The Hebrew that is translated in English as “light” is translated in Newari as “white light.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)

In Tenharim the translation is mytuêa or “open/clear space”. LaVera Betts (in: Notes on Translation, September 1971, p. 16ff.) explains: “According to Catarina, the chief’s wife, the moon is a woman and the stars, also considered snails, are her children. In Gen 1:14, therefore, ‘the lights in the firmament of heaven’ is translated literally ‘the lamps/illuminating things on the heaven’ to eliminate the idea of the moon, etc. being animate. To express the idea of light (Gen. 1:3), then, without the presence yet of the sun, moon, or stars, the term open/clear space: mytuêa, was used. Neither the heavenly bodies nor artificial lights nor their obvious rays have to be seen in order for this term to be appropriate. It is a term indicating merely the opposite of no light, that is, the opposite of darkness; and since there were no objects to fill in the space, it still is true in the other sense of the term. Other terms meaning light involved the presence of the sun, moon, stars, or artificial lighting.”

See also let there be light.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *