[lxx] Re: xx] FW: LXX Theology/Theologies
- I'm open to what you're saying, but how can it be substantiated from the
evidence? What if, for example, it were seen that individual books like,
say, Gen, predominate percentage-wise among the MSS of indivudual books?
Should we still conclude that this reflects a practice of cobbling
a full OT from parts? It seems to me that this too would militate
the idea that there were very many complete OT's (reflecting the range
the OT canon-lists, though put together book by book), floating around.
I am not arguing for the existence of "very many" complete collections of
OT books (sorry if it did sound like that). NOR do I believe the
NON-existence of a substantial amount of such collection can possibly be
What I am arguing for, is that the Byzantines probably thought of their
Scriptures in terms of a certain set of BOOKS ("biblia"; including OT books
+ the Gospels + the Apostle) NO LESS THAN a certain set of liturgical
READINGS. This follows from my experience with patristic texts and, I
believe, is confirmed by the static data you mentioned.
A point of clarification: would I be understanding correctly what you're
saying if I pictured some Byzantine, sitting in a library, admiring the
collection of books and saying to himself something like "Ah, and here is a
copy of the book of Genesis, a prized codex. Sadly, it represents only a
part of the OT, which contains, of course, another 51 such books.
Nonetheless, it is some token of the larger, beauteous whole which my
Church calls 'the Bible'". I'm sorry if it sounds a little sappy, but I
really am trying to understand and appreciate your point. In other words,
when he looks at some piece of the canon of Scripture, he is keenly aware
of the missing part?
If this does approximate in some degree what you have in mind for the
Byzantine consciousness of Scripture, I'd be curious to know to what level
you think it would go? In other words, would the typical Byzantine have
been able to distinguish between Old and New Testaments? Would he have
known the epistles of Paul from the Epistle of Jeremiah, or the book of
Revelation from the book of Daniel? Or maybe even the book of Daniel from
the books of Enoch? I think this eventually comes down to a question of the
given individual's level of education and exposure to culture and the
ecclesiastical life that was part of it. It seems to me that then, as well
as now, a great bulk of those calling themselves Orthodox Christians
(especially in the "Orthodox countries" like Russia) would have a difficult
time telling the difference between parts of the Old and New Testaments.
Certainly few could rehearse the titles of all the books. They likewise
might not have a very clear understanding of where, in the services,
Scripture reading ends (say, Ps) and liturgical reading (say, the "prayer
of the hrs") begins. If you're trying to define Orthodoxy, or the
Byzantines as, by definition, those people of this and that age who are
most enculturated into church teaching and practice, then awareness of
Scripture, its divisions and scope is, and was, as you say. But is there
some way to account for those who are not so well educated and
enculturated? Do they just "not count" when it comes to speaking of the
"Byzantines" of that age or the "Orthodox" of this? It seems strange to me
that they should not be accounted for somehow since, statistically, those
of us well educated in these matters are far and away in the minority.
If this sounds like it's getting too off-topic, we can continue the
- --- Edward Moore <edwardmoore@...> wrote:
>Dear List Members:
> Will you shut up already!!!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Lynn Rubier-Capron
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Friday, March 10, 2000 10:18 AM
> Subject: [lxx] Re: xx] FW: LXX Theology/Theologies
> > please get me off this list, i have no idea how i
> got on it.
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- Dear Colleagues:
The following terminological convention is followed in Jellicoe's
"Septuagint and Modern Study":
1. "version" = translations of the biblical text (from LXX, presumably)
into other languages. E.g., he lists the Syriac, Old Latin, Coptic,
Slavonic, Samaritan Pentateuch (! with a qualification, of course) etc.
under the "versions."
2. "revisions" = basically, the columns in Origen's Hexapla - minus the
Hebrew, transliterated Hebrew and Origen's LXX. In other words, Aquila,
Theodotion and Symmachus.
3. "recensions" = the "3 varieties" (excuse my Latin) mentioned by Jerome,
i.e., Origen's (sometimes called "Hexaplaric"), Hesychius' and Lucian's.
My question is: how widespread is this terminological convention? Will
anyone in LXX studies understand, when they hear the term "version" what
Jellicoe subsumes under that term? Likewise with the terms "recension" and
"revision"? Are there other conventions which would define these terms
differently? It seems to me to be important to understand and use this
terminology consistently and correctly. Feedback of any kind will be