Septuagint - the Apostles Bible???

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jesus is Lord, May 26, 2003.

  1. Jesus is Lord

    Jesus is Lord
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    Some people told me that the OT-Version the Apostles (and even Jesus?) used is the greek translation of the OT, the Septuagint.

    If that is true. Why are we so excited about the Masoretic Text? We could use the same Bible the Apostles used???

    I am really interested in what you think...

    [ May 26, 2003, 04:53 AM: Message edited by: Jesus is Lord ]
     
  2. Helen

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    There are several translations labeled "Septuagint" or "LXX" (same meaning). The Alexandrian was a translation from paleo-Hebrew to classical Greek about a 250 years before Christ and done by Hebrew rabbis. Yes, it is the version quoted from by Christ and the writers of the New Testament.

    The Masoretic text was a translation from paleo-Hebrew into modern Hebrew about 100 A.D., but the vowel points were omitted. They were added in about 900 A.D. on the basis of tradition.

    The following is from some material of my husband's which I do not have up yet on his site. His research was extensive and I think you will find some help here:

     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    THANK YOU (and your hubby) for that clear and easy-to-follow presentation! [​IMG]
     
  4. Johnv

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    I'm not sure why Jesus would have used a Greek text, when it was the custom of the Jews to read the OT in Hebrew, not Greek. The Torah in the Temple was written in Hebrew. In addition, the common language amongst the Jews was Aramaic (a Hebraic language). When Jesus spoke to the masses, he would have spoken Aramaic, which would have been understood by both the Jews and Gentiles of the region.
     
  5. Ransom

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    Johnv said:

    In addition, the common language amongst the Jews was Aramaic (a Hebraic language).

    The common language of Jews in Judaea was Aramaic, but at the time Jews were spread all over the known world. Many of them did not even know Hebrew; Greek was probably the one language all Jews of the time had in common. Hence the perceived need for a translation of the Scriptures in the lingua franca of the day.
     
  6. Johnv

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    You're absolutely right. I was seeing Jews through Judea-colored glasses ;)

    What I was referring to was the Jews of Jesus' time and location, which was Judea. Jews in other regions spoke other languages, and did not always speak Hebrew. For example, there are several ancient OT copies that are in Arabic, that were used by the Arab speaking Jews.
     
  7. garpier

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    I do not believe that Christ or His apostles used the LXX for the the following reasons.

    1) Matthew 5:18 "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

    To my knowledge jots and tittles are characteristics of Hebrew, not Greek.

    2)Matthew 23:35 "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteoous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias whom ye slew between the temple and the altar."

    The reference to Abel is obviously from the book of Genesis. The slaying of Zacarias is recorded in II Chronicles 24:20-21. What makes this significant is the Hebrew order of the Old Testament books. Genesis is the first and Chronicles is the last, unlike the order in our modern Bible or the LXX. Thus the Lord is making a reference to all of those who were martyred for their faith in the Old Testament from the first book to the last book.

    3)Luke 24:44 "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me."

    On the road to Emmaus, the Lord used the terms which encompassed the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures. The law. (or Torah) the prophets (or Nabiim)and the Psalms (or Kethubim). This again is the order of Hebrew version of the OT or TaNaK, not our modern version or that of the LXX.

    It should also be noted that the vowel pointing of the Masoretic text is not a settled issue. John Gill writing in the 18th century argued for their antiquity to the original text of the Old Testament. This is a view that was held by most Biblical scholars until undermined by the Higher Critics.

    Having recently translated portions of Isaiah, I noticed the differences between the Masoretic Text (MT) and the LXX. For example in Isaiah 40:1, the LXX leaves out the pronoun "your" before God. In verse two the word priests is inserted in the LXX and is not found in the MT.
    There are many other changes which are apparent.
    It would seem that those who favor the LXX to correct the MT are guilty of the same sort of things they accuse Ruckman of doing with the KJV and the Greek Text.

    Suffice it to say I don't believe that Christ or his Apostles used the LXX.
     
  8. Johnv

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    To my knowledge jots and tittles are characteristics of Hebrew, not Greek.

    Excellent supportive point. Thanks for bringing that up.
     
  9. Pete Richert

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    Those are some good points. I might throw in though that the "order" of the LXX today is not nessisarily the "order" it was then.

    The real issue though I think is Hebrews. Check out all of the scripture quotations. They almost always follow the LXX word for word when it differs from the MT.
     
  10. garpier

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    Have you considered that maybe the LXX copied from Hebrews (which was written by inspiration)? I realize that some believe that the LXX was translated before the time of Christ, but as far as I know there is no concrete proof for that. And keep in mind that the LXX is a translation. Why would we want a translation to correct the original? That's why I believe those who do so are inconsistent if they criticize Peter Ruckman for doing the same thing with the KJV and the Greek text.
     
  11. Pete Richert

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    Its possible the LXX was corrected to follow Hebrews. I don't even think it really matters.

    I don't think MV use the LXX to correct the MT. If anything, MV follows the MT more then KJV/NKJV, and this is why they get into trouble. Some of the quotes in the new testament follow less then the old. But anyway, if you read the preface to most translations they say they only use the LXX or other versions when the meaning or textual decision of the MT is very unclear.

    Since the MT is in the process of being constructed (choosing between alternate readings that exist in Hebrew) the LXX and other ancient translations are just more pieces to the puzzle. The problem is, you are right to affirm there might not be THE LXX as there were probably mutliple translations and each of these is needed to be textual critized as well, so you can see the problem is very complicated.
     
  12. Ransom

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    garpier said:

    I do not believe that Christ or His apostles used the LXX for the the following reasons.

    To my knowledge jots and tittles are characteristics of Hebrew, not Greek.


    However, Jesus may have been using a Hebrew idiom. We still say "not one iota" even though we don't speak Greek and don't use iotas. Same thing.

    What makes this significant is the Hebrew order of the Old Testament books. Genesis is the first and Chronicles is the last, unlike the order in our modern Bible or the LXX.

    Do we know that the LXX was ordered the same way in all places where it was used? Maybe the LXX Jesus and his disciples were familiar with followed the Hebrew ordering.
     
  13. garpier

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    Thanks for your input. I was not aware that the MT was under construction.(Should I slow down when going through it? [​IMG] ) I know there are some variant readings in the MT but they are few and far between. In light of God's promise to preserve His Word, I believe there is no need for any construction! I understand the problem is complicated. It becomes even more complicated when the LXX is used to correct the MT. My point is again that is a very poor practice to correct or amend the original language with a translation.
     
  14. garpier

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    Originally posted by Ransom:


    However, Jesus may have been using a Hebrew idiom. We still say "not one iota" even though we don't speak Greek and don't use iotas. Same thing.
    Thanks for your input Ransom. My question here is how would we know that this is a Hebrew idiom? And why would Jesus use a Hebrew idiom to a Greek or Aramaic speaking audience? Would it not be much easier to believe that He was referring to the Hebrew text because that is what He and His audience were familiar with in their synagogue and temple worship?


    Do we know that the LXX was ordered the same way in all places where it was used? Maybe the LXX Jesus and his disciples were familiar with followed the Hebrew ordering.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that there was a different ordering? (This is a sincere and honest question)
     
  15. Pete Richert

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    Sorry, construction was a poor use of words. I simply meant what you stated above, that variants, while thankfully few and far between, exist, and in some cases if and only if the text is extremely difficult to decide on the LXX is used to shed light. But once again, I reject your claim that scholars use the LXX to correct the MT and would appreciate some examples since you have frequently stated this is so.
     
  16. Ransom

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    garpier said:

    Thanks for your input Ransom. My question here is how would we know that this is a Hebrew idiom? And why would Jesus use a Hebrew idiom to a Greek or Aramaic speaking audience?

    Just because the lingua france of the Roman Empire was Greek didn't make the Jews who lived in it Hellenists. It is not unreasonable to assume that Jewish/Hebrew patterns of thought and speech transcended the change from one local dialect to another. As I said yesterday, we still refer to an "iota" when we mean something tiny, even though we do not speak Greek ourselves, don't we?

    Would it not be much easier to believe that He was referring to the Hebrew text because that is what He and His audience were familiar with in their synagogue and temple worship?

    Maybe they were, and maybe they weren't. My poitn is, that is not the only explanation, and it is not sufficient warrant to show that Jesus and the Apostles did not read the Septuagint as well.

    Is there any evidence to suggest that there was a different ordering? (This is a sincere and honest question)

    I don't know. However, the order of the Hebrew scriptures has not always been the same, and it seems likely the Greek translation would follow whatever the convention was at the time, just as our English Bibles today follow a traditional ordering.
     
  17. garpier

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    Hi Pete If you have access to Gleason Archer's A survey of Old Testament Introduction and go to the index under Septuagint you will see the references he makes in regard to this topic. Also in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia under Septuagint I found this quote
    Also this quote:
    These are two sources which support my contention. I know there are others. As the ISBE article indicates, scholars want to reconstruct the Hebrew with a translation. I don't believe that is either wise or necessary.
     
  18. garpier

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    Originally posted by Ransom
    I agree with your statement. However there is still no hard evidence to indicate that Jesus was not referring to the Hebrew text. I understand about idioms but we can't assume that this was the case here just to prove a point about the LXX.

    As you indicated there is no evidence to suggest a different ordering of the LXX. This would lead to a more resonable assumption that Jesus was referring to the Hebrew in the two two passsages I indicated.
     
  19. garpier

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    Originally posted by Ransom
    I agree with your statement. However there is still no hard evidence to indicate that Jesus was not referring to the Hebrew text. I understand about idioms but we can't assume that this was the case here just to prove a point about the LXX.

    As you indicated there is no evidence to suggest a different ordering of the LXX. This would lead to a more resonable assumption that Jesus was referring to the Hebrew in the two two passsages I indicated.
     
  20. Pete Richert

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    I see what you are saying now. But what I am concerned about is examples in actual translations where the translators blantely choose an LXX reading over a clear MT reading. I know this is not the philosphy of any of the translations I read so I was looking for some examples.

    I will see if I can get some copies of your books though I probably won't spend a ton of cash to research just this question.
     

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