The beginning of the Bible states:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 ESV)
בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ

In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. (LXX-Genesis 1:1)
ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν

Wouldn't this translation say the same thing?

In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth.
ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν

What does the translator convey by translating אֱלֹהִים as ὁ θεὸς rather than θεὸς?

  • Would it be safe to assume that you are unfamiliar with Greek ? – Lucian Jun 11 '20 at 16:45
  • @Lucian Well I would assume ὁ θεός would mean the God just as τὸ φῶς means the light. But there does not appear to be any translator which understands ὁ θεός as such. – Revelation Lad Jun 11 '20 at 16:50
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    Not all languages possess the same type of syntax. – Lucian Jun 11 '20 at 16:56
  • @RevelationLad—Please see my answer to another question. – Der Übermensch Jun 11 '20 at 17:24
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    No one "added" anything. Hebrew does not translate word-for-word into Greek, nor Greek into English. – Lucian Jun 11 '20 at 17:46

Waltke & O'Connor Biblical Hebrew page 240 says Elohim is a unique appellative that is "inherently definite." Terms like these are used "more or less as names."


"The anarthrous form is more common in the Pentateuch."

The word is a plural form with a singular verb and as such cannot be confused with a numeric plural.

Greek has no way of duplicating this identification and is naturally articular, especially for a nominative subject.

The ο θεός is also semantically a convertible proposition that unpacks to "He being God" or "ο ων θεός."

Thus the author assumes the existence of God and does not merely assert it.

That being said, this is translation Greek. I would not make any comparisons to native idiomatic Greek.

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