Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Genesis: Its Title



1. Whence is it called Genesis? ספר יצירה בראשית. The first book of the Pentateuch is called Genesis, Generation or rising, ἐπειδὰν καὶ Γένεσιν πάντων περιέχει, ῥανοῦ τε καὶ γῆς· καὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, καὶ τῶν Φαινομένων τούτων ὅλων, καὶ αὐτὴν τὴν τοῦ παραδείσου Φυτείαν, because it includes the generation of all things, of Heaven and earth, of men, and of all things that are seen, and the planting of that Paradise, as Saint Athanasius speaks in his Synopsis.[1] But the very name was taken from Genesis 2:4, in which the words,תוֹלְד֧וֹת הַשָּׁמַ֛יִם וְהָאָ֖רֶץ , are translated in Greek, βίβλοι γενέσεως οὐρανοῦ, the books of the Genesis, or generation, of Heaven and Earth. To the Hebrews it is called בְּרֵאשִׁית, in the beginning, from the first and initial word of the book. Sometimes it is also called ספר יצירה, book of the creation.

[1] The Synopsis Scripturæ Sacræ, an ancient treatise on the Canon of Scripture, was traditionally ascribed to Athanasius, but was probably written in the sixth century.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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