Gen 1:1 "At first"?

Liz Fried lizfried at
Fri Sep 1 18:01:36 EDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Washburn [mailto:dwashbur at]
> Sent: Friday, September 01, 2000 5:12 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Gen 1:1 "At first"?
> > <Kerry>
> > > But isn't this the same usage as found in the beginning (GRIN!) of the
> > Gospel of John? En Arche ho Logos.......
> > > There is says "the", or am I really beginning to show of my
> vast fund of
> > ignorance
> > > on things Greek as well? Laugh!
> >
> > <Liz>
> > >No, there is no "the" just "in beginning" or "When beginning,"
> or "while
> > beginning" or "at first".
> > I agree, it's not a separate witness, just a quotation from the LXX.
> >
> > <Bill>
> > I'm starting to warm up to "at first". Does anyone have a
> problem with that?
> >
> > Also, there are zero occurences of "EN H ARCH" in the NT,
> Bill,
> That's because H is the nominative article, while after the
> preposition ARCH is in the dative.  It should be EN TH ARCH, but
> this phrase is not in the NT either.  In the LXX it only occurs in Dan
> 9:21, as opposed to 29 occurences of EN ARCH.  The list is as
> follows:
> <snip long and impressive list>
> Numbers in Jeremiah and Ezekiel may be a little...odd because of
> LXX differences.  The Ruth passage is especially interesting,
> because it refers to EN ARCH of barley harvest.  In this case it
> pretty well has to be definite despite the lack of the article.
> [snip]
> > It seems that EN ARCH is Koine for "in the beginning" or "at first".
I don't think this is a necessary conclusion. One would have to
consult Josephus or Philo or something. The LXX is a translation
from the Hebrew or Aramaic. As someone rightly pointed out on this
list, the construct in Hebrew & Aramaic does not take an article.
I.e., the man of god is ish ha elohim, not ha ish ha elohim, which
would be the divine man. The LXX is a strict translation of the Hebrew,
and so follows it's syntax and leaves out the article.
 I've noted many NT authors also follow
Hebrew syntax. I think they want to sound "biblical." You find in
the NT Hebrew word order, VSO, rather than the normal Greek,
SOV. Yet, you wouldn't assume that Koine Greek is VSO.
Also you have in the NT a totally artificial construction derived from the
which translates the vayehi of the Hebrew.
The LXX witnesses to the Hebrew it translates, not to Koine Greek.
You might say the same of the NT.

> Yup.
> Dave Washburn
> "Éist le glór Dé."
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