Gen 1:1 "When God began to create"?

Jane Harper jharper at
Tue Aug 29 18:33:22 EDT 2000

Michael Hildenbrand wrote:

> > <Bill>
> > Is the reading "In the beginning God created" really supposed to be "When
> > God began to create"? Or "In the beginning, when God was creating"?

> Bill,
>         This is another whole can of wiggly things.  There are three
> opinions on this one is "yes" and the other is "no."  8-)  Really, the
> question is extremely comples. 

Without getting into a sectarian brouhaha, it might be useful to point
out here that the classical Jewish commentaries, beginning with Rashi,
interpret it as "When G!d began to create," so one's answer will also
depend on one's tradition.  Rashi, in particular, hangs much of his
commentary on linguistic issues, but as he understood them in medieval
France, so from a comparative Semitic viewpoint they often don't hold
water, but Rashi is still an extremely powerful influence in some
portions of the Jewish community.

Jane Harper

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