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5383RE: tc-list Biblical Cruxes (OT)

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  • Kristin DeTroyer
    Feb 2, 1999
      Well, I think I have addressed your first crux. However, my Ph.D.
      dissertation (Leiden University, The End of the Alpha-text of Esther) has
      been published in Dutch and is currently being translated into English. It
      will be published by SBL. So, have patience!
      See you, Kristin De Troyer

      BTW I love your list of cruxes

      -----Original Message-----
      From: James R. Adair [SMTP:jadair@...]
      Sent: Monday, February 01, 1999 12:06 PM
      To: tc-list@...
      Subject: Re: tc-list Biblical Cruxes (OT)

      No one has addressed any Old Testament biblical cruxes yet, so let me list
      a few.

      1. The most obvious examples are the books like Daniel and Esther whose
      Greek forms have substantial additional material (often called
      deuterocanonical or apocryphal) in comparison with the Masoretic Text.

      2. There are also other books that, taken as a whole, differ
      significantly in the standard versions (i.e., MT and Rahlfs' LXX). These
      include (but are not limited to) Job, Proverbs, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and
      Kings. In the Greek version, numerous verses are left out, or added, or
      rearranged, in comparison with the MT.

      These first two categories are really examples of the overlap of textual
      and literary (or source) criticism, similar to the case with the Synoptic
      Gospels in the NT.

      3. There are of course also numerous examples of important differences
      among the OT witnesses that are of a more limited scope. I'll list a few
      of the more interesting ones. (The following abbreviations are used:
      MT=Masoretic Text, xQyyy=Qumran ms, LXX=Septuagint (as represented in
      Rahlfs' edition), SP=Samaritan Pentateuch, P=Peshitta, T=Targum,
      V=Vulgate, Tiq Soph=scribal correction [noted in Masoretic mss],

      a. Gen 2:2--(God completed his work of creation on the) "seventh" (day):
      MT V] "sixth": LXX SP P. Most commentators think the reading of MT is
      original, with LXX a scribal correction to emphasize that God did not in
      fact work on the seventh day (Hendel, _The Text of Genesis 1-11_,

      b. 1 Sam 3:13--(Eli's sons cursed) "themselves": MT P T (V)] "God":
      Tiq soph LXX. To avoid pronouncing the words "curse God" together, a
      reading tradition developed that changed the words (cf. also Job 1:5, 11;
      2:5, 9, where Tiq soph is not indicated).

      c. Isa 53:11--(out of his anguish he shall see) "light": 1QIsa-a,b LXX]
      omit: MT etc.

      d. 1 Sam 17:12-31; 17:55-18:6--present in MT, absent in LXX. This variant
      really belongs to #2 above, but it's interesting enough to list
      separately. The story of David playing the harp for Saul is omitted in
      LXX, so when Saul later asks who it is that has fought Goliath, he really
      hasn't met him yet.

      e. Deut 32:8--(Elyon fixed the boundaries of the nations according to the
      number of the) "sons of Israel" MT V] "angels of God" LXX] "sons of God"
      4QDeut-q[?-maybe a different ms] LXX-848 Arm. The presumably original
      reading "sons of God" (which Wevers says is in fact the original reading
      of LXX) was modified to accord more fully with monotheistic thinking.

      f. Judges 18:30--(ancestor of an idolatrous priest) "Manasseh" MT (some
      mss with suspended nun) LXX-B] "Moses" LXX-A V. The revered name of Moses
      had to be protected, so a "nun" was added to transform it to Manasseh, the
      name of the most wicked king of Israel.

      g. Ps 100:3--(God made us,) "and not we ourselves" MT-kethib LXX] "and we
      are his" MT-qere V(iuxta Heb) T Aquila. This variation from lamed-alef to
      lamed-waw (pronounced the same) shifts the meaning from the first to the
      second of the variant readings.

      h. Mal 1:1--(identity of the prophet) "Malachi" (a proper name) MT etc.]
      "his messenger" (an anonymous prophet) LXX. Malachi can mean "my
      messenger," and a change in the final letter yields the LXX reading.

      i. Isa 7:14--"a young woman" MT T Aquila Symmachus Theodotion] "virgin"
      LXX V. Although LXX's translation originally had no theological
      motivation (the LXX translation in Isaiah is generally a free
      translation), Matthew's appropriation of the verse in Matt 1:23 gave the
      LXX rendering added meaning among Christians.

      j. Gen 5, genealogical list from Adam to Noah--
      (A=age when successor born, B=balance of life, C=total years)


      Adam 130 800 930 230 700 930 130 800 930
      Seth 105 807 912 205 707 912 105 807 912
      Enosh 90 815 905 190 715 905 90 815 905
      Kenan 70 840 910 170 740 910 70 840 910
      Mahalalel 65 830 895 165 730 895 65 830 895
      Jared 162 800 962 162 800 962 62 785 847
      Enoch 65 300 365 165 200 365 65 300 365
      Methuselah 187 782 969 167 802 969 67 653 720
      Lamech 182 595 777 188 565 753 53 600 653
      Noah 500 450 950 500 450 950 500 450 950

      There are numerous differences in dates in the three versions of the
      genealogy--cf. also the genealogy from Shem to Terah in Gen 11.

      These are some of the more interesting textual problems in the OT/HB.

      James R. Adair, Jr.
      Director, ATLA Center for Electronic Texts in Religion
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