[b-hebrew] Definiteness in bhebrew

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Mon Oct 19 08:56:33 EDT 2009


2009/10/19, George Athas <George.Athas at moore.edu.au>:
> Every discussion about whether or not the first word in Genesis should be
> understood as definite or indefinite is unfortunately shackled to the
> traditional English rendering. The Hebrew makes perfect sense in and of
> itself as adverbial. There is no need for any discussion of definiteness.
> The definiteness dilemma is purely the figment of English translations.

Any PP that gives temporal reference to the main verb is adverbial. This is
irrelevant to whether it is considered definite or not.

I suggest a better English rendering, which reflects the Hebrew more
> closely, is "At first".

;-) I quite like this translation as a competitor with 'In the beginning'.
However, it could be argued that 'At first' is implicitly definite in
English. This is the kind of question I'm trying to get to the bottom of.

James Christian

> Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)
> www.moore.edu.au
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