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Certain quotations are
highlighted within P

Musings 2004/186

Genesis 3.
P 15.  And I will establish a feud between thee and the woman, between thy offspring and hers;
she is to crush thy head
while thou dost lie in ambush at her heels. P

Thus states Scripture.
However in Protestant translations we have
it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his feet.
This latter translation can also be found in some modern Catholic translations of Scripture!
The difference of course, is that Catholic translations have
the woman crushing the head of the serpent, whereas the Protestant has the seed crushing the head.
I quote hereunder from notes made by that great man
Mons. Ronald Knox who translated Scripture using Latin, Greek and Hebrew texts. This note is found in his translation on the relevant page of Scripture in Genesis:-
P For 'she' and 'her' the Septuagint Greek has 'he' and 'his'; the Hebrew text also, as it has come down to us, gives 'he' or perhaps 'it'. But most manuscripts of the Latin version have 'she' which plainly gives a better balance to the sentence.

That the reference of this passage in any case,
is to the Incarnation,
is the general opinion of the Fathers.

The Latin here assumes that there is a play upon words in the original, since there are two Hebrew verbs closely alike, one of which means 'to crush' and the other 'to follow eagerly'. But the Hebrew text has 'to crush' in both clauses; the Septuagint Greek in both clauses, has 'to lie in wait'. P
The Universal Church has accepted the Latin version for some 1700 years - since the time of St. Jerome who put the entire Bible into Latin.
In this respect, the following is taken from the Preface of the Vulgate Bible, (the English translation of the Latin that is accepted by The Church):-
P  St. Jerome who was one of the four great Western Fathers of The Church, was a man raised up by God to translate the Holy Bible into the common Latin tongue of his day. He knew Latin and Greek perfectly. He also knew Hebrew and Aramaic nearly as well. He was 1,500 years closer to the original languages then any scholar today, which would make him a much better judge of the exact meaning of any Greek or Hebrew word in the Scriptures. Besides being a towering linguistic genius he was also a great saint and

he had access to
ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts
of the 2nd. and 3rd. centuries
which have since perished
and are no longer available to scholars today. P

It has seemed to me that the only translation must be she that is to say, the woman . will cruch thy head, simply because The Church has said so for 1,700 years and probably, before then, said so since Christ.
But recently, it has further seemed good to me that some manuscripts have the alternative:
the seed . will crush thy head.
I say this because here we have a situation were

both might be accepted.

Thus we would be able to pray that (for example)

'The Woman (that is Mary) will crush the serpent's head
through her seed (that is Jesus Christ)'.

This little prayer would totally support the actual events of Salvation in history and the obvious intention of the Almighty.
This prayer would support
all documents which agree that

the feud
is between
the serpent and the woman.

The other feud is between her seed and its seed.
So, if the feud was between the woman and the serpent (as well as her seed and its seed) one would think that it would be the woman who crushed its head by means of and in co-operation with her seed.
In Revelation 12 we have a proof that the feud
was between the woman and the serpent (the red dragon in Revelation).
Therefore to pray thus:-

'that The Woman will crush the serpent's head
through her seed, Jesus Christ'

would have to be acceptable by all concerned - one would think - for such a prayer would imply the defeat of the serpent by both the woman and her seed.
(It is interesting to note that
The Woman of Revelation 12 also two possible meanings. The Woman stands for The Universal Church but also for Mary, Mother of The Lord. And as in Genesis, both possibilities are most acceptable and give greater richness to Scripture.)
So, the fact that Genesis 3:15 might be translated in two different ways becomes a wonderful thing and suggests that there is a
co-operation between the woman and her seed, in their crushing the serpents head but also the heads of all of the serpent's seed.
And of course,
the woman and her seed would co-operate against evil.
Is there some one, anywhere in the world, who would disagree with this?
This of course, indicates that Mary, who of course is the woman and Jesus, her seed, co-operated in defeating the serpent.

Which in turn points to Mary as being

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