Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Question from a new member...

Expand Messages
  • James Rovira
    Hello, my name is Jim Rovira. I m a Ph.D. candidate in English at Drew Unviersity in Madison, NJ, and a Lecturer in English at Rollins College in Winter Park,
    Message 1 of 10 , May 12, 2005
      Hello, my name is Jim Rovira. I'm a Ph.D. candidate in English at
      Drew Unviersity in Madison, NJ, and a Lecturer in English at Rollins
      College in Winter Park, FL. I've been studying Christian theology and
      texts independently (off and on) for about 23 years, and have very,
      very modest instruction in NT Greek.

      A question came up on a Milton listserv I'm subscribed to that I found
      difficult to answer, and I was hoping listmembers here could help out.
      I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but would like to hear the
      opinions of scholars in the field.

      When LXX translators translated Hebrew poetry into Greek, did they
      incorporate line breaks, or simply write the text across the page? I
      suspect earliest and most texts were simply written across the page,
      but if this isn't the case, I'd like to know, and if there are
      significant variants, I'm curious about those too.

      Thanks much.

      Jim Rovira
    • James Miller
      ... Great! A question right in my dissertation research area! I don t know if there is a generic answer to this question, but I can speak to the Great Uncial
      Message 2 of 10 , May 12, 2005
        On Thu, 12 May 2005, James Rovira wrote:

        > When LXX translators translated Hebrew poetry into Greek, did they
        > incorporate line breaks, or simply write the text across the page? I
        > suspect earliest and most texts were simply written across the page,
        > but if this isn't the case, I'd like to know, and if there are
        > significant variants, I'm curious about those too.

        Great! A question right in my dissertation research area! I don't know if
        there is a generic answer to this question, but I can speak to the Great
        Uncial manuscripts (Codex A, Codex B and Codex S) in this regard. These
        all use a special formatting for poetry sections. This involves books
        commonly grouped in the "Wisdom" genre in both ancient and modern times
        (Psalms, Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Wisdom of Solomon, Job,
        Ecclesiasticus, etc). Metzger gives a general description in "Manuscripts
        of the Greek Bible." The manuscripts switch formatting in these sections
        going from 3 (Codex B) or 4 (Codex S) columns to 2 and switching from
        something approximating full justification (what I think you mean by
        "write the text across the page") to writing out lines "stichometrically"
        or "colometrically" (I think this is probably what you mean by
        "incorporate line breaks"). There is a dual left margin or bounding line
        in the poetry/wisdom sections, and because of the colometry or stichometry
        observed, many lines end short of the right hand margin. The overall
        appearance shows much more jagged margins than in prose segments. Take a
        look at poetry segments of Codex S, available in pseudofacsimile
        version online at
        http://alpha.reltech.org:8083/cgi-bin/Ebind2html/BibleMSS/TischendorfSinv3
        (username any, password any). I can't say much about earlier manuscripts
        or fragments of these works and how they were formatted. I've undoubtedly
        seen images of them at some point, but since my interest at that time
        wasn't in these sorts of formatting details, I didn't note such aspects.
        Can what is seen in terms of poetry formattting in the Great Uncials be
        extrapolated to other manuscripts and/or fragments? I would guess so, but
        cannot affirm anything certain about it. Anyone else?

        James
      • Robert Kraft
        Sorry, Jim, but I don t think there is a clear answer. We don t have manuscripts or comments on format that go back early enough. Later manuscripts (e.g. of
        Message 3 of 10 , May 12, 2005
          Sorry, Jim, but I don't think there is a clear answer. We don't have manuscripts
          or comments on format that go back early enough. Later manuscripts (e.g. of
          Psalms, or of poetic sections in the Pentateuch) attest three practices --
          continuous writing with no breaks, use of spacing (or special marking) within a
          line to indicate a break, and separate poetic units on separate lines
          ("stichometric/stichographic").

          If we assume that the first translators and copyists imitated the formats of
          their Hebrew exemplars, we could argue on the basis of those exemplars. But it
          can be seen from the Dead Sea Scrolls that there is no uniform approach in those
          materials although perhaps the use of spacing within the line tends to
          predominate (but since most of those manuscripts use spacing between words, it
          would be necessary to distinguish between word spacing and sense unit spacing).

          If anyone wants to pursue these issues, see now Emanuel Tov, Scribal Practices
          and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert (Brill 2004).
          In chapter 5, Tov deals with "Writing Practices," with a section on "Division
          between Poetical Units (Psalms) (a.4; see also a.2 "Indication of Small Sense
          Units [Stichs and Verses] in Biblical Manuscripts"). Tov thinks that the
          equivalent of verse division may have been introduced "in conjunction with the
          public reading of Scripture (in the synagogue service)," and especially when
          simultaneous translation (e.g. into Aramaic) was practiced (p.135). He then
          notes that "some poetical units in the Bible were written stichographically,
          though in different systems, in thirty texts from the Judean Desert," with
          specific reference to 1QIsa\a/ in Isa 61.10-62.9, with small spaces between each
          stich in the running text (p.136).

          How much of this made it into the early Greek translations remains anyone's
          guess at this point.

          Bob Kraft

          >
          > Hello, my name is Jim Rovira. I'm a Ph.D. candidate in English at
          > Drew Unviersity in Madison, NJ, and a Lecturer in English at Rollins
          > College in Winter Park, FL. I've been studying Christian theology and
          > texts independently (off and on) for about 23 years, and have very,
          > very modest instruction in NT Greek.
          >
          > A question came up on a Milton listserv I'm subscribed to that I found
          > difficult to answer, and I was hoping listmembers here could help out.
          > I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but would like to hear the
          > opinions of scholars in the field.
          >
          > When LXX translators translated Hebrew poetry into Greek, did they
          > incorporate line breaks, or simply write the text across the page? I
          > suspect earliest and most texts were simply written across the page,
          > but if this isn't the case, I'd like to know, and if there are
          > significant variants, I'm curious about those too.
          >
          > Thanks much.
          >
          > Jim Rovira

          --
          Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
          227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827
          kraft@...
          http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html
        • James Rovira
          Thanks much for the very good, very detailed answers to my question (and yes, they were understood correctly, I lacked the technical language to ask them
          Message 4 of 10 , May 15, 2005
            Thanks much for the very good, very detailed answers to my question
            (and yes, they were understood correctly, I lacked the technical
            language to ask them properly). I suspected there wouldn't be any
            easy answers. I didn't consider the possibility of additional spacing
            between words to indicate something like a line break in Hebrew texts,
            though.

            Is it ok to pass on these answers to the Milton-L?

            Thanks

            Jim
          • cyberclipse
            I am also a new member who has been studying religion off and on. My biggest question is why the books of the old testiment are arranged in different order
            Message 5 of 10 , May 15, 2005
              I am also a new member who has been studying religion
              off and on. My biggest question is why the books of
              the old testiment are arranged in different order
              than the torah.

              Sid


              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              http://mail.yahoo.com
            • Robert Kraft
              ... No problem with me. This would normally be considered information to be shared. Bob Kraft ... -- Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of
              Message 6 of 10 , May 15, 2005
                >
                > Thanks much for the very good, very detailed answers to my question
                > (and yes, they were understood correctly, I lacked the technical
                > language to ask them properly). I suspected there wouldn't be any
                > easy answers. I didn't consider the possibility of additional spacing
                > between words to indicate something like a line break in Hebrew texts,
                > though.
                >
                > Is it ok to pass on these answers to the Milton-L?

                No problem with me. This would normally be considered information to be shared.

                Bob Kraft

                > Thanks
                >
                > Jim

                --
                Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
                227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827
                kraft@...
                http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html
              • Sigrid Peterson
                Re: Two newcomer questions From James Rovira, the question pertained to whether/to what extent Greek translations of Hebrew poetry stuck to the (presumed)
                Message 7 of 10 , May 15, 2005
                  Re: Two newcomer questions

                  From James Rovira, the question pertained to whether/to what extent Greek translations of
                  Hebrew poetry stuck to the (presumed) stichometry of the Hebrew. In addition to Bob Kraft's
                  reference to the newer work of Emanuel Tov on scribal practices, there is a (much) older
                  article from Tov on the two Greek versions of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5), dating from
                  the mid-80s, I believe. My later examination of the two Greek versions led me to think that the
                  translators did not have much sense that the Hebrew was to be understood as poetry. Perhaps
                  that's one indicater that at least some transcriptions of scripture did not use stichometry
                  to indicate poetry or poetic passages. Remember that the stichometric arrangements of the
                  Biblia Hebraic Stuttgartensia are artificial, constructed by the publishers, for the most
                  part.


                  From Sid, the following question:
                  >
                  > I am also a new member who has been studying religion
                  > off and on. My biggest question is why the books of
                  > the old testiment are arranged in different order
                  > than the torah.
                  >
                  > Sid

                  Perhaps the best way of exploring this question is in a good class on Jewish and Christian
                  Biblical Interpretation. The order of the books in both Jewish and Christian collections of
                  Scriptures varied in Antiquity and Late Antiquity. In Judaism there were separate
                  collections:

                  TORAH
                  Genesis
                  Exodus
                  Leviticus
                  Numbers
                  Deuteronomy

                  All understood to be from Moses (except the account of his death).

                  These books are called the Pentateuch in the Christian OT, and are in identical order.

                  In the Jewish Bible or TaNaKh (I'll explain later), the next grouping is called Prophets,
                  and consists of

                  NEVIIM (means Prophets)
                  Former Prophets
                  Joshua
                  Judges
                  1st Samuel
                  2nd Samuel
                  1st Kings
                  2nd Kings
                  Still the same order as the Christian OT, except that sometimes Ruth gets placed after
                  Judges in some varieties of OT
                  NEVIIM still
                  Latter Prophets
                  Isaiah
                  Jeremiah
                  Ezekiel
                  The 12 Minor Prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, . . . Haggai, Zacharia, Malachi

                  The third grouping of Jewish scripture is called the Writings or KETUVIM
                  KETUVIM
                  Psalms
                  Job
                  Proverbs
                  Ruth
                  Song of Songs
                  Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) "The Preacher/Preaching"
                  Lamentations
                  Esther
                  Daniel
                  Ezra
                  Nehemiah
                  I Chronicles
                  II Chronicles

                  Two points: the order of the books in the Jewish Bible or TaNaKh is approximately
                  chronological, taken from the internal evidence that purports to place particular books in
                  particula times, except that by such criteria Ruth was the Grandmother or
                  Great-grandmother of David, and the Book of Ruth should come after Judges.

                  The name TaNaKh, used for the Jewish Bible, is an acronym taken from the three parts of the
                  Bible, Torah, Neviim, and Ketuvim--TNK or TaNaKh

                  Because of problems like the misplacement of the book of Ruth, and Lamentations seeming to
                  belong to Jeremiah, rather than fitting an order of poetic book, personal history, poetic
                  book, personal history, . . . that fits the most prevalent ordering, Christian scholars
                  moved books around. Ultimately it seemed good to them to place the prophecies last, as
                  these came to be interpreted as portents of the coming of the Messiah,
                  specifically identified as Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary.

                  It helped the process along, I think, that only the Torah was regularly used in Jewish
                  worship. Psalms and the three major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, were also used
                  in worship. Since two early scrolls of the Twelve Minor Prophets have been found in the
                  Dead Sea Region (NaHal Hever-Greek, and Murabba'at, Hebrew), and the Qumran community had
                  commentaries on Nahum and Habakkuk, there was interest in examining these texts, probably
                  for descrying their mantic information, rather than any liturgical use. Another scholarly
                  way of examining the texts was *midrash halakha*, the use of any biblical text with words
                  in common with the Torah as a means of elucidating the specific way of carrying out the
                  laws of the Torah. One such work of *midrash halakha* was the Mekhilta. Later, in the
                  rabbinic period, there was elaboration of this technique in the imaginative combinations
                  and extensive literary forms found in the great collections of rabbinic midrashim.

                  Had the entire collection of texts in the Hebrew-Aramaic Jewish Scriptures (or the LXX)
                  been as fixed for as long as the Torah/Pentateuch, we might now have a Christian OT that
                  reflected that fixed order. Since the arrangement was in flux anyway, and interpretation
                  was the order of the day, why not place the messianic prophecies right before the NT?

                  All the best,
                  Sigrid Peterson University of Pennsylvania petersig@...
                • James Miller
                  ... As your comments indicate, there seem to have been theological concerns afoot in the Christian structuring or arrangement of the canon. I think these
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 16, 2005
                    On Mon, 16 May 2005, Sigrid Peterson wrote:

                    > Had the entire collection of texts in the Hebrew-Aramaic Jewish Scriptures (or the LXX)
                    > been as fixed for as long as the Torah/Pentateuch, we might now have a Christian OT that
                    > reflected that fixed order. Since the arrangement was in flux anyway, and interpretation
                    > was the order of the day, why not place the messianic prophecies right before the NT?

                    As your comments indicate, there seem to have been theological concerns
                    afoot in the Christian structuring or arrangement of the canon. I think
                    these theological concerns play a greater role than any pre-existing
                    structures inherited from Judaism could have. As for the ordering of the
                    Torah or Pentateuch, it does, after all, present itself as a chronological
                    progression (from the beginning of the world through entry to the promised
                    land). My understanding is that. rather than having a legal import, the
                    Pentateuch held for Christians a historical import, and was included where
                    it stands and in that order in Christian canons because it is the
                    historical starting point and outlines the earliest phases (though Job
                    does seem to belong in there somewhere). The history continues, as it did
                    in Judaism, with Joshua and Judges but also with Ruth prior to Kingdoms
                    (or the books of Samuel as they are named in Hebrew) and the books of
                    Chronicles--obviously historically associated with Kingdoms
                    material--adjacent to them. Placement of the prophets in Christian canon
                    structures varied though: they come after Chronicles in Codex A, for
                    example. In that manuscript the Wisdom complex followed prophets and
                    preceded the NT. In Codex A the structure is, as I understand it, thus: 1)
                    history (which includes the Pentateuch), 2) prophets, 3) continuation of
                    history (Esther following Daniel and being followed in turn by some
                    deutero-canonical material and the books of Esdras and then the books of
                    Maccabees), 4) the wisdom genre, then 5) NT. To summarize, I think the
                    pre-existing structure of the material could have played only a very
                    limited role in the Christian handling of it. Even had the order been
                    better fixed in Judaism prior to the rise of Christianity, I question
                    whether that order would have been held authoritative. Additional
                    speculation on the abstract proposition "had . . . texts . . . been as
                    fixed . . . we might. . ."

                    James
                  • Sigrid Peterson
                    Well, it does look like the arrangement of Old Testament books was irregular across Christianity, from the Peshitta OT, when and where it was used by
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 16, 2005
                      Well, it does look like the arrangement of Old Testament books was irregular across
                      Christianity, from the Peshitta OT, when and where it was used by Christians, to the great
                      Codices, including Alexandrinus (Codex A), to the Vulgate. My useless speculation repeats
                      something I heard, that can only have referred to the Old Testament of the Reformation,
                      which seems to have used the order found in the Vulgate, without the deuterocanonicals.
                      Whether the theology was confined to dropping the deuterocanonicals, or positioning the
                      Book of the 12 Minor Prophets right before the NT, I have no idea.

                      From what we know of the Hebrew OT and scribal practices in antiquity and Late Antiquity,
                      it seems unlikely that there was ever really an exact order of books bound together until
                      medieval times. I will take this question to the Hugoye list, on Syriac, but I am intrigued
                      that the oldest "full" Peshitta Codex (7a1, or the Ambrosian Library Peshitta) includes the
                      deuteroncanonicals. Now recent opinion has inclined to the view that the Peshitta Syriac
                      translation was done from the Hebrew by Jews--but some of the material in the 7a1 codex is
                      material from the Apocrypha--Judith, 1 Macc through 4 Macc, and other material not found in
                      TaNaKh. Who translated it, and when?

                      The sense that there was a Great Church, with common doctrine, from the times of Irenaeus
                      onward (177) (Greer, in Greer and Kugel, EARLY BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION, 109), does not
                      match the heterogeneity of the order of the OT (and the NT) books, which persists (between
                      Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic, for example, or between Catholic and Protestant
                      bibles) to the present day. For NT heterogeneity, compare the various orders of the books
                      in Syriac, to the Greek, to the Latin.

                      Have I sufficiently contradicted myself? Yes, I think so.

                      Does this have much to do with LXX/OG? Only by way of context.

                      Best,
                      Sigrid Peterson petersig@...

                      >
                      > On Mon, 16 May 2005, Sigrid Peterson wrote:
                      >
                      > > Had the entire collection of texts in the Hebrew-Aramaic Jewish Scriptures (or the LXX)
                      > > been as fixed for as long as the Torah/Pentateuch, we might now have a Christian OT that
                      > > reflected that fixed order. Since the arrangement was in flux anyway, and interpretation
                      > > was the order of the day, why not place the messianic prophecies right before the NT?
                      >
                      > As your comments indicate, there seem to have been theological concerns
                      > afoot in the Christian structuring or arrangement of the canon. I think
                      > these theological concerns play a greater role than any pre-existing
                      > structures inherited from Judaism could have. As for the ordering of the
                      > Torah or Pentateuch, it does, after all, present itself as a chronological
                      > progression (from the beginning of the world through entry to the promised
                      > land). My understanding is that. rather than having a legal import, the
                      > Pentateuch held for Christians a historical import, and was included where
                      > it stands and in that order in Christian canons because it is the
                      > historical starting point and outlines the earliest phases (though Job
                      > does seem to belong in there somewhere). The history continues, as it did
                      > in Judaism, with Joshua and Judges but also with Ruth prior to Kingdoms
                      > (or the books of Samuel as they are named in Hebrew) and the books of
                      > Chronicles--obviously historically associated with Kingdoms
                      > material--adjacent to them. Placement of the prophets in Christian canon
                      > structures varied though: they come after Chronicles in Codex A, for
                      > example. In that manuscript the Wisdom complex followed prophets and
                      > preceded the NT. In Codex A the structure is, as I understand it, thus: 1)
                      > history (which includes the Pentateuch), 2) prophets, 3) continuation of
                      > history (Esther following Daniel and being followed in turn by some
                      > deutero-canonical material and the books of Esdras and then the books of
                      > Maccabees), 4) the wisdom genre, then 5) NT. To summarize, I think the
                      > pre-existing structure of the material could have played only a very
                      > limited role in the Christian handling of it. Even had the order been
                      > better fixed in Judaism prior to the rise of Christianity, I question
                      > whether that order would have been held authoritative. Additional
                      > speculation on the abstract proposition "had . . . texts . . . been as
                      > fixed . . . we might. . ."
                      >
                      > James
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • cyberclipse
                      Sigred, Thanks for your your very detailed, expert opinion! I hit the nail on the head when I joined this group!! My feeling is, after the discovery of the
                      Message 10 of 10 , May 17, 2005
                        Sigred,

                        Thanks for your your very detailed, expert opinion!

                        I hit the nail on the head when I joined this group!!

                        My feeling is, after the discovery of the Tarim Basin

                        mummies in China, that judism may not be the "first

                        religion" that led to christianity. The mummies are

                        white european and these people inhabited China 1000

                        years before the Chinese. Also, as a former believer

                        in evolution, the mummies date back to the cloud era

                        and had advanced technology in textiles and were even

                        credited with building the silk road as well as

                        bringing buddah to China, it points to creationism.

                        I have traced some of their religious history to

                        the Nestorians and have hit a wall because many

                        Nestorian documents were destroyed.

                        Be Well,

                        Sid






                        Yahoo! Mail
                        Stay connected, organized, and protected. Take the tour:
                        http://tour.mail.yahoo.com/mailtour.html
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.