Genesis 1 & 2 (Peter)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Dec 7 01:54:52 EST 1999

At 16.41 06/12/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Hebrews was probably cited by Clement of Rome c.95 CE. 

Peter, you know this sort of "hey, a few words seem like they must be from
book X" type analysis doesn't get very far at all. You'll note that there
are a few sentences around that are similar to gospels, but there is
insufficient content to indicate that there actually was a gospel at that
time. I mentioned that Justin was the first father that showed he had
enough understanding of gospel material to give one the idea that he had
written sources.

Now you come up with "Hebrews was probably cited by Clement of Rome". What
makes you think for example, if there is actually a direct connection
between the two works, which way the connection goes? Does it not go from
Clement to Hebrews? How about both from a third?

>It is included 
>in the following papyri: P12 (III), P13 (III/IV), P17 (IV), P46 (ca. 
>200) etc. (Data from Nestle-Aland 27th edition). Tertullian, Clement 
>of Alexandria and Origen discussed its authorship. I think there is 
>little doubt that it dates back to the second century if not the 
>>PK: 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.
>You haven't established the "pre-patristic" qualification for Hebrews. What 
>shows you that Hebrews was known before patristic times?...
>>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: Correction, I can't even report correctly what I have seen myself! 
>Sinaiticus at least is now at the new British Library building in 
>Euston Road (next to St. Pancras station), in a beautiful new display 
>By whom? Why? Is this another of your famous consensus statements of 
>opinion? There's a bunch of monkeys that think they are Shakespeare: well, 
>they've just written Hamlet!
>PK: If you wish to put forward a theory that the MT was pointed before 
>the 4th century, please go ahead and show us your evidence. If not, 
>you are also agreeing with the consensus, 

If you want to say you have special knowledge of the state of the text at
any specific time, all you have to do is provide the basis for your
specific knowledge: a text would be useful. All you have to do is show some
evidence, rather than opting for authority, but you almost never do. You
just tend to go further and further into tangents. We merely have some of
the texts from the second century BCE that show an unpointed text and we
have indications that after the 4th century it was pointed. All this to
attempt to date your theological understanding of the use of creatio ex
nihilo in order to attempt to predate it in respect to Wisdom, which is in
accord with the most ancient near east traditions, in order to demonstrate
that Wisdom is somehow saying something novel. All the literary evidence
from the cultural background of the area goes for creation out of
pre-existent matter. The literary background of Gen1, with its indirect
reliance on a Semitic story of creation initiated by the slaying of the
watery chaos dragon (and literary fragments visible in the OT/HB), shows
creation out of pre-existent matter.

Impute circularity
Invoke authority
Go off in tangents
Impose a priori theological understandings
Avoid ancient understandings
Ignore both archaeology and epigraphy

>so shut up!

Impressive scholarship, Peter.

>But the "tried to keep him warm" isn't qatal, is it? (Sorry, for some 
>reason I can't find a copy of 1Kgs amongst the tanach files I have, so I'm 
>looking at the Strong's numbers in a bible program which indicates that the 
>verb form is not qatal. I gather the "tried to keep him warm" is a yiqtol, 
>so we're in better known waters and you don't seem to have an analogous 
>PK: Actually it's a WAYYIQTOL. 


>I didn't say that QATAL can continue a 
>narrative sequence, only that it can start one.

The point was that we were dealing with a sequence of qatals, of which you
were trying to claim that the first came before the second, making the
relationship a narrative relationship. It seemed that your recourse to
1Kngs1 was in some attempt to make some conclusion about a sequence of
qatals. There was no conclusion to be drawn to help you get antecendency
for Gen1:1.



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