בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

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nili95
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby nili95 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:15 pm

S_Walch wrote:... Further evidence is that the LXX, the Greek translation of Genesis 1:1, done nearly 1000 years prior to the Masoretes vowel-points, reads: Εν αρχη εποιησεν ο Θεος τον ουρανον και την γην / "In [the] beginning, God made the heaven and the earth". This shows that even in the 3rd Century BCE, ראשית was understood in Gen 1:1 to mean "In the beginning", and not "When God started" etc., etc.

Sadly, my knowledge of Greek is pretty much limited to terms such as spanikopita. It should be obvious that I am not qualified to pass judgment on the quality of the Greek translations, but the LXX is clearly relevant. So, turning to the LXX Gen 1:1, is not the same Greek term used in Hos. 1:2 and, if so, does it not suggest the same equivalency as that suggested by Rashi?

Thank you.
L'Shalom,
Jay Frank

S_Walch
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby S_Walch » Fri Feb 05, 2016 2:05 pm

nili95 wrote:Sadly, my knowledge of Greek is pretty much limited to terms such as spanikopita. It should be obvious that I am not qualified to pass judgment on the quality of the Greek translations, but the LXX is clearly relevant. So, turning to the LXX Gen 1:1, is not the same Greek term used in Hos. 1:2 and, if so, does it not suggest the same equivalency as that suggested by Rashi?

Unfortunately Greek doesn't have words that differentiate between the nuances given by the Hebrew ראשית and תחיה, with the Greek αρχη translating quite a few Hebrew Tanakh words: ראש ; ראשית ; תחיה ; קדם ; ראשון ; ממלכה ; קצה ; ממשלה ; עולם ; צמרת ; פנה ; משרה ; קדמה, plus a few more single instances where it may be confusion on part of the Greek translator - this list are the most common ones :)

I should've specified that I was pointing to the LXX not to note that they were pointing out a difference between ראשית and תחיה, but rather that the translator took ראשית to be the absolute, and not the construct state of the noun - If they'd understood ראשית as being the construct state, then the words proceeding would be in the genitive case ("of" in English - the word "of" God etc., etc), which none of the Greek words in Gen 1:1 are:

Εν (preposition)
αρχη (noun, dative)
εποιησεν (verb, aorist ('past'-ish), indicative, active)
ο (definite article, nominative ('subject'))
Θεος (noun, nominative)
τον (definite article, accusative ('object'))
ουρανον (noun, accusative)
και (conjunction)
την (definite article, accusative)
γην (noun, accusative)

Compare this to Hosea 1:2, and the word following Αρχη in the translation - λογου - is the genitive case form of λογος, indicating that the translator has taken תחלת as being in the construct state, and so has then connected it to the following word by having it in the genitive case.

Looking at this and the Greek translation of both ראשית and תחיה as Αρχη, this may be the cause for why now in modern Hebrew there isn't really a distinction between the two - the Greek of the diaspora Jews has affected the understanding of Hebrew words.

Hope that helps!
Ste Walch

nili95
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby nili95 » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:47 pm

S_Walch wrote:...
Hope that helps!
It helped quite a bit. Thank you.
L'Shalom,
Jay Frank

kwrandolph
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby kwrandolph » Sat Feb 06, 2016 2:17 am

nili95 wrote:I understand -- certainly neither as deeply nor as extensively as you, but I do understand. But, with all due respect, I also understand that you did not address the question. I was hoping to get a recommendation for a dictionary of Biblical Hebrew that might address such differences in similar terms, and I was hoping to discover such a resource precisely because I recognize that my Hebrew-English dictionaries are inadequate.


The dictionary that I use, I wrote myself. It’s not perfect. I just sent you a copy.

nili95 wrote:But this raises a question similar to that concerning Biblical History dictionaries. I have behind me a number of Genesis translations and commentaries: Stone, Hertz, R.E. Friedman, Alter, Fox, JPS: Sarna, JPS: Plaut, JPS Etz Hayim, JPS: Jewish Study Bible, NRSV: New Oxford, and NICOT, and yet, to the best of my knowledge, none of them address the points raised here. You caution above about the "difficulty understanding Tanakh, unless it’s translated." Is there a translation that you feel is superior to the ones listed?


When I started my studies, all I had was a copy of the KJV, a grammar, two dictionaries (Davidson Analytical and Gesenius/Kautsch), a concordance (Lisowski) and the text of Tanakh itself. After a few times reading Tanakh through, I realized that the verbal system taught in all the textbooks is wrong, but I didn’t know what is correct.

Today my situation is not much different. I have a few more resources, but my main one is still Tanakh itself, I still have the concordance, but electronic searches are often faster. Just reading Tanakh over and over again is the main source of my knowledge of Biblical Hebrew. But I read it not for becoming a scholar in Biblical Hebrew language, but to learn God’s message.

Karl W. Randolph.

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SteveMiller
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby SteveMiller » Sun May 15, 2016 9:31 pm

nili95 wrote:Genesis begins ...

בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Many translations render this as "In the beginning, God created ...,"

Others, such as the JPS and Alter, offer "When God began to create ..." or something similar, falling short of asserting creatio ex nihilo.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.


"In the beginning God created" is what the Hebrew text says, which is creating out of nothing.
"When God began to create" is wrong. There is no "when" there in Hebrew. The verb "create" is simple perfect (completed action), not an infinitive or gerund. Verse 1 is not a dependent clause describing verse 2. It stands alone.

verse 1 is not a title of the chapter because verse 2 starts with "and".

the remaining verses of chapter 1 take place after v1. After v1, the heaven and earth already exist, having been created in v1.

Gen 2:4 is the summary of Gen 1:1-2:3. We know this from the content of Gen 2:4. Before Gen 2:4 is the creation and making of heaven and earth. Gen 2:5 should be the start of Chapter 2, which is the details of the creation of man.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

ralph
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby ralph » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:53 am

I think the ones that say "When God began to create" are taking the idea from Rashi..

The question is one of how Beraishit is mean to be parsed grammatically. It is an absolute noun, or is it a construct noun.

When you have 2 nouns one following another then the first is construct.. e.g. if you had the hebrew sus dovid then it'd mean Horse Of David. Though this isn't the case here. Even if beraishit were construct, the next word is a verb not a noun. So it seems most normal to translate it as absolute(though there is an example of construct then verb).

Groves Wheeler parses it as absolute noun. As one sees from bibleworks. The Septuagint translates it as absolute.

Sometimes a noun in its construct form looks the same as in its absolute form.

If one parses it as construct, then I think the cleanest translation(for parsing it as construct), would be "in the beginning of when God created the heaven and the earth".

like

Hosea 1:2 too. Techilat Diber Hashem BeHoshea - "In the beginning of when God spoke with Hoshea"

^^ which is an example of construct then verb.

I've seen some really awkward looking translations that ignore the grammatical parsings of the words after beraishit. The words after it are God created the heaven and the earth. Though some translations that try to make beraishit a construct, "in the beginning of", then say "God's creaetion of", or God creating. And that doesn't match the hebrew at all. Bara is paal perfect, it's never translated like that, it's created.


Here is rashi nicely formatted http://web.archive.org/web/201512102042 ... enesis/1:1 before the page mentions other commentators like the ibn ezra and the ramban.

Rashi must've seen it as possible grammatically to do either..absolute or construct.. so he makes an argument not based on grammar, to argue for it being construct. He thought that if you translate it as absolute then there's an implied subject.. e.g. In the beginning, God created, one could ask, in the beginning of what. It seems to him like it's saying in the beginning of everything. (I suppose one could say in the beginning of 'this story', or 'this account', though rashi doesn't mention that possibility!). Then he points out that, these verses can't be talking about the very beginning of creation, because there was water. "the spirit of god hovered over the water". So it's not "in the beginning of everything". It may also be that he thought that looking at other uses of beraishit, beraishit never has an implied subject. On another note, Judaism does believe in creation from nothing (Creation ex nihilo), though not necessarily those those verses, but from tradition or just basic theological philosophy that god is eternal and the universe isn't eternal and nothing else is eternal other than god. Rashi does say that it should be understood as "In the beginning of [God's] creation of"" , he wasn't translating and perhaps that is the inspiration for some funny looking translations

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SteveMiller
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby SteveMiller » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:22 am

Gen 1:1 was the beginning of everything.
Water was not already there. God created it in 1:1.
1:2 takes place after 1:1. The earth became waste and desolate.
Day one, which is not the first day ever, begins in 1:3 when God said, Let there be light.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

ralph
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby ralph » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:23 pm

@SteveMiller How do you know day 1 started at 1:3 and didn't start with Gen 1:1 ?

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SteveMiller
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby SteveMiller » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:13 pm

Ralph,
1. The numbers of all the days except day 1 are ordinal (2nd, 3rd ...), except that day one uses the cardinal number.
This is rather striking.
That implies day one was not the first day ever, which means it did not start in the beginning.

2. The text says that days 1 - 6 all end at the morning of the next day.
The text says days 2-7 all begin in the morning.
So each day is morning to morning.
The morning of day 1 is when God said, Let there be light.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

keiderlingt
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Re: בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים

Postby keiderlingt » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:25 am

his entire argument falls on the way the Hebrew consonants are vowel pointed, which are not more than Masoretic guesswork.


"Guesswork" is probably the wrong word to use - the Masoretes were preserving a tradition based on established rules that were grounded in Talmud (see Nedarim 37b:6 for example) and had much earlier roots. Israel Yeivin's "Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah" is a great place to start in understanding what they really were doing.
Timothy Keiderling


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