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

Ken Smith kens at
Fri Mar 29 13:05:04 EST 2002

Actually, Liz, I expect that if the LXX and Vulgate were influenced by
Aristotle, it would be *against* creatio ex nihilo.  One of Aristotle's
maxims was *ex nihilo nihil fit*, and although I'll confess I'm very
unfamiliar with Aristotle's works, it's my understanding that Aristotle
taught that matter was eternal and uncreated.  The whole "first mover"
bit refers to getting the show moving, not to creating the matter.  Even
into the middle ages, when the Christian scholastics debated the
question of faith vs. reason, it was assumed that "reason" (i.e.,
Aristotle) taught that matter was eternal, and it was only by means of
"faith" (i.e., the Church) that they knew otherwise.

I'm not taking any position on whether Genesis 1:1 teaches creatio ex
nihilo -- I'm just pointing out that if later Christian and Jewish
teachers believed that it did, it wasn't because they were reading it
through the lens of Aristotle.

Ken Smith

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisbeth S. Fried [mailto:lizfried at] 
> Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 6:38 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Is R)$YT even a "time" word?
> Dear Peter,
> You don't think, deep in your heart, even a tiny bit
> that the LXX and the Vulgate were influenced by
> Arisotle???
> You said that Rashi had his own ax to grind.
> In fact, I'm sure that the rabbis also believed in creatio
> ex nihilo.
> THey were just as Hellenized as anyone else.
> According to an orthodox rabbi I know, it is heresy to think 
> otherwise. Rashi does not deny the principle, he denies that 
> the bible talks about it. And Isaiah denies that God created 
> tohu, and he is a LOT closer to the original writers than 
> either the LXX or the Vulgate. Give it up. Liz
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Peter Kirk [mailto:Peter_Kirk at]
> > Sent: Fri, March 29, 2002 2:34 AM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: RE: Is R)$YT even a "time" word?
> >
> >
> > Thanks to all who sent me the Vulgate text. I
> > think this demonstrates
> > (for what it's worth) that the Hebrew was
> > understood in the 4th century
> > CE, by Jerome and the Jews of Bethlehem who
> > helped him, in the sense "In
> > the beginning God created..."
> >
> > Peter Kirk

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