|jerusalem bible||(alternative genesis)|
God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth.'
The Shining Ones said, 'We must produce men in our image - in the likeness of ourselves - so that they may be responsible for the fish in the reservoir [inland waters], the birds on the Heights, and for all the cattle that are so abundant in the land'.
In the above alternative, we have attempted to put right an error that has confused mankind for far too long. We know from later passages in Genesis, and from Sumerian and Akkadian accounts, that the intention in genetically hybridising men, was to put them to work in the Garden in Eden (Kharsag) to assist the Shining Ones in their agriculture and husbandry.
The root = rdh is ambiguous; it could have meant 'rule' or 'govern' (and so 'be masters of'), which is the sense in which the biblical translators have accepted it; but it could also have meant 'take into one's own hands'. An example of this is JE 5:31- 'the priests take into their own hands whatever they please'. An alternative to this phrase is assume responsibility for which, in our view, is the more likely translation.
Men were not intended, in an all-embracing sense, to rule over (or be masters of) the whole animal kingdom. At Kharsag, men were intended to take responsibility for the good management of the fish and birds, and the domestic animals which were so important to the Shining Ones.
We have heard the slaughter of animals - and even the case for scientific experimentation on animals - justified by the biblical authority apparently invested in this verse. But we cannot emphasise too strongly that any such authority is based on a very dubious premise leading from a doubtful translation.