bereshit (translations) Paul

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Mar 19 11:04:33 EST 2002

>Since you have convinced yourself, 

Paul, you've got no reason to couch your comment 
like that. I have not convinced myself of 
anything. I don't operate like that -- and I have 
attempted to outline my procedures in the past. 
Let me give you a list of the various possible 
analyses (and you may happily add more if you can 
think of any):

1) br'$yt governs the clauses before v.3 which provides the 
   main clause;
2) br'$yt governs the first clause and v.2 provides the main 
   clause, Rashi's approach;
3) br'$yt governs the first clause and is a sentence fragment, 
   with v.2 attached to v.3, as a kind of heading seen 
   elsewhere in the literature;
4) br'$yt stands by itself unqualified and unrelated to 
   anything, making v.1 a main clause.

I have put forward biblical evidence that at least 
supports #2 and #3, and there is nothing that I 
have said that goes against position #1, which I 
have supported for literary structure -- though I'm 
not wedded to the idea. The first important thing I 
argued for was that not only do b-nouns take clauses 
but they are nearly always qualified in some way. 
This is met by the first three positions above.

Only later have I suggested position #1, for there 
is no reason I know of that if one clause can be 
subordinated, more than one can't. This is where the 
problem apparently arises. I have an arbitrary ban 
placed upon the possibility of b-noun time phrases 
taking more than one clause after I showed that they
could govern at least one and very often did. I 
thought the problem may have been that one thought 
that b-noun time phrases couldn't handle complexity 
of clauses, but no, it simply had to be more than one 
clause, so I eventually provide an example which is 
seen by translators of many languages to be such a 
beast, only to be told that as modern English 
translators don't translate it that way, it's not 
acceptable. (This is ultimately an argument as per 
position #2.)

As I said, I am not bound by position #1. It is how 
br'$yt relates to its context which is the point of 
contention. The evidence seems to point strongly 
against position #4. Nearly all b-nouns are 
qualified, by clauses, in constructs, with 
adjectives or in anaphora.

>then go ahead and publish it on the
>website you're building.  People then have the chance to accept or reject
>your conclusions.  As it is, this thread is going nowhere, because neither
>side is going to budge.

I am often "budgeable". I don't have a great 
knowledge of Hebrew, though I have a relatively 
good knowledge of linguistics. I put forward an 
analysis here because I was looking for feedback 
that was linguistically sound. I can often spot 
that sort of stuff, I have seen a lot of it here, 
and appreciate it. 

>In short, what's *your* point in trying to continue this if you are going to
>reject the comments that you receive when you put forth your proposition?

As I am not committed to a rearguard backs-to-the-
wall stalwart apologetics for position #1, I still 
would like to resolve the variety of possibilities. 


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