Posted By MSH on February 22, 2010
John Hobbins has a helpful post offering links to the critiques of the thesis of Ellen Van Wolde that Hebrew bara’ does not mean “create”. John Walton’s recent book The Lost World of Genesis 1, positively reviewed by me here and (soon) in print, has popularized this view. As I noted in my review, I think Walton’s overall thesis (Genesis 1 is pre-scientific cosmology and has religious motivation) is quite sound and does *not* depend on this idea of bara’ (which I don’t buy into either). In other words, one can easily defend the idea that Genesis 1 has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with Israelite religion and cosmology (polemic or not), from many textual trajectories without respect to this notion of bara’.