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[lxx] Re: Masoretic vs lxx

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  • Steve Puluka
    ... I used to think this was the case until someone was kind enough to direct me to the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia on-line for the full story. As
    Message 1 of 4 , May 13, 2000
      ----- Original Message -----
      >From: Will Pratt
      >The official OT of the RC Church from around 425 CE to (present?) was
      >the Vulgate, a direct translation into Latin from the Hebrew textual
      >tradition which today we call the Masoretic, by Jerome. (Jerome had a
      >low opinion of the LXX.)

      I used to think this was the case until someone was kind enough to direct me
      to the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia on-line for the full story. As
      post-reformation Christians I think we take for granted an understanding of
      text traditions that is not evident in the early national churches. Even
      today among the Eastern Christian jurisdictions Text Critical methods are
      not really taught or used in our study of scripture. And for those of us
      whose primary language is English, the lack of good LXX translations is a
      problem.

      In regards the comments above about the Vulgate, Jerome's work was not
      widely accepted until 500 years after he penned the work. Universal
      acceptance was several hundred years after that. The reformation pushed the
      Roman Catholic Church to declare at the council of Trent that the Vulgate
      was the "inspired translation" that has the normative text for Roman
      Catholics. This was counter-balance to Luther's claim that the Masoretic
      Text is what Christians should use.

      Likewise, in the East, the 1672 Council of Jerusalem is the first public
      declaration of the Septuagint as the official text for Eastern Christians.
      Prior to the reformation there really was not doubt that Christians were not
      reading the Hebrew Masoretic Text.

      As for Jerome's use of the Hebrew text for the Vulgate, we know that the
      Vulgate is not a simple translation of the Hebrew. He includes those books
      from the Septuagint that are not in the Hebrew. He follows the Septuagint
      text of the Psalms. And common proof texts like Isaiah 7:14 are rendered by
      the well known Septuagint quotes. Jerome was updating the Old Latin version
      of scripture in universal use during his lifetime with reference to the
      Hebrew sources. He wanted to reference the Hebrew more than he did but
      liturgical use of the Psalms and other texts had ingrained the Septuagint
      version
      of these texts into the Roman Catholic Church.

      Be advised that all I know about Roman Catholics I learned from friends and
      books. Please correct me if I didn't get some of this right.

      Steve Puluka
      Consultor for Adult Education
      Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh

      References
      Roman Catholic Encyclopedia
      See the Articles on Bible Versions, Jerome, Council of Trent
      http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/
    • james and tatyanan miller
      Steve: Likewise, in the East, the 1672 Council of Jerusalem is the first public declaration of the Septuagint as the official text for Eastern
      Message 2 of 4 , May 13, 2000
        Steve:

        <snip>

        Likewise, in the East, the 1672 Council of Jerusalem is the first public
        declaration of the Septuagint as the official text for Eastern Christians.

        Can you give further ref for this? Where can the relevant text from the
        council be found?

        Thanks, James Miller
      • Will Pratt
        ... Actually, I knew better, if I had dug deeper. Mostly from the same source you cite. It was one of those Why did I say that? experiences. I didn t try
        Message 3 of 4 , May 13, 2000
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > >From: Will Pratt
          > >The official OT of the RC Church from around 425 CE to
          > (present?) was
          > >the Vulgate, a direct translation into Latin from the
          > Hebrew textual
          > >tradition which today we call the Masoretic, by Jerome.
          > (Jerome had a
          > >low opinion of the LXX.)
          >
          > I used to think this was the case until someone was kind
          > enough to direct me
          > to the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia on-line for the full story.

          Actually, I knew better, if I had dug deeper. Mostly from the same
          source you cite. It was one of those "Why did I say that?"
          experiences. I didn't try to correct it, since it seemed "close
          enough for guv'mint work".

          > As
          > post-reformation Christians I think we take for granted an
          > understanding of
          > text traditions that is not evident in the early national
          > churches. Even
          > today among the Eastern Christian jurisdictions Text
          > Critical methods are
          > not really taught or used in our study of scripture. And
          > for those of us
          > whose primary language is English, the lack of good LXX
          > translations is a
          > problem.

          Which explains why a rather observant Reform Jew comes to study New
          Testament Greek. It's related to the Koine of the Septuagint rather
          as modern English to the early 18th century, but there are a lot more
          helps and study aids. Brenton's 1851 translation is available in
          electronic format on the Online bible CD, and it is quite a bit better
          than nothing. The CD also provides the entire LXX in
          Greek, from Rahlfs's edition. And a _lot_ of bible versions. Price
          for the CD is under $50 IIRC.

          > Be advised that all I know about Roman Catholics I learned
          > from friends and
          > books. Please correct me if I didn't get some of this right.

          At the least, closer to right than I did.

          Will

          Will Pratt
          prattw@...
        • Steve Puluka
          ... From: james and tatyanan miller Steve: Likewise, in the East, the 1672 Council of Jerusalem is the first public declaration of the Septuagint as the
          Message 4 of 4 , May 15, 2000
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: james and tatyanan miller
            Steve:

            Likewise, in the East, the 1672 Council of Jerusalem is the first public
            declaration of the Septuagint as the official text for Eastern Christians.

            James Miller
            Can you give further ref for this? Where can the relevant text from the
            council be found?

            Steve:
            I have not yet run across the full text for this Council. For a brief
            overview see the article in the Encyclopedia Britannica. I believe this is
            under "Synod of Jerusalem".
            http://www.britannica.com/
            or the section of the article on Jerusalem in the Roman Catholic
            Encyclopedia
            www.newadvent.org/cathen

            For an overview of the theological issues discussed by the Bishops see the
            final chapter of ---The Spirit of Eastern Christendom-Jaroslav Pelikan,
            University of Chicago Press.

            Basically, Orthodoxy had to respond to the reformation because Cyril
            Lucaris, the Patriarch of Constantinople at the time, published his
            confession of Orthodoxy that had a number of protestant ideas represented as
            being in the Orthodox tradition. These the council fathers rejected. The
            bishops were forced to declare the Septuagint as official scripture, speak
            on the nature of the Churches authority and discuss the nature of communion.
            Most surprisingly, they chose to translate the Roman Catholic declaration of
            Transubstansiation to Greek ( a combination of meta & ousia if memory
            serves).

            Steve Puluka
            Consultar of Adult Education
            Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
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