Is R)$YT even a "time" word?

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Tue Mar 26 02:38:22 EST 2002

Ian, Enuma Elish indicates when the Babylonians thought creation
started, Rashi indicates what some Greek philosophers thought about
this, LXX indicates what other Greeks thought. None tell us directly
what the ancient Israelites thought.

The LXX translators clearly understood BERESHIT as EN ARCHi, "in the
beginning", in an absolute sense. It is possible that the aorist has an
inceptive sense here, so "In the beginning God began to create the
heavens and the earth". I have no quarrel with that understanding of the
Greek, though I doubt if the Hebrew can mean that. But the Greek does
not mean "In the beginning of God's creating...", the sentence structure
is quite different and EN ARCHi is absolute and unqualified.

I have separately refuted each of your individual arguments when you put
them forward. If you can't put together the separate refutations, send
me a full list of all your arguments and I will send a summary list of
all my refutations in one e-mail.

But of course you have no idea what I am talking about because you don't
derive the meaning of phrases and sentences from the meanings of words.
What do you derive my meaning from? Your prejudices about what you
expect a stereotypical evangelical Christian to say? That might explain
some of your responses.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ian Hutchesson [mailto:mc2499 at]
> Sent: 25 March 2002 21:29
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Is R)$YT even a "time" word?
> >No, Ian, B- in BERESHIT is not analogous to be- in "behind", despite
> >purely accidental cross-linguistic similarity.
> Perhaps the notion of analogy was a little to
> difficult here. I am looking at the way
> combinations take on extra meaning, not any
> literal significance that behind might share
> with br'$yt. Duh. Try again, Peter. You simply
> cannot get significance by mathematically
> adding up the value of the parts. That is just
> ridiculous.
> [..]
> >Ian, you wrote, "Your "interpretation" is pure eisegesis from the
> >philosophical influence in early Christianity." Well, actually most
> >accept that LXX at least of the Pentateuch is pre-Christian.
> You are not dealing with the LXX, you are
> interpreting it through creatio ex nihilo.
> What do you think of the verb form in
> Greek being inceptive aorist?
> >But my main
> >reply is this: I would say that your "interpretation" is pure
> >from a different kind of Greek philosophical influence in medieval
> >Judaism, compounded by eisegesis from Babylonian mythology.
> This is tit-for-tat. Please think again.
> You have this bad habit of forgeting that
> arguments are made up of a number of
> parts thinking if you forget one and try to
> rubbish one that will be sufficient.
> You have no grammatical support for your
> understanding of the first part of the
> account. I have shown that br'$yt is always
> qualified and that each b-time phrase is
> also qualified. You then pick on an example
> which holds no relevance, because it is not
> a b-time phrase, and try to argue that it is
> somehow relevant.
> The seven day structure shows when the creation
> started, ie at the beginning of the first day,
> ie when God first spoke. Each day starts with
> God speaking. You forget this.
> The Enuma Elish also indicates when the creation
> started, ie when Tiamat/tehom was overcome.
> There are three independent but interlocking
> sources that show what the structure of the text
> is. You have said, well, b-time phrases need not
> be relevant. You say, ummm, I can't see any
> relationship between Genesis and the Enuma Elish
> while we have various elements of similarity.
> I can  only see your approach as a tendentious
> refusal to look at fairly transparent relevant
> data, tendentious because you support something
> that just is not in the text, but in some
> external belief system.
> Ian

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