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187Re: [lxx] 3rd Century Parthenos

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  • M.Kraus
    Sep 6, 2000
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      Check the excellent article by Adam Kamesar that appeared in the
      Journal of Theological Studies a few years ago that discusses Isa. 7:14
      and the history of its interpretation.

      >What did the 3rd century Jewish writers really have in mind when they
      >translated from Hebrew to the Greek 2nd declension feminine noun parthenos
      >in the LXX. I have come across great conflict in discussion over the whole
      >idea of “virgin”. Some Orthodox sides say Almah Ayin, lamed, mem, he means
      >only young woman, maiden, damsel. If one was to convey the true meaning of
      >a virgin as in “without sexual interaction” the word bethulah for virgin
      >spelled bet, taw, waw, lamed, he would have been used in the Hebrew text.
      >So I’m told. What I get from it all is the accusation that the word almah
      >is mistranslated in order to support a theological doctrine as toward
      >divine conception. As i'm told, it is easier for an unmarried young woman
      >to be with child than for a virgin. If a virgin was with child her present
      >status is no longer a virgin. On the other hand in the LXX I noticed
      >Isaiah 62:5 uses bethulah for virgin but here also parthenos is used but
      >in the dative case. So if I have any of the above right, can some one
      >shed some more light on what did the writers of the LXX believe the word
      >parthenos to be for as it stands now I’m of the impression that idea
      >behind parthenos can come out of both Almah and bethulah. MS


      Matthew Kraus
      Assistant Professor of Classics and Jewish Studies
      Stetson Hall
      Williams College
      Williamstown, MA 01267
      (413)597-2465
      Fax (413)597-4305
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