In the beginning… (Genesis 1.1)
I have always heard the opening line of Genesis said as:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And then going on about how at first the earth was a formless void.
However, the good book that I am reading from also has this translation:
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,
And then goes on about how the earth was a formless void.
What’s interesting is the way that ONE word could change the meaning of what is happening here. The first option, without “when,” makes it sound very firm, as though it’s saying “It all started when God started!” and then proceeding to describe it in more detail. The second option, with the “when” in there, is written as if it’s talking about what things were like before/during the time that God started creating stuff.
Which is it? Was there nothing before God started to create the heavens and the earth, and he made the earth a formless void? OR was God hanging out in the formless void and decided to make earth out of it?
The “when” is not in the Hebrew, btw (though idk if it exists in ancient Hebrew).
And doesn’t “in the beginning” have a temporal connotation?