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Is the LXX superior to the MT?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Calminian, Jan 29, 2019.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Okay, I'll try again with you.

    You lost me. I don't know what you are saying here. Are you talking about translation theory or textual criticism? And the myth here, what is that about? The fake "Letter or Aristeias"?

    You lost me here. Please share the logic with which you came up with the idea in Post #77 that the LXX was superior (that was the question at hand) to the MT based on 86% agreement between the texts? Because I sure did not see it in that post. You said something about the Masoretes and how they would have translated the verse? That's a total non sequitur, having nothing to to do with textual criticism (if indeed that is what you were talking about).
    The problem here is that your thought totally ignores my post way back when quoting a scholar about how uneven the LXX translators were. The ones who translated the Torah were very good, but others were very incompetent, especially the Isaiah translator. But you are treating the LXX as if it were one coherent beautiful translation. It's not.
    Not assumed in what area? Translation or textual criticism? You see, that is the whole problem with this thread. In retrospect, Calminian correctly saw my as not putting together a good argument in this thread. He was right in that I never figured out what this thread was about: numbers in the Bible, the LXX as an accurate translation, or textual criticism?
    Absolutely, because an original document is always, always better than a translation. Any professional translator or linguist will say exactly this. But this does not take into account the very conmplicated issue of textual criticism in ancient documents. But I don't even know if that is the subject of this thread!! :confused:
     
  2. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Certain instances, when the Spirit chose to have them used while quoting in the NT books, but the originals would have been in Hebrew and Aramaic!
     
  3. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Active Member

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    I’ve been mulling this over and now think this is the real sticking point. The MT is not the source for the LXX. It may essentially match the source much of the time, but it is not the source, nor are the DSS. Holding that the MT is its source is an assumption that does not bear up under NT scrutiny. See also my next post.
     
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  4. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Active Member

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    I’m picking up here (and skipping over the other for now), because it seems to be the real puzzler. Feel free to give up in exasperation, if necessary, in which case I apologize in advance. We may not be discussing the same issue. Here goes…

    Not superior -- favored. I’ve already stated that I am not arguing for the superiority of the LXX, and that hasn’t changed. The point made was that the NT writers generally favored the LXX over the MT. Per the data you gave, they cite the LXX 91 times out of a 100, 72 being direct quotes (or should that be 75?).

    A direct quote in Greek matching the LXX verbatim is citing the LXX, not the MT. Such cases don’t even have to know that the MT exists. That the Hebrew of the MT essentially matches is irrelevant. The MT is not the source of the LXX, nor are the DSS for that matter.

    Where the two differ, they favor the LXX better than 2 to 1 over the MT. (Categories B & D, favoring the LXX, cover 72 quotes, whereas category C, favoring the MT, includes 33.)
     
  5. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Active Member

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    Before we get too much further into this, here is a comment that makes me doubt even more any MT or LXX superiority.

    Since the New Testament was written in Greek for predominantly Greek readers, it is not surprising that a large majority of Old Testament quotes in the New Testament are drawn from the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint (LXX). Of Paul's 93 quotes, 51 are in absolute or virtual agreement with the LXX, while only 4 agree with the Hebrew text. This means that 38 diverge from all known Greek or Hebrew Old Testament texts. Of Matthew's 43 quotes, 11 agree with the LXX, while the other 32 differ from all known sources.

    Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament - Holman Bible Dictionary - Bible Dictionary
     
  6. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    I believe thatn the LXX was translated in about 250 BC as Josephus said. 72 Jewish scholars went to Alexandra to do the work but two died during the translation. it is possible that they did not know Greek to well, It may also have been altered later to fit Greek myths, such as adding 100 years to the pre flood patriarchs.

    Herodotus said the Greeks learnt mathematics and astronomy as well as the names of the gods from the Egyptians. Josephus wrote that the Egyptians learnt Mathematics and astronomy from Abraham. That is possible as it is said that Mathematics originated in Ur. So as there is advanced maths and astronomy involved in the construction of the Pyramid, it must have been built after the flood.
     
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  7. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    I knew a Jewish Christian originally Aaron, but known as Arnold. He had a KJV with with some of the dead sea scrolls in the back. He read some of them out to me and they were practically identical with the KJV
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    But you see, I've never said that the MT is the source, per se, of the NT quotes from the OT. Nobody says that, because it is historically and physically impossible.

    What you seem to be missing is a basic education in textual criticism. (No offense intended.) From quotes I've given in this thread, you should realize that the argument is that the MT is very close to the originals, just as the DSS are. In fact, the MT is very close to the DSS, as I've given a scholarly quote for.

    What this means in textual criticism is that the MT is a very reliable witness to the original Hebrew OT. The LXX proves that by the fact that 86% of the quotes are the LXX and the MT being identical (in a text critical way, not a meaning to meaning equivalence, which is impossible in a translation).
     
    #108 John of Japan, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Again, here is some perspective. The NT writers did not "favor" the LXX over the MT, because the MT did not exist as as an edited document. What happened was that the NT writers used a Hebrew text that was extremely close to the MT. "The accuracy of the MT was validated when some of the oldest Dead Sea Scrolls..., dating from the first and second century B.C., were found to reflect essentially the same text we have inherited from the Masoretes and the text set forth in Ben Asher's tenth-century A.D. Hebrew Bible" (The Old Testament Documents, by Walter Kaiser, Jr.), p. 42).
    Here is another point. The purpose of each NT quote of the OT must be considered. Those purposes were sometimes different. Sometimes an exegetical point was made. Other times a prophecy was declared to be fulfilled. In other cases a discourse point was being made.

    If the LXX fit the purpose of the NT author's discourse, then the LXX could be quoted without any misunderstanding. This was true in many cases even when the LXX was not a verbatim translation of the Hebrew. In these cases, it makes no sense to say that the LXX was superior to the Hebrew, since it always was and always will be only a translation.

    On the other hand, when the translation of the LXX did not fit the discourse purpose of the NT author, the inspired NT author would do his own rendering from the Hebrew OT he had available. In these cases, the NT author was giving witness to the fact that the LXX was a flawed translation, not inspired like the original Hebrew was.
     
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  10. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    No one is disputing this. Josephus, apparently, read from a Jewish text that was in line with the LXX. I would surmise it was likely the text which was translated by the 70, and is no longer available today. Thus Josephus cited the older begetting ages from a Hebrew Text older than the MT.

    Antiq. 1:83 (1.3.4) For indeed Seth was born when Adam was in his two hundred and thirtieth year, who lived nine hundred and thirty years. Seth begat Enos in his two hundred and fifth year; who, when he had lived nine hundred and twelve years, delivered the government to Cainan his son, whom he had in his hundred and ninetieth year;..... ​

    That's hard to ignore.
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Well, since the MT as an edited text was not in existence yet for 100s of years when Josephus was alive....

    The MT is not a family of mss like the Alexandrian or Byzantine or Western in NT textual criticism.

    Now, help me out. What is this thread about in your estimation: numbers in the Bible, OT textual criticism, great the LXX is? You were right that I did not present a good argument on this thread, but maybe that is because I never figured out what you are trying to prove.
     
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  12. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    Oy, John, honestly you stress too much. The thread is going fine. We're just a bunch of non-experts (yourself included) talking about what some actual experts are arguing about. Feel free to express whatever points you want, and stop being so defensive. Lighten up and stop trying so hard to win.
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    For the record, I am not an expert in these areas (whatever it is you are trying to discuss), and I am not trying to win. I am aiming at scholarship, which I define as a search for truth. That means pointing out mistakes. But I get it. You don't want your mistakes pointed out. :Geek
     
  14. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    Oh, how I wish you got it. :rolleyes: Came in with an attitude, left in a huff, came back with attitude. Is this what the search for truth does to you?
     
  15. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I came back because of the humility and graciousness of RighteousnessTemperance&. And if you wish to look at me as having "attitude," that doesn't bother me. You're probably right. Have at it. :)
     
  16. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    Right in accordance with 1 Illusions 3 I can see. :)
     
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  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I have no idea what this means.
     
  18. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    I know you don't. Kinda funny.
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Hey, if being obtuse flicks your Bic, have at it. I prefer forthrightness and plain English.
     
  20. Calminian

    Calminian Well-Known Member
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    You though that was obtuse??? Hilarious.
     
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