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

Loren Crow lorencrow at
Wed Aug 30 15:05:54 EDT 2000

For a good discussion of this issue, check out James Barr's discussion of
the passage in the recent Walter Brueggemann festschrift.  It's quite well
done.  Sorry, I don't have the book here, so I can't be more specific.

Barr concludes that the rendering "When God began to create..." is based on
mistaken assumptions about Hebrew grammar, and that the rendering "In the
beginning, God created..." is more likely.  He does not go so far as to
argue that this is creatio ex nihilo, but he says that this meaning cannot
be ruled out.

Loren D. Crow, Ph.D.            Email: lorencrow at
Department of Religion            Web:
Wiley College                  Office: (903) 927-3219
Marshall, Texas  75670            Fax: (903) 927-3334

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