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Re: Amos 9:11-12: Hebrew to Greek

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  • Robert B. Waltz
    ... I can t claim to have studied the matter in detail, but I think the matter is simpler than you describe. Luke quoted the Old Greek LXX because that s what
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 8, 1997
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      On Fri, 08 Aug 1997, kdlitwak <kdlitwak@...> wrote:

      > I don't have tools available (or know enough languages) to check into
      >this myself readily so I have a question for the list:
      >
      > In Acts 15, Luke shows James citing Amos 9:11-12, according to the
      >Old Greek, which is what Luke usually uses when citing the Scriptures of
      >Israel. It has been objected that James would never quote the LXX.
      >While I find that argument open to criticism, I'm wondering if there are
      >any Hebrew texts from, say Qumran, or other versions not dependent upon
      >the Old Greek, which reflect the same reading as the Old Greek as cited
      >in Acts or at least are close enough to it to explain how the Old Greek
      >came to this rendering. (I'm not here looking to "defend" Luke -- just
      >understand why the LXX is so different -- Luke can take care of himself
      >:-) ). Is there a Targum that reads more like the Old Greek? I'm
      >looking basically for an explanation for the difference between the MT
      >Hebrew and Old Greek translation of this text in Amos. Obviously
      >witnesses which depend upon the "LXX" are of no help because they are
      >successors. I am looking for a predecessor that went the same
      >direction. My brief look at the Old Greek of Amos in Rahlff's didn't
      >lead me to think that on the whole the translator was as free as, say,
      >the translator of Isaiah appears to have been. Thanks for any help in
      >advance.

      I can't claim to have studied the matter in detail, but I think the
      matter is simpler than you describe. Luke quoted the Old Greek LXX
      because that's what he knew. Even if you assume that he had James's
      words verbatim (which I think -- to say the least -- unlikely), he
      would be much more likely to use the Greek text he knew than to
      translate it himself.

      As for the Old Greek of the Minor Prophets, I can't make any definitive
      statement -- but my impression (based on many hours transferring
      LXX readings to the margin of my "working" NRSV) is that the version
      *is* very different from the Hebrew. I think in some instances these
      do represent different texts (and at first glance the LXX looks more
      original in a lot of instances), but most of them appear to be nothing
      more than instances where the translators simply didn't know what
      they were doing.

      I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think you should read too much
      into all of this. But that's just my opinion. :-)

      -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

      Robert B. Waltz
      waltzmn@...

      Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
      Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
      (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
    • James R. Adair
      Targum Jonathan is clearly based on a Hebrew text similar to MT, not the forebear of the OG. I don t have immediate access to the Leiden Peshitta, but the
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 10, 1997
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        Targum Jonathan is clearly based on a Hebrew text similar to MT, not the
        forebear of the OG. I don't have immediate access to the Leiden Peshitta,
        but the Bible Society's text of P is also much closer to MT than OG. It
        should be noted that Acts 15:16-17, while closer to Rahlfs' LXX than to
        MT, is hardly identical. Thus:

        MT: <11> bywm hhw) )qym )t skt dwyd hnplt wgdrty )t prcyhn whrstyw )qym
        wbnytyh kymy (wlm <12> lm(n yyr$w )t $)ryt )dwm wkl hgwym )$r nqr) $my
        (lyhm n)m yhwh (&h z)t

        LXX (Rahlfs): <11> en th hmera ekeinh anasthsw thn skhnhn dauid thn
        peptwkuian kai anoikodomhsw ta peptwkota auths kai ta kateskammena auths
        anasthsw kai anoikodomhsw authn kaqws ai hmerai tou aiwnos <12> opws
        ekzhthswsin oi kataloipoi twn anqrwpwn kai panta ta eqnh ef ous
        epikeklhtai to onoma mou ep autous legei kurios o qeos o poiwn tauta

        Acts 15 (UBS4): <16> meta tauta anastreyw kai anoikodomhsw thn skhnhn
        dauid thn peptwkuian kai ta kateskammena auths anoikodomhsw kai anorqwsw
        authn <17> opws an ekzhthswsin oi kataloipoi twn anqrwpwn ton kurion kai
        panta ta eqnh ef ous epikeklhtai to onoma mou ep autous legei kurios poiwn
        tauta

        It looks as though the writer of Acts is either citing a Greek text quite
        different from that present in Rahlfs or else he is citing it rather
        loosely, perhaps adapting it to his own purposes and viewpoints. To give
        just one example, the omission of "kaqws ai hmerai tou aiwnos" _might_
        reflect Luke's understanding of Christianity as the "new covenant,"
        distinct from the old and not to be identified with it (this is just a
        thought that comes to mind when comparing these readings--obviously it
        would need to be researched further).

        Jimmy Adair
        Manager of Information Technology Services, Scholars Press
        and
        Managing Editor of TELA, the Scholars Press World Wide Web Site
        ---------------> http://scholar.cc.emory.edu <-----------------
      • dwashbur@nyx.net
        ... The only DSS I have been able to find that include this part of Amos are the Minor Prophets scroll from Murabba`at (DJD 2:187-188) and 4QFlorilegium (DJD
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 11, 1997
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          > I don't have tools available (or know enough languages) to check into
          > this myself readily so I have a question for the list:
          >
          > In Acts 15, Luke shows James citing Amos 9:11-12, according to the
          > Old Greek, which is what Luke usually uses when citing the Scriptures of
          > Israel. It has been objected that James would never quote the LXX.
          > While I find that argument open to criticism, I'm wondering if there are
          > any Hebrew texts from, say Qumran, or other versions not dependent upon
          > the Old Greek, which reflect the same reading as the Old Greek as cited
          > in Acts or at least are close enough to it to explain how the Old Greek
          > came to this rendering.

          The only DSS I have been able to find that include this part of Amos
          are the Minor Prophets scroll from Murabba`at (DJD 2:187-188) and
          4QFlorilegium (DJD 5:53). Both read with MT, and the latter is only
          a partial citation of v.11. No help from Qumran, apparently.

          Dave Washburn
          dwashbur@...
          http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur/home.html
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