Friday, November 11, 2011

Still on Genesis 1:1

“Thus, the nuanced meaning of bārāʾ that best suits the data is that it means ‘to bring something into (functional) existence’. It suggests the establishment of order often accomplished by making distinctions as roles, status, and identity are distinguished. In contexts where it may retain some of its latent etymology, it may even concern giving something a distinct (functional) existence. Nothing suggests that it should be considered an act of manufacturing something material. Thus, Gen 1:1 becomes, 'In the initial period, God brought cosmic functions into existence.'

“It is not on the basis of the semantic sense of bārāʾ that we draw the conclusion that Israel’s ontology was functional. The main evidence for this conclusion will be brought out in subsequent chapters. However, it is clear that the synchronic analysis of the verb bārāʾ becomes much simpler when the factor of Israelite ontology is brought into the investigation.”— Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, page 133

<idle musing>
Undoubtedly, I'm doing John a disservice here by posting the conclusions without the corresponding pages of backup. But, you'll just have to buy the book to find out how he backs it up!

A clever marketing ploy? Not really, I just didn't want to take up all the space necessary (besides, I might run into copyright issues for too much text). If you really are interested, I figured you'd buy the book anyway...
</idle musing>

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