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Is "dynamic energy" a Proper Translation In Isaiah 40:26?


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Is "dynamic energy" a Proper Translation In Isaiah 40:26?

In various Watchtower publications the writer argues that the phrase "dynamic energy" that the New World Translation uses in Isaiah 40:26 implies that God inspired Isaiah with divine knowledge of Albert Einstein's most famous equation E=mc^2, i.e., that matter and energy are equivalent. But is this a valid claim? I will show that it is not.

The 1998 Watchtower book Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? contains a typical example of this argument in chapter 6, "An Ancient Creation Record--Can You Trust It?" (pp. 90-91). After explaining what Einstein's equation means, that matter and energy are intimately related, it says:

<< From beginning to end, the Bible points to the One who created all the matter in the universe, the Scientist. (Nehemiah 9:6; Acts 4:24; Revelation 4:11) And it clearly shows the relationship between energy and matter.

For example, the Bible invites readers to do this: “Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26) Yes, the Bible is saying that a source of tremendous dynamic energy--the Creator--caused the material universe to come into existence. This is completely in harmony with modern technology. For this reason alone, the Biblical record of creation merits our deep respect. >>

The argument is wrong in several ways.

We note that the scriptural quotation is from the New World Translation. The key phrase here is "dynamic energy". The book claims that this somehow has to do with the modern scientific concept of "energy". Does it? Let's go a few verses farther into Isaiah 40 and see. Verse 29 says of God, "He is giving to the tired one power; and to the one without dynamic energy he makes full might abound." Now, does that sound like God is giving "energy" in the modern scientific sense to the one who is tired and lacking power? Of course not. By the same token Isaiah 40:26 is not saying anything about the relationship between matter and energy.

This can be seen further by looking at the meaning of the Hebrew word 'ohnim that the NWT translates as "dynamic energy". A variety of Hebrew lexicons yield the following definitions: "great strength, might, power, manly vigor", and these quite properly describe God. A better translation of these verses might be this, from Tanakh--The Holy Scriptures by the Jewish Publication Society: "Because of His great might and vast power, not one fails to appear... He gives strength to the weary, fresh vigor to the spent." It seems clear that the author of the Creator book has relied on a misleading translation to make his point. All that Isaiah is saying is that God is really, really big and strong.

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Is "dynamic energy" a Proper Translation In Isaiah 40:26? In various Watchtower publications the writer argues that the phrase "dynamic energy" that the New World Translation uses in Isaiah 40:26

Here is Gesenius on the word. Gesenius is often considered the ultimate Hebrew-language authority by Watchtower publications: Here is Strong's: אוֹן ʼôwn, probably from the same as H205

I am not familiar with idea (that some JW believed) how all Universe is created in 6000 years. But remember well how official teachings was changed from: 1 Creation Day is 7000 years, to 1 Creation Da

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Croatian edition, of NW 2020 revised, say:

Because of its great power * and amazing power +
none are missing.

*Or: "Because of the abundance of energy that drives everything."

(Because of his great strength * and his mighty power, none is lacking. - 1984 edition)

It is interesting how Croatian translation team did not put same phrase as English team.

The difference is also present in the translation of other publications. Since I am no longer a reader of WT publications today, my observation relates to previous publications.

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Here is Gesenius on the word. Gesenius is often considered the ultimate Hebrew-language authority by Watchtower publications:

image.png

Here is Strong's:

אוֹן ʼôwn, probably from the same as H205 (in the sense of effort, but successful); ability, power, (figuratively) wealth:—force, goods, might, strength, substance.

Here are the different ways the NWT now translates the same word. Looks like it can refer to procreative strength, monetary strength (wealth), but I also see a sense of "energetic vigor" or "pep" especially in Job 18:7.

  • (Genesis 49:3) 3 “Reuʹben, you are my firstborn, my vigor and the beginning of my procreative power, the excellence of dignity and the excellence of strength.
  • (Job 18:7, 8, 12 )  7 His vigorous stride is shortened, And his own counsel will make him fall.  8 For his feet will lead him into a net, And he will wander onto its mesh. . . . His strength fails him, And disaster will make him stagger.
  • (Job 20:10) . . .His own children will seek the favor of the poor, And his own hands will give back his wealth.
  • (Job 40:15, 16) . . .Here, now, is Be·heʹmoth, which I made as I made you. It eats grass like a bull. 16 Look at the strength in its hips And the power in the muscles of its belly!
  • (Isaiah 40:26) . . .Who has created these things? It is the One who brings out their army by number; He calls them all by name. Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power, Not one of them is missing.
  • (Isaiah 40:29) . . .He gives power to the tired one And full might to those lacking strength.
  • (Hosea 12:2, 3) . . .Jacob . . . 3 In the womb he seized his brother by the heel, And with his vigor he contended with God.
  • (Hosea 12:8) . . .Eʹphra·im keeps saying, ‘Indeed, I have become rich; I have found wealth.. . .

It doesn't seem consistent to use "dynamic energy" in Isaiah 40:26 and then use just power, strength, and vigor in the other places. You wouldn't say of Jacob that he wrestled the angel with his "dynamic energy" yet it's the same word. You wouldn't say that the wicked man's "dynamic energy" of his gait is reduced, and that his "dynamic energy" fails him when he staggers or falls. Yet these are also the same word.

But I should add that Isaiah 40:26 references Jehovah keeping all the stars in place, an extremely complex set of constellations, even more awe-inspiring in desert lands. And it was correctly realized that none were missing, in spite of the fact that meteors were seen in the common mind as "falling stars."

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8 hours ago, AlanF said:

dynamic energy" a Proper Translation In Isaiah 40:26?

Years ago I did I study on the word 'spirit' and came to the conclusion that it meant "projected energy". .......jehovah's power / spirit is always active and directed - regarding our physical realm never in a dormant state. In the bible the words for power and spirit are closely associated.

Every piece of the visible universe has Jehovah's active energy in it. I came to the conclusion that the universe would collapse if Jehovah withdrew his 'energy' from it because all matter is energy in one form or another and it is many of these different energies which scientists have not yet come up with ONE formula to describe it all.  This is the illusive or magic formula these scientists are searching for, when 'sheeple' like me can come to good conclusions about it by studying the bible - the book scientist disparage. 

But Mr AlanF is turning the conversation away to another aspect -  to get a 'spiel' on the translation of a 'word' in Isaiah 40 to disprove the "power" which in this case means "truth",  of God's word. 

He disparaged the bible above by giving incorrect quotes from his memory. 

I answered with 3 short refrences from the bible..... 

Please Mr Alan F  explain to me why you did not find it appropriate to rather ask about the translation of the word "nothing" in the following scripture written by Moses under inspiration 3,500 years ago? 

job 26:7 " He stretches the northern sky over empty space, suspending the earth upon "NOTHING".

Scientifically - we no there is.  With the naked eye, it really hangs on nothing. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Arauna said:

projected energy

projected - adjective

estimated or forecast on the basis of current trends or data

1 hour ago, Arauna said:

.......jehovah's power / spirit is always active and directed - regarding our physical realm never in a dormant state. In the bible the words for power and spirit are closely associated.

Good. In general logic, God holding everything in his hand ... in order to exist in various forms and purpose. So, GB mantra how they are "guided by spirit" is in reality nothing more than fact that they receive "projected energy" .... as any other creature (animate and inanimate nature) on Earth and in Universe. :))

1 hour ago, Arauna said:

Please Mr Alan F  explain to me why you did not find it appropriate to rather ask about the translation of the word "nothing" in the following scripture written by Moses under inspiration 3,500 years ago? 

job 26:7 " He stretches the northern sky over empty space, suspending the earth upon "NOTHING".

Scientifically - we no there is.  With the naked eye, it really hangs on nothing. 

 

With "naked eye" we see how WTJWorg GB using own "projected energy" and suspending doctrine on doctrine upon members that generally know nothing what is going on.

Moses was an Egyptian for a third of his life and it can be he knew more than slaves and average Egyptian. If he adopted, as Jew and as Egyptian, vocabulary and terminology of people in his period of time, can somebody provide insight what was "scientific knowledge" and terminology about Universe and Energy in Egypt in time when Moses lived?

That will help us is it using WT NWT Bible word on this subject possibility or probability. 

 

Also, what word "dynamic" means??

Definition of dynamic

Entry 1 : marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change

Entry 2 a force or factor that controls or influences a process of growth, change, interaction, or activity : a dynamic force or factor

Synonyms: Adjective

energeticflush, gingery, lusty, peppy, red-blooded, robust, vigorous, vital

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dynamic

--------------------------------------

1. characterized by constant change, activity, or progress

2. Relating to forces producing motion.

3. expressing an action, activity, event, or process.

4. positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas.

5. A force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process.

https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/dynamic

It seems how we speak here about "energetic energy", "energetic force", "constant change".... 

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1 hour ago, Srecko Sostar said:

are "guided by spirit" is in reality nothing more than fact that they receive "projected energy" ....

But you forget that his "Spirit " is always projected with a specific purpose in mind. So when you pray to Jehovah for spirit it should have a sacret purpose in mind and you will definitely  receive spirit for this purpose.

(Sorry that my answers are intermittent today as I am applying for residence in Albania and going in and out of appointments today). 

Your definitions of active force definitely indicates that energies are used for different purposes - so jehovah does give constant attention to his living and inanimate creation. Bringing about change in line with his purpose. 

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7 hours ago, JW Insider said:

It doesn't seem consistent to use "dynamic energy" in Isaiah 40:26 and then use just power, strength, and vigor in the other places.

I wonder what class of people using expression "dynamic energy" in average conversation? Bible, generally, is considered to be book for all people, especially for people who are "poor in spirit". In that respect we would expect to read simple and clear "divine" words that all sort of people could understand and to be motivated to appreciate spiritual and moral values and truth.

After that, other sort of publication, as sort of neutral appendix, can teach readers to expand their vocabulary and other sort of knowledge.

As you noticed, what was reason, motive to use this specific, unusual word for Bible expressions, text/wording, in this verse in Isaiah? To sound more scientifically? To send special insight about Universe phenomena and higher mathematics, physics that ruling in galaxies? And to explain what is He like, who is God in "energy" sense? 

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54 minutes ago, Srecko Sostar said:

To sound more scientifically?

Maybe. But in context keeping the stars in place really does in imply some great power, and the references to power is doubled in this verse: his great power and might. Implying doubled or multiplied or even "exponential" might. (Power to the power of power.)

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14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

Here is Gesenius on the word. . .

It doesn't seem consistent to use "dynamic energy" in Isaiah 40:26 and then use just power, strength, and vigor in the other places. You wouldn't say of Jacob that he wrestled the angel with his "dynamic energy" yet it's the same word. You wouldn't say that the wicked man's "dynamic energy" of his gait is reduced, and that his "dynamic energy" fails him when he staggers or falls. Yet these are also the same word.

Quite so. But remember that this was translated by good old Freddie Franz, who never hesitated to distort the Bible text whenever existing Watchtower doctrine or "good arguments" could be made to rationalize it. His thinking was obviously: "Aha! Energy! Sounds like Einstein!" -- even though he was astute enough to understand that a Hebrew word for "power, strength" had nothing to do with the modern scientific concept of energy. Franz was a master of the bogus argument.

14 hours ago, JW Insider said:

But I should add that Isaiah 40:26 references Jehovah keeping all the stars in place, an extremely complex set of constellations, even more awe-inspiring in desert lands. And it was correctly realized that none were missing, in spite of the fact that meteors were seen in the common mind as "falling stars."

All such expressions are meaningless. What does it mean to keep the stars in place? Certainly not the actual stars zooming around in our Galaxy or in the trillions of other galaxies. They're zooming around at hundreds of kilometers per second. And even from the earth's viewpoint, their configuration certainly changes over periods of centuries and more.

As for constellations, all they are, are patterns of stars seen from the earth's tiny viewpoint. They are NOT PHYSICAL OBJECTS. Their stars do not move as one (the Pleiades is an exception). Their stars range in distance from a few light years to thousands.

And what does "none are missing" mean? Missing from what? The catalog of stars given in the Bible? The expression is meaningless. Or perhaps it means, "none that we've seen before have now gone missing". Still meaningless. Think of the star that went supernova hundreds of years ago and now is the Crab Nebula.

If one insists on viewing expressions such as in Isaiah 40:26 as literally scientific, one is obviously up a creek without a paddle.

 

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Arauna said:

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  20 hours ago, AlanF said:
dynamic energy" a Proper Translation In Isaiah 40:26?

Quote

Years ago I did I study on the word 'spirit' and came to the conclusion that it meant "projected energy". .......jehovah's power / spirit is always active and directed - regarding our physical realm never in a dormant state. In the bible the words for power and spirit are closely associated.

This has nothing to do with the meaning of Isaiah 40:26.

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Every piece of the visible universe has Jehovah's active energy in it.

Ah. Kind of like in the many African religions where spirits inhabit physical objects.

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I came to the conclusion that the universe would collapse if Jehovah withdrew his 'energy' from it because all matter is energy in one form or another and it is many of these different energies which scientists have not yet come up with ONE formula to describe it all.  This is the illusive or magic formula these scientists are searching for, when 'sheeple' like me can come to good conclusions about it by studying the bible - the book scientist disparage.

Good conclusions? Witchcraft is more like it.

Quote

But Mr AlanF is turning the conversation away to another aspect -  to get a 'spiel' on the translation of a 'word' in Isaiah 40 to disprove the "power" which in this case means "truth",  of God's word.

"Truth"? LOL! Provide references for your claim.

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He disparaged the bible above by giving incorrect quotes from his memory.

Oh? Do enlighten us with your astute analysis of my words.

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I answered with 3 short refrences from the bible..... 

Wrong. Your references were to Watchtower traditions, not the Bible. Would you like me to list them?

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Please Mr Alan F  explain to me why you did not find it appropriate to rather ask about the translation of the word "nothing" in the following scripture written by Moses under inspiration 3,500 years ago?

I had already burdened you with several really, really hard concepts that I knew you couldn't deal with. I didn't want to add a further burden. Besides, you didn't make a point of it.

And of course, you failed to respond to any of my answers, just as I had thought. You're quite predictable.

Quote

job 26:7 " He stretches the northern sky over empty space, suspending the earth upon "NOTHING".

You obviously don't know how problematic this passage is. What is "the northern sky"? What is "empty space"? What is "nothing"? Are you aware that the Hebrew word for that is the same as is translated in Genesis 1:2 in the NWT as "formless" (tohu)? Can you figure that out? Of course not.

I can point you to a much more comprehensive discussion of this and related passages, but I doubt that you would read it, much less understand it

Quote

Scientifically - we no [ sic ] there is.  With the naked eye, it really hangs on nothing. 

All of which is entirely consistent with the Babylonian view of the universe, from whom the Jews borrowed their concept. For a picture, see https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/gre13.htm .

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On 12/9/2020 at 2:35 PM, Srecko Sostar said:

generally, is considered to be book for all people, especially for people who are "poor in spirit". In

The bible is a book of education for all people to get a glimpse into the ways of God in order to honor him in the right way. It should elevate the mind with good insight into the world and moral principals to guide the reader to distinguish right from wrong so that they walk in justice...... and in this way make their paths straight and successful. In no way does it dumb us down....  but lifts up.  This I have often seen in Africa where some people have little secular education and yet are able to soar above superstition etc.

 

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On 12/9/2020 at 9:48 PM, AlanF said:

does "none are missing" mean? Missing

The bible is not a science manual. It is a book which gives us the history of how God is still on track to reach his final outcome of his purpose - while allowing wicked mankind to rule themselves with their own governments of choice in the interim period.  God just steps into humankind's affairs  when his final purpose is in jeopardy.

 Describing his power/dynamic energy/ projected energy / spirit is just inviting us to look around us and open our eyes. To make sure of the evidences of his existence and power. "Not one if them is missing" means that God can count billions of stars....... something I doubt any human can do without a computer.  So we are asked to ' think'  about things.

The same issue still exists today. Human rule, or acknowledgement of the sovreignty of God. Now, at the apex if human discovery, when science and tech has become the new God of the 4th industrial revolution,  people look to science and technocracy to fix all the problems on the globe. Yet at present we face the biggest threat to the continuance of human existence than ever before due to humankind's mismanagement of things, our own selfish desires for power and control.   

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