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, ‘Jesus knows you’re here.’  He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.  When he heard nothing more , after a bit, he shook his head and continued.  Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires,  clear as a bell he heard ‘Jesus is watching you.’ Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.  Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.  ‘Did you say that?’ he hissed at the parrot.  ‘Yep’, the parrot confessed, then squawked, ‘I’m just trying to warn you that he is watching you.’  The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?’  ‘Moses,’ replied the bird.  ‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed. ‘What kind of people would name a bird Moses?’  ‘The kind of people that would name a Rottweiler Jesus.’


Bad Can Lead to Good

Sometimes doing the wrong thing leads to good: Gen 50:20.


The Mistakes the Spies Made in Numbers 13:30-33

What was the mistake the spies made when they scouted the land of milk and honey?  They allowed fear to overcome trust.

What was another mistake the scouts made?  They focused on what others thought rather than on what there were to do.

What was another mistake?  They assumed that size was more important than wits.

What was another mistake? They acted like slaves rather than free persons.

What was another mistake? They were there to figure out how, not whether.

What was another mistake?  They exaggerated rather than coolly assessing.

What was another mistake?  They could not leave the past and move forward.

What was another mistake? They could not envision an alternative to their current situation.  They preferred the familiar and the customary to change.

What was another mistake?  They quit.  They just gave up.


Creation Never Stops

Gen 1:1: “When God began to create . . . “: Creation never stops.


Carrying Our Ancestors with Us

Ex 13:19: Just as Moses carried the bones of Joseph out of Egypt, we all carry our ancestors with us wherever we go.


Translating “God” and “Lord”

Because of the anthropomorphic connotations of the English words, “God” and “Lord,” because of the human tendency to use “God” as a thing or object (thereby objectifying “God”), and because of their inherently gendered meanings (”Lord” as opposed to “Lady” and “God” as opposed to “Goddess”), these words have too much baggage to use in current translations of the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, I often replace “God” with “THE ALL” and “LORD GOD” with “ALL THAT IS.” For “LORD,” I simply use “SOURCE.” This will no doubt prove strange for many readers, but de-familiarization is part of the process of reacquainting oneself with the deeper meanings of the biblical text.      These translations also have the advantage of preserving the actual significance of the Hebrew words which have become ossified in English (and other modern languages) translations and consequently lost their original meanings.

YHWH comes from the Hebrew word, “to be” (hayah), and is explicitly associated with being, becoming, existence, etc. By using a verb to describe the Divine, early Jewish writers imply that the Divine is fundamentally not an object or a thing, but rather that it is relational in nature. One might describe it as “energy,” because it is a force, not an object. The English word, “Lord,” reflects the Hebrew vowel pointing of YHWH as adonai (a – o – ai), used by Jews from antiquity to the present day to avoid saying the Divine name. There are other circumlocutions used by Jews to avoid saying the Divine name:   e.g. “the name” ( hashem) and “the place” (hamaqom). By using “SOURCE” or “ALL THAT IS,” I maintain the original meaning of the word without using the Divine name.

Elohim  is the word that normally translates “God” (from El, the chief deity of the Ugaritic pantheon), but it is a plural form that naturally implies a multiplicity of deities. In the Hebrew Bible, it normally indicates the deity of the Jewish people: the One God, the Eternal. Occasionally it directly indicates more than one god (such as in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22), but even there the notion of oneness persists. As a plural form, Elohim suggests that one cannot limit the Divine to a single thing (which a singular form would connote) and actually implies that the Divine is so all-encompassing that no thing falls outside of its compass. Elohim means unity. From a metaphorical perspective, one might see the Divine as a choir rather than a soloist; here the many become one. This is why the term, “monotheism” (which implies singularity rather than oneness or unity) is inadequate for describing the Jewish and Christian concepts of Divinity. “THE ALL” preserves the all-encompassing character, relationality, unity, and oneness of the Divine.

See how I do this in “translations of Genesis by larry” in “about mystic scholar”:



Idolatry is seductive because anything can be idolatrous, including worship of God.


“Some Restorative Thoughts on an Agonizing Text: Abraham’s Binding of Isaac and the Horror on Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22)”

By Laurence H. Kant

1) “Some Restorative Thoughts on an Agonizing Text:  Abraham’s Binding of Isaac and the Horror on  Mt. Moriah  (Gen. 22)”: “Part 1,” Lexington Theological Quarterly 38 (2003) 77-109; “Part 2”  Lexington Theological Quarterly 38 (2003) 161-94

2) “Arguing with God and Tiqqun Olam:  A Response to Andre LaCocque on the Aqedah,” Lexington Theological Quarterly 40 (2005) 203-19 (this was a response to an article by André Lacocque, “About the ‘Akedah’ in Genesis 22:  A Response to Laurence H. Kant,” Lexington Theological Quarterly 40 (2005) 191-201)

AqedahArticlePart1a; AqedahArticlePart2a; and AqedLacocqueResp1


Isaac Meditates

“And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at sunset”: Gen 24.63.

(Meditation means both “meditate” and  “study” in Jewish interpretation and bears both connotations here, along with “stroll.”)


Who is Adam?

Who is Adam? An androgynous being created from the earth’s soil. We are all Adam, part of the earth.


Our Destiny

Our destiny is not destruction, chaos, and an end, but wholeness, hope, and a future (an interpretation of Jer 29.11).


Abraham and Isaac

On Mt. Moriah, the Source offered Abraham the chance for a mystical ascent to heaven. But Abraham understood the path as going upward to hell (Gen 22).


Eating in a Sukkah

Eating in a sukkah (hut), we realize we are all Adam, beloved creatures of the earth.


We Are All Wanderers

We are all wanderers searching for a home that ultimately exists inside ourselves (Num 33.1).


What is the Wilderness?

What is the wilderness? The best place to encounter ourselves and the Source. Where is the wilderness? Inside us. Why is there a wilderness? To transform us.


Iraqi Treasures Return, But Questions Remain

“Iraq announced the return of hundreds of antiquities that had ended up in the United States, although 632 pieces repatriated last year were now unaccounted for.”


Who Are the Egyptians in the Exodus Story

Who are the Egyptians in the Exodus story? They are not only outside us, but inside us. Most of the time we enslave ouirselves. That’s why the Jewish people wanted to return to Egypt rather than deal with uncertainty and choices in the wildnerness (Ex 14.12).


Our Lives as Sacred Stories

Each of our lives is a new story to add to the book of Genesis.


Creation Never Ends

Gen 1.1: “The Source (God) began to create”: As long as the universe exists, creation is a process that rests periodically, but never ends.


Mystic Scholar study in spirituality

I am reflecting on the fundamental shift away from institutional religion. It affects every religion and every religious community globally: churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. It cuts across the ideological and political spectra. As educational attainment increases, so does disaffection with traditional religious modalities. Yet the vast majority of people still seek to explore the fundamental questions of existence, matters of ultimate concern (as Tillich says), interconnectedness, community, ethics, and love and relationships. Why are so many religious institutions unable or unwilling to address the hunger for meaning and purpose that so many yearn for?

Looking forward to commenting in the future on these topics.


Rest from Creation on Shabbat

The Source rests from creation every shabbat. So should we. Then, on the next day, we join hands to continue creation (Gen 2.3).


The Woman Was Not Expelled in Eden

Did you ever notice that the Source explicitly expelled Adam, not the woman, from the garden of Eden?


The First Adam

Gen 1:27: The first Adam was both female and male, bi-gendered, whole, integrated, one.


Creation Rests on Shabbat

Creation rests on Shabbat, but recommences the next day.


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