[lxx] Re: FW: LXX Theology/Theologies
> MSS containing single books of the OT, whilenot
as common as the Ps/Odes MSS, nevertheless come in slightly ahead of
lectionaries at 15%. Thus, it seems that full texts of the OT were the
exception to the rule: the rule, on the contrary, for OT usage and
familiarity would have been portions and excerpts, like the
It seems to me, that from what you are saying it follows that the full
single books of the OT Scriptures were the rule to no less extent than the
lectionaries. And when one has a library of single books, one has the
"Biblia" (=lit. "little books", note the plural).
> by and large theOT scriptures were (and still are) encountered by most people primarily
in the context of worship.
Thanks for you balanced and clarifying comments, John.
I would add that the case with the NT scriptures seems to be the same.
I'm open to what you're saying, but how can it be substantiated from the
evidence? What if, for example, it were seen that individual books like,
say, Gen, predominate percentage-wise among the MSS of indivudual books?
Should we still conclude that this reflects a practice of cobbling together
a full OT from parts? It seems to me that this too would militate against
the idea that there were very many complete OT's (reflecting the range of
the OT canon-lists, though put together book by book), floating around. I
hope you would also admit that, even if statistics showed a fairly even
distribution of individual OT books (i.e., representative of the major
groupings like Wisdom, Prophets, Historical etc.) that it would be quite
another thing to prove that these books had once formed part of a single
library. Most of the MSS in the Verzeichnis are assigned dates, so
consideration of the dating data could be used to confirm or exclude the
probability that certain, single-book MSS formed part of a single library
at one time. I'm willing to undertake some additional analysis of the MS
evidence in VGHOT, if you're willing to propose some criteria according to
which the case you urge can be falsified.
- Blessed be God.
"Choufrine, Arkadi" wrote:
> > by and large the
> OT scriptures were (and still are) encountered by most people primarily
> in the context of worship.
> Thanks for you balanced and clarifying comments, John.
> I would add that the case with the NT scriptures seems to be the same.
The Orthodox Church has always taken a much more liturgical approach to
scripture than has been the case in the West since the Reformation, and
this determines everything from the way we bind the books to the order
we tend to read them.
Thus with regard to the NT, the Gospels are enthroned on the altar of
the church, as being the direct words of the incarnate God-- and for
this reason, they are bound separately. The 'Apostol' is kept at the
chanter's stand, as the words of the apostles are most often proclaimed
either from there or from the middle of the church, and again, for this
reason, it is bound separately as well. The Revelation of St. John is
not read in church, but would be read in the refectory of a monastery,
or privately; so normally you would find it only in a one-volume "New
Testament". The entire canon of the NT is read during the course of a
year in an Orthodox church, but there has always also been a great
effort and earnest desire to read it assiduously in private, especially
following the course of readings which are done in church-- and thus I
believe you are more likely to find mss of the complete NT, than you
will of the OT-- the main reasons probably being sheer bulk and relative
importance within the Christian context. During Lent, we read through
Genesis, Isaiah, and Proverbs, and it is recommended that people follow
these readings privately as well as listening to them in church; the
fathers are very strong on continually reading the holy scriptures
privately. And it is simply impossible to understand our services, with
their enormous bulk of hymnography, without thorough familiarity with
the Old and New Testaments. The entire bible, even its obscure passages,
really was to Orthodox culture what the Iliad and the Odyssey were to
the ancients-- it provided the language, the diction, the terms, the
metaphors, and the imagery that the Byzantines used to talk about
literally anything and everything.