[b-hebrew] Genesis 1:1-3, was: Alter's translation
hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Nov 23 14:39:55 EST 2005
For some reason my last post did the same thing I was unhappy about with your, binding my answer with your prior comments. I apologize. This is just a copy of it with the problem fixed, hopefully.
>>Dear Peter,To be sure, I do not think the masoretes are never wrong, or that theyare divinely inspired. I just think it is highly unlikely they wouldnot have known exactly what they were handing down to us in this case;we are talking about the first verses of Tora, not something somewherein Chronicles.>I admit, "בראשית BR)$YT" may have been meant as "in the beginning". Myintent was, however, to respect MT first, and then try to make senseof it; only if that really doesn't work we could look for extra-MTsolutions, like emendations and the like.>Don't you think by the way, the parallel with Gen 2,4-7 is remarkable?It supports "my" understanding of Gen 1,1-3 very well.>About LXX, it's true it's an old source, yet it's a translation madein Egypt for a Greek audience. The translators and how good theirHebrew was we may never know, and how much did they adjust the Hebrewtext to fit their theology?>About my theology with the "light" and so on, I do agree with you: wefirst have the text and its syntax, and then theology. However, I didstart wih the former and then saw it produced the latter. You see, I'mnot much of a theologian at all ;)>RegardsHerman>
HH: There are verses where there is a preposition followed by a noun in the construct, followed by a verb that seems to be in relation to the noun (1 Chron. 29:3: "above all I provided"), but they don't seem to require the insertion of "of" in English the way Gen 1:1 would by your view. Another example might be Prov 17:4 ("before a quarrel breaks out"), but here the preposition and noun function together as a preposition.
HH: Another difficulty with your view is that it gives an imperfect meaning to the perfect verb arb, it seems to me. There is a process of creating, and at the beginning of it something happens. Also, where there is a verb in a construct relationship to a prepositional phrase and a possible modification with "of" in English, it usually involves an infinitive, such as we see at Gen 2:4: "in the day of the Lord's making earth and heaven."
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