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Acolyte
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« on: October 09, 2008, 07:19:30 AM »

This is Flavius Josephus in his preface to Antiquities of the Jews:

Quote
I found, therefore, that the second of the Ptolemies was a king who was extraordinarily diligent in what concerned learning, and the collection of books; that he was also peculiarly ambitious to procure a translation of our law, and of the constitution of our government therein contained, into the Greek tongue. Now Eleazar the high priest, one not inferior to any other of that dignity among us, did not envy the forenamed king the participation of that advantage, which otherwise he would for certain have denied him, but that he knew the custom of our nation was, to hinder nothing of what we esteemed ourselves from being communicated to others. Accordingly, I thought it became me both to imitate the generosity of our high priest, and to suppose there might even now be many lovers of learning like the king; for he did not obtain all our writings at that time; but those who were sent to Alexandria as interpreters, gave him only the books of the law, while there were a vast number of other matters in our sacred books. They, indeed, contain in them the history of five thousand years; in which time happened many strange accidents, many chances of war, and great actions of the commanders, and mutations of the form of our government. Upon the whole, a man that will peruse this history, may principally learn from it, that all events succeed well, even to an incredible degree, and the reward of felicity is proposed by G-d; but then it is to those that follow his will, and do not venture to break his excellent laws: and that so far as men any way apostatize from the accurate observation of them, what was practical before becomes impracticable and whatsoever they set about as a good thing, is converted into an incurable calamity.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-pref.htm

And this is from the Talmud:
Quote
‘R. Judah said: When our teachers permitted Greek, they permitted it only for a scroll of the Torah’. This was on account of the incident related in connection with King Ptolemy, as it has been taught: ‘It is related of King Ptolemy that he brought together seventy-two elders and placed them in seventy-two rooms, without telling them why he had brought them together, and he went in to each one of them and said to him, Translate for me the Torah of Moses your master.
http://books.google.com/books?id=p6Nb0o3qY6oC&pg=PA374&lpg=PA374&dq=%22When+our+teachers+permitted+Greek,+they+permitted+it+only+for+a+scroll+of+the+Torah%22&source=web&ots=4Yei8XxPU2&sig=tRDRYPaJPaBdXSwy9h57_RCezPI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

It would seem that the original Septuagint was only a translation of the Torah, rather than the Hebrew Scriptures in its entirety.
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 07:23:25 AM »

It would seem that the original Septuagint was only a translation of the Torah, rather than the Hebrew Scriptures in its entirety. 

Well, a cursory study of the history of the Septuagint would reveal that it began as a translation of the Torah, but eventually included the entire canon of Hebrew Scriptures; but you knew that already. I've seen a real handy list (in the index of the EOB Old Testament online) which shows where Jesus used Hebrew OT references, and where He used obvious Septuagint OT references.  St. Paul (I think) exclusively used the Septuagint.  It's not hard to detect - there are plenty of places where word interpretation between the MT and the LXX diverge to make the comparison of quotes and determine which was used more by the 1st century Church.
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2008, 09:16:48 AM »

The basic advantage of the use of the Septuagint is precisely that it holds the beliefs of Judaism at the time of Christ and thus has great impact on how Orthodox Christianity and our beliefs are founded.  The use of it in the early Church  and  in our own Present day Orthodox Church ties us more closely to the Ancient Church.  It is without the layers of interpretation by post diaspora Jewish scholars who edited the Masoric text to fit their beliefs after the diaspora as well as later Roman Catholic amd Protestant theologians' views. The Septuagint helps us to understand the services of the Orthodox Church and the hymnology which often lifts entire texts from the Septuagint and places them in open view through the services/hymnology of the church, these texts that are missing in the Masoric text. Thanks be to God that we now have a readily accessible Septuagint in English for those who read English!

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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 06:20:33 AM »

My point in starting this thread is that the story of the 70 applies only to the translation of the Torah. It's not like the Septuagint as a translation is divinely inspired.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 06:22:36 PM »

Quote
It's not like the Septuagint as a translation is divinely inspired.

Are you sure? Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2010, 05:08:30 AM »

It would seem that the original Septuagint was only a translation of the Torah, rather than the Hebrew Scriptures in its entirety.
The legend of the 72 comes from the Letter of Aristeas http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/letteraristeas.html and was developed expanded/supplemented in various ways throughout the patristic period.

Philo applied the legend of the miraculous 72 to the Torah (first 5 books of the OT) of the LXX only, which even if it was not strictly legendary would make sense since whoever the original group of translators were when the LXX Torah was translated under the auspices of Ptolmey II Philadelphus in 282 BC they would have been dead (and therefore their supposed supernatural abilities would not apply) long before not only many of the Deuterocanonicals had even been composed, but also well before many of the other OT books were translated. Contemporary Septuagint scholarship also affirms the initial commission by Ptolmey II of the Torah first. Not only were other LXX books translated later and by different hands, they were not always as skillfully translated (to say the least) as with the LXX Torah according to most scholarly investigators:

Quote
"The variety of the translators is proved by the unequal character of the version: some books show that the translators were by no means competent to the task, while others, on the contrary, exhibit on the whole a careful translation. The Pentateuch is considered to be the part the best executed, while the book of Isaiah appears to be the worst." -Brenton, The Septuagint With Apocrypha (from the Introduction)

"...the Pentateuch is reasonably well translated, but the rest of the books, especially the poetical books, are often very poorly done and even contain sheer absurdities." -Sir Godfrey Driver

"As a translation it is very unequal; the Pentateuch has been done much more carefully than the rest of the Old Testament. The translation of some parts of the Old Testament shows very indifferent workmanship indeed" -F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments, p.147
In a real sense what we call "the Septuagint" was not so much a "single book" as a trajectory; early manuscripts of the LXX differ from one another not only in text but in books which are contained -with some of the major manuscripts omitting books considered canonical among the Deuterocanonicals, and with some including books which are not considered canonical by either Orthodox or Roman Catholics, for example.

Patristic awareness of some unevenness of translation is also suggested by the replacement early in the patristic period of Theodotian's version of Daniel which was evidently thought superior to the LXX text of that biblical book. Obviously patristic attitudes to the sanctity of the LXX were at the very least diverse.

My point in starting this thread is that the story of the 70 applies only to the translation of the Torah. It's not like the Septuagint as a translation is divinely inspired.
Metropolitan Kallistos Ware would clearly beg to differ with Acolyte:

Quote from: Kallistos Ware
“The Orthodox Church has the same New Testament as the rest of Christendom. As its authoritative text for the Old Testament it uses the ancient Greek translation known as the Septuagint. Where this differs from the Hebrew text (which happens quite often), Orthodox believe that the changes in the Septuagint were made under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and are to be accepted as part of God’s continuing revelation.’ Ware, Timothy, The Orthodox Church, p. 208.
I cannot help but be intrigued as to what Metropolitan Ware might say regarding, for example, the extreme mathematical disparity we find for patriarchal ages between the SP (Samaritan Pentateuch), the MT (Masoretic text), the DSS (Dead Sea Scrolls), and the LXX which could well suggest a number of apparent absurdities -as many scholars suggest- in the LXX text -e.g. the Lucianic LXX text has Methuselah surviving the flood, in obvious contradiction to other scripture and other versions. Does anyone think Metropolitan Ware would suggest all of these specific changes are inspired??? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genealogies_of_Genesis#Genesis_5_numbers (yes it's Wiki, but the figures here match my textbooks), OR, if not, might he modify his statement about the specific changes versus the Hebrew being inspired? (if so in what way?)  There is some evidence for the view that the Hebrew trajectory did -not so much alter- prefer textual readings etc. (and translations into Greek where applicable, e.g. Aquila etc.), spins etc. in contradistinction to the Christian challenge to Judaism e.g. the DSS Isaiah is more "Messianic" than the MT (interestingly a scribe marked Messianic texts in the margin of one manuscript with the Hebrew letter tov, which at the time had the form of a cross!!). Certainly this issue of suspicion and spin was reasonable warrant for clinging to the LXX during the patristic period as a preferred "authority." Accordingly Brenton might have been a bit hasty in that sense to argue LXX authority per se on the basis of the phenomena of scripture alone (especially during the early patristic period when the issue was all the more a live one):

Quote from: Brenton/Septuagint With Apocrypha: Greek and English
"In consequence of the fact that the New Testament writers used on many occasions the Septuagint version, some have deduced a new argument for its authority, -- a theory which we might have thought to be sufficiently disproved by the defects of the version... But the fact that the New Testament writers used this version on many occasions supplies a new proof in opposition to the idea of its authority, for in not a few places they do not follow it, but they supply a version of their own which rightly represents the Hebrew text, although contradicting the Septuagint. The use, however, which the writers of the New Testament have made of the Septuagint version must always invest it with a peculiar interest; we thus see what honor God may be pleased to put on an honestly-made version, since we find that inspired writers often used such a version, when it was sufficiently near the original to suit the purpose for which it was cited, instead of rendering the Hebrew text de novo on every occasion." Brenton, The Septuagint With Apocrypha: Greek and English (from the Introduction)

Perhaps in God's providence it was arguably an "inspired" development, e.g. many scholars believe it was critical to the development of Hebrew-influenced theological vocabulary in Greek just in time for the NT documents to be authored, not to mention the receptivity toward the Gospel among the Greeks who had become "Godfearers" as a direct result of the LXX! But -this question is for all- is the inspiration of every altered text compared to the Hebrew a sine qua non of Orthodoxy as the quote from Ware might lead one to believe?

Also: is anyone here able to trace the trajectory of the idea of the inspiration of the LXX back in history with lists of texts/proponents? (sources? nature of/development of claims?)

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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2010, 10:46:50 AM »

Also: is anyone here able to trace the trajectory of the idea of the inspiration of the LXX back in history with lists of texts/proponents? (sources? nature of/development of claims?)

It's possible a did a bit of it in grad school, if I get time I'll post.
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2010, 12:22:51 PM »

    The Masoretic text was thoroughly corrupted by the scribes in the Tiberian yeshivas. They conceived entire new systems of intonation of the vowels so as to mantain the scriptures as the "sole property of the Jewish people" however the new system they conceived irreversibly changed the nature of the Hebrew language and the original meaning of the text. They even removed the Holy name of God and inserting "Adonai" in it's place, which according to the prophet Isaiah counts as blasphemy (to make the name of God desolate, "Shav", see Isaiah 42:8-9). Next, after committing this atrocity against the scriptures, they collected as many of the original Hebrew copies they could and burned them so as to make sure the Christians who spake Greek would be perplexed and dependent upon them later on for the original meaning of the text, so they could shut the gates of Heaven from those seeking it and neither go in themselves.The scribes falsely claim that they preserved a "secret tradition" in the MT. However this is a lie and I can prove it. This is where my Church, the Heroic Assyrian Church of the East, the Church of Martyrs comes in:

The ACOE is the -LAST- Church, the last group of people on the entire planet (except for a handful of Babylonian/Iraqi Jews) to preserve the Old Testament in the Aramaic tongue, which uses the Ktav Ashurri (Hebrew) script before it was tampered around by the rabbis. When the original followers of Jesus of Nazareth escaped persecution in Jerusalem, they brought to Persia the original Torah Jews commonly read within the syngagoues which the rabbis had prepared as an alternative to the LXX (the rabbis  didn't like the fact that Jews were reading Greek and made this OT in secret) and carefully preserved it free from the hands of Satan. This is the Peshitta Tanakh or, Peshitta Old Testament which you can read at the website linked at my avatar. This Old Testament is one hundred percent free of rabbinic error and is in the language Jesus spoke, in the letters the creator used to speak the universe itself, the Holy Ktav Ashurri script. It is very literal to the original and has no relationship to the targums (Aramaic translations done by scribes such as Onkelos and other important early rabbinics).

I chose to share this with you guys because I want you to read the interlinear for this translation and see that it AGREES with the Septuagint. This means that the Septuagint is an infinitely wiser option than the MT, further it means that protestants or any other group which holds to the MT over other massorah is in grave error and in danger of letting the leaven of the scribes corrupt them totally:

Quote
How can you say, ‘We are wise,
     
And the law of the LORD is with us’?
     
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.

Jeremiah 8:8
     
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2010, 12:22:52 PM »

Correction on my original post: the website at my avatar contains the targum Onkelos. I believe you would have to go here for a copy of Peshitta Tanakh:

http://www.aramaicbooks.com/product_info.php?cPath=38&products_id=91

I donot know of any interlinears (much less translations) of the text. Check at peshitta.org to see if an interlinear is available.
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2010, 05:06:13 PM »

    The Masoretic text was thoroughly corrupted by the scribes in the Tiberian yeshivas. They conceived entire new systems of intonation of the vowels so as to mantain the scriptures as the "sole property of the Jewish people" however the new system they conceived irreversibly changed the nature of the Hebrew language and the original meaning of the text. They even removed the Holy name of God and inserting "Adonai" in it's place, which according to the prophet Isaiah counts as blasphemy (to make the name of God desolate, "Shav", see Isaiah 42:8-9). Next, after committing this atrocity against the scriptures, they collected as many of the original Hebrew copies they could and burned them so as to make sure the Christians who spake Greek would be perplexed and dependent upon them later on for the original meaning of the text, so they could shut the gates of Heaven from those seeking it and neither go in themselves.The scribes falsely claim that they preserved a "secret tradition" in the MT. However this is a lie and I can prove it.
Then please do so.

This is where my Church, the Heroic Assyrian Church of the East, the Church of Martyrs comes in:

The ACOE is the -LAST- Church, the last group of people on the entire planet (except for a handful of Babylonian/Iraqi Jews) to preserve the Old Testament in the Aramaic tongue, which uses the Ktav Ashurri (Hebrew) script before it was tampered around by the rabbis. When the original followers of Jesus of Nazareth escaped persecution in Jerusalem, they brought to Persia the original Torah Jews commonly read within the syngagoues which the rabbis had prepared as an alternative to the LXX (the rabbis  didn't like the fact that Jews were reading Greek and made this OT in secret) and carefully preserved it free from the hands of Satan. This is the Peshitta Tanakh or, Peshitta Old Testament which you can read at the website linked at my avatar. This Old Testament is one hundred percent free of rabbinic error and is in the language Jesus spoke, in the letters the creator used to speak the universe itself, the Holy Ktav Ashurri script. It is very literal to the original and has no relationship to the targums (Aramaic translations done by scribes such as Onkelos and other important early rabbinics).
You're making a lot of positive assertions here, and in a readily apparent attempt to sing the same praises of your ACOE.  Care to prove them by citing outside authorities?

I chose to share this with you guys because I want you to read the interlinear for this translation and see that it AGREES with the Septuagint. This means that the Septuagint is an infinitely wiser option than the MT, further it means that protestants or any other group which holds to the MT over other massorah is in grave error and in danger of letting the leaven of the scribes corrupt them totally:

Quote
How can you say, ‘We are wise,
     
And the law of the LORD is with us’?
     
Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.

Jeremiah 8:8
     
As usual, you've offered a lot of assertions but no proof.  You really want us to believe you?  Cite outside authorities who support your statements of fact.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2010, 06:39:11 PM »

I did a quick check of some OT verses in Isaiah in the Lamsa version versus the New Testament, and noted that they were more in agreement with the Masoretic text than the LXX. Or put another way, the LXX was a better witness for the text used by the authors of the gospels. This was a while back and I really don't want to go all over that again. My understanding of the Peshitta, versus the version of history promoted by Aramaic-primacy advocates, is that it post-dates the Old Syrian, and reflects, for the better part, the proto-Masoretic text.

Of course, these guys throw both of them out (Greek NT, Greek OT).

http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/Peshitta%20FAQs/peshitta_manuscripts_older.htm

Quote
As has been shown in other articles of this series, the Greek New Testament is full of errors, contradictions, variants and bad grammar, while lacking the numerous wordplays, true meanings of idioms and poetry of the Peshitta. The Greek NT dilutes the original message, just as the Septuagint did, and is a main reason why the Judeans mourned it. In fact, the Greek NT reads much like the Septuagint, what with its bad grammar and “Koine Greek”. The Septuagint was a Greek translation of a Semitic original. Put two and two together…

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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2010, 07:33:29 PM »

Does anyone think Metropolitan Ware would suggest all of these specific changes are inspired???

You best bet is to ask him yourself.  Here's the contact for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain: http://www.thyateira.org.uk/index.php?option=com_contact&Itemid=3

mail@thyateira.org.uk

Try asking them for some direct contact information for him.  I'm sure he'd be happy to answer your questions.
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2010, 09:19:14 PM »

Lamsa is an Archheretic in the COE. His succesor Rocco is even worse. Read nothing they say. His translation is a mishmash of King James, MT and targums. The author of that website is not a translator and calls the COE heretical. Ignore him as well. The Peshitta Tanakh is not translated by Lamsa I believe, he uses the targum Onkelos. Peshitta Tanakh agrees with LXX, and the quotations from LXX in Greek NT.
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2010, 01:04:32 AM »

Peshitta Tanakh is as close as you will get to the proto-masoretic text. It also agrees with the Septuagint more than the MT which is expected. Lamsa translated Targum Onkelos not Peshitta Tanakh. The two are completely unrelated. Peshitta Tanakh does not come from the Targums or Targumim. It is even believed by a friend of mine to be the actual proto-masoretic text with langauge updates. I believe that as well.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2010, 01:42:26 AM »

Does anyone think Metropolitan Ware would suggest all of these specific changes are inspired???

You best bet is to ask him yourself.  Here's the contact for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain: http://www.thyateira.org.uk/index.php?option=com_contact&Itemid=3

mail@thyateira.org.uk

Try asking them for some direct contact information for him.  I'm sure he'd be happy to answer your questions.
Thanks for the excellent suggestion and address Alveus; I might just do that. ;-)

Still, I would be very interested in OCnet dialog on my post too ("in abundance of counselors there is victory"), that is to say unless this turns into a thread about the Peshitta instead of the LXX...
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2010, 02:09:00 AM »

Still, I would be very interested in OCnet dialog on my post too ("in abundance of counselors there is victory"), that is to say unless this turns into a thread about the Peshitta instead of the LXX...

Ha! Well, Rafa does enjoy talking about the Peshitta in just about every thread.  Did you know it's the most original and best Bible ever written?  Wink

As far as opinions and input on this forum, I can easily say that this topic is one far beyond my sphere of knowledge, but also beyond my sphere of concern at the moment.  If you want my entirely unqualified and likely thoroughly "unOrthodox" view, here it is.  The quest for some mythic, pristine "original" text in the far-off past is a lost cause.  I'm sure you would agree with that.  But also trying to qualify which versions of texts are "divinely inspired" and which are not is equally absurd.  The notion of a "fixed text" is not something for us to put too much stock in.

Let me be clear and say that I am not advocating changing the Holy Scriptures in whatever ways fit our needs.  All I am acknowledging is that translation and transmission of the Scriptures was a very complicated process with a lot of flawed human hands involved.  Is it Church dogma that I have to believe that every single word of some version of the LLX is perfectly divinely inspired and transmitted?  There are too many versions of the LLX for that to be the case anyway.  The notion that we have to have some perfectly stable and reliable text in every imaginable way seems a bit extreme to me.  There are multiple versions to look at concerning certain passages if we want to explore the deeper meanings.  The notion that a text exists without alterations by scribes probably has more to do with the printing press than it has to do with God.  I don't recall God ever promising us a perfect book anywhere in the Bible anyway.

Actually, isn't the notion of a flawless text that is transmitted directly from the God actually an Islamic belief, not a Christian one?

Anyway, don't put too much stock in what Metropolitan Kallistos says on every single issue.  He's a brilliant writer and I love his books, but I've come to realize that he does misrepresent some things, and in many cases he's giving his own opinion.  I can't say that there's anything dogmatically binding about the view that he presents on the LLX, which translates into it in no way being a hindrance to your becoming Orthodox, even if you are trying to be entirely intellectually honest with yourself.

Actually, there is a great catechism of Orthodoxy called The Law of God, written for young teens by a ROCOR (Russian Church Abroad) priest named Seraphim Alexeivich Slobodskoy.  In this book I recall him tending to quote the Masoretic text more than the LLX, and to spend a lot of time discussing the meanings of terms in the original Hebrew of the text.  The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is arguably one the most conservative jurisdictions in Eastern Orthodoxy, and he has no problem primarily using the Masoretic text throughout his catechism.  So this at least shows you that not everyone necessarily holds to Met. Kallistos' views.

My advice to you, as you will hear from most other people on here, is to actually find a priest locally as a spiritual father.  As an inquirer, you should use him as your ultimate source of information.  He might be unprepared to answer your questions, but he also might surprise you.

P.S. You might want to alter your profile's "faith" setting to read "Inquirer", as this will give some rude people on here a better heads-up on how to interact with you. Wink
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2010, 02:16:35 AM »

Peshitta Tanakh does not come from the Targums or Targumim. It is even believed by a friend of mine to be the actual proto-masoretic text with langauge updates. I believe that as well.

Well, the Latin Vulgate definitely emanated, with some exceptions, from the proto-Masoretic text of its day, and having scanned through sections of Isaiah, it is definitely closer to MT than LXX. The Peshitta Isaiah, I have read, is the exception to the rule that the translation is closer to MT. I suppose if you're looking for "apples to apples" comparisons, placing these side by side would be appropriate.

As for the NT, I did look at Younan's version. Thanks for the link to the Tanakh, I have heard negative things about Lamsa.

Hmmm... the Law of God. That was quoted in the local Ukrainian Greek Catholic church bulletin, the same week that the priest gave a sermon quoting from mostly Blessed Augustine and one of the popes on the prodigal son. (I had no idea the extent to which priestly formation was Latinized). There's a Psalms reading that week about smashing little Babylonian children's heads on rocks, and the section commenting on that was from fr. Fr. Seraphim's booklet.
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2010, 04:28:19 AM »

Vulgate quotes Peshitta Hebrews 2:9 and Acts 20:28. The Peshitta Tanakh was finalized in the 1st century as you probably know.

Alveus, Peshitta Tanakh is different from Peshitta NT. One is of mysterious origin (I believe it to be the proto-masoretic text with language updates) the other is the 22 book NT canon of the COE in Aramaic, believed to have been delivered in person by the Disciples Mar Mari and Addai to the Church.
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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2010, 04:28:19 AM »

Peshitta Jeremiah is much more similar to DSS and Septuagint than MT. Should point that out.
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2010, 01:52:34 AM »

Also: is anyone here able to trace the trajectory of the idea of the inspiration of the LXX back in history with lists of texts/proponents? (sources? nature of/development of claims?)

It's possible a did a bit of it in grad school, if I get time I'll post.
Highlights are fine, if you have the time; no need for a doctoral dissertation ;-)

If you want my entirely unqualified and likely thoroughly "unOrthodox" view, here it is.
I would prefer a "likely thoroughly Orthodox" reply ;-)  

Quote from: Alveus Lacuna
Is it Church dogma that I have to believe that every single word of some version of the LLX is perfectly divinely inspired and transmitted?  There are too many versions of the LLX for that to be the case anyway.  
To be fair, Metropolitan Ware's view is somewhat milder -he certainly doesn't affirm perfect transmission- insofar as he refers only to places the LXX differs from the Hebrew. And you're right, there isn't a single "Septuagint" per se available to textual criticism in any case.

The quest for some mythic, pristine "original" text in the far-off past is a lost cause.  I'm sure you would agree with that.  But also trying to qualify which versions of texts are "divinely inspired" and which are not is equally absurd.  The notion of a "fixed text" is not something for us to put too much stock in.
Again Metropolitan Ware refers to corrected texts rather than textual tradition per se. I had a long conversation with Fr. Patrick Reardon who maintains "inspiration" pertains to both the Heb. autographs (which are, of course, unavailable to textual criticism) and LXX corrections of the Heb. as divinely guided/inspired commentary. This again leaves the likes of the multiple extreme mathematical disparities between the Heb. and LXX in Genesis 5 (linked above) and Brenton’s translational absurdities (and other points mentioned previously) fairly perplexing.
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2010, 01:58:52 AM »

Quote from: PeterTheAleut
This is where my Church, the Heroic Assyrian Church of the East, the Church of Martyrs comes in:

The ACOE is the -LAST- Church, the last group of people on the entire planet (except for a handful of Babylonian/Iraqi Jews) to preserve the Old Testament in the Aramaic tongue, which uses the Ktav Ashurri (Hebrew) script before it was tampered around by the rabbis. When the original followers of Jesus of Nazareth escaped persecution in Jerusalem, they brought to Persia the original Torah Jews commonly read within the syngagoues which the rabbis had prepared as an alternative to the LXX (the rabbis  didn't like the fact that Jews were reading Greek and made this OT in secret) and carefully preserved it free from the hands of Satan. This is the Peshitta Tanakh or, Peshitta Old Testament which you can read at the website linked at my avatar. This Old Testament is one hundred percent free of rabbinic error and is in the language Jesus spoke, in the letters the creator used to speak the universe itself, the Holy Ktav Ashurri script. It is very literal to the original and has no relationship to the targums (Aramaic translations done by scribes such as Onkelos and other important early rabbinics).

You're making a lot of positive assertions here, and in a readily apparent attempt to sing the same praises of your ACOE.  Care to prove them by citing outside authorities?
That would be rather rough proposition for him since all major contemporary textual critical scholars reject Peshitta primacy ;-)  
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2010, 02:11:45 AM »

Vulgate quotes Peshitta Hebrews 2:9 and Acts 20:28. The Peshitta Tanakh was finalized in the 1st century as you probably know.

There's a couple of places where the Greek lectionary tradition (as represented in the PT) align with the Vulgate or the Old Latin against other critical versions as well.

Acts 6:7 is interesting. Patriarchal text reads "Jews" (with Peshitta and Codex Sinaiticus original reading) instead of "priests". Acts 19:4 reads "Christ Jesus" in PT (= Peshitta).

Mt 10:12 is appended with "saying, Peace to this house", a reading supported by VG. Mk 14:45 reads "Hail Rabbi" (echoed in Clementine Vulgate)

Luke 19:32 appends "the colt standing" in PT (a reading found in VG). Luke 11:13 reads "good spirit" (again, Vulgate) - a minority strand of the Greek lectionary tradition that Antoniades supported against the majority Byzantine/TR reading.

At least two Caesarean harmonizations in Luke 22:47 (Mt 26:48) and Mt 13:13 (cf. Mk 4:12 / Is 6:9-10) are found in Old Latin.

I don't have much patience for some of the textual trashing I see on various sites. I've got a great deal of respect for these older texts, as well as more recent ones like the King James.
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 02:14:27 AM »

I had a long conversation with Fr. Patrick Reardon who maintains "inspiration" pertains to both the Heb. autographs (which are, of course, unavailable to textual criticism) and LXX corrections of the Heb. as divinely guided/inspired commentary. This again leaves the likes of the multiple extreme mathematical disparities between the Heb. and LXX in Genesis 5 (linked above) and Brenton’s translational absurdities (and other points mentioned previously) fairly perplexing.

Well, this really isn't helpful anyway.  As you stated, the autographs are gone.  This also assumes a concrete point of origin for whole books or groups of books, which is also unlikely.  For example, are the "autographs" of Genesis perfectly inspired, or the sources the editor was using when compiling it?  Beyond that, if things like the two creation stories in Genesis were originally orally transmitted and eventually written down, how can we not be certain that there were several different versions of the story floating around until they perhaps were all condensed into some "official" version by the Israeli scribes and government officials?

Even if you don't view many biblical "books" as being comprised of various sources, and rather see them as having originated from single traditionally attributed authors all under perfect inspiration, the supposed perfect autographs are lost to the sands of time.  One has to have faith in a perfectly "inspired" (whatever one might mean by this) autograph as much as one has to have faith in the Resurrection or Apostolic Succession.  Wink  So for the Fr. Patrick's position to be correct we would have to have something more concrete than what is known.  There are no autographs, and there is no official single and authoritative LLX.  So we can't qualify which editorial decisions are "inspired" and which are not.

Fortunately, our faith is not in a book, but in a Person, whose Church guides us to all Truth.
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 02:30:39 AM »

...and I don't care if -Western- scholarship rejects Peshitta primacy. There is an agenda. It is not right for foreigners to teach those who lived in Mesopotamia for the last 2000 years their own history. Everybody in the Middle East knows the Peshitta is the Semitic NT (its used by the Maronites, Syrians,etc.) , how do you think Muslims got the "they corrupted scriputer" apologetic? I'm not saying the Greek NT is not the Gospel, but its the Greek translation of the Gospel made by either Luke or early believers. The Greek does not have the scribal tradition of the Peshitta which is incredibly meticulous to the last jot. There are hundreds of variants in Greek, variances in the Peshitta family of texts is minimal. Further, the Peshitta agrees with the Peshitta Tanakh which was around before the COE quarreled with the pentarchy.
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 02:30:39 AM »

FURTHER, I am talking about the Peshitta -OLD TESTAMENT- which modern scholarship has agreed to be related to the proto-masoretic text, if not being the actual proto-masoretic text with language updates:

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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2010, 03:22:34 AM »

My point in starting this thread is that the story of the 70 applies only to the translation of the Torah. It's not like the Septuagint as a translation is divinely inspired.

It depends on the context of the word "law/torah". The word can be used for both the first 5 books or all of them.

Jesus used the word law/torah in reference to the psalms, and some centuries later it was used by some in the middle east for more than just the first 5 books. So it all depends on the context of the word law/torah.

Some years ago, I looked into the reason why a number of western scholars say that only the first 5 books were translated and the others some centuries later. And from what I saw, it all came down to their interpretation of the word "law/torah" in the letter of Aristees as well as from what you quoted above.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2008/06/letter-of-aristeas-and-ussage-of-word.html (The Letter of Aristeas and it's ussage of the word "LAW")

Quote:
"
Some feel that the Septuagint was originally only a translation of the first five books of Moses. This is a recent speculation. Mostly clouded in the theological & Canonical wars between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.

One of the reasons for this speculation is because of what is said in the Letter of Aristeas:


In the letter of Aristeas he says,

http://www.ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/aristeas.htm

or the link to the letter












"It was my devotion to the pursuit of religious knowledge
that led me to undertake the embassy to the man I have mentioned, who was held
in the highest esteem by his own citizens and by others both for his virtue and
his majesty and who had in his possession documents of the highest value to the
Jews in his own country and in foreign lands for the interpretation of the
divine law, for their 4 laws are written on leather parchments in Jewish
characters. This embassy then I undertook with enthusiasm, having first of all
found an opportunity of pleading with the king on behalf of the Jewish captives
who had been transported from Judea to Egypt by the king's father, when he first
obtained possession of this city and conquered the land of Egypt. It is worth
while that I should tell"


and

"and he replied, 'More than two hundred thousand, O king, and I shall make endeavour in the immediate future to gather together the remainder also, so that the total of five hundred thousand may be reached. I am told that the laws of the Jews are worth transcribing and deserve a place in. your library.' 'What is to prevent you from doing this?' replied the king. 'Everything that is necessary has been placed at your disposal.' 'They need to be translated,' answered Demetrius, 'for in the country of the Jews they use a peculiar alphabet (just as the Egyptians, too, have a special form of letters) and speak a peculiar dialect. They are supposed to use the Syriac tongue, but this is not the case; their language is quite different.' And the king when he understood all the facts of the case ordered a letter to be written to the Jewish High Priest that his purpose (which has already been described) might be accomplished."

and

"15 our deeds to give the lie to our words. Since the law which we wish not only to transcribe but also to translate belongs to the whole Jewish race, what justification shall we be able to find for our embassy while such vast numbers of them remain in a state of slavery in your kingdom?....."


and





"magnificence and technical skill. The following is a copy
of the memorial.

The Memorial of Demetrius to the great king. 'Since you
have given me instructions, O king, that the books which are needed to complete
your library should be collected together, and that those which are defective
should be repaired, I have devoted myself with the utmost care to the fulfilment
of your wishes, 30 and I now have the following proposal to lay before you. The
books of the law of the Jews (with some few others) are absent from the library.
They are written in the Hebrew characters and language and have been carelessly
interpreted, and do not represent the original text as I am 31 informed by those
who know; for they have never had a king's care to protect them. It is necessary
that these should be made accurate for your library since the law which they
contain, in as much as it is of divine origin, is full of wisdom and free from
all blemish. For this reason literary men and poets and the mass of historical
writers have held aloof from referring to these books and the men who have lived
and are living in accordance with them, because their 32 conception of life is
so sacred and religious, as Hecataeus of Abdera says. If it please you, O king,
a letter shall be written to the High Priest in Jerusalem, asking him to send
six elders out of every tribe - men who have lived the noblest life and are most
skilled in their law - that we may find out the points in which the majority of
them are in agreement, and so having obtained an accurate translation may place
it in a conspicuous place in a manner worthy of the work itself and your
purpose. May continual prosperity be yours!'"



and





" When the work was completed, Demetrius collected together
the Jewish population in the place where the translation had been made, and read
it over to all, in the presence of the translators, who met with a great
reception also from the people, because of the great benefits which they had 309
conferred upon them. They bestowed warm praise upon Demetrius, too, and urged
him to have the whole law transcribed and present a copy to their
leaders."



Some feel that because of his ussage of the word "LAW", the LXX had to be a translation of only the first five books. Others feel that it was originally of the first five books and some time later all the other books were translated. The truth is, all this is modern speculation. It is an anachronistic reading of the past. Yes, it is true that the Jewish ussage of the word "Law" can mean the first five books of Moses. But it can also mean all the other books as well.

An example of this is from Christ himself, as recorded in John's Gospel.

NKJV
John 10:34
"Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?


Jesus quoted Pslams 82:6

And even then, he could of been quoting the Septuagint. It is my belief, as well as the belief of some others, that the ussage of the word "Law" found in the Letter of Aristeas is in reference to all of the Jewish books, not just the first five of Moses.


I know that a good portion of western modern scholarship(mostly protestant and protestant secular) views the Letter of Aristeas as a forgery.


The idea of the Letter of Aristeas being a forgery goes back to the english protestant "Humphrey Hody". It is said that "Isaac Vossius" (A dutch) wrote a rebuttal to Hody's theory, but most western critics side with Hody anyway.

I personally don't see a reason to see the letter as a forgery. It's hard to know what really happened, when non of us were there. It's easy to be a cynic some 1,700 hundred years after the fact.......not to mention 2,200 years.

I would rather side with Philo, Josephus, and many of the early church fathers, who were alot closer in time to the actual account. If I error, I error in good company.



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