“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.“ (Genesis 1:1)
[In Genesis 1:1, a] problem comes with the subject that follows the verb bârâ’ (Strong’s #1254):— עלהים ‘elôhîym (Strong’s #430). This word [‘elôhîym] is generally considered one of the special names of God. It is not, however, some unique Hebrew word or name such as the 4 letter tetragrammaton YHVH (Yahweh, or less likely Jehovah) as it is simply the word for “god” and is virtually the same in Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic and Arabic, although none of these have this exact plural form and stick to a singular noun. [In] my Hebrew Word Study on ‘elôhîym [I] note that it is also used, albeit rarely, to describe other gods, angels, judges or even men of might. This word, when written with the suffix –îm, usually indicates the plural implying “gods”. Now here is the crux of the problem. The opening verse of Scripture in the original Hebrew seems to imply that God had help in creation with His own pantheon of gods.
In about 10% of its biblical uses ‘elôhîym is translated “gods” with a small “g”. Clearly the contexts do not refer to YHVH God but on what basis can we translate differently in Genesis 1:1 and avoid the idea that a Greek, Roman, Egyptian or Babylonian styled oligarchy of gods rules and created the earth?
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Author: K. J. Went
Keywords: Elohim, Triplural, Tri-plural, Plural of majesty
Bible reference(s): Genesis 1:1
Source: Difficult Sayings.
Page indexed by: inWORD Bible Software.