Re: [lxx] Fw: LXX and Talmud
----- Original Message -----
MT,the LXX, and NT were all developing for centuries.
James and Tatiana Miller <snip>
I'm glad to see you're following a line of inquiry I had hoped my last post
would bring up - i.e., the matter of textual fluidity. A serious reflection
on these texts - proto-MT, LXX, NT and Talmud - reveals that textual
fluidity is a rule against which the textual fixation by the Masoretes
appears as a relatively late and novel development.
-----N.B. just a quick outline see the full story in the references
Masoretic Text--refers to a system of accents on the "unpointed" Hebrew text
of scripture. This fix the vowels, accents and punctuation of the text and
provide notes on how the text is to be chanted. There are three systems
extant. The oldest is the Palestinian system from late fifth or early sixth
century CE. This marks only the disjunctive accents (periods, commas, full
or half stops). The Babylonian system is more extensive. The final
Rabbinic version was completed 900 CE by Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali.
While the full form of the MT was not fixed until a relatively late date,
this does not mean the text was developing in the same way the LXX was. In
the language of text criticism there are clearly several families of text
for the LXX and the early Christian period saw some deliberate editing
together of these. With the MT the basic text was fixed BEFORE the process
began. The consonate only text was constructed in a way that had built in
error checking for the scribes. These were fixed before the first basic
pointing was added in the Palestinian version. These were never changed
even when the rabbis found clear errors. They simply noted and wrote
commentaries on these errors. They changed nothing.
James and Tatiana Miller <snip>
The Russians likely use a Slavonic translation of the Greek service books
for OT lections and thus probably agree with those found in the
Prophetologion. (Any input on this?). But the "official" Russian Bible
(approved by the Synod in the mid-19th century) translates the OT from
Hebrew. Doesn't this - i.e., two parallel renditions of the same OT
material - show another instance of textual fluidity among Christians? I
know of no full text of the OT in Russian apart from the BFBS (British and
Foreign Bible Societies - later UBS) translation which was, apparently,
ultimately the one sanctioned by the Synod in mid-19th century. The Ostrog
Bible mentioned by Steve earlier would be a possibility, but I'm unsure of
its origins. It seems like it may simply have been a translation of the
Greek column of one of the "Polyglots" being produced in Europe in the
mid-second millennium. Anyone have further input on this? I've recently
learned of a Romanian edition of the entire Bible from mid-17th century that
was allegedly translated from biblical MSS, as opposed to the Polyglots
(which would have shown a more eclectic text incorporating readings from
several MSS). Anyone with further info on that?
-----N.B. just a quick outline see the full story in the references
Eastern European churches received Orthodoxy from Greek Constantinople.
There were translations made of scripture and services from the Greek to Old
Church Slavonic. Most services continued to be developed in this language
in all the national churches. This language changed very little over the
centuries and soon was quite out of sync with the local language in terms of
grammar, less so in vocabulary. Church histories denote full translations
of the LXX happening by the tenth century but the oldest one extant is the
Ostrog bible mentioned above.
I'm not surprised that UBS groups would be working from the Hebrew nor am I
surprised the 19th century Russia would accept such translations. By this
time Russian liturgical practices had moved from their native musical forms
to western choral practices that we still see today. Russian churches moved
from Italian to German choir renditions of the traditional services and the
broader cultural contacts with the west encouraged this activity. I doubt
many people even realized as they accepted the UBS translations what they
were giving up. Let's face it. While there are some significant
differences most of the text shows no meaning change from MT to LXX.
Other jurisdictions like the Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians and western Slavs
developed on a different track. For some of us ( I am Carpatho-Rusyn) a
local language translation never happened, Church Slavonic served us well.
We are still publishing Church Slavonic versions. My copy is from Lvov
Consultar for Adult Education
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Rabbi Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud, Bantam books, NY, 1976.
Rabbi Neusner, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature, Doubleday, NY, 1194.
Rabbi Trepp, A history of the Jewish Experience,Hehrman House NY second
Rabbi Robinson, Essential Judaism, Simon & Shuster, NY 2000.
The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962.
Johan Von Gardner, Russian Church Singing Vol 1&2 english translation by
Vladimir Morosan, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood NY.
Bruce Metzger, Early Versions of the New Testament
Sidney Jellicoe, The Septuagint in Modern Study
- This is a bit off topic, but I know that we have a high density of Eastern
Orthodox communicants on this list. Does the Greek New Testament text used
by the E Orthodox church contain the so-called Johannine Coma, that is, does
1 John 5:7 read "oti treiv eisin oi marturountev", or does it include the
additional text "en tw ouranw o pathr o logov kai to agion pneuma kai outoi
oi treiv en eisin"?
William L. Pratt, Ph.D., Curator of Invertebrates, Barrick Museum
Mail Stop 4012, Univ. Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-4012
(702) 895-1403; Fax (702) 895-3094; prattw@...
- To Will Pratt: Yes, Will, the Orthodox NT does include the additional text in I
John 5:7 beginning with "en tw ouranw..."
Will Pratt wrote:
> This is a bit off topic, but I know that we have a high density of Eastern
> Orthodox communicants on this list. Does the Greek New Testament text used
> by the E Orthodox church contain the so-called Johannine Coma, that is, does
> 1 John 5:7 read "oti treiv eisin oi marturountev", or does it include the
> additional text "en tw ouranw o pathr o logov kai to agion pneuma kai outoi
> oi treiv en eisin"?
> William L. Pratt, Ph.D., Curator of Invertebrates, Barrick Museum
> Mail Stop 4012, Univ. Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-4012
> (702) 895-1403; Fax (702) 895-3094; prattw@...
- Dear Will,
While the Byzantine text form does contain the Johannine comma text, you may
be interested to know that we do not have this reading in our lectionary.
This is a notable hole in a lectionary that covers the vast majority of the
New Testament every year.
We read sections from 1 John, all of 2 and 3 during the prepartion period
for the Great Fast. But 1 John 5:7 is not among the readings. No pericope
from Revelation is part of the lectionary as well.
Cantor Holy Ghost Church
Mckees Rocks PA
>From: "Bill W. Rodgers" <billfred@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: Re: [lxx] OT - Johannine coma in Eastern Orthodox NT
>Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 22:51:33 -0500
>To Will Pratt: Yes, Will, the Orthodox NT does include the additional text
>John 5:7 beginning with "en tw ouranw..."
>Will Pratt wrote:
> > This is a bit off topic, but I know that we have a high density of
> > Orthodox communicants on this list. Does the Greek New Testament text
> > by the E Orthodox church contain the so-called Johannine Coma, that is,
> > 1 John 5:7 read "oti treiv eisin oi marturountev", or does it include
> > additional text "en tw ouranw o pathr o logov kai to agion pneuma kai
> > oi treiv en eisin"?
> > Thanks
> > Will
> > --
> > William L. Pratt, Ph.D., Curator of Invertebrates, Barrick Museum
> > Mail Stop 4012, Univ. Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-4012
> > (702) 895-1403; Fax (702) 895-3094; prattw@...
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
> From: spuluka@... [mailto:spuluka@...]Steve,
> Sent: Friday, January 12, 2001 2:33 AM
> Dear Will,
> While the Byzantine text form does contain the Johannine
> comma text, you may
> be interested to know that we do not have this reading in
> our lectionary.
> This is a notable hole in a lectionary that covers the vast
> majority of the
> New Testament every year.
That is very interesting. As I expect you know, no ms of the
Alexandrian text form includes the comma, and no Byzantine ms earlier
than the 12th century,a nd only 6 (or maybe 8) total. Only three mss
contain the comma in the text rather than margin, and those are all
16th century, written after Erasmus' firat editon of the so-called
Textus Receptus was publisehd without it. (This is a fact which
KJV-only, TR advocates find unpalatable.) It sounds as if your
lectionary was written back in the days when the E Orthodox church was
dependent on the mss.
Thanks for the information,
- To: Steve Puluka,
<< ... the Byzantine text form does contain the Johannine comma text ... >>
Is there one official "Byzantine" Greek edition of the Bible for Orthodox
Christians? Or are there many different Orthodox Greek editions with
variations on the text? Also, is the LXX the official "Old Testament" for
-Steven Craig Miller
Alton, Illinois (USA)
> Also, is the LXX the official "Old Testament" forNot for me personally. I think a critical edition, based on the BEST textual
> Orthodox Christians?
witness of all the texts, from the DSS, to the LXX to the MT, should be
considered, and a critical edition be rendered from the best TEXTUAL witness
available, and even so, the variance in many textual traditions, especially in
the 2nd Temple era, leads one to conclude that there can really be no
"official" text, but we must take all of the info into consideration, etc.
Troubled by an "Anti-Missionary"? CHAZAK! (Be Strong!)
Chazak, Counter-Anti-Missionary Organization
- We checked a number of Church Slavonic and Russian Bibles in our
library printed from the 1870s on and found that they all have the
But a Pochaev edition issued in 1785 does not have the comma.
As for Greek Bibles from Greece that are printed with the sanction of
the Church of Greece, I have seen one 20th cent. Greek edition from
Greece that has the comma, and another one that has it, but in italics.
Juvenaly, Asst. Librarian
St. Patriarch Tikhon Library
St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary
Box 130 / St Tikhon's Road / So Canaan PA 18459-0130 USA
570-937-3209, "-3103, or "-4411 ext 21
fax 570-937-3209; if no answer 570-937-3100
>From: Steven Craig Miller <stevencraigmiller@...>There is no central ruling authority for such matters in the Christian East.
>Is there one official "Byzantine" Greek edition of the Bible for Orthodox
>Christians? Or are there many different Orthodox
>Greek editions with variations on the text? Also, is the LXX the official
>"Old Testament" for Orthodox Christians?
Basically, each self-governing Orthodox jurisdiction does as they see best
for their own Church. But many of the independant Orthodox jurisdictions
are dependant on the Greek Orthodox community for our texts, both liturgical
and Biblical. When those of us from Slavic countries translate scripture or
liturgy we must choose to use either the Church Slavonic or the Greek as the
language to come into our native language (English in my case.) Our
liturgical commission translates from the Greek with reference to the
Slavonic. If there is more than one way to interpret the Greek text we
follow the way that the Church Slavonic translated the text. There are some
occasions when the Church Slavonic differs from the Greek. In those cases
they make a case by case determination on which to follow.
My comments in my first post reflect the outcome of a brief look at the
Johannine coma issue by myself, a seminarian and seminary professor, not an
in-depth research of the issue. After seeing Will's follow-up post over the
weekend I dug around my parish library and cantors stand and can see that
the issue is far from clear.
In contrast to Bill Rodgers experience, we have a Slovak 17th century bible
translation that does not include the text. Bill, what New Testement
translation do you have with the text?
And in contrast to myself, we have a 1950's English lectionary that does
have the text. I was not able to lay my hands on a Church Slavonic
Lectionary to confirm our original observation. I'll try to do that at our
In short, if the question is do the Orthodox Churches accept the Johannine
comma text as part of scripture, the answer may have to be on a case by case
As far as the Septuagint text is concerned, there was a synod of Bishops in
Jerusalem in 1672 that offcially accepted the Septuagint Old Testament over
the Hebrew. Before the Reformation there was never any question in
Orthodoxy on the issue. After the Reformation the Patriach of
Constantinople fell into heresy (from the perspective of the Orthodox
Church) in accepting many of the premises of Protestant reformation
theology. One of those was Hebrew as the Old Testament version. The Synod
spoke against that Patriarchal announcement. But Orthodoxy was not then,
and is not now, very concerned with text critical matters in this regard.
In fact, you will find a fair degree of variance among Orthodox
jurisdictions as to the content of the Old Testament canon, much less the
text critical aspect of that content.
I am not aware of ANY real text critical scholars from the Orthodox world.
If we approach the question at all it is usually in the form of an
apologetic to defend the received text against what we see as critical
excesses. A telling example of this is the LXX.org project to adjust the
NKJV translation to the readings of the Septuagint. There was a serious
argument made in the Orthodox publication, St. Vladimirs Theological
Quarterly, that one should not be translating Old Testament without ANY
reference to the Hebrew. It seems that the translators of LXX.org do not
have any Hebrew language ability and are not making any reference to the
Hebrew version of scripture in working on their adjustment translation. The
counter argument is that Greek is the liturgical and scriptural language of
the Church and the Hebrew version is irrelevant to the translation.
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- Can anyone on this list recommend a University or Seminary where LXX
studies are a specialty, or at least an important part of the curriculum?
Click here for Free Video!!
- As far as Canada is concerned, Toronto used to be one of the best (IMHO!), but with
recent retirements, etc., it really doesn't offer much anymore.
Trinity Western University, Langley, Canada, is toying with starting some sort of LXX
program. It would only be undergrad and perhaps a MA. (TWU has a couple good LXX
scholars, Rob Hiebert and Peter Flint).
Tyler F. Williams
Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, NABC/EBS
11525 - 23 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6J 4T3
Phone: (780) 431-5217/ Toll Free: 1-800-567-4988/ Fax: (780) 436-9416
Web Page: http://www.nabcebs.ab.ca/~twilliam
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kevin Holsapple [mailto:kholsapp@...]
> Sent: Monday, January 15, 2001 6:56 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: [lxx] a question
> Can anyone on this list recommend a University or Seminary where LXX
> studies are a specialty, or at least an important part of the curriculum?
> Kevin Holsapple
> Click here for Free Video!!
- For Kevin Holsapple (and others on the LXX list):
It is possible to study LXX/OG on a graduate level at the University of
Pennsylvania, in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages,
with Jeffrey Tigay, or in Religious Studies, with Robert Kraft.
Robert Kraft typically has at least two or three students doing something
related to the LXX/OG. Jeff Tigay (JPS Deuteronomy Commentary) has
supervised a dissertation that concentrated on LXX. Several of the
Septuagint and Cognate Studies Series books originated here. Religious
Studies and Classics share a large graduate student lounge between them, a
library with Greek materials for reference, and a computer lab with
computerized Greek tools available. We have several working Ibycus
The following are web addresses for each:
Jeffrey Tigay http://www.sas.upenn.edu/ames/
Bob Kraft http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html
Whether this is the place to study basic LXX Greek in the classroom is
another question. If that's an issue, let me know.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Kevin Holsapple [mailto:kholsapp@...]
> > Sent: Monday, January 15, 2001 6:56 PM
> > To: email@example.com
> > Subject: [lxx] a question
> > Can anyone on this list recommend a University or Seminary where LXX
> > studies are a specialty, or at least an important part of the curriculum?
> > Kevin Holsapple
> > -----------------------------------------------------
> > Click here for Free Video!!
> > http://www.gohip.com/free_video/