Thursday, November 06, 2008


Reading some of the back notes on Taleb's Fooled By Randomness blog, I hit this quote about halfway down. Intriguing. I had read long ago that "Elohim" is a plural, but also a unity, with a comparison for the Hebrew for "a bunch of grapes" given. Christians should be cautioned that there is nothing about tri-unity in the word, just plural unity. Whether my original knowledge or this addition by Taleb is correct or merely a misconception I cannot say. Anyone who knows more, please enlighten us. Taleb is a Lebanese Christian by background, fluent in many languages.
I had a similar experience when, in my classical period, I tried to read the old testament in the text. I knew a little bit of the Aramaic of the Northern Levant, but not Hebrew. I opened the book, started deciphering and was shocked after reading the very first sentence of the very first book, Genesis. What had been translated into “In the beginning, G**d” was not so in the original. אלהים Elohim is a plural form that could mean “the gods”. What is so monotheistic about “the gods”? And B-reshit בראשית does not necessarily mean the beginning –I see no temporal dimension. It is from “rosh”. It is more likely to mean “principally”.

1 comment:

Donna B. said...

Plural gods and a "timeless" beginning would help make sense of Genesis as a whole.