bereshit (translations) Paul

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Mar 19 16:41:55 EST 2002

>I see a strong disconnect between this post and the response of yesterday:
>"Let me invent a criterion: if I see convincing evidence that a time phrase
>such as br'$yt can stand at the beginning of a >book without any 
>qualification, then I might consider it possible in the case of Gen 1:1, 
>otherwise I will consider the notion simply unsupportable speculation."
>It has been pointed out that we have clear indications from 2000+ years ago
>that this is exactly how people much closer to the language chose to
>translate this unit.  

The Vulgate was Jerome was it not? -- when creatio 
ex nihilo was already being supported. That leaves 
us with the LXX Genesis, when was it translated? Do 
you accept the tail of Aristeas as truth? Accepting 
it's evidence, we have one translation. Would you 
really want to base a case on it? And why isn't the 
verb epoihsen (poiew = create) an inceptive aorist?

Do you think it makes sense when analysing it that 
v.1 can talk about a creation separate from that 
found in the rest of the chapter? Not only does it 
nullify the seven day structure imposed upon it, 
but it also requires God to create confusion and 
emptiness [thw wbhw]. 

Isa 45:18 h'rc .. l'-thw br'h [l$bt ycrh].

And what do you think of the parallelism with the 
Babylonian creation account, Enuma Elish, in which 
the creator god quells the waters (Tiamat, cognate 
of tehom) with the aid of his wind, then proceeds 
to cut Tiamat in half and make the waters above and 
the waters below and create everything else from the 
remains of Tiamat? The operative idea being that 
the creation started upon the quelling of the waters 
not before.

>It is also true that this is the way that it has been
>seen by Hebrew scholars of the past, 

People like Rambam, but who before him?

>the same scholars and translators to whom you give so 
>much credence when it comes to complex structures
>supposedly governed by BY)M in Ezekiel.  

Whoa, Paul. I don't give so much credence to bywm in 
Ezekiel. I found the resistence to the idea that if 
one clause could in some way be attached to such a 
time phrase, then given the recursive nature of 
language more than one can also be attached, yet the 
response was, oh, yeah, well, show me one; and if you 
can't then you can't assume such a thing. I showed 
that such a thing exists in Eze, and is accepted as 
such in translation in various languages, to which 
the response was, well, how could the modern English 
translators have made such a mistake, to which I said 
it was not a mistake, but a modern style, etc, etc.

>You initially asked for comments,
>you got some back, and you started defending your position like it was
>obviously the best choice, 

This is not fair, Paul. I outlined more than one 
choice in the matter. I was pressed to defend the 
one I said I was inclined to, while the other 
possibilities were simply ignored.

>even though no other scholar has ever tried to
>tie all that package together like you have.  

I think you'll find it in rabbinical literature, 
probably Genesis Rabbah.

>It still sounds to me like you
>are already convinced.  

Well, I'm not.

>At the very least, you are not allowing yourself to
>be open to being guided by some whom have studied this language and seen its
>forms more than have you.  

I am open to guidance, not to being led up the garden 
path. The theory of languages I am well aware of. it 
is the practice in the specific language I'm always 
open about not having enough.

All I have seen is a basic lack of interest in the 
main issue of the relationship between time phrases 
and the clause which follows them. 

>So I have very good reason to "couch" my "comment
>like that."

"You have convinced yourself..." is typical flame 
material, and the content is simply wrong.


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