Re: [textualcriticism] Deuteronomy 32:8 - according to the number of the children of Israel.
- "In fact, my own hypothesis about cave 4 is that it was a sort of proto-genizah, where (perceived to be) faulty documents were deposited."
Why would the community save what they thought were faulty documents? That doesn't make any sense to me.
On 5/4/2012 12:48 PM, Dave Washburn wrote:I have to insert one small corrective here. 4Q37 is the only DSS fragment that preserves this verse, with the exception of 4Q45, which only preserves one partial word (not this one). So it's not quite accurate to use the phrase "dead sea scrolls." There are loads of singular readings among the fragments, especially from cave 4. Most are questionable, to say the least.
There is another very possible scenario, and that is that this one manuscript was influenced by the LXX. It is also very possible that the LXX reading arose because of something already mentioned, i.e. the fact that there were more than 12 nations. It's easy to envision a translator coming upon the MT reading and saying "That can't be right. It must be this." A lot of the cave 4 manuscripts and fragments show LXX influence, so we have to take that into account, as well. In fact, my own hypothesis about cave 4 is that it was a sort of proto-genizah, where (perceived to be) faulty documents were deposited.
Going with some of the usual canons of TC, "sons of Israel" is also the harder reading and the reading that, at least on the surface, best explains the origin of the others.
On the other side, "sons of Israel" frankly makes no sense. Commentators have tried for centuries to make heads or tails of it, usually without success. When the harder reading is nonsensical, throw that canon out. I find myself on the fence about this one, and really don't have any kind of emotional investment in either reading. But trying to sort it out is quite interesting.
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Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 06:41:14 -0700
Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Deuteronomy 32:8 - according to the number of the children of Israel.
The problem appears not to be modern scholarship, but ancient.
If you read through the Gospels, or even the Epistles, you will find references to "The Son of God." Looking at its usage in the Gospel of John, it's hard to escape the conclusion that Second Temple Jews were familiar with the term and its prophetic implications.
But you can search the Hebrew Scriptures in vain for such a term. Why is that? Well, one hypothesis is that late First Century scholars of the rabbinical persuasion saw to it that the Scriptures their scribes passed on were cleansed of any such term. And what evidence would support that hypothesis? Well, if we find that manuscripts from one side of the First Century all read "Son(s) of God", while manuscripts from the other side all read something else, the hypothesis becomes a theory.
Since the only BC manuscripts we have of the Old Testament are the Dead Sea Scrolls, it is powerful evidence for the theory to find the reading "Sons of God" in a DSS ms, but not in any mss of the MT. Finding Greek evidence for "Sons of God" and even an intermediate "Angels of God" adds further strong support to the theory.
In further search of evidence, we can find signs of ancient scholarly tampering throughout the OT text, replacing all references, for example, to anyone "cursing God."
The reasonable conclusion to draw from all this evidence is that ancient biblical scholars, acting out of a self-imposed duty to keep God's holy character from being sullied in the Scriptures, re-wrote selected portions to bring them into conformity with their doctrine.Daniel Buck
From: schmuel <schmuel@...>Hi,
Deuteronomy 32:8 (AV)
When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
The question here is : "the number of the children of Israel." which is in all the Hebrew manuscripts.
All the traditional Reformation Bible editions and all the Jewish Bibles agree on this text.
However, the NETBible from Daniel Wallace and friends shows you some of the current thinking in modern scholarship
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided up humankind, he set the boundaries of the peoples, according to the number of the heavenly assembly.
3 tc Heb “the sons of Israel.” The idea, perhaps, is that Israel was central to Yahweh’s purposes and all other nations were arranged and distributed according to how they related to Israel. See S. R. Driver, Deuteronomy (ICC), 355-56. For the MT (bÿney yisra’el, “sons of Israel”) a Qumran fragment has “sons of God,” while the LXX reads (angelwn qeou, “angels of God”), presupposing (bÿney ’el) or (beney ’elim). “Sons of God” is undoubtedly the original reading; the MT and LXX have each interpreted it differently. MT assumes that the expression “sons of God” refers to Israel (cf. Hos. 1:10), while LXX has assumed that the phrase refers to the angelic heavenly assembly (Pss 29:1; 89:6; cf. as well Ps 82). The phrase is also attested in Ugaritic, where it refers to the high god El’s divine assembly. According to the latter view, which is reflected in the translation, the Lord delegated jurisdiction over the nations to his angelic host (cf. Dan. 10:13-21), while reserving for himself Israel, over whom he rules directly. For a defense of the view taken here, see M. S. Heiser, “Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God,” BSac 158 (2001): 52-74.
And this new text is followed by some of the other modern versions.
- No problem. The dual cataloging system for the DSS is absurdly confusing to everybody, probably including the good folks who devised it.
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Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 08:32:49 -0700
Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Re: 4Q37 and "sons of God"Apparently 4Q37 was the 37th mss recovered from Cave 4, now cataloged as 4QDeut-j, and conflated by none other than yours truly as 4QDeut37. So we can remove that ID number from the list right off! and are back to two DSS mss that contain the phrase in question.Daniel Buck