Ex nihilo? Was Raqiyah
mc2499 at mclink.it
Wed Jul 24 20:07:30 EDT 2002
>I don't accept your "given that the first creative act according to
>the imposition of the seven day week was that the first act of creation
>began on day one...". This is one interpretation, but it is also quite
>possible to understand the Hebrew to imply two stages,
This would seem to mean that the creation from which
God rested on the seventh day was not the whole
creation and there were not just six days of creation.
Is that right?
>first a creation
>(perhaps ex nihilo) of a formless earth along with the heavens, followed
>by seven days of shaping of the earth.
If one is going to create something ex nihilo, there is
no reason to create it formless. Why not create it as
it was "meant to be" from the start rather than creating
a formless version then fixing it up? There is one step
Incidentally, how do you conceive of this earth which
is created in the first phase of the two-step which you
are hypothetically putting forward?
Verse 2:3 says that God blessed the seventh day because
he rested from all his works which he had created [br']
and made [`$h]. Does this allow the two-step, alias the
"double creation" which is the blind alley into which
creatio ex nihilo eventually always leads?
>(By the way, I am not stating
>this as my theological position.) At least I have not seen any clear
>linguistic arguments to rule out this second interpretation.
Morphological and syntactic arguments are not all which
need to considered.
>And I would
>rather clarify the linguistic arguments before considering any
>theological ones - after all, this list is for language not theology.
Which includes the literary structure of the texts
dealt with. Stylistics ans Semantics are important
fields within linguistics.
>Your discussion of the aorist in LXX seems to presuppose that the
>commonest meaning of the aorist, as a punctiliar past, cannot apply
>here, and so you search out other meanings, as inceptive or overview,
>which are possible but relatively rare.
Did the creation of the heavens and the earth
finish in v1? Obviously not. Things which were
part of the heavens and the earth were being
created from day 1 in v3. The creation was not
punctiliar, so there is no reason to talk of a
punctiliar aorist here.
>For you write "It certainly is
>not a punctiliar aorist -- as it's not a punctiliar action." But you
>have no linguistic argument that it is not a punctiliar action (at least
>as the LXX translators understood the Hebrew), only a theological one.
>(I am asking a Greek scholar friend to comment further on this.) I could
>argue in the opposite direction, that the Greek implies a punctiliar
As this is clearly not the case, then anything
built upon it doesn't work.
>therefore that is how they understood the original Hebrew,
>therefore that is the meaning of the original Hebrew. But I see a flaw
>in that argument, that the LXX translators (whose Hebrew may have been
>weak) may have misunderstood the original Hebrew author's intention.
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