The Spirit of the Lord is upon...

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Deacon, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Deacon

    Deacon
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    In Luke there is an episode occurring in a synagogue in Nazareth where Jesus read from a scroll opened to Isaiah 61.

    The quotation in Luke 4:18-19 mirrors the Hebrew text of Isaiah 61:1-2 except for a single phrase, "and recovering the sight to the blind".

    This phrase is found in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

    However Luke's quotation doesn't exactly match any single Septuagint text.

    1. Would Jesus have recognized the differences?

    2. Was Jesus reading from a corrupt text?

    3. Is the OT text or the NT text the original reading?

    4. How do the differences effect our understanding of how of God preserved his word?

    Rob
     
  2. robycop3

    robycop3
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    I've discussed this with Dr. Thomas Cassidy and others; they believe JESUS was reading from a vorlage text of Isaiah. However, let us not forget that He called it "this Scripture"!
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    It should be noted that no NT quotation of the OT matches the LXX.

    Perhaps, perhaps not...this is likely a question that is only answered by speculation.

    A good discussion point here is to note the use of Jewish Midrashic forms by Christ in His ministry. The entire Sermon on the Mount is a larger example. Here we find another example, it would have been common for religious leaders in Jesus day to abridge a text in their sermons.

    Maybe neither depending in your view of inspiration. Of the many things in Dr Luke's presentation is his lack of personal witness to any events of Jesus' ministry. Luke is likely rendering a highly credible eyewitness account in telling this story.

    It seems to me that Luke has gone out of his way to represent the Hebrew OT in this recounting. That is important because the scroll Jesus would have been reading from would have been Hebrew not Greek. The faithful Jews of this day would have been repulsed by a Greek copy of the OT in their synagogue or Temple. Given how unique the variation is in Luke's accounting, I'd say that Luke got the scene right and the issue is more to do with Jesus' use of Midrashism.

    Since no quotation of the OT in the NT directly matches the OT version in the LXX there are some important ramifications. Essentially, I believe it comes down to how we understand inspiration. This is a reason I've moved away from a hard and fast plenary verbal position and more towards a dynamic view. The account remains faithful to the facts and recounting of the story. It also might accurately represent the condition of the text that Jesus was reading.

    Also, there needs to be a larger discussion about the form of the LXX in Jesus' day. Since recent scholarship is noting the different stages, even different versions, of the Septuagint at the time of Christ, there might be additional data that shows Jesus was faithfully reading from as accurate a copy of the LXX that He had access to.

    These are great questions. :thumbs:
     
  4. Yeshua1

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    Isn't the doctrine of inspiration stating that regardless of what sources were used and cited, the final form inthe originals was the very word of God?

    that the Holy Spirit could use the LXX, or variants, and he could allow the writers to see in OT scriptures jesus there, eventhough he was not seen when first written in OT times?
     
  5. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    Hello Friends,

    Let me start by saying that I'm an inerrantist, and that's why I fight for the original wording of God's Word as best as I can. However, we must understand that most surviving Hebrew mss descend from a single imperfect copy. This is obvious especially when one studies parallel Hebrew passages side by side. Sometimes we can ascertain where the scribal mistakes occurred, but often we can't. This is not to say that the Masoretes were sloppy in preserving their tradition. They simply meticulously preserved a manuscript tradition descending from a corrupt ancestor.

    As to the OP's question regarding Is 61:1 and Luke 4:18, there are two critical problems:

    1. The Hebrew ולאסורים פקח–קוח (supposedly: "and to the bound the opening of the prison") appears as και τυφλοις αναβλεψιν ("and to the blind the recovery of sight") in Luke 4:18.

    2. The expression at the end of Luke 4:18 αποστειλαι τεθραυσμενους εν αφεσει ("to send the oppressed into liberty") does not appear in present Hebrew copies of Is 61:1.

    Both of these problems trace back to the Hebrew tradition: the tradition available to us today is apparently much worse than the one available to Jesus when he read the passage.

    To answer problem #1:

    The expression in Is 61:1, ולאסורים ("and to the bound"), is an alteration (or corruption) of the original ולעורים ("and to the blind"). The alteration may have been an intentional gloss brought about after the bigger problem, which is the omission of the following clause (problem #2). That "and to the blind" was original is verified by the fact that פקח ("to open") never once refers to opening a prison but always to the opening of eyes (the sole exception is Is 42:20 where it refers to opening ears).

    To answer problem #2:

    The expression "to send the oppressed for a ransom (or into liberty)" was originally present in the Hebrew but met an ill fate by accident. Although we can't be absolutely certain of the reconstruction (although the NT helps us quite a bit!), my conjecture is that the Hebrew originally read the following:

    לקרא לשבוים דרור ולעורים פקח לשלח רצוצים למקנה

    That is:

    לקרא לשבוים דרור - κηρυξαι αιχμαλωτοις αφεσιν - to proclaim to the captives liberty
    ולעורים פקח - και τυφλοις αναβλεψιν - and to the blind the recovery of sight
    לשלח רצוצים למקנה - αποστειλαι τεθραυσμενους εν αφεσει - to send the oppressed into liberty

    For whatever transcriptional reason the letters -לשלח רצוצים למ were omitted and the final letters of למקנה (i.e. קנה) were left after the verb פקח ("to open"). This left us with the nonsensical ולעורים פקח-קנה ("and to the blind to open the ransom"?), except that the last three letters (i.e. קנה) were obviously miscopied at some point toward the similar looking קוח (which is nonsense and has no meaning in the entire Hebrew Bible). So people were perplexed about what פקח–קוח ("to open ???") might mean and they guessed that it might mean to open a prison. After this determination was made, the original ולעורים ("and to the blind") was glossed into ולאסורים ("and to the bound") and thus it came to be that all current Hebrew manuscripts read this silly conjecture.

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan C. Borland
     

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