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  1. #1

    'God saw that it was good'

    I have some difficulty understanding this sentence. Could anybody see that something is good? Sense organs do not have evaluative abilities. So I think maybe here the verb 'see' is being used in a rather uncommon sense, perhaps 'think' or 'consider'? But then wouldn't it be better to simply say it that way? I would appreciate a reply. Thank you very much.

  2. curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Re: 'God saw that it was good'

    Is this sentence from the Bible?
    The grammar in the Bible is not that which is commonly used.

    Sometimes a sentence starts with 'And', as in
    And God saw that it was good. Or, 'And God gave the tablets to Moses'

    In your example it means that God looked and understood, where perhaps a mere mortal might not have. God having an ability that is not found in an ordinary man (or woman)

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    Re: 'God saw that it was good'

    The sentence comes indeed from the Bible, from Genesis 1, the creation of the world: three times in all. At various stages during the process, God looks at what he has done and "sees" that it was good.

    There's nothing unusual about this construction at all. It is used in a slightly extended meaning -- of course the sense organs don't have evaluative abilities, but the information from them is passed to the brain and that has evaluative abilities -- but we use it all the time in ordinary, everyday language:

    "I see that the neighbour's cat is in our garden again."

    Or, looking out of the window and seeing John's car parked outside:

    "I see that John's arrived."

    It's not often that you hear someone say, "I saw that it was good", because we normally say, "It looked good to me", but that's just saying exactly the same thing using slightly different words. But it's perfectly good English.

    To take up curmudgeon's point about the grammar in the Bible not being that which is commonly used: There are many different translations of the Bible available. The oldest commonly-used Bible is the Authorised Version, known in the US and elsewhere as the King James Version, which was written in the 17th century. The grammar in the version seems unusual to us, but in the 17th century it was just a bit old-fashioned. There are many modern versions, such as the New International Version or the New Living Bible, which use perfectly ordinary, everyday modern English.

    And finally, the idea that English sentences cannot begin with "and" is a myth. However, it should be used very sparingly, otherwise it sounds terrible.

  4. #4

    Re: 'God saw that it was good'

    Then there is (are?) the Black Bible Chronicles, "a new version of the Bible published by African American Family Press, in New York City."

    "Thou shalt not steal" is "You shouldn't be takin' nothin' from your homeboys." :)

    Checkout all the ten commandments here:

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