Genesis 1 & 2 (Peter)
peter_kirk at sil.org
peter_kirk at sil.org
Sun Dec 5 17:33:11 EST 1999
I suppose I need to make some more comments here, though I doubt if we
are getting anywhere. "There are more things in heaven and earth than
in your philosophy", as Shakespeare wrote (roughly). Maybe than in
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Genesis 1 & 2 (Peter)
Author: <mc2499 at mclink.it> at Internet
Date: 05/12/1999 02:07
.. Also of course Genesis 1:1 LXX implies creation ex nihilo. See >also
Isaiah 42:5, 44:24, 45:12,18, which don't leave much room for
That which we now call the Septuagint does not equal that which
Pseudo-Aristeas referred to <snip> One cannot help but think that when texts
were translated into Greek, it was done by people who were steeped in Greek
ideas as well.
PK: I know, yawn. So when was LXX Genesis (i.e. the text printed by
Rahlfs etc) produced? Before, contemporary with or after the Wisdom of
Solomon in the same volume? We don't know, I think. But it is unlikely
to have been long after. So LXX Genesis is the pre-patristic support
for creation ex nihilo which you asked me for, as is Hebrews.
>PK: I would tentatively suggest that God first created formless
>matter, raw material if you like, and then gave form to it.
Chaos, Peter. God created chaos. Why not just create the things and not
waste time? This is the problem invented by the creatio-ex-nihilo crew. God
creates chaos then creates everything from it.
PK: Potters make clay and then form pots out of them. Are they wasting
their time with the clay, should they not make pots straight away? See
also Isaiah 45:9.
>Gen1:1 is functionally equivalent to Gen2:4b
> b ywm '$wt yhwh 'lhym 'rc w$mym
> br'$yt br' 'lhym 't h$mym w't h'rc
>PK: No it isn't. You have confused the issue by ignoring the pointing.
I use an unpointed text. My basic point was the similarity of structure not
the similarity of verb form.
when, do what, who, what
The "when" is comparable; the "do what" synonyms; the "who" is the same;
and the "what" is the same.
PK: ????? Consider the sentences "You are boring." and "You are
bored." Both have the same structure and end with different forms of
the same root. But are they synonymous? No, though they may both be
>In 1:1 BFRF) is a QATAL finite verb form (not a Masoretic invention,
>as LXX translates this as a finite verb, in the aorist).
Which was done first, the pointing or the "LXX" translation of Genesis?
PK: Do you really not know? The Rahlfs LXX text is based mainly on
three 4th-5th century CE manuscripts, two in the British Museum and
one in the Vatican. The pointing of the Hebrew Bible is generally
considered to be much later than this - or do you want to dispute
>PK: I see 1:1-2 as outside and before the framework of the seven days,
>as indicated by the Hebrew verb forms, and indicating the background.
I agree with the background notion -- the state of affairs at the time of
the action, but you have shown no reason to order the talk of creation in
v1 with the fact that the earth was thw wbhw in v2. Both clauses contain a
qatal, so how do you relate them to each other? Aren't they simultaneous?
>However, to me verse 1 makes it clear that God did create ex nihilo
Yet the verb form is qatal. Are you giving it narrative force then with
respect to the other qatals, ie that the creation mentioned in v1 came
before the situation in v2? Or are all the clauses in v1 & 2 on the same
par. If the x-qatal provides the background information for the wayyiqtol,
then we should take in consideration both examples of x-qatal in vv1&2.
Perhaps it's just my lack of knowledge in Hebrew (eminently possible), but
have you got any examples of x-qatal in narrative sequence?
PK: Now you are having some sensible ideas! Yes, indeed we have to
consider the possibility that verse 2 is a flashback to before verse
1, and so read: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the
earth. The earth had been formless and void, with the spirit/wind
hovering over the waters...". But x-qatal can start a sequence, as in
1 Kings 1:1 where David grew old before they tried to keep him warm.
>If this is different from Enuma Elish,
PK: You brought this into the picture, by trying to make Genesis say
the same as Enuma Elish.
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