I am trying to find out what is the closest to the original reading of Genesis 1:1. Or just Genesis 1:1a בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית

I couldn't see from other posts what this papyrus/manuscript would be.

(What is the oldest existing copy of Genesis?)

If anyone can point me to one or two texts that would be great.

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? What is the oldest existing copy of Genesis?
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 16:23
  • No that does not help at all. I read through it and it doesn't cover the first couple of words of genesis. I am looking for the first couple of words. Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 3:48
  • Sorry I only read the title before searching for a duplicate.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 3:51
  • the Qumran, Caves 1-8 come close to what I need, however it starts at Genesis 1:18 and up. Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 4:10
  • maybe this: Qumran Cave 4 Genesis 1:1–27; 2:14 Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 4:21

2 Answers 2


I found the answer.

4Q Genesis g

Date: 100–1 BC, Late Hasmonean Period

Language: Hebrew

Among the oldest known copies of Genesis. ... “In the beginning[,] God created the heavens and the earth. ..."



Paul, I too have looked to find what words God did actually speak as it is so often changed. My answer may be too late, and not what you are looking for, but so many people seem to throw so much of what God treasured and loved away in creation, that it upsets me. Who is more important than God in his word? What he said in the beginning has been removed. If God made it, He thought it out, and it is His creation. He loves his beautiful- very old trees, and He loves all of the living things he created. He did not create things to be thrown away as trash. Anything that has the ability to love you back, has a soul. He made this for a reason. Many people do not have such a loving mind, cannot connect with love. People can get angry at this. Often we are alone, and feel unloved, but the love of a dog can help us survive. A dog can heal the sick with their love. God created this and it is not a coincidence. Horses love. Cats. Many things that I have not experienced can love, so I do not mean to leave them out. I found that the "Interlinear Bible" translated by Jay P. Green has given me what I looked for. The single edition which contains all books, Old and New Testament, has very tiny letters. You may need visual aid to read it. But if you get the 4 book Volume, it is much easier to read. I hope this helps you somehow, and if I am off course, I do apologize. I know that this will get twisted by those that disagree, but those that have deep love in their heart for all will know. The Interlinear Bible, God gives his animals a living breathing soul. So much more I could write which would create a fuss I am sure.

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    – agarza
    Commented May 21, 2023 at 16:54
  • @Suz Your answer fails to apply to the posted question, and does not begin to answer it. It is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Peace.
    – ray grant
    Commented May 27, 2023 at 22:17

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