RE: John 1:1

From: Carl William Conrad (
Date: Wed Feb 11 1998 - 16:42:22 EST

I think it's become evident that this thread has gotten to the point where
it is not the meaning of the Greek text any longer that is being discussed
but theological perspectives from which the Greek text is being
approached. At this point it seems to me that the discussion (a) is
outwearing its usefulness to the parties in the discussion, and (b) is on
the verge of becoming a theological conflict. I think it's time, either to
discontinue the thread or else to restrict it very tightly to matters of
what the Greek text may legitimately be understood to mean.

On Wed, 11 Feb 1998, Stevens, Charles C wrote:

> At 12:42PM on Feb 11, 1998, Mark Joseph comments:
> << ... as the *Hebrew* of Gen. 1:1 (regardless of the possible meanings
> of the Greek phrase EN ARCHi, which is best seen as a literalistic
> translation of the Hebrew B:Re'SHiYT) refers to an absolute beginning,
> the possible translations "In the beginning of God's creating" and "At
> the beginning, when God began to create" having been convincingly
> refuted.>>
> I have not seen a refutation of these translations of "BR'ShYT BR'
> 'LHYM ...", nor would I expect there to be one *in B-Greek*. .
> In fact, what I have seen is a refutation of the LXX "EN ARXH EPOIHSEN
> hO QEOS ..." as being a *likely* translation of the Hebrew ("The New
> Jerome Biblical Commentary" article on Genesis; I forget the author of
> the article).
> Thus, I have three qualms about the propriety of these statements:
> I wonder about the propriety in this particular forum of describing a
> given translation of this Hebrew text as "having been convincingly
> refuted" without citing those refutations.
> I wonder about discussing the validity of a given translation of
> *Hebrew* text in this forum, which is intended not for discussions of
> *Hebrew* grammar and semantics, but of *Koine Greek* grammar and
> semantics.
> And I wonder whether such flat statements might have a tendency to be
> regarded as dismissive of the theological perspectives of those who do
> not agree that the only appropriate literal translation of Gen 1:1 is
> the traditionally-accepted one that is reflected in the LXX.
> -Chuck Stevens [SMTP:]

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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