Yet another translation of Genesis 1:1-2

Let’s do one interlinear in Hebrew (Dead Sea scrolls and most Masoretic read the same), one in Greek (LXX) and one from Jerome’s Vulgate in Latin, and see what we get.

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ
והארץ היתה תהו ובהו וחשך על-פני תהום
ורוח אלהים מרחפת על-פני המים

בראשית
bereshit
be- is a prefix meaning in, reshit means first or premier.
In ancient time

ברא
bara
cut, carve, create or fashion. Efraim were told to do this to a forest in Josua 17:18 but it is mostly use to describe what God has accomplished.
fashioned/prepared/created

אלהים
elohim
God
God

את השמים
eth hashmaim
eth is direct object marker, telling us it is the next-to-be-mentioned thing that was acted upon.
ha- is definite article
shmaim is probably dual of something like heaven or perhaps atmosphere
the heaven/the atmosphere

ואת הארץ
weeth haaretz
we means and, aretz or eretz means earth, land or ground, even soil as it appears from Psalm 72:6.
and the earth/and the land/and the ground

והארץ
wehaaretz
and the earth/and the land/and the ground

היתה
haithah
she was, however everything is either masculine or feminine in Hebrew and it doesn’t usually affect the story.
was

תהו
tohu
a desert where nobody can live, a wilderness, a place of mirages
sterile desert/empty wilderness

ובהו
wavohu
wa is and, vohu is emptiness, vacuum
and emptiness/and vacuum

וחשך
wechoshek
we is and, choshek is darkness
and darkness

על-פני
al-fenei
on surface. In Hebrew, the verb to be is often understood, so we need to supply it. English, on the other hand is peculiar with its obsession with definiteness, so we need to supply the definite article too.
[was] on [the] surface

תהום
tehom
the bottomless, never ending, sometimes used about large quantities of water such as the ones we find in seas.
of the deep/of the sea

ורוח
weruach
we means and, ruach is traditionally translated spirit in christianity but usually means wind in Hebrew, can also mean air.
and a wind/and the spirit/and air

אלהים
elohim
God
of God

מרחפת
merachefeth
me- could be a word-formation prefix meaning this is a new word created from the following verb – rachefeth, meaning to hover. It could mean anything similar to hovering. Or, me-, perhaps mi- may be a short form of the preposition min meaning from.
hovered (from?)/sweeped (from?)/oozed from

על-פני
al-fenei
on surface
on [the] surface/over [the] surface

המים
hamaim
ha- is definite article, maim means water
of the water

Let’s pick a blue colour for the Greek …

εν αρχῆ εποίησεν ὁ θεος τὸν ουρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν
ἡ δὲ γῆ ῆν αόρατος καὶ ακατασκεύαστος καὶ σκότος επάνω τῆς αβύσσου
καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ επεφέρετο επάνω τοῦ ὕδατος

εν αρχῆ
in early time, or in the first of time periods
In ancient time

εποίησεν
verb in aorist
made/built/appointed/esteemed

ὁ θεος
The o with a little breathing mark is the Greek definite article in masculine. When the word for god is used with definite article it typically means the god of the author so we translate with capital G or the god.
God

τὸν ουρανὸν
ton is definite article in accusative case, showing its following word to be the object.
the heaven

καὶ
and

τὴν γῆν
definite and accusative
the earth/the land/the dust

δὲ
This is never the first word of a sentence but usually comes second even when coming second involves appearing between a noun and its article.
but/however

ἡ γῆ
the earth/the land/the dust

ῆν
was

αόρατος
a- prefix negates horatos, which means something like be seen. However, knowing that ὁρατός, from ὁράω, contain the same sounds as Hebrew ראה meaning see, expect, inspect, look at with kindness, face off in battle, look after and more, it is hard to pin down the meaning this word may have had to the jews who made the Septuagint.
unseen

καὶ
and

ακατασκεύαστος
a- negating prefix, -kata- means according to, κατασκευάζω could mean to make an artwork or furniture, to build something
unfurnished/unprepared/empty

καὶ
and

σκότος
darkness

επάνω
[was] above/on top

τῆς αβύσσου
genitive. Abyss is a mysterious word that might relate to something that no longer exists, or something that science has given us a new word for.
of the enormous/of the bottomless/of the great deep

καὶ
and

πνεῦμα
Has the same set of meanings as Hebrew ruach. For air, αήρ would be an alternative, but seems to be used in the sense of sky in LXX – 2 Samuel 22:12, Psalm 17(18):11(12).
and a wind/and the spirit/and air

θεοῦ
It says πνεῦμα θεοῦ, not πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ which would have meant God’s spirit/wind/air.
divine/of a god

επεφέρετο
middle person, imperfect
was brought upon

επάνω
above/on top

τοῦ ὕδατος
genitive.
of the water

Green colour for Jerome!

in principio creauit ds caelum & terram
terra autem erat inanis & uacua et tenebrae erant super faciem abissi
et sps di ferebatur super aquas

in principio
As a start/In the beginning

creauit
perfect of creo or some similar verb
has created/has built/has elected/has ordained

ds
The line is actually above the two letters. It is a nomina sacra – an abreviation used to represent a holy name because it was too holy to be written or for the purpose of saving space, as writing material was expensive. ds is short for Deus, meaning God or a god.
God

caelum
accusative. In Latin the definiteness of a clause need to be determined from context or from another language version. We supply the from Hebrew and Greek.
[the] heaven/[the] sky

&
This symbol is read et, and means and. With a whole lot of fantasy, you will be able to perceive the letters et in the symbol as written εt.
and

terram
accusative
[the] earth/[the] soil

terra
[the] earth/[the] soil

autem
though/however

erat
he/she/it was
was

inanis
sterile/empty

&
and

uacua
vacuous/empty

et
Sometimes it is spelled out.
and

tenebrae
darkness

erant
3rd person plural imperfect of to be
were

super
over/upon

faciem
accusative
[the] face

abissi
genitive
of [the] bottomless/of [the] sea

et
and

sps
spiritus
[the] wind/[the] spirit

di
Dei, genitive of Deus – God
of God

ferebatur
passive voice, imperfect
was made to flow/was set in motion/was produced/was carried

super
over/upon

aquas
[the] water

Let’s put them side by side:

In ancient time In ancient time As a start/In the beginning
fashioned/prepared/created made/built/appointed/esteemed has created/has built/has elected/has ordained
God God God
the heaven/the atmosphere the heaven [the] heaven/[the] sky
and and
and the earth/and the land/and the ground the earth/the land/the dust [the] earth/[the] soil
and and
and the earth/and the land/and the ground the earth/the land/the dust [the] earth/[the] soil
but/however though/however
was was was
sterile desert/empty wilderness unseen sterile/empty
and and
and emptiness/and vacuum unfurnished/unprepared/empty vacuous/empty
and and
and darkness darkness darkness
were
[was] on [the] surface [was] above/on top over/upon [the] face
of the deep/of the sea of the enormous/of the bottomless/of the great deep of [the] bottomless/of [the] sea
and and
and a wind/and the spirit/and air and a wind/and the spirit/and air [the] wind/[the] spirit
of God divine/of a god of God
hovered (from?)/sweeped (from?)/oozed from was brought upon was made to flow/was set in motion/was produced/was carried
on [the] surface/over [the] surface above/on top over/upon
of the water of the water [the] water

There are a few things we have not accounted for. Some believe ruach elohim uses elohim as an adjective meaning awesome or great. If so, it may be translated as god-wind as in Swedish Bibel2000 ”en gudsvind”. That is an interesting option.

In Hebrew, the word for and is just one letter and is used frequently in narration, so much that it takes on special properties. When translating, we are obliged to include it, but when we paraphrase, as most so called translations do, we may omit it to make the text flow better. Its function is mostly to allow the story teller to ponder what to say next without getting interrupted, or some similar function marking the speech as narration so that people understand that they should listen.

From here, you may want to puzzle out your own translation or paraphrase.

Here is mine:

In ancient time created God the atmosphere and the soil.
The land was sterile and vacuous and darkness was the surface of the sea
when God’s air oozed from the water surface.

ֵEdit 2014-10-02: corrected spelling of erets האתץ -> הארץ

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