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

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Fri Sep 1 05:29:22 EDT 2000

Dear Lee,

I know we discussed this and we are discussing it again. We are discussing
whether this word is absolute or construct. You cannot simply jump into the
middle of the argument and make an unqualified statement that this is
construct (contrary to LXX, Vulgate and most English translations) without
dealing with the counter-arguments raised by myself and others on the list,
and by such well-known scholars as Waltke and Barr.

I don't agree with Bill's interpretation, and actually I rather like your
paraphrase (based on Rashi) in your posting addressed to Ian. Your
interpretation is one possibility. Bill's is also a possibility, though a
less likely one. These are both in addition to the three interpretations
which I mentioned before. But it is just not possible to say dogmatically
that one of them must be true and to dismiss another one in the way you have
done here.

Peter Kirk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee R. Martin" <lmartin at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Friday, September 01, 2000 1:55 AM
Subject: Re: Gen 1:1 "When God began to create"?

> Bill Ross wrote:
> > I lean toward "with" and because "beginning" has no definite article, so
> > flows better: "with a begininng" instead of "in a beginning".
> >
> Dear Bill,
> As we discussed some months (or years) ago, there is no definite article
> "beginning" because it is in construct.  The article does not attach to
> --
> Lee R. Martin
> Pastor, Prospect Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee
> Instructor in Hebrew and Old Testament
> Church of God Theological Seminary
> ---
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