[b-hebrew] Light be made versus Let there be light.

Steve Teague cosmos at intergate.com
Fri Oct 16 13:31:04 EDT 2009

Thanks, Karl. I have read other explanations, and it is difficult for a 
lightweight (or no weight at all) to know exactly what the text will 
support. Hence my interest in this list. But I suspect that in some matters 
there are multiple views based upon questions about the text (such as those 
expressed in HALOT for bereshyth) that are difficult to choose between based 
upon just the text as it is presently understood. Do you see it this way, or 
do you feel that it is all pretty much cut-and-dried?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "K Randolph" <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Light be made versus Let there be light.

> James and Steve:
> I can see the question as far as how best to render these ideas into
> English.
> But for the Hebrew, I can’t recognize your questions. Grammatically it is
> simple, common Hebrew, other than the subject matter. God commands the 
> light
> to come into existence, and it does.
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 2:17 PM, James Christian
> <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>wrote:
>> Just to make things clear I am not advocating that Wycliffe's translation
>> was superior to Tyndale's. Neither am I advocating the reverse. In fact I
>> am
>> not advocating anything. The issue is far from resolved in my mind. My
>> intention was to stimulate discussion to help me resolve the question. 
>> The
>> way I see it is this:
>> We are clearly attempting to translate a situation which does not occur 
>> in
>> everday life and so is difficult to find corresponding natural language
>> equivalents of as ideal target language translations.
> Yes, this was a one time event, never to be repeated.

I believe that this is your comment Karl. If so, does the text generate this 
view, does it come from the grammar or the context?
>> My understanding is
>> that Tyndale 'invented' the English idiom 'Let there be...' for this very
>> reason. So the question is this. Was the Hebrew also an example of such
>> rare
>> and funny sounding language?
> No.
>> I have reason to believe it wasn't. Did Moses
>> (or the author) make up a funny sounding Hebrew expression to express 
>> this?
>> Or did he reuse easily understood formulas and forms? I am not certain 
>> but
>> I
>> think he did. Can anybody suggest any similar formulas or forms from 
>> other
>> parts of the Tanakh? If so, this would seem to suggest implications about
>> the register of the language used in the creation account.
>> How about verses 6 and 14 in the same chapter, Genesis 30:34, 33:9, 
>> Exodus
> 10:10, Ruth 2:19, 1 Kings 8:57 and many more? No, grammatically, this is a
> common structure.
>> James Christian
>> As for translation, how would you render the above verses into English?
> Similar to Tyndale?

If this is your response (similar to Tyndale?), Karl, does the question mark 
signal reservations? If so, I would be very interested in knowing what they 
> Karl W. Randolph.

Steve Teague
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