Gen 1:2

Bill Rea cctr114 at
Thu Aug 23 17:25:54 EDT 2001

Tony asked:-

>  I was just thinking about Gen 1:2 with regards to RuaCH 'eLoHiYM. Is 
>'eLoHiYM used here without the definite article an adjective or still a 

On some occasions elohim is used as an adjective. In Jonah Nineveh is
described using elohim as adjective describing it's greatness. But
here it's not so clear cut. It seems to me to be a noun and the best
translation is Spirit of God.

>While most translations render this verse "the Spirit of God", a few 
>have rendered it "an awesome wind". The NWT (New World Translation of the 
>Holy Scriptures) published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of 
>Jehovah's Witnesses render it God's "active force". Can someone comment on 
>why the preferred reading is "Spirit of God" in this passage, and would 
>"active force" as used in the NWT be a faithful translation of the original 
>Hebrew? Many thanks.

The mighty wind or awesome wind or some similar translation is
valid but I don't think it fits the context as well. As for the
"active force", well, I think they're out in paraphrase land. All
translations show their biases at some point. We had a similar
discussion of one their translations of a passage in Isaiah and
I felt they were paraphrasing for their own theological purposes
in that passage as well. 

Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_ 
E-Mail b dot rea at it dot canterbury dot ac dot nz             </   New 
Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                   /)  Zealand 
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