Gen 1:1. Kermess

Liz Fried lizfried at
Wed Aug 30 23:15:03 EDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk

> PK: Here you seem to be raising a textual issue. The unpointed text is
> ambiguous, it could be a QATAL form, an infinitive, or various other parts
> of the verb. But I note that the LXX and (I think) Vulgate translators
> understood the Hebrew (and so translated) along the lines of "In the
> beginning God created...". It is only in the modern period (which
> would just
> include Rashi), after the pointed Masoretic text was in general use, that
> anyone has suggested that this text means anything else. So you cannot
> attribute alternative interpretations to use of unpointed or otherwise
> variant texts.
If you refer here to the pointing under the bet in bereshit, the LXX and the
GJohn 1:1 have en arxh, so the pointing under the b is a schwah. There is no
*the*. Therefore it seems it ought to be translated as "when" or "at first".
Quoting Rashi again, he argues that every case where you have breshit, or
betehillat, it is in the construct. Jer. 26:1; Gen 10:1; Deut. 18:4;
Hos.1:2, but
he states that bara must be read brw(.
> >
> > >have
> > >dropped the "and" at the start of verse 2.
> >
> > Do you translate every w- you find in the OT/HB?
> PK: I don't translate it on a word for word basis (note that I was talking
> about a ridiculously over-literal translation). But I do take
> every w- into
> account when deciding on the exegesis of difficult passages. If
> there is an
> unexpected w-, or absence of w-, I don't ignore it.

I think you had a but, a but implies "at the time when".
I think you said "in the beginning God created heaven and earth,
but the earth was ...." The but implies, at the time when God began
to creat the earth was ...and water was ....
So even this translation implies that earth and water existed perhaps as
(but I don't picture it that way, I picture it as the text says, the earth
dark and
completely covered with water) prior to God's creative activity.

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