RE: [lxx] LXX of Isaiah in the Book of Acts
- Sure, Everard!
There are two Ethiopians that concern us - the one in Acts and the one that told David about the death of Absalom (2 Samuel 18:19-32). The Old Testament Ethiopian was overtaken by Achimaas, who wanted to be the first to tell the king the good news (2 Sam 18:23). The New Testament Ethiopian was overtaken by Philip, as Acts 8:26-28 makes clear: "The angel said to Philip: 'Go on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza!' ... And he went and found an Ethiopian who had come to Jerusalem and was on his way back." In David's case, the "good news" (Greek EUANGELLION "gospel") was the death of his son; in the case of Philip, the good news was Isaiah 53:7ff, which describes metaphorically the death of the Messiah. The two deaths are related in that both victims met their fate hanging from a tree - cf. 2 Sam 18:9,15 with Acts 5:30. Absalom was "a sheep to slaughter" in that his massive hairdo - see 2 Sam 14:26 - reminded those seeing him of a sheep needing to be shorn. Absalom was like an innocent "lamb before his shearers" in that not he, but rather his shearers, committed the crime for which he lost his life: the murder of Amnon - see 2 Sam 13:23,28. The Ethiopian eunuch that pulled Jeremiah out of the well (Jer 38:7-12, LXX 45:7-12) doesn't concern us here.
To: firstname.lastname@example.orgFrom: ejohnston105@...: Wed, 15 Oct 2008 05:38:07 -0700Subject: Re: [lxx] LXX of Isaiah in the Book of Acts
Thanks very much for this. Would you please elaborate on the "first century realities in Ethopia concerning Judaism, Old Testament usage and the arrival of Christianity in that country" you see revealed in this use of the LXX text tradition in the NT?Many thanks,Everard Johnston.----- Original Message ----From: Bob Burns <summascriptura@...>To: email@example.comSent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:44:52 PMSubject: [lxx] LXX of Isaiah in the Book of ActsHere is Isaiah 53:7-8 as quoted in Acts 8, which was being read by theEthiopian.Like a sheep he was led to the slaughterand like a lamb before its shearer is silent,so he opens not his mouth.In his humiliation justice was denied him.Who can describe his generation?For his life is taken away from the earth. (ESV)When we compare this passage of Isaiah with the version we have in theMasoretic Text of the Old Testament certain differences become obvious.Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,so he opened not his mouth.By oppression and judgment he was taken away;and as for his generation, who consideredthat he was cut off out of the land of the living? (ESV)Looking furhter, those differences almost completely disappear when wecompare the passage with what we find in the Septuagint version of thesame passage.Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,and as a lamb is silent before the one shearing it,so he does not open his mouthIn his humiliation his judgment was taken away.Who will describe his generation?Because his life is being taken from the earth. (NETS)This passage is an example of the use of the Septuagint text traditionin the New Testament. In my opinion, I find it revealing of certainfirst century realities in Ethiopia concerning Judaism, Old Testamentusage and the arrival of Christianity in that country as well.[Non-text portions of this message have been removed][Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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- To those of you - like Bob - who read aghast as I mentioned "the
Goettingen Septuagint project is on the rocks" (message 2656 of Dec.
1), I apologize. We've now got Ruth from the hand of Udo Quast as
IV,3 (2006) of the Goettingen Septuaginta. Those of us with
connections to an antiquariat now have the opportunity to watch the
British-German hatred play itself out in the field of Biblical
scholarship. A century after Holmes-Parsons began the work of a
critical edition of the Greek Bible, Brooke-McLean made the thing
more usable with The Old Testament in Greek, of which the Octateuch
volume - containing Ruth - appeared sometime during Word War I.
Almost immediately thereafter - in 1922 - Rahlfs responded with Das
Buch Ruth : griechisch, als Probe einer kritischen Handausgabe der
Septuaginta, a small tome of 28 pages that appeared as companion to
the author's larger Studie ueber den griechischen Text des Buches
Ruth of the same year. Quast now provides the finishing touch/blow
(and we can let Naomi and her daughters-in-law rest in peace!?) with
the blessing of Rahlfs ("Due to the increase in evidence since 1922
we deviate from his work slightly") and the curse of Holmes-Parsons
("We've recollated everything; where manuscripts cited by Holmes-
Parsons are lost, we've ignored them, since H-P is prone to error")
[cited from memory and translated from the German, pages not noted;
the book is not at hand]. As with all Goettingen volumes that cover
material worked by Brooke-McLean, we have the scads of "B-M mistakes"
and "B-M didn't see these" (pages 207-208), which are hard reading
for people addicted to the British work. (Checking the discrepancies
firsthand is not a forthright matter - even for those in the
museums/libraries - since B-M and Quast use different systems of
designating the manuscripts, and Quast's work includes neither
bibliographic information about them nor a concordance of sigla.)
New is Appendix 1 (pages 194-207), which lists and categorizes
scribal errors, which are now detached from - and thus no longer
encumber - the apparatus.