Sigrid Petersen stated:
> The LXX -- the Torah in Greek -- and the OG
>translations of the rest of the Books of the Hebrew-Aramaic scriptures
>may sometimes antedate the texts that we have from Qumran, but not
>necessarily. They may witness to a different Hebrew Vorlage, but not
>necessarily. For the most part, except for the Minor Prophets Scroll from
>Naxal Xever, south of Qumran, there aren't many early witnesses to the
True. The Greek mss. are largely from the early centuries CE and later.
However, they are earlier than codex Leningradensis and do witness
(sometimes) significant and also less dramatic differences. Which brings us to:
>As far as I know, and I've worked with a portion of the Parallel
>Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Jewish Scriptures developed by Emmanuel
>Tov and a team from Penn in the mid-80s, there is NO way to tell whether
>a conjectured archetypal Hebrew text was translated into Greek and then
>evolved into the version in Greek we now have, or whether the differences
>developed in the transmission of the Greek, independently of developing
>difference in the Hebrew-Aramaic text.
Here Sigrid is being a little too general. Yes, there is always some
uncertainty and yes some are very skeptical about the accuracy of
retroverting Greek to Hebrew. However, one of the points that those who
work with the LXX have been trying to make (not always successfully) is that
the translators were translating their source texts faithfully and that we
can distinguish textual variants from inner-Greek corruptions and thus be
confident in our abilities to discern many places where the source text was
different from MT. Please do not turn my statement into a generalization.
Obviously, there are instances where one is less confident and each book or
even sections of books must be treated individually. But that is why people
do this kind of research.
E. Tov wrote The Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research as
an introduction to this process. The work of Soisalon-Soininen, Anneli
Aejmelaeus, Raija Sollamo, Tov, Ulrich, Greenspoon and others is providing
the basis for using the LXX as a text-critical tool with confidence. Others
are working with other versions towards the same ends.
So, my point was that we need to give equal weight to the witness of a
retroverted variant from a version as we give to MT when that retroverted
variant rests on a solid reconstruction. This is critical to our
methodology when pactising textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Tov, BTW,
states the same in several places including his new text on textual
criticism. I am at home so I can't give you page numbers.
Tim McLay tmclay@...
Halifax, Nova Scotia