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LXX Versions in the first century

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  • JavaJedi2
    I tried to post a message about this recently and I didn t see a response, so I apologize if I missed yours but I m posting it again. I ve been reading a book
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 2, 2007
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      I tried to post a message about this recently and I didn't see a
      response, so I apologize if I missed yours but I'm posting it again.

      I've been reading a book recently on Paul's use of Deuteronomy and
      asserts a view I've read several times for NT authors before: a given
      citation from the LXX was altered by the NT author is such-and-such a
      way and here's why that's important. Do we really know that when Paul
      or Luke sought to cite a Greek translation of the Scriptures of Israel
      that there would have only been one translation to consult? The
      existence of translations by Aquila, Symmachus, etc., suggests to me
      that Paul or LUke or Matthew might have had a version of the Greek
      Bible of which we know nothing. Therefore, we cannot reasonably assert
      that some NT author diverged from the LXX by changing such-and-such.
      What do you think? Thanks.

      Ken Litwak
      Azusa Pacific University
    • David Hindley
      Ken, It might make a difference if the citation were from the Pentateuch versus one of the other books, for which there is more evidence for diversity. How
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 6, 2007
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        Ken,

        It might make a difference if the citation were from the Pentateuch versus one of the other books, for which there is more evidence
        for diversity.

        How seriously, though, should we take assertions that the Pentateuch as translated by the "72" in the 3rd century BCE, which is
        presumably what we find in Christian copies of the Lxx, as the "standard" in the 1st century CE?


        Respectfully,

        Dave Hindley
        Newton Falls, Ohio USA


        -----Original Message-----
        From: sentto-1293705-663-1186087775-dhindley=compuserve.com@...
        [mailto:sentto-1293705-663-1186087775-dhindley=compuserve.com@...] On Behalf Of JavaJedi2
        Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2007 4:49 PM
        To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [lxx] LXX Versions in the first century


        I tried to post a message about this recently and I didn't see a response, so I apologize if I missed yours but I'm posting it
        again.

        I've been reading a book recently on Paul's use of Deuteronomy and asserts a view I've read several times for NT authors before:
        a given citation from the LXX was altered by the NT author is such-and-such a way and here's why that's important. Do we really
        know that when Paul or Luke sought to cite a Greek translation of the Scriptures of Israel that there would have only been one
        translation to consult? The existence of translations by Aquila, Symmachus, etc., suggests to me that Paul or Luke or Matthew might
        have had a version of the Greek Bible of which we know nothing. Therefore, we cannot reasonably assert that some NT author diverged
        from the LXX by changing such-and-such.
        What do you think? Thanks.

        Ken Litwak
        Azusa Pacific University




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      • Sigrid Peterson
        Hi, Ken, After your first post I took the question with me as I walked, and identified at least three assumptions behind the view you cite, that the NT author,
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 7, 2007
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          Hi, Ken,
          After your first post I took the question with me as I walked, and
          identified at least three assumptions behind the view you cite, that the NT
          author, Paul, has altered the text of Deuteronomy to suit his own purposes.

          The statement you quote is that Paul has altered the text to suit his own
          purposes:

          The first assumption is that Paul is a faithful and careful witness to
          whatever text he saw before him. That would be the case if, as you
          suggested, Paul had a copy of a unique and individual translation (one among
          many floating around) in front of him.

          The second assumption, basic to that frequently found opinion you cite, is
          that Paul had in the room in which he wrote/dictated, a copy of the LXX/OG
          to Deuteronomy that is identical to that we would find in the body text of
          the Goettingen edition of Deuteronomy (or some other edition/variation that
          we fancy).

          The third assumption is that, knowing the correct text from what was in
          front of him, that Paul rather than his amanuensis deliberately altered the
          text to make a point.

          The fourth/summary assumption--I really don't want to stir up an online
          hornet's nest with this one-- but the <hidden> assumption should be stated,
          that Paul did NOT pull the quotation out of an unreliable memory, that the
          quotation from Deuteronomy had NOT been haphazardly treated as Paul rushed
          on with his argument. That is, behind arguments about the nature of the text
          "Paul had before him" is the assumption that he indeed had scroll of the Law
          with him, or had access to one in a synagogue, and used it carefully.

          I would say that we lack the necessary evidence to make any substantive
          statements, once these assumptions are considered.

          It would be hard even to make a statement that the difference between the
          citation according to Paul, and the texts we have, are "suggestive" of
          anything. "Anything" meaning a substantially different LXX (in the case of
          Dt) that Paul knew, or a specific emphasis/change Paul intended.

          There may be other assumptions I haven't identified here, though. What do
          you think?

          Glad to see you on line, and sorry we dropped the ball on your question the
          first time.

          Sigrid Peterson
          petersig@...


          On 8/2/07, JavaJedi2 <javajedi2@...> wrote:
          >
          > I tried to post a message about this recently and I didn't see a
          > response, so I apologize if I missed yours but I'm posting it again.
          >
          > I've been reading a book recently on Paul's use of Deuteronomy and
          > asserts a view I've read several times for NT authors before: a given
          > citation from the LXX was altered by the NT author is such-and-such a
          > way and here's why that's important. Do we really know that when Paul
          > or Luke sought to cite a Greek translation of the Scriptures of Israel
          > that there would have only been one translation to consult? The
          > existence of translations by Aquila, Symmachus, etc., suggests to me
          > that Paul or LUke or Matthew might have had a version of the Greek
          > Bible of which we know nothing. Therefore, we cannot reasonably assert
          > that some NT author diverged from the LXX by changing such-and-such.
          > What do you think? Thanks.
          >
          > Ken Litwak
          > Azusa Pacific University
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Sigrid Peterson
          Dave, ... This difference may add to the assumptions in my post that responded to Ken Litwak. We *might* assume that Paul had heard the books of the Law
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 7, 2007
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            Dave,

            On 8/6/07, David Hindley <dhindley@...> wrote:
            >
            > Ken,
            >
            > It might make a difference if the citation were from the Pentateuch versus
            > one of the other books, for which there is more evidence for diversity.


            This difference may add to the assumptions in my post that responded to Ken
            Litwak. We *might* assume that Paul had heard the books of the Law
            throughout his life, and perhaps memoirized them (in Hebrew), and rendered
            them into Greek himself; then we would consider that he might not have that
            extensive a knowledge of the other books, especially considering that we
            cannot assume a fixed HB/OT canon in Hebrew or in Greek, at the time Paul
            wrote.

            So, you have identified an additional assumption for us. That is, that Paul
            very well knew the text of the Pentateuch. The other books, not so much.

            How seriously, though, should we take assertions that the Pentateuch as
            > translated by the "72" in the 3rd century BCE, which is
            > presumably what we find in Christian copies of the Lxx, as the "standard"
            > in the 1st century CE?


            Er, "Christian" copies of the LXX/OG in the 1st century CE? Consulted by
            Paul? Please explain.

            On the possibility of difference between 3d century BCE Pentateuch in Greek,
            and 1st century CE Pentateuch in Greek, yeah. But not in every verse.

            That was a part of Ken's question; if we assiduously note all variants and
            compare to the available Hebrew and otherwise find the earliest text, what's
            the possibility that we have gotten back to the 3d c. BCE, and left Paul's
            Greek text behind, so that while he is quoting a standard text, to him, we
            don't recognize it?


            Respectfully,
            >
            > Dave Hindley
            > Newton Falls, Ohio USA


            Thanks for joining the fray on this one.

            Best,
            Sigrid Peterson
            petersig@...


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David Hindley
            Sigrid, I thought about that after I sent it. It should properly say: How seriously, though, should we take assertions that the Pentateuch as translated by
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 7, 2007
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              Sigrid,

              I thought about that after I sent it. It should properly say:

              "How seriously, though, should we take assertions that the Pentateuch as translated by the "72" in the 3rd century BCE, which is
              presumably what we find in Christian copies of the Lxx [from the 4th century and later], as the "standard" [edition that someone
              like Paul might have consulted] in the 1st century CE?"

              Hopefully that makes things clear as mud. <g>

              Respectfully,

              Dave Hindley
              Newton Falls, Ohio USA


              -----Original Message-----
              From: sentto-1293705-668-1186499155-dhindley=compuserve.com@...
              [mailto:sentto-1293705-668-1186499155-dhindley=compuserve.com@...] On Behalf Of Sigrid Peterson
              Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 11:06 AM
              To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [lxx] LXX Versions in the first century


              Dave,

              On 8/6/07, David Hindley <dhindley@...> wrote:
              >
              > Ken,
              >
              > It might make a difference if the citation were from the Pentateuch
              > versus one of the other books, for which there is more evidence for diversity.


              This difference may add to the assumptions in my post that responded to Ken Litwak. We *might* assume that Paul had heard the books
              of the Law throughout his life, and perhaps memoirized them (in Hebrew), and rendered them into Greek himself; then we would
              consider that he might not have that extensive a knowledge of the other books, especially considering that we cannot assume a fixed
              HB/OT canon in Hebrew or in Greek, at the time Paul wrote.

              So, you have identified an additional assumption for us. That is, that Paul very well knew the text of the Pentateuch. The other
              books, not so much.

              How seriously, though, should we take assertions that the Pentateuch as
              > translated by the "72" in the 3rd century BCE, which is presumably
              > what we find in Christian copies of the Lxx, as the "standard"
              > in the 1st century CE?


              Er, "Christian" copies of the LXX/OG in the 1st century CE? Consulted by Paul? Please explain.

              On the possibility of difference between 3d century BCE Pentateuch in Greek, and 1st century CE Pentateuch in Greek, yeah. But not
              in every verse.

              That was a part of Ken's question; if we assiduously note all variants and compare to the available Hebrew and otherwise find the
              earliest text, what's the possibility that we have gotten back to the 3d c. BCE, and left Paul's Greek text behind, so that while he
              is quoting a standard text, to him, we don't recognize it?


              Respectfully,
              >
              > Dave Hindley
              > Newton Falls, Ohio USA


              Thanks for joining the fray on this one.

              Best,
              Sigrid Peterson
              petersig@...


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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