THE FIRST LETTER IN GENESIS
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At our last meeting we discussed the symbol located under the first letter of the first word in Genesis 1:1 -

Remember - Hebrew is read from right to left - so the first letter in the word is -

We learned that the symbol under the letter ( : ) should be translated as "a" instead of "the."  Therefore, using the traditional translation, Genesis 1:1 would begin - "In a beginning."  Today we will examine the "in" part of the translation.

Always keep in mind that, in almost every case, translators have more than one choice when they make their translations.  Once they make that choice their readers never know anything about the other options that their translators rejected.  

Discussing those other options isn't always easy.  One factor that makes this very difficult is that we are dealing with the words of the Bible.  People have strong beliefs about their Bible's words, even if they were written by a translator.  People forget that they are reading the words of translators, not those of the original author.  Just remember that if the words in your Bible are English, you are reading a  translation, not the original, and somebody had to choose those  English words.

So, let's return to the discussion of the first letter in Genesis.  The translator had other options than "in" when they made their translations.  Below are some of the other choices (HOLLADAY LEXICON page 32 column A):

(1) in; (2) among; (3) as; (4) within; (5) on; (6) according to; (7) into; (8) by; (9) with; (10) without; (11) against; (12) [away] from; (13) more than; (14) through [by]; (15) for; (16) because of, for the sake of; and (17) when.

Get your pen & paper and write down a few of the options for the first letter and the symbol under it.  Does the choice you make affect the meaning?  Does it affect your theology?  

Share your thoughts with others by using our new GENESIS DISCUSSION BOARD - just click here.  If you post a message to the GENESIS DISCUSSION BOARD we will also add you to our email list (if you include your email address).  You will then be notified when new studies are uploaded.

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