Genesis 1 & 2 (trying again)
peter_kirk at sil.org
peter_kirk at sil.org
Fri Dec 3 20:39:09 EST 1999
Please quit the public slanging match before I get tempted to compare
primitive man favourably with you both!
But just a few points here (marked "PK:")
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Genesis 1 & 2 (trying again)
Author: <mc2499 at mclink.it> at Internet
Date: 03/12/1999 06:19
Did God not create man in Gen2? Did God not create animals in Gen2? Did God
not create the four major rivers (or at least three of them known) of that
part of the world in Gen2? This sounds like creation to me...
PK: Are you expecting the answer "yes he did" to all these questions?
If so, you are wrong. Read the text. In it, what did God create?
Strictly, nothing, as the word BR) = create is not used (except in the
odd passive of 2:4). In the initial summary (2:4) we read that YHWH
made [(SH] the heavens and the earth. After that we read that he
formed [YCR] the man (2:7) and the animals (2:19), that he planted
[N+(] the garden (2:8), that he caused to grow [CMX hiphil] the trees
in the garden (2:9), and that he built [BNH] the rib into the woman
(2:22). No sign of God creating the rivers, or of any unusual agency
in causing the garden to grow. The rivers were already flowing out
[YC) participle] of the place, Eden, where the garden was planted
(2:10). Perhaps you are the one presupposing what the text should be
without reading it.
>>As is the first account. Please note the ancient understanding in Wisdom
>The first account can be understood as ex-nihilo
Did you at least look at what Wisdom said??? To understand what Jews at the
turn of the millenium thought? Of course not. You don't need to: you
believe in creatio ex nihilo.
PK: What is the relevance of what Hellenised Greek-speaking Jews
thought at the turn of the millennium to what Jews or Babylonians
thought at a much earlier era? Anyway, please note the LXX
understanding of 1:1, which I quote below.
JEPD is long dead. So is Wellhausen.
PK: Glad to see you say so...
>I do not force it to be an
>account of the creation of the world,
Actually the process that you should consider is *how* the vast range of
scholars who understand the text came to their opinion that it was another
creation account. You show no desire to understand this so far.
PK: I think this has a lot to do with JEPD and Wellhausen. So let
their ideas rest in peace with them.
It ain't in the text. This is just your expectation.
>The animals and plants are specially created a second time.
PK: Actually it's this which ain't in the text. "Plant" and "cause to
grow" (of the trees) does not mean "specially create a second time"!
>says that we came from chaos. The first account is not Greek, however, as it
>describes the creation of the chaos in verse 1:1.
This is not in the text. This is more of your expectation, based on old
translations of the text, translations biased by the old Greek idea of
creatio ex nihilo. But look at the New RSV, which translates Gen1:1-2 as
"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was
a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind
from God swept over the face of the waters."
If you look at the translations into English done by Jewish scholars it
reads in like manner.
PK: Unfortunately it is those newer translations rather than the older
ones which are incorrect. We have B:R")$IYT BFRF) ):ELOHIYM... which
is a clear example of a temporal phrase with B:- and a time noun
followed by a finite QATAL verb, meaning "In the beginning God
created.." or perhaps "In the beginning God had created...". There is
nothing which can mean "when he created". The attempt to translate the
finite verb BFRF) as if it were an infinitive is very weakly based
(the main argument being that supposedly we should have had the
definite BFR")$IYT for "In the beginning") and seems to me like an
attempt to impose creation not ex nihilo on the text. Note that LXX
has "en arch epoihsen ho qeos...", which means "In the beginning God
We are dealing with the starting material of the creation. The first act of
God was to use divine fiat: "Let there be light."
It might be better that you deal with what the text actually says and not
what you expect it to say.
PK: First you need to decide what the text says. It is far from clear
that it means what you want it to mean.
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