New Subscriber

somi somie at
Fri Nov 26 03:33:15 EST 1999

How amazing!  I am in the EXACT same boat (i.e. fairly new subscriber and
slowly taking an hour a day to translate through the Hebrew Bible) ...and I
ran into the EXACT same question as you did.  I am attempting to do a word
study through my Evan-Shoshan Concordance (recently purchased so my handling
of the book is a little slow as I get used to it).

My question more tends towards a possible distinction between tohu and bohu
and there is one, what sort of nuances do you suppose are being implied here
in this passage.  Is this a "ex nilho" expression or are talking about a

-----Original Message-----
From: Dr. Theodore H. Mann <thmann at>
To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at>
Date: Sunday, November 14, 1999 7:00 AM
Subject: New Subscriber

>I'm a new subscriber, and am pleased to be part of B-Hebrew.  I have
>participated in B-Greek for some time now, and I know enough about that
>language to understand most of the grammatical aspects of NT Greek.
>However, I know nothing at all about Hebrew, so I trust you will be patient
>with me, as I attempt to learn from you.
>Probably I will spend most of my time lurking, but from time to time a
>question will occur to me about the translation of some passage or other in
>the OT. My questions will no doubt be simple ones, since I don't know
>enough about the language to ask intelligent questions, and I have no
>significant Hebrew resources at my disposal.
>If I violate any of the list rules, please inform me.  Any violation on my
>part will be completely unintended.
>I do happen to have a question at this time:
>I have a translation that renders Gen. 1:2 as:  "But the earth became waste
>and emptiness, and darkness was on the surface of the deep."
>No doubt this is an issue that has been dealt with extensively in the past.
> If so, I would appreciate being directed to the appropriate entries in
>your archives.
>My question is:  Is this a valid translation of the verse?  I notice that
>the English translations I have consulted use the term "was," rather than
>"became," and most of them use "without form," rather than "waste."
>However, the NIV does include a footnote indicating that "was" could be
>translated "became."
>Thanks for your help.
>Dr. Theodore "Ted" H. Mann
>thmann at
>You are currently subscribed to b-hebrew as: somie at
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