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Bibil Identifier bibil:204228
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Why the Verb ברא Does Not Mean 'to Create' in Genesis 1.1-2.4a
Author van Wolde, Ellen
Journal Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (Volume: 34, Issue: 1)
Response article To Create, to Separate or to Construct: An Alternative for a Recent Proposal as to the Interpretation of ברא in Gen 1:1–2:4a
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Year (Second publication) 2009
Language English
Pages 3-23 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The linguistic and textual examination of the seven usages of the verb ברא in Genesis 1 leads to the conclusion that the verb ברא in Genesis 1 does not mean ‘to create’ but ‘to separate’. This hypothesis is subsequently tested against external evidence from cognate literature in Mesopotamia. In these Mesopotamian accounts of creation, the opening lines often describe the (divine) acts of separation of heaven and earth. The Sumerian verb bad and the Akkadian verb parasu employed in these texts designate clearly ‘to separate’. Textual evidence from the Hebrew Bible appears to support this hypothesis, too, for example, the fact that in the Hebrew Bible the noun ‘creator’ is never expressed with the participle of ברא, but always with the participle of other verbs. Thus, based on internal and external linguistic and textual evidence and on a controlled argumentation, it is highly plausible and very likely that the type of action expressed by the verb ברא in Genesis 1 is of a very concrete, spatial and physical character, and can be rendered by ‘to separate’. Finally, an analysis is made of the differences between הבדיל and ברא.
DOI 10.1177/0309089209348155
Pericopes Genesis 1,1-2,4
Terms בּרא
Last modification 2010-05-05