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

was the LXX as we now have it translated by Jews--or by Christians?

Expand Messages
  • nicholas candela
    The description of the LXX egroup says that the process of translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek lasted from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 25, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      The description of the LXX egroup says that "the
      process of translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into
      Greek "lasted from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd
      century CE..." So is Rabbi Tovia Singer correct when
      in his anti-Christian polemics he states that "The LXX
      as we now have it is essentially a Christian
      document"? He claims "the 70" translated only the
      Pentateuch, and none of the translations of the other
      books can be trusted to have come from the pen of Jews
      living before the birth of Christianity. He says that
      many of the later books, including Isaiah, are
      essentially Christian works. Which books were
      translated AFTER the Church existed? I thought it was
      all done by the 2nd century BC.

      __________________________________
      Do you Yahoo!?
      Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it now
      http://companion.yahoo.com/
    • tmcos@canada.com
      A very good question indeed. I find it hard to accept that the LXX is a Christian product when it was used by Paul in all his letters, some of them quite
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 25, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        A very good question indeed. I find it hard to accept
        that the LXX is a Christian product when it was used by
        Paul in all his letters, some of them quite early. I
        just can't see a wide conspiracy for Christians to
        invent the LXX in such a short span of time. The fact
        that the NT profusely quotes from the LXX I think lends
        support for its pre-Christian origins. While it is
        true that we possess almost complete copies of the LXX
        in Codex Vaticanus and Siniaticus, clearly Christian
        texts, we nevertheless have fragmentary texts of the
        LXX that predate the first century CE. Looking forward
        to the comments of other list members.

        Tony Costa



        On Tue, 25 Nov 2003 13:02:19 -0800 (PST), nicholas
        candela wrote:

        >
        > The description of the LXX egroup says that "the
        > process of translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into
        > Greek "lasted from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd
        > century CE..." So is Rabbi Tovia Singer correct when
        > in his anti-Christian polemics he states that "The LXX
        > as we now have it is essentially a Christian
        > document"? He claims "the 70" translated only the
        > Pentateuch, and none of the translations of the other
        > books can be trusted to have come from the pen of Jews
        > living before the birth of Christianity. He says that
        > many of the later books, including Isaiah, are
        > essentially Christian works. Which books were
        > translated AFTER the Church existed? I thought it was
        > all done by the 2nd century BC.
        >
        > __________________________________
        > Do you Yahoo!?
        > Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it now
        > http://companion.yahoo.com/
        >
        > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • David C. Hindley
        Tony Costa says, ... used by Paul in all his letters, some of them quite early. I just can t see a wide conspiracy for Christians to invent the LXX in such a
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 25, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          Tony Costa says,

          >>I find it hard to accept that the LXX is a Christian product when it was
          used by Paul in all his letters, some of them quite early. I just can't see
          a wide conspiracy for Christians to invent the LXX in such a short span of
          time. The fact that the NT profusely quotes from the LXX I think lends
          support for its pre-Christian origins. While it is true that we possess
          almost complete copies of the LXX in Codex Vaticanus and Siniaticus, clearly
          Christian texts, we nevertheless have fragmentary texts of the LXX that
          predate the first century CE. Looking forward
          to the comments of other list members.<

          No one doubts that the Pentateuch was translated from Hebrew to Greek around
          250 BCE, and that the translators were Jews (as opposed to non-Jews). No one
          can be sure whether they were from Judaea or from Alexandria. Whatever the
          case, they appear to have been bi-lingual (although not necessarily fluent
          in both languages).

          It was the Greek translations of the books of the prophets and the other
          writings that strung out into the second century CE or later. Keep in mind
          that there were variant editions of some (maybe all) such books circulating
          at the same time, or with one being favored over another at certain times
          and certain places and by certain special interest groups. The best example
          of this is the book of Daniel. Christian codices of the OT tended to have
          Theodotion's version of Daniel, which was very distinct, but not for the
          other books. I guess they got better mileage from it when it came to
          interpreting the prophesy of the 70 weeks, etc., as relating to Jesus.

          We know the names of some of these translators, such as Aquila, Symmachus &
          Theodotion, from Christian figures like Origen and I believe some comments
          by Jewish writers as well. I believe there was some dispute among early
          Christian writers as to whether some of these figures were Christians, and
          if so, what kind of Christians. By the time of the commentators, most of the
          folks claiming Jewish-Christian ancestry were considered heterodox or
          heretics, so they tend to dance around the implications or use implications
          of heresy to disparage translations they didn't favor.

          So when we say such and so a quote comes from the "Lxx" we are really saying
          "one of the Greek translations in circulation."

          Respectfully,

          Dave Hindley
          Cleveland, Ohio, USA
        • Ashley Crane
          Hi Nicholas, R.Tovia loves to promote this argument, but it is flawed in several areas, as has been pointed out to him numerous times. Firstly, the reason
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 25, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Nicholas,

            R.Tovia loves to promote this argument, but it is flawed in several areas,
            as has been pointed out to him numerous times.

            Firstly, the reason given for the 3 exegetes of Aquila, Symmachus &
            Theodotion for their translations was their dissatisfaction with how
            Christians were using the LXX texts. If the LXX-prophetic texts were purely
            Christian translations then the Jewish community could have just dismissed
            them and thus ignored them. The fact these three did their own rather
            wooden translations shows their attempt to 'rescue' what was considered
            Jewish texts from Christian interpretation.

            Most today would see the entire Tanach as translated BEFORE the destruction
            of the Temple, and even before the end of 1 BCE. Jobes and Silva (2000,
            p.45) support this saying, "When and where the other books [than Torah] were
            translated, and by whom, we have good reason to believe that by the middle
            of the first century B.C.E.. Both Harl (et. al., 1988, p.111) and Siegert
            (2001, p.42) place the translation of Ezekiel in similar time frame to the
            other major prophets (ca. 230-170 BCE).

            You correctly state that Paul did refer to LXX writings which must therefore
            have been in existence before that time, and have already been accepted as
            authoritative in order for him to quote in an apologetic way from them. In
            addition to this, the writer of Hebrews quoted exclusively from LXX MSS, and
            also as an apologetics.

            It is true that the majority of LXX MSS have been transmitted to us by
            Christian hands. But this does not mean they are Christian text, nor that
            their translations are christian inovations.
            We must also remember that there is no such thing as THE Lxx - but rather
            each book of Tanach translated at different times, and often by different
            people (Thackeray is one who believes the translator of Ezekiel a and g is
            the same as Kings and the 12 prophets). The later Chrisitan codices took
            translations available to them at the time of binding, some of which were
            good and some were not so good. That is why we find intra-LXX variants
            between the 3 earliest Christian codices.

            I hope this helps.

            Ashley Crane.


            -----Original Message-----
            From: nicholas candela [mailto:nicholas_38018@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 5:02 AM
            To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [lxx] was the LXX as we now have it translated by Jews--or by
            Christians?

            The description of the LXX egroup says that "the
            process of translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into
            Greek "lasted from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd
            century CE..." So is Rabbi Tovia Singer correct when
            in his anti-Christian polemics he states that "The LXX
            as we now have it is essentially a Christian
            document"? He claims "the 70" translated only the
            Pentateuch, and none of the translations of the other
            books can be trusted to have come from the pen of Jews
            living before the birth of Christianity. He says that
            many of the later books, including Isaiah, are
            essentially Christian works. Which books were
            translated AFTER the Church existed? I thought it was
            all done by the 2nd century BC.

            __________________________________
            Do you Yahoo!?
            Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it now
            http://companion.yahoo.com/




            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • Joel Kalvesmaki
            Dear all, Nicolas s post made me realize that the introduction to the discussion group was poorly worded. The process we were trying to describe from the 3d c.
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 25, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear all,

              Nicolas's post made me realize that the introduction to the discussion group
              was poorly worded. The process we were trying to describe from the 3d c. BCE
              to the 3d c. CE was not just the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, but
              their redaction as well. The dates for the translation of certain books tend
              to be ever elusive, but the scholarly consensus seems to be, in accord with
              Ashley's comments, that the great majority of the Hebrew Scriptures were
              translated into Greek by the time of Philo. I have attempted to emend the
              introduction so as to remove the confusion.

              For one attempt at pinpointing a date on each book, see
              Dorival/Harl/Munnich's chart in their excellent volume LA BIBLE GRECQUE DES
              SEPTANTE:
              http://www.tradere.org/biblio/lxx/harl-03.htm#P1328_229686

              Apologies for the confusion,

              jk
              untitledJoel Kalvesmaki 16kalvesmaki@...
              http://students.cua.edu/16kalvesmaki/ Graduate Student, Early Christian
              Studies Catholic University of America Washington, DC
            • Ashley Crane
              Hi Joel, Seigert also has a good chart p.42 (or there abouts!) Siegert, F., Zwischen Hebräischer Bibel Und Altem Testament: Eine Einführung in Die
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 25, 2003
              • 0 Attachment

                Hi Joel,

                 

                Seigert also has a good chart p.42 (or there abouts!)

                 

                Siegert, F., Zwischen Hebräischer Bibel Und Altem Testament: Eine Einführung in Die Septuaginta, (Institutem Judaicum Delitzschianum, Münsteraner Judaistische Studien 9; Münster: Lit Verlag, 2001).

                 

                Ashley

                 

                 

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Joel Kalvesmaki [mailto:16kalvesmaki@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 8:52 AM
                To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [lxx] was the LXX as we now have it translated by Jews--or by Christians?

                 

                For one attempt at pinpointing a date on each book, see

                Dorival/Harl/Munnich's chart in their excellent volume LA BIBLE GRECQUE DES

                SEPTANTE:

                http://www.tradere.org/biblio/lxx/harl-03.htm#P1328_229686

                 

                Apologies for the confusion,

                 

                Jk

                 

                 

              • Mbenassi48@cs.com
                I found Dave Hindley s comments interesting as it relates to some work I have been doing and maybe someone has some thoughts on this question. Both Eusebius
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 26, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  I found Dave Hindley's comments interesting as it relates to some work I have been doing and maybe someone has some thoughts on this question.  Both Eusebius and Jerome refer to Symmachus and Theodotion as Judaizantes, "Judaizers" whereas as Aquila is referred to as Judaeus, a Jew.  While Dave is right that there were, in various ways, confusion about the exact religious orientation of these translators and their real identity, the perceptions of Eusebius and Jerome, in particular, seem significant, since Jerome clearly favors Aquila over the other two major Greek translators.  I have been looking for works that address the question of why a Jewish translator would be favored over a Christian translator, even though S. and T. were classified as Ebionites and seem to have clearly acquired that stigma by Jerome's time.  I realize that Aquila has a reputation for being more "literal" yet his translation is full of oddities that would discredit any modern translation that claimed to be literal.   

                  Mark Benassi 
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.