1324Re: [lxx] Re: "The Septuagint" Greek fragments from Qumran (date of canonization)
- Aug 27, 2004Dear Sandra:You Wrote:"...knowing what we know about the reverence and care the Jews practiced in copying holy writ."I am confused at this statement. We know from the archeological evidence, especially from Qumroan, that the Jews were much more free in their copying of the biblical text before the rise of Rabbinical Judaism, and the care and reverance given to the Hebrew text that we have today in the Masora was the product of internal religious struggle and in response to the Rise of Christianity.The Msora is not as pure as you might think. This is the point I was trying to make with Matthew when it came to The Septuagint. The Septuagint, I believe, gives us a snapshot of what the Old Testament was like (or at least one version of it) before the coming of Christ and the various revisions and emendations that occured that gave us the Massoretic Hebrew Text.Now I happend to like the Massoretic text, but I cannot say that the Old Testament, Torah, Tanak, or whatever you wish to call the Hebrew Scriptures, were uniform right from the get go. They were not.I do sincerely believe that the Septuagint Old Testament, the first ever translation of the Hebrew Scriptures was based on a Hebrew text that was different from the present day Masora, and that much of the Septuagint is more of an interpretation of the Hebrew than a straight translation. This is why Isaiah 7:14 was translated as Parthenos (Virgin) instead of maiden or young woman. This was an interpretation more than a translation.Further, we see in the Book of Genesis that in the Septuagint, unlike the Hebrew, we have what Kain said to his brother Able right before he killed him. This may have been a later interpolation that the Alexandrian Jews added or a deletion by the Palestinian/Rabbinical Jews.We see in Genesis Chapter 5:25 that God "Translated" Enoch. The Greek word for translated is metathikai. Thus more is being said than the mere word "Taken" translated from the Hebrew. The Greek word here denotes an actual transformation from one physical state to another. Again, this shows a thought patter and belief system as to what God did to Enoch.Some Orthodox Theologians liken what happend to Enoch to the Orthodox Christian concept of Theosis (i.e. becoming god-like in the sense of uniting one's nature with God's nature, but without any mixing or confusion between the two).In Exodus Chapter 3 where God reveals His name, the Septuagint renders God's name as "On" which Sir L.C.L. Brenton Translated as "The Being", but which I have translated in Vol.I of The Holy Orthodox Bible as "The One Who Is" Now this aspect of the Septuagint I believe is a clarification of the Hebrew name for God - Yaweh. Now many western Theologians take the Hebrew name of God as a verb denoting action, but in the Greek it is taken, in my humble opinion, as a pronoun and as a declaration of the very divine nature of God - i.e. God is simply the One Who Is - PERIOD.In the Book of Genesis Chapter 1:1 we read :"En Arhe Epiosen of Theos ton Oupanon Kai Tis Ye." Translated in Vol.I of The Holy Orthodox Bible as: "In the Beginning God Created the Heaven and the Earth." This is in sharp contrast to the Hebrew which is translated as: "When God began creating the Heavens and the Earth." The Hebrew denotes that the heavens and the earth were around BEFORE God began creating them. The Septuagint makes it very clear that NOTHING existed except God and later in Chapter 1 of the Septuagint everthing came into being through the very Word of God. These are significant theological differences that are seen between the Hebrew Masora and the Septuagint.Finally, in Vol.I of The Holy Orthodox Bible, and in Vol.II of The Holy Orthodox Bible, I translated the name of Joshua as JESUS. The reason for this is two-fold. One is that the actual Greek names is: Isous which in the New Testament is translated as Jesus for Our Lord and Savior, so it is the correct Englsih translation. Two: By translating Joshuas' name to Jesus the reader sees what the Early Christian saw, namely that Jesus Son of Naui is seen as a clear representation of Jesus Christ. As Jesus Son of Naui delivered the Sons of Israel into the Promised Land and all the Blessings that came from this, Jesus Christ Delivered us into the Promised Land of the Church and eternal salvation.This is made very clear in the Septuagint, but not so clear in the Hebrew, and definitely not clear in our modern English translations based on the Hebrew.There are more examples of the Septuagint either interpreting the underlying Hebrew or clarifying the Hebrew that the Superiority of the Septuagint over the Hebrew Masora is very clear, at least to me. I hope this has helped. Let me know. If it has not, I'll endeavor to clarify.Peter
Peter A. Papoutsis
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