Neofiti Genesis 1:1


1 From the beginning with wisdom the Memra of the Lord created and perfected the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth was waste and unformed, desolate of man and beast, empty of plant cultivation and of trees, and darkness was spread over the face of the abyss; and a spirit of mercy from before the Lord was blowing over the surface of the waters. 3 And the Memra of the Lord said: “Let there be light” and there was light according to the decree of his Memra. 4 And it was manifest before the Lord that the light was good; and the Memra of the Lord separated the light from the darkness. 5 And the Memra of the Lord called the light daytime and the darkness he called night. And there was evening and there was morning: (in) the order of the work of creation, first day.

John 1:1

New Testament

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. 6 A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

 Notes and References

"... “the Memra of the Lord”; text of Neofiti has: “the son of the Lord,” ... However, in Christian tradition from earliest times the opening word of Genesis was understood to mean “in the Son” (= Jesus, the Word); see Jerome, Hebraic quaest., in Genesis 1:1 citing 'Altercation of Jason and Papiscus'; Tertullian and Hilary ...The original Palestinian Targum probably read: “From the beginning in wisdom the Memra of the Lord created”; see also 2 Ezra 6:38, 43: “In the beginning of creation you spoke the word ... and your word perfected (i.e., carried out, completed) the work.” On the possible relationship of 2 Ezra to Palestinian Targum., see D. Munoz Leon, 1974, 1975 ..."

McNamara, Martin Targum Neofiti 1, Genesis (p. 52) Liturgical Press, 1992

"... Many scholars who deny any connection of the Memra with the Logos insist instead that the only relevant background for the Logos is the Wisdom of the Bible and later Jewish literature. However, as Gary Anderson points out, the Targum also reveals close connections between the Memra and the figure of Wisdom. Once we understand how Logos, Memra, and Wisdom were all related in the thought world that produced these texts, we are prepared to locate the role these concepts jointly play in the beginning of Christianity's origins, its articulation of its differences from 'Judaism' in the Prologue to John. We 'can presume that hokma and logos are related concepts,' and in that case, 'the understanding of bereshit/beginning in Targum Neofiti would provide a remarkable parallel to John 1:1 ..."

Boyarin, Daniel The Gospel of the Memra: Jewish Binitarianism and the Prologue to John (pp. 243-284) Cambridge University Press, 2001

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