RE: [textualcriticism] Re: LXX and MT
I’m a scholar neither of Hebrew nor of Biblical studies; but my union card’s in a field sufficiently close to your topic that I think I can offer a couple of meaningful observations:
I’m perplexed to know just what I should expect of your thesis. In your introductory communication you stated that it “investigates differences between the LXX and MT.” In your Statement of the Problem you ask a number of interesting questions, videlicet Which is the more accurate and reliable OT text, the Septuagint or the Masoretic? How accurate is the Masoretic pointing? Which text do secondary witnesses support? What is the value of the unpointed DSS in supporting either text? In your ‘summary’ paragraph you state that the subject of your research is how differences between the two texts could be resolved. These are of course all related problems; but you seem to have stated not The problem but Many problems. If I were your thesis director I would call for a clearer, more focused statement of just what one question you’re asking (and presumably answering), to which all the other questions are subordinate.
And do you think the scope might be just a smidgen too large for a Master’s thesis, or even a Doctoral dissertation? The approximate equivalent in my own field would be something like investigating the differences between the Quartos and the First Folio – which has to embrace more than half of Shakespearean textual scholarship for the last three hundred years … Perhaps your university is more demanding than either of mine.
- This opening statement seems confused since it is not clear what 'sola scriptura' has to do with the sentence and the meaning of 'text' is ambiguous. If 'text' means 'wording' then 'discovered' is not appropriate. If 'text' means 'manuscript' then you can't use a singular and of course it never will be. Add to that the fact that 'original' when applied to the OT is usually hard to define.
Do you mean to say 'The authorial wording of the Old Testament has in many instances not yet been identified'?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of Philip
Sent: Thu 05/04/2007 20:11
To: textual criticism
Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: LXX and MT
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The original Old Testament biblical text (sola scriptura) has not yet been discovered.
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- I would start by categorizing the sources of what makes the LXX different from the MT.Differences between the LXX and MT exist for several reasons:1. Different underlying text. Sometimes the LXX was translated from a different text than the MT. Differences in Jeremiah, Job, etc provide many examples.2. Somes the LXX was mistranslated.3. Mis-interpretation of Hebrew Text. In Jer 31:31, the Hebrew reads אכרת where Greek reads as if it was translated from אברת. This could have been a different text, or it could have been a mis-reading of the handwriting.Overall, you're talking about a big project.----- Original Message -----From: PhilipSent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 2:11 PMSubject: [textualcriticism] Re: LXX and MTPlease comment on my PROBLEM STATEMENT.Is it clear, concise, specific? etc?Many thanks.CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION1.1 Statement of the ProblemThe original Old Testament biblical text (sola scriptura) has not yet been discovered. However there are several manuscripts and Old Testament versions and translations extant, which in some places differ with each other in meaning and wording. Ralph W. Klein defines textual criticism eclectically as “the discipline that tries to recover the original copy (autograph) of a piece of literature by comparing its available copies, all of which inevitably contain mistakes.”  James W. Voelz also defines textual criticism eclectically as, “not the discovery of any given correct biblical manuscript, but the reconstruction of the original text for each biblical book from all of its available copies.” In an effort to establish what the original Old Testament texts might have been like, Old Testament scholars have discovered that there are numerous significant differences between the Greek Septuagint and the Hebrew Masoretic Text (about 6000 differences) . These differences raise important questions about whether the Septuagint or the Masoretic Text is the more accurate and reliable Old Testament text. These differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text also raise important questions about the relative reliability of transmission of the Masoretic and Septuagint texts, i.e. the accuracy of the pointing that was done by the Masoretes against the accuracy of the translation that was done by the Septuagint translators.The Masoretic Text is the standard Old Testament biblical text used today for translations by the majority of Bible Translation Organizations and Societies throughout the world, with the exception of a few Eastern European countries which use the Septuagint as the standard Old Testament biblical text. However, as already stated in the previous paragraph, there are about 6000 significant differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text. This raises a problem as to whether or not readers of the MT translations are indeed reading the most accurate Old Testament text.In view of the fact that there are differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text, do other secondary witnesses to the Old Testament such as the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Wadi Murabbaat Manuscripts, the Masada Manuscripts, the Geniza Fragments, the Greek New Testament writers, the Dead Sea Scrolls etc. support the Septuagint readings or the Masoretic Text readings where they differ? In the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are largely unpointed consonantal Hebrew texts, what is the value of these unpointed Dead Sea Scroll texts in supporting either the Septuagint or the Masoretic Text?If the other witnesses to the Old Testament, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls etc. support the Masoretic Text readings against the Septuagint readings, then the traditional policy of the majority of Bible Translation Organizations and Societies throughout the world, of using the Masoretic Text as the standard Old Testament biblical text for Old Testament translations is correct.However, if the other witnesses to the Old Testament support the Septuagint readings against the Masoretic Text readings, then the traditional policy of the majority of Bible Translation Organizations and Societies throughout the world, of using the Masoretic Text as the standard Old Testament biblical text for Old Testament translations is wrong, and raises the question as to whether the Septuagint, as opposed to the MT, should be used as the standard text for Old Testament translations.In summary, the problem of this thesis is the differences between the LXX and the MT. This research investigates how the differences between LXX and MT texts, that read differently for the same scripture reference, could be resolved.
 Ralph W. Klein, Textual Criticism of the Old Testament: The Septuagint after Qumran, (Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1981), vii. James W. Voelz, What Does This Mean? Principles of Interpretation in the Post-Modern World, (Missouri: Concordia Publishing House, 1995), 22. For instance, LXX Jeremiah is shorter than MT Jeremiah by about one-eighth, and the order of its chapters is quite different. LXX Job is about one-sixth smaller than MT Job, and includes an ending not extant in the Hebrew. Almost half of the verses in LXX Esther are not found in MT Esther . LXX Exodus and MT Exodus differ in many places according to the order of the verses, and inclusion and exclusion of words and material. [Joel Kalvesmaki, The History of the Septuagint, and its Terminology, (http://students. cua.edu/16kalves maki/lxx), 20th February 2004]. For some eastern European languages, the Septuagint is used as the textual base. This is due to the fact that the Orthodox churches in those areas regard it as the authoritative text. For examples of eastern European languages which use the Septuagint as textual base, please see, [ Reinier de Blois , RE: [b-hebrew] MT for all OT Translations? (biblical hebrew mailing list, http://lists. ibiblio.org/ mailman/listinfo /b, Monday, 21st June, 2004. 13:01 hours GMT)].
Robert Mossotti <rwmossotti@yahoo. com> wrote:Please do post it to the list. If you are not allowed to, please copy/paste it into an email and send it to me. I recently asked a question about LXX vs. MT myself, and would like to read what you are offering to the group.Thanks,Robert W. Mossotti, Esq.
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> 2. Somes the LXX was mistranslated.
bt how one can be sure that this word was mistranslated or
translated from different source than the MT ?
- I think that you are right. There probably were two different source texts for the LXX and MT, i.e. the LXX Vorlage and the Proto-MT respectively. These two source texts sometimes read differently for the same text.Philip Engmann
honey5stars <honeytimes@...> wrote:hi Jovialyou wrote> 2. Somes the LXX was mistranslated.bt how one can be sure that this word was mistranslated ortranslated from different source than the MT ?
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- A dramatic example of this may be found in the recent publication of the Dead
Sea Scroll 4QSam-a. In those passages of Samuel where the Old Greek is extant
(1 Sam 1:1--2 Sam 9:13) and the Old Greek and the MT do not agree, the Old
Greek agrees with the text of 4QSam-a more than 2 out of every 3 instances. (A
more complete breakdown of the statistics may be found in the article of Cross
and Saley in the journal Dead Sea Discoveries 13:1 46-54.)
Quoting Philip <philipengmann@...>:
> I think that you are right. There probably were two different source texts<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
> for the LXX and MT, i.e. the LXX Vorlage and the Proto-MT respectively. These
> two source texts sometimes read differently for the same text.
> Philip Engmann
> honey5stars <honeytimes@...> wrote:
> hi Jovial
> you wrote
> > 2. Somes the LXX was mistranslated.
> bt how one can be sure that this word was mistranslated or
> translated from different source than the MT ?
> Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
> Check outnew cars at Yahoo! Autos.
Richard J. Saley, Ph.D.
Lecturer on the Ancient Near East
Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Six Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138-2020 USA