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3978Re: [lxx] Division of the books in the Septuagint

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  • Robert Kraft
    Oct 30, 2013
      No, the four "books" of Samuel-Kings (aka "Kingdoms" in the Old Greek
      anthology) are not the same as the two "books" of Chronicles (aka
      "Paralipomena"). And the original question rests on a misunderstanding
      of ancient technology before the invention of the "codex" in the first
      century of the common era. The old Hebrew "books" began as scrolls, as
      did the translations into Greek. So it is not a question of dividing --
      the original productions were created in parts, each the length of the
      standard scroll. When "scriptural" scrolls were collected into the
      anthology we call Tanakh or Jewish Scriptures, or "Old Testament" or
      whatever, the old scrolls received separate names such as Samuel 1,
      Samuel 2, etc. So one might ask the question as to whether any edition
      of these materials ever treated the parts as a unity, abandoning the old
      distinctions? I doubt it. Compare the same situation with almost any
      ancient text of any length, such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, or
      Josephus' Antiquities and War, etc. The old scroll technology has left
      its mark, even if we fail to recognize it.

      Bob Kraft, UPenn Emeritus

      On 10/30/2013 3:59 PM, James wrote:
      > I think in the RC versions these bools are called Paralipomenon.
      >
      > (Paraleipomenon; Libri Paralipomenon).
      >
      > Two books of the Bible containing a summary of sacred history from Adam
      > to the end of the Captivity. The title Paralipomenon, books "of things
      > passed over", which, from the Septuagint, passed into the old Latin
      > Bible and thence into the Vulgate, is commonly taken to imply that they
      > supplement the narrative of the Books of Kings (otherwise known as I-II
      > Samuel and I-II Kings); but this explanation is hardly supported by the
      > contents of the books, and does not account for the present participle.
      > The view of St. Jerome, who considers Paralipomenon as equivalent to
      > "epitome of the Old Testament", is probably the true one. The title
      > would accordingly denote that many things are passed over in these
      > books. The Hebrew title is Dibhere Hayyamim, "the acts of the days" or
      > "annals". In the Protestant, printed Hebrew, and many Catholic bibles,
      > they are entitled "Books of Chronicles".
      >
      > James
      > .
      > On 10/30/2013 2:58 PM, RichardToplan@... wrote:
      >> The Hebrew bible originally had the books of Samuel I and II as one
      >> book and Kings I and II as one book. A certain Jewish custom is quoted
      >> in a work published in 1339. I saw an interesting explanation of that
      >> custom. However, it assumes the division of the book of Samuel into I
      >> and II occurred after that date. I am interested if the date the
      >> Septuagint divided it into two is known. The same question would be
      >> asked in reference to the Vulgate.
      >>
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