I’m going to steal, flat out, without any contribution to the gigantic guy what he may or may not have said in his latest carnival relating to stuff:
Peter Kirk (Gentle Wisdom) outlines John H. Walton’s argument for interpreting בראשׁית in Genesis 1.1 as a section header (“In the beginning”). Walton’s not-altogether-convincing argument is that בראשׁית would be a natural choice for the first element in a series to be continued by the תולדת formulae. Peter alsomakes some remarks about Robert Holmstedt’s 2008 article in Vetus Testamentum (“The Restrictive Syntax of Genesis i 1″ VT 58 (2008): 56-67) in which the latter argues on grammatical grounds for its interpretation as a restrictive relative clause: “In the initial period in which [God created]“.
A vigorousexchangeensuesbetweenRobert and Peter, during which Peter resorts rather desperately - within a single comment – both to assert his own right to free speech and to deny Robert’s right to freely quote from Peter’s blog (a right, of course, which is clearly allowed by the “fair use” exception)! Robert (Ancient Hebrew Grammar) then provides a clear summary of the grammatical considerations involved in interpreting the opening words of Genesis 1.1: בראשׁית ברא, addressing also the relation of that verse to what follows in Genesis 1.2-3. In a further post, Robert provides further parallels to בראשׁית ברא in ancient Hebrew which involve “a Topic-fronted Prepositional Phrase that is located before thewayyiqtol”, and analysis of the use of ויהי in Genesis.
This is mainly for my use later.