A new look at the beginning

Are you familiar with these lines:

“In principles the
powers that be
the universe conceive.”

How about these?

“When the waters,
dark and deep
veiled earth, the virgin wilderness
breathed alhim
the breath of life
upon the waters’ face.”

Ring any bells?

These are the actual opening verses of the Book of Genesis, according to the new Freeware Bible, which says it is offering “a verbatim translation of the oldest surviving manuscript of the Aramaic/Hebrew Bible.”

Its creators have produced “Genesis Rejuvenated,” described as “the word, word for word.”

The head of the project is a fellow named Bill Jemas, who was president and publisher of Marvel comics from 2000 to 2004.

When he left, he planned to produce Bible-based merchandise. Then a funny thing happened, as he writes:

I thought all I had to do was skim Bible literature for a couple of weeks and surface a bunch of controversial quotes for the PR campaign.

I was way wrong.

The literature made me look at the original text. And I have not been able to take my eyes off the Bible ever since. Reading the Words made me dig deeper and deeper into their meanings until . . . now, years later, the comic book pages are still on the drawing board and my team and I are dedicated to an entirely new project that takes the Creation story about as seriously as possible.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.