Is Gen 1:1 to be translated as part of an adverbial phrase or as an independent main clause?

In other words, is it “God created” or is it “When God created, …” with either Gen 1:2 or 1:3 the consequent of “when”? In the first case, God created a primordial universe, then structured and filled it; in the second case, God created a complete universe, and thereafter that previously good universe was reduced to chaos—as if there were a “gap” between 1:1 and 1:2. This is a common theory, but, without getting into the tedious details, there is nothing in the text to support it. For one thing, “when” does not appear in the text. Moreover, the notion that God would begin with an unshaped, empty universe makes excellent sense considering that the rest of Genesis 1, he is shaping and filling the universe.

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