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Re: [ustav] LXX / Hebrew (was "Halo?")

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  • Deacon Vsevolod
    LXX = Roman numeral for 70.... The abbreviation for the Septuagint, also called the 70 because it was translated by 70 translators (actually 73...) It is the
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 6, 2000
      LXX = Roman numeral for 70.... The abbreviation for the Septuagint, also
      called the 70 because it was translated by 70 translators (actually 73...)
      It is the translation of the Old testament from Hebrew into Greek. It is the
      text traditionally used by the Orthodox Church as the authoritative one for
      the Scriptures.
      In Christ,
      Dn. Vsevolod
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <asp5@...>
      To: <ustav@egroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 10:33 AM
      Subject: Re: [ustav] LXX / Hebrew (was "Halo?")


      > Forgive my ignorance; what exactly IS LXX?
      > Anna
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    • Theophan
      MANY thanks for the fascinating and very informative replies on this subject! May I ask a specific question for clarity? I understand that the Masoretic text
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 6, 2000
        MANY thanks for the fascinating and very informative replies on this
        subject!

        May I ask a specific question for clarity? I understand that the Masoretic
        text is "newer" than the LXX, but does anyone know for sure whether it is
        true that it was "reverse translated" back from the LXX Greek into Hebrew?
        I suppose that it's possible that the Masoretes worked from more ancient
        texts than the LXX which have since been lost, especially given that the
        Masoretic Text was now the Hebrew "standard."

        Do we know? Do we have convincing evidence?

        Many thanks again!
      • Rev. John R. Shaw
        ... The Hebrew was the original language for most of the OT, though there are portions that were in Aramaic. However, around 1000 AD the rabbis established
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 6, 2000
          On Tue, 5 Dec 2000, Theophan wrote:
          > I always thought that
          > the "original" was of course the Hebrew, and the LXX was a translation, and
          > possibly less trustworthy than "the original." but in recent years, I've
          > learned that actually even though that's obviously true historically, the
          > oldest actual copies of the Hebrew that we have are actually more recent
          > than the LXX. I even read someone claim that the Masoretic Hebrew text was
          > "reverse-translated" from the LXX!
          >
          The Hebrew was the "original language" for most of the OT, though
          there are portions that were in Aramaic. However, around 1000 AD the
          rabbis established the Massoretic text as their "official Bible" and from
          then on, burned all other variants.

          The Septuagint manuscripts are far older than the oldest
          Hebrew--*except* for the Dead Sea Scrolls, which often support the
          Septuagint rather than the Massoretic reading.

          In addition, a number of the so-called "Apocryphal" books of the
          Old Testament were found in these Dead Sea Scrolls in the Hebrew.
          Hitherto, the explanation had been made that they existed only in Greek
          and not in Hebrew, and were discounted (by Protestants) for that reason.

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw
        • Rev. John R. Shaw
          ... This was the previously-widesread view, since only the Isaiah Scroll had been published until a few eyars ago. From shortly after thier discovery until a
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 6, 2000
            On Wed, 6 Dec 2000, Deacon Vsevolod wrote:
            > the LXX translation was inspired by the Holy Spirit. There are many
            > instances where the Masoretic text (which dates after Christ) does not
            > coincide with the LXX. The Dead Sea scrolls of Qumran have in fact proved
            > this since we see that those date earlier than the LXX, but unfortunately
            > only the Book of Isaiah has been preserved well enough to determine such
            > things.

            This was the previously-widesread view, since only the Isaiah
            Scroll had been published until a few eyars ago. From shortly after thier
            discovery until a computer expert "broke the lock" on the scrolls by
            reconstructing them from a special concordance of the Hebrew words they
            contained, these scrolls were kept from the public by a "group of
            scholars" who were given exclusive rights to them. Initially the group of
            scholars had been formed to expedite publication, but in reality they
            blocked it for some 50 years.

            There is an English translation in print called THE DEAD SEA
            SCROLLS BIBLE, ISBN 0-06-060063-2, available from Barnes & Noble and other
            bookstores.

            In Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw
          • Theophan
            I am deeply grateful for the many generous, knowledgeable, and very helpful posts on this subject. Thank you all very much for sharing your knowledge with me!
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 6, 2000
              I am deeply grateful for the many generous, knowledgeable, and very helpful
              posts on this subject. Thank you all very much for sharing your knowledge
              with me!
            • Expanding Edge LLC
              Blessed be God. ... I think that must have been a typo, Father, yes? This is the first time I ve ever heard of 73 translators; the figure is usually given as
              Message 6 of 15 , Dec 6, 2000
                Blessed be God.

                Deacon Vsevolod wrote:
                >
                > LXX = Roman numeral for 70.... The abbreviation for the Septuagint, also
                > called the 70 because it was translated by 70 translators (actually 73...)
                > It is the translation of the Old testament from Hebrew into Greek. It is the
                > text traditionally used by the Orthodox Church as the authoritative one for
                > the Scriptures.

                I think that must have been a typo, Father, yes? This is the first time
                I've ever heard of "73" translators; the figure is usually given as
                "72".

                You mention that the translation was produced for the benefit of Jews
                living in Alexandria who had forgotten their Hebrew. I am not certain as
                to the accuracy of this, but another version (at least) is that the king
                wanted a translation for the inauguration of his famous library. In any
                case, legend states that the 72 scholars each produced their
                translations separately from the others, but that when compared, they
                all miraculously agreed.

                This, of course, is legend. We know from critical studies that the
                translations were produced by different hands, sometimes more
                accurately, and some of them seemed to know Hebrew a little better than
                others.

                The other comments you made about the LXX vs. the Masoretic Text I will
                discuss in another message.

                Regards (and this time I'll use my initials),

                John Burnett, MA(OT)
              • Polychroni
                ... The LXX is older than the MT, but they do ~not~ trace to the same version of the OT. [snip] ... More than the Book of Isaiah has been preserved
                Message 7 of 15 , Dec 8, 2000
                  On 6 Dec 00, at 10:18, Deacon Vsevolod wrote:

                  > The LXX is indeed an older version of the original Hebrew.

                  The LXX is older than the MT, but they do ~not~ trace to the same version
                  of the OT.

                  [snip]

                  > There are many instances where the Masoretic text (which dates
                  > after Christ) does not coincide with the LXX. The Dead Sea scrolls of
                  > Qumran have in fact proved this since we see that those date earlier than
                  > the LXX, but unfortunately only the Book of Isaiah has been preserved well
                  > enough to determine such things.

                  More than the Book of Isaiah has been preserved sufficiently to make
                  comparisons.

                  > They [DSS] do coincide with the LXX, and not
                  > with the Masoretic versions.

                  Wholly wrong. The DSS is from the MT-type tradition. The breakdown is as
                  follows:

                  The DSS agree with the MT: 65%
                  LXX: 5%
                  Pentateuch: 5%
                  None: 25%


                  In Christ,

                  Polychronios
                • Rev. John R. Shaw
                  ... One has to remember that prior to the invention of printed books, every copy of any text was liable to present its own peculiarities, or to reproduce those
                  Message 8 of 15 , Dec 9, 2000
                    On Fri, 8 Dec 2000, Polychroni wrote:
                    >
                    > The LXX is older than the MT, but they do ~not~ trace to the same version
                    > of the OT.
                    >
                    One has to remember that prior to the invention of printed books,
                    every copy of any text was liable to present its own peculiarities, or to
                    reproduce those of the copy it had, in its turn. This is why each
                    monastery or cathedral tended to have its own local variant of the service
                    books.

                    One might make a certain parallel between this and the "distinct
                    dialects" of certain languages such as Irish or Armenian: at one time,
                    both were spoken over a considerable territory, and at that time, there
                    was a gradual dovetailing of one dialect into another, a continuity. Then
                    when Irish was replaced by English except in a few "linguistic islands",
                    and Armenian wiped out over large areas with the genocides by the Turks,
                    the surviving dialects in this or that "pocket" became separate and
                    isolated.

                    The same thing happened with various "schools of manuscripts": in
                    various places, copies were made from prototypes. But then with the
                    destruction of most of the early Hebrew MSS., only the rabbinic
                    (Massoretic) text remained--until these Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The
                    Scrolls are part of a given "school", they were hand-copied from local
                    "prototypes"--but since everything for centuries before and after them was
                    lost, along with everything from other places at the same time, they are a
                    sort of "time capsule" from Qumran. The Septuagint version was made in
                    Alexandria, not in Qumran. Therefore it hearkens back to Hebrew MSS. we no
                    longer can turn to.

                    In Christ
                    Fr. John R. Shaw
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