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

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Wed Mar 27 02:55:19 EST 2002

I totally agree. My point is more that the understanding I am promoting
is very ancient, and pre-Christian (at least on the scholarly consensus
for the date of LXX) despite Ian's allegations. That doesn't in itself
make LXX correct. On the other hand, typical examples of LXX error and
cluelessness involve obscure animals and plants, ambiguous pointing, and
cases where the translators seem to have used a different Hebrew text.
This verse doesn't fit any of those categories. But it has theological
significance, and so the LXX translation is a good witness to the
theology of the translators' community, which should have been derived
from the text but may also have been influenced by Hellenism, and of how
this text was understood by the community in the light of their
theology. So I don't think we can really call this an error. One might
allege theologically motivated distortion of the meaning, but that's
another matter.

I think we must also accept that Rashi's interpretation may also have
been influenced by analogous, though different in detail, theological
motivations. And of course so may ours.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Polycarp66 at [mailto:Polycarp66 at]
> Sent: 26 March 2002 18:07
> To: Peter_Kirk at; b-hebrew at
> Subject: Re: Is R)$YT even a "time" word?
> In a message dated 3/26/2002 2:39:28 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> Peter_Kirk at writes:
> >The LXX translators clearly understood BERESHIT as EN ARCHi, "in the
> >beginning", in an absolute sense. It is possible that the aorist has
> >inceptive sense here, so "In the beginning God began to create the
> >heavens and the earth". I have no quarrel with that understanding of
> >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
> >is quite different and EN ARCHi is absolute and unqualified.
> _________________
> Yes, but the LXX is not the final arbiter of what the author intended.
> The
> LXX has been found in error (or clueless) in more than one case.
> GfSomsel

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