BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia):     וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י אֹ֑ור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור

ESV (English Standard Version): And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

NLT (New Living Translation): Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.


LXX (Septuagint): Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Θεὸς, γενηθήτω φῶς· καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς.

BETS (Brenton English translation Septuagint): And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

NETS (New English Translation Septuagint): And God said, “let light come into being,” and light came into being.

OSB (Orthodox Study Bible): Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light


VUL (Latin Vulgate): dixitque Deus fiat lux et facta est lux

DRB (Douay Rheims Bible): And God said: Be light made. And light was made

NAB: (New American Bible): Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light


English Translations with variant readings:

CEV: God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining.

EMPH (The Empasized Bible): And God said— Light be. And light was.

GNB: Then God commanded, “Let there be light”—and light appeared.

TM: God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared.


Observations & Discussions

  1. The NETS offers a small variety with the “Fiat” of God being “let light come into being. That’s interesting because in the VUL the verb which God is said to do is “fiat.” One interesting entry in a web based article says, “You might think a fiat is just an Italian car, but it actually means a legal, authoritative decision that has absolute sanction. From the Latin for “let it be done,” the word fiat is a binding edict issued by a person in command.” There’s little question that God is the one in command here at the beginning of the Bible. All translations except the DRB includes the idea of a “fiat” in “let there be light.”
  2. Notice also that the VUL uses the word “Facta” to report the results of the fiat. You might say, “light became a fact.” From God’s Word to reality. According to the dictionaries it simply means “was” and that means existed so we get our idea of “fact” from that idea, I’m guessing. God issued a “fiat” and it came to pass.
  3. Let there be light is normally addressed to a third person. But who is God addressing in this passage. Was God addressing the light? Jesus called himself the light. Since Christ is accredited with the creation of all things in Colossians, could this command be addressed to Jesus? Should it be something God said to himself, such as, “God said that the light should appear.”


CLV (Chuck Larsen Version): God issued a decree that there should be light, and there was light.


CLV In the beginning God created heaven and earth but the earth was invisible and incomplete. And darkness covered the abyss. The spirit of God was brooding over the abyss’ darkness so God issued a decree that there should be light, and there was light.