at the beginning of separated gods:
genesis 1:1 (bbe, ojb, and my translation):
In the beginning of separated Elohim,
hashomayim (the heavens, Himel),
and haaretz (the earth).
first three words of the Bible In Hebrew:
b'reishit ([at the beginning of]),
professor of exegesis Ellen van Wolde:
. the Hebrew word "bara"
should be translated as 'separated'.
"Too Jewish" radio`Rabbi Sam Cohon:
. there is an error in the first line of the bible;
it says "at the beginning of"
and then what should follow is a noun;
but instead there is the verb "created" [or "separated"].
[ so if it is not incorrect,
what seems to be a verb is actually participle
ie, a verb used as an adjective for a following noun.]
critiques of gen 1:1:
While most translations agree that
the translation of Genesis 1:1 should read,
“In the beginning…”
[the Hebrew for that is b’reishit or Bereshit]
the (Jewish) JPS translation offers instead,
“When God began to create…”
And the NLT and some others
offer a footnote with that possibility.
What’s going on?
The answer dates back 1,000 years to RASHI.
[RAbbi SHlomo Itzhaki, born 1040]
He notes that the usual word for “in the beginning”
would be barishona.
And he further notes that b’reishit
is never used except preceding a noun
to mean “at the beginning of.”
He therefore concludes that Genesis 1:1
does not say that
creation took place “in the beginning,”
but rather that it was “in the beginning of”
creation [or separated gods]
that the first part of the story takes place.
For his analysis to work,
he needs the verb bara to be a participle
[a verb and used as an adjective].
Rashi is right that b’reishit
is never used except before a noun,
but there are only four other times the word is used,
all of them in Jeremiah, and all of them before
nouns having to do with “kingdom” or “reign.”
[separated kingdom, reign, or gods].
Dirk Vlasblom 2009:
According to Van Wolde
the people who lived in the 7th and 8th century BC,
when Genesis was created, did not believe that
"in the beginning there was nothing".
The professor draws the conclusion that
the book of Genesis does not speak of
'creation from nothing' (creatio ex nihilo).
. in the conceptual universe of the ancient Near East
creating amounted to separating, giving things a place.