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Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Yeshua1, Apr 16, 2012.
based upon thir frequent quoting/use of it in the NT letters/books?
It's likely the NT writers used the LXX as a primary source but also had access to Hebrew, or Aramaic, version as well. Most of the NT use of the OT was, imho, done from memory since few had the time or resources to go back to the original sources (i.e. scrolls) and look them up.
The use of the OT in the NT is a great topic btw, but it is also notable that many of the Greek versions of the OT in the NT don't correspond to what we have as the LXX. This probably means that they had either other copies or were translating their own Hebrew to Greek forms. Also, there are transmission issues but that is neither hither nor yon.
You can say the LXX was a source of the NT writers but not the "Bible." Since the OT wasn't officially sealed (not even at Yanveh Ad 70) until probably early to mid second century, the documents they were quoting from had no formal recognition. That is okay and not a problem (well not a huge problem) for NT textual crticism but it does provoke a lot of discussion. These guys (those who wrote the NT) were all, mostly, raised in deeply religious Jewish communities where they memorized and recited the Hebrew OT. The oral tradition aided in an effective transmission but had flaws. So its hard to say the LXX is the "Bible of the NT."
I am more comfortable saying the LXX manuscripts highly informed the NT writers and were a source for their composition of the NT documents.
I can nuance this, but really...who cares.
You present the conensus view for OT canonization. But when I was studying the subject in a seminar I was amazed on what much of the conclusions was based. What are your reasons for believing the 1st century apostles thought the OT was open? It's just the reverse of the "closed" question, right?
Contrary to popular opinion (such as above) there is no direct, word for word, quote of the LXX in the NT. It is more likely they used the Hebrew bible (after all, they were all Hebrew speakers!) and translated into Greek "on the fly."
The LXX was a translation done over about a 300 year period. There were other Greek translations of the OT though.
I didn't say it was open, I just said it wasn't formally closed. The documents of the OT were in widespread use and circulation, probably by the middle of the Second Temple period for the whole OT. Earlier parts of the OT, the Pentateuch are clearly in high circulation and adoption by the time of the Davidic monarchy or (at the latest) the divided kingdom stage. You've got too much interpretation of the OT of the OT in the later books to not see this as probable. The testimonies from Qumran really help seal an unofficial OT canon by, let's say 200 BC. Maybe Esther creeps in later, but really the rest of it is out there and being discussed.
The NT writers seem to take it as a pretty informally set group of texts, but there is some variance there. Like the inclusion of 1 Enoch or the Sibyline Oracles. If you take in the allusions to lots of these Jewish apocryphal or pseusepigraphal texts the OT looks less and less official. But anyhoo...
As for the LXX, I'm an agnostic really. We just can't know. The Jewish myth of its origins is pretty ridiculous and we see lots of copies of various stages of the translation process. The Greek at certain points is earlier than others...its pretty crazy at times.
Well there's no direct word for word use of the Hebrew either...as best we can tell. You can say the NT writers used the Hebrew primarily but you've got to preface that. There are places where, the LXX the Hebrews doesn't line up with the Greek (and it takes the Greek read) and that is carried over into the NT.
Also the nature of the texts in that time is pretty significant too. Who had time to say, "Oh, let's see I'll quote from Isaiah 53...let's go to the scrolls!" (theatrical music and a campy scene of two guys unrolling Torah scrolls in a library somewhere) "Ah!" (six hours later) "Here it is! Okay I need these four words." (Sorry, its late and I need to go to bed)
They didn't do that, they quoted from memory primarily. Also the writers of the NT played pretty fast and loose with midrashic, pesher, and other hermeneutical methods in their employment of OT quotations. So even if they had the Hebrew as their primary text there isn't a thorough way of saying that. The whole issue is sticky.
I mean, how many Hebrew Bibles of the era contained the apocryphal literature or the Second Temple stuff they were drawing on to include in the NT? I can't think a lot. I dunno...its a weird area of study.
Uh, well, obviously! The OT is Hebrew and the NT is Greek. Any quote of the OT in the NT has to be a translation.
The point was that the NT does not quote the LXX word for word (possible because both are Greek). The more likely reason the OT quotes in the NT read more like the LXX than the MT is that they were quoting from the Vorlage text which is most likely to be the text that underlies the LXX (hence the name "Vorlage").
Isn't that a little impossible to prove? We know that many times the NT quotes of the OT mirror the LXX against the MT, sometimes they mirror the MT against the LXX, and sometimes they differ from both (for various reasons, such as the author changing the wording for his own purposes, although we could always appeal, as you do, to some lost Vorlage that they "must" have been quoting word for word).
Ever thought that the "official" Jewish people closed their canon partly because there was competition from the Christian "sect" who had their books and knew what they were? Do you really think the Christians were submitting to the canonical decisions of the so-called council of Jamnia (or any other Jewish council)? I think not!
Seems to me like the NT writers were faced with many of the same things that translators are faced with today. Do you use a dynamic equivalent, or more of a literal translation, or a paraphrase?
I think we need to be careful about accusing the NT writers w/ translating on the fly from memory. Even if they were using memory, I'm sure it was fairly accurate (Paul a pharisee would be in this camp to a large extent). But others like Luke (who traveled w/ Paul; and remember Paul requested scrolls so he used research source) explicitly said he used research materials (he wrote the majority of the NT). So if they were quoting or alluding the OT in whatever form, I think it was not so "willy-nilly" and more intentional and researched.
Wouldn't their "memory" though have been guided by the Holy Spirit, and per jesus, they would have divine inspiration from God , so that the passages/verses quoted and written down by them would have had the Spirit interpretation of how the OT applied to fulfillment in the nt?
The Apsotles were given "lee way" to see and read jesus in the OT passages that was not the immediate connection at time of the prophet speaking/writting?
The Apsotles though had revelation/inspiration from the Lord, No?
they were allowed to see Jesus in the form of the OT prophecies, that were not seen by the immediate peoples many of the prophecies were spoken and written too?
Inspiration doesn't negate the reality of cognitive interpretive writing. I'm not denying inspiration. But I am affirming what is first of all clear in the NT that they studied resources (despite inspiration) and desired resources (despite revelation). Perhaps inspiration/revelation should be viewed as ensuring the apostles and writers understood their research materials and applied them accurately.
My point is that the use of the OT in the NT, whether it used the LXX or some form of it, was probably more careful and thoughtful.
This leads into another question, what mss do we have the compile what we know today as the LXX? Rhalfs for instance. So the Greek OT, in its many forms, may have been the "bible" for the apostles and early church. Whatever we call it, I think it clear that they had a Greek tradition for the OT text and it was used extensively.
There are some aspects of the Greek usage in the NT which indicate there was a Hebriac tradition the author was drawing from, but it is still a hard case to make.
I'll touch on this in a moment, but the NT writers' use of the OT is pretty lax by modernist literary standards. I just don't know we can definitively prove what was used where.
Well you bring up a very good point. I mean the early Church clearly wouldn't have thought much of Javneh/Jamnia since one of the decisions was to continue the persecution of a sect of heretical believers.
Like I said above, the OT was pretty roughly in place, just not in an authoritative way. That's not too much of a problem, since it clearly wasn't for the early Church and Second Temple Jews, but it does help show how early first century Judaism wasn't anything resembling a monolithic structure.
And it seems the NT writers weren't nearly as worried about "literal translation" as we are. In all they seem to pursue dynamic equivalence more than anything. And pretty loose dynamic equivalence at that.
You put the word "must" in quotes. Could you please point out where I used the word "must" in my response?
I've not said they only did via memory, but that does appear to be the primary means whereby they cited the OT. Also notice how I've pointed out the robust nature of the oral traditions they had, this wouldn't have been as difficult a task as it would be today.
Luke used eyewitness accounts and probably a documentation source for his approach to the Gospel. Yet did he have a trailer full of Hebrew scrolls? I don't think so. There were probably a lot of sources he knew of and could draw from but Luke's approach to the OT seems less precise.
The various citations and allusions are there for specific reasons, however I would suggest that the NT writers did play loosely with how they understood and handled the text of the OT, often conforming it to fit their rhetorical needs.