Genesis 1:1: independ/subord... Recent comments

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Wed Dec 8 20:50:39 EST 1999

Re comment 1: I have dealt with this in detail in my reply to Prof. 
Niccacci. This construction occurs, but it is not common. The reader 
would naturally read here the common construction rather than the rare 
one. For further details, see my other postings. I still stand by what 
I wrote, except that perhaps the issue is not as clear cut as I 
originally thought.

Re comment 2: Now who's appealing to authorities, i.e. how other 
scholars have translated this text? And who is the one who is looking 
only at the evidence, the Hebrew text? Anyway, I dealt with the 
question of Jewish interpretations later in my reply to Prof. 

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Genesis 1:1: independ/subord... Recent comments
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    08/12/1999 10:36

Sorry, but where were comments like the ones below when Peter wrote the 
following paragraph?

>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...".

Comment 1:

It is not uncommon for a verb to be bound to a construct noun forming a 
subordinate clause.

Comment 2:

>The Jewish Publication Society translation of 1962 (and, I believe, a more 
>recent version) translated Gen 1:1-2  as :  (1) When God began to create 
>the heaven and the earth -  (2) the earth being unformed and void, with 
>darkness over the surface of the deep.  It footnoted create and the note 
>read "Or 'In the beginning God created'".  I believe that Fox's new 
>translation is similar, but do not have a copy at hand.
>The translation I'm describing would have it as a gerund or an infinitive - 
>"when God began to create", or "in the beginning of God's creating".
>The significance of the necessary ending of "of" is that the first verse 
>cannot stand alone as a single sentence, but is really an introductory 
>phrase;  it is not "In the beginning (or "at first")  God created the heaven 
>and the earth" but "in the beginning of God's creating the heaven and the 


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