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Author Topic: What does it mean for the Septuagint to be "inspired?"  (Read 767 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 10, 2014, 10:34:58 AM »

Is it held to be a perfect mirror of the OT autographa? Is this a theologoumenon?
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 12:49:16 AM »

I think this is going to depend mainly on your view of inspiration and Scripture generally. It seems to me that most Orthodox who hold to a very assured "it says exactly, completely, and perfectly what God wanted it to" type of inspiration, hold to both the originals and the Septuagints being inspired in that way. I guess most such people would consider all the Septuagints like that, including the books that were added after the original Septuagint translation was made. On the other hand, if you have a looser understanding of inspiration then you might not see either the originals to be a "perfect" mirror of God's revelation (in the strictest/fullest sense), nor the Septuagint to be a perfect mirror of the (mostly) Hebrew original.

Of course there is also the issue of whether the differences between the Septuagint and the Hebrew texts we have now show that the Septuagint modified the original Hebrew, or whether the Hebrew manuscripts we have now were corrupted or intentionally altered. I think in either case though the two types of people mentioned above (assured and looser), and for everyone else in between them, this wouldn't cause much concern. Someone of the first type would of necessity believe that the Septuagint is a faithful and perfect translation. For someone of the second type it probably wouldn't matter much beyond academic discussion, since they would (I assume) believe that God, using the Scripture, and within the context of Church and the rest of tradition, is able to guide into truth, regardless of the answer to such questions of manuscripts and authorship and such.
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2014, 10:33:18 AM »

Interesting. Thanks.

So, would somebody who holds to the "loose" view have objections in theory to using the modern "Eclectic Text" based Bibles?
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2014, 10:41:19 AM »

Is it held to be a perfect mirror of the OT autographa? Is this a theologoumenon?

Out of curiosity, why is the question specifically about the Septuagint?
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 10:52:33 AM »

I would probably hold what you might call a "looser" view of inspiration. I believe that the Old Testament was written by primitive people who were nontheless inspired by God. Thus, historical context plays an important role in understanding it. The audience it was written to had a different concept of deity and how God relates to mankind than what we do today. The Septuagint is, I believe, a faithful but not perfect translation of the original text. I don't believe it needs to be a perfect translation, it merely needs to convey the same spiritual truths that the originals did. I use English translations from the Septuagint because I believe they are most faithful to what God conveyed originally. More important than how the verses are translated is how the verses are understood. That is the purpose of the Church, to ensure we have a proper understanding of God's revelation to us.
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 10:54:32 AM »

Is it held to be a perfect mirror of the OT autographa? Is this a theologoumenon?

Out of curiosity, why is the question specifically about the Septuagint?
I was concerned I might have discovered the Orthodox version of KJV-Onlyism. I'm pleased I was mistaken.
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 10:55:01 AM »

I would probably hold what you might call a "looser" view of inspiration. I believe that the Old Testament was written by primitive people who were nontheless inspired by God. Thus, historical context plays an important role in understanding it. The audience it was written to had a different concept of deity and how God relates to mankind than what we do today. The Septuagint is, I believe, a faithful but not perfect translation of the original text. I don't believe it needs to be a perfect translation, it merely needs to convey the same spiritual truths that the originals did. I use English translations from the Septuagint because I believe they are most faithful to what God conveyed originally. More important than how the verses are translated is how the verses are understood. That is the purpose of the Church, to ensure we have a proper understanding of God's revelation to us.
Makes sense.
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2014, 11:14:40 AM »

Is it held to be a perfect mirror of the OT autographa? Is this a theologoumenon?

Out of curiosity, why is the question specifically about the Septuagint?
I was concerned I might have discovered the Orthodox version of KJV-Onlyism. I'm pleased I was mistaken.

Oh, no.  This is not the case.  We hold the Septuagint to be the best alternative, but I don't think any Orthodox would argue that it is superior in every sense over the Masoretic.

Personally, I am somewhat of a Septuagint enthusiast.  This is for the simple reason that it crystallizes much of how the Jews of that era interpreted Scripture.  So in this sense it contains more information than later translations.  It is another way of determining accuracy.

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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 11:17:16 AM »

I do like the Septuagint too, yeah. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2014, 11:25:42 AM »

A recommended book:  Invitation to the Septuagint / Karen H. Jobes and Moisés Silva.:  http://www.amazon.com/Invitation-Septuagint-Karen-H-Jobes/dp/080103115X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418397625&sr=1-1&keywords=invitation+to+the+septuagint&pebp=1418397631467
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2014, 11:28:24 AM »

Thanks.

I've also got Pietersma's translation somewhere around here, unless I lost it in the house flood.
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« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2014, 01:48:05 PM »

It's usage by Christ (the text type, not the Septuagint itself), the New Testament authors and the Church Fathers.
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 02:53:12 PM »

It's usage by Christ (the text type, not the Septuagint itself), the New Testament authors and the Church Fathers.

Jesus and the Twelve mostly use it (though many of their quotes can also be found in a good Greek translation of the Masoretic).

Paul is about half LXX and half something else.

The LXX itself is also a complicated beast, textually. It's tough to reconstruct. Also, we don't actually have 1st Century LXX manuscripts, so the "tricksy Jews changing things" charge is pretty meaningless.

http://christianthinktank.com/alxx.html
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2014, 05:41:45 PM »

It's usage by Christ (the text type, not the Septuagint itself), the New Testament authors and the Church Fathers.

Jesus and the Twelve mostly use it (though many of their quotes can also be found in a good Greek translation of the Masoretic).

Paul is about half LXX and half something else.

The LXX itself is also a complicated beast, textually. It's tough to reconstruct. Also, we don't actually have 1st Century LXX manuscripts, so the "tricksy Jews changing things" charge is pretty meaningless.

http://christianthinktank.com/alxx.html

It's an interesting subject whether or not the Jews willingly changed their manuscripts in order to avoid passages that lent themselves better to Christ.  I think all we could say with confidence is that there are some noticeable differences between the LXX and the Masoretic.  To me it's obvious that the Jews tinkered with it.
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 06:23:22 PM »

It's usage by Christ (the text type, not the Septuagint itself), the New Testament authors and the Church Fathers.

Jesus and the Twelve mostly use it (though many of their quotes can also be found in a good Greek translation of the Masoretic).

Paul is about half LXX and half something else.

The LXX itself is also a complicated beast, textually. It's tough to reconstruct. Also, we don't actually have 1st Century LXX manuscripts, so the "tricksy Jews changing things" charge is pretty meaningless.

http://christianthinktank.com/alxx.html

It's an interesting subject whether or not the Jews willingly changed their manuscripts in order to avoid passages that lent themselves better to Christ.  I think all we could say with confidence is that there are some noticeable differences between the LXX and the Masoretic.  To me it's obvious that the Jews tinkered with it.
Variant readings must be the results of chicanery? That's a little tin foil hatish of you. I doubt you'd find many reputable scholars to agree.

But as I said, we don't have the alleged "pre-corruption" LXX so there's no way to tell even if the Jews did tamper with the MT. For all we know, some Christians altered the LXX to make it look more Christian. I was not aware Orthodoxy was committed to fundigelical "look at all the fulfilled prophecies" style apologectics.
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2014, 07:07:24 PM »

It's usage by Christ (the text type, not the Septuagint itself), the New Testament authors and the Church Fathers.

Jesus and the Twelve mostly use it (though many of their quotes can also be found in a good Greek translation of the Masoretic).

Paul is about half LXX and half something else.

The LXX itself is also a complicated beast, textually. It's tough to reconstruct. Also, we don't actually have 1st Century LXX manuscripts, so the "tricksy Jews changing things" charge is pretty meaningless.

http://christianthinktank.com/alxx.html

It's an interesting subject whether or not the Jews willingly changed their manuscripts in order to avoid passages that lent themselves better to Christ.  I think all we could say with confidence is that there are some noticeable differences between the LXX and the Masoretic.  To me it's obvious that the Jews tinkered with it.
Variant readings must be the results of chicanery? That's a little tin foil hatish of you. I doubt you'd find many reputable scholars to agree.

But as I said, we don't have the alleged "pre-corruption" LXX so there's no way to tell even if the Jews did tamper with the MT. For all we know, some Christians altered the LXX to make it look more Christian. I was not aware Orthodoxy was committed to fundigelical "look at all the fulfilled prophecies" style apologectics.
Sure there are. All four of the great uncial codices are from before the Masoretic text. There are dozens if not hundreds of other manuscripts that, while not the full Bible, have substantial fragments of Scripture that date prior to the Masoretic text.

Regarding fulfilled prophecies, have you ever read the Gospel of St. Matthew? It is full of statements demonstrating the fulfillment of different prophecies. That isn't fundigelical, that is basic Christianity.
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2014, 07:31:47 PM »


Sure there are. All four of the great uncial codices are from before the Masoretic text. There are dozens if not hundreds of other manuscripts that, while not the full Bible, have substantial fragments of Scripture that date prior to the Masoretic text.
I know, but I thought that the Orthodox view was that the hrrrm hurr messed with the LXX to edit out passages speaking of Christ.
Regarding fulfilled prophecies, have you ever read the Gospel of St. Matthew? It is full of statements demonstrating the fulfillment of different prophecies. That isn't fundigelical, that is basic Christianity.
I know. But those are more like typological/midrashic fulfillments and unlikely to convince an unbeliever, as much as Josh McDowell would like otherwise. So, I doubt that the gentlemen who enjoy flatbread and financial literature would care enough to cook the holy books.
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2014, 08:02:26 PM »


Sure there are. All four of the great uncial codices are from before the Masoretic text. There are dozens if not hundreds of other manuscripts that, while not the full Bible, have substantial fragments of Scripture that date prior to the Masoretic text.
I know, but I thought that the Orthodox view was that the hrrrm hurr messed with the LXX to edit out passages speaking of Christ.
Regarding fulfilled prophecies, have you ever read the Gospel of St. Matthew? It is full of statements demonstrating the fulfillment of different prophecies. That isn't fundigelical, that is basic Christianity.
I know. But those are more like typological/midrashic fulfillments and unlikely to convince an unbeliever, as much as Josh McDowell would like otherwise. So, I doubt that the gentlemen who enjoy flatbread and financial literature would care enough to cook the holy books.
The belief is that the Masoretes translated passages that in the LXX gave substantive support to Christian teachings in alternate ways so Christ would no longer fulfill them. The most well known example is the passage "Behold a virgin shall conceive..." and changed to "Behold a young woman shall conceive...". Matthew quote this passage as proof that a Christ was the Messiah because of His virgin birth.
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2014, 08:15:20 PM »


Sure there are. All four of the great uncial codices are from before the Masoretic text. There are dozens if not hundreds of other manuscripts that, while not the full Bible, have substantial fragments of Scripture that date prior to the Masoretic text.
I know, but I thought that the Orthodox view was that the hrrrm hurr messed with the LXX to edit out passages speaking of Christ.
Regarding fulfilled prophecies, have you ever read the Gospel of St. Matthew? It is full of statements demonstrating the fulfillment of different prophecies. That isn't fundigelical, that is basic Christianity.
I know. But those are more like typological/midrashic fulfillments and unlikely to convince an unbeliever, as much as Josh McDowell would like otherwise. So, I doubt that the gentlemen who enjoy flatbread and financial literature would care enough to cook the holy books.
The belief is that the Masoretes translated passages that in the LXX gave substantive support to Christian teachings in alternate ways so Christ would no longer fulfill them. The most well known example is the passage "Behold a virgin shall conceive..." and changed to "Behold a young woman shall conceive...". Matthew quote this passage as proof that a Christ was the Messiah because of His virgin birth.
Ah. I see.
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2014, 01:47:55 PM »

It's usage by Christ (the text type, not the Septuagint itself), the New Testament authors and the Church Fathers.

Jesus and the Twelve mostly use it (though many of their quotes can also be found in a good Greek translation of the Masoretic).

Paul is about half LXX and half something else.

The LXX itself is also a complicated beast, textually. It's tough to reconstruct. Also, we don't actually have 1st Century LXX manuscripts, so the "tricksy Jews changing things" charge is pretty meaningless.

http://christianthinktank.com/alxx.html

It's an interesting subject whether or not the Jews willingly changed their manuscripts in order to avoid passages that lent themselves better to Christ.  I think all we could say with confidence is that there are some noticeable differences between the LXX and the Masoretic.  To me it's obvious that the Jews tinkered with it.
Variant readings must be the results of chicanery? That's a little tin foil hatish of you. I doubt you'd find many reputable scholars to agree.

But as I said, we don't have the alleged "pre-corruption" LXX so there's no way to tell even if the Jews did tamper with the MT. For all we know, some Christians altered the LXX to make it look more Christian. I was not aware Orthodoxy was committed to fundigelical "look at all the fulfilled prophecies" style apologectics.

My belief that is that it is likely that the Jews changed Scripture (after Christ) or at least favored versions that were less likely to be used to support Christianity.  I will also qualify this by adding that I, at the very least, wouldn't put it past them.  I could be wrong, but it is far from tin-foil-hattery.  There was already a concern of this happening early in the 2nd century when St. Justin Martyr accused the Jews of such.  So there is precedent for my view.

There are several verses in the LXX which support Christian doctrine which aren't there in the MT.  Importantly, the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) (older than both the LXX and the MT) sometimes favor the LXX rendering.  Here is one example:


Deut 32:43
LXX: "Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people; And let all the angels of God be strong with him: For he will avenge the blood of his sons and render vengeance to his adversaries: and the Lord will purify his people's land"

MT: "Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: For he will avenge the blood of his servants, And will render vengeance to his adversaries, And will make expiation for his land, for his people."

The part in red is not found in the MT, but it is used as support in Romans 15:10 and Hebrews 1:6 that all should worship God Incarnate (aka Jesus).  Here the DSS favors the LXX.  Make of it what you will.

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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2014, 02:00:47 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap and St. Justin Martyr endorsing it doesn't make it any less so. Your statement that you "wouldn't but it pass them" is only more confirmation.

We all have biases and I'm not opposed to the idea that the Masoretes as a group could have had a systemic bias towards variants that did not lend themselves as obviously to a Christian interpretation and it is true that they "cleaned up" the text to avoid anthropathy, disparagement of Moses, etc. But to accuse an entire people group of conspiring against Christianity is just as wrong as claiming that all black or Mexican people are lazy and violent.
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2014, 02:37:00 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap and St. Justin Martyr endorsing it doesn't make it any less so. Your statement that you "wouldn't but it pass them" is only more confirmation.

We all have biases and I'm not opposed to the idea that the Masoretes as a group could have had a systemic bias towards variants that did not lend themselves as obviously to a Christian interpretation and it is true that they "cleaned up" the text to avoid anthropathy, disparagement of Moses, etc. But to accuse an entire people group of conspiring against Christianity is just as wrong as claiming that all black or Mexican people are lazy and violent.

No, I'm sure you're right.  There has never been a group of Jews to do anything underhanded to preserve their version of Judaism.  They, unlike every other group in human history, are beyond reproach.  It's not like a group of Jews ever conspired to fight against Christianity.  As we all know, Jesus was killed by the Romans, while no group of Jews had a part in it.   I'm just a racist of religions (is that even a thing?).  And since I worship Jesus and revere the apostles, they all must not have been semetic.  Otherwise, that would make it impossible for me to be anti-semetic.
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2014, 03:34:32 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap and St. Justin Martyr endorsing it doesn't make it any less so. Your statement that you "wouldn't but it pass them" is only more confirmation.

We all have biases and I'm not opposed to the idea that the Masoretes as a group could have had a systemic bias towards variants that did not lend themselves as obviously to a Christian interpretation and it is true that they "cleaned up" the text to avoid anthropathy, disparagement of Moses, etc. But to accuse an entire people group of conspiring against Christianity is just as wrong as claiming that all black or Mexican people are lazy and violent.

No, I'm sure you're right.  There has never been a group of Jews to do anything underhanded to preserve their version of Judaism.  They, unlike every other group in human history, are beyond reproach.  It's not like a group of Jews ever conspired to fight against Christianity.  As we all know, Jesus was killed by the Romans, while no group of Jews had a part in it.   I'm just a racist of religions (is that even a thing?).  And since I worship Jesus and revere the apostles, they all must not have been semetic.  Otherwise, that would make it impossible for me to be anti-semetic.
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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2014, 04:13:24 PM »

One point worth considering here is how some passages might have different connotations or be interpreted differently in the Hebrew vs. Greek, even if there was not a purposeful attempt to change things, or a radical change in the text. For example, it is my understanding that in the Hebrew, "image" and "likeness" in Genesis are roughly equivalent terms, whereas in the Greek these terms have different ideas or connotations to them, leading the Fathers (at least the early ones, and Greek-speaking--I am not sure about everyone) to see image as that which was graced to us in making us human, and which had to do with intellect, creativity, reflection, free-will, etc., and was warped and tarnished, but which could be restored; and they saw the likeness as something which was lost but could be regained and made continual progress in. In other words, the two terms meant essentially the same thing in Hebrew, but the distinction derived from the two terms in/from Greek became a cornerstone of Christian anthropological thought. Even someone as learned and sympathetic to eastern/early Christianity as Jaroslav Pelikan said that this use of the distinction in Greek was based on "shaky exegetical ground" (Melody of Theology, p. 138)... yet as he also acknowledged, by doing this Christianity was able to give a clearer and more profound (not weaker) interpretation and explanation of what Scripture said and was trying to get across.
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2014, 05:19:08 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap and St. Justin Martyr endorsing it doesn't make it any less so. Your statement that you "wouldn't but it pass them" is only more confirmation.

We all have biases and I'm not opposed to the idea that the Masoretes as a group could have had a systemic bias towards variants that did not lend themselves as obviously to a Christian interpretation and it is true that they "cleaned up" the text to avoid anthropathy, disparagement of Moses, etc. But to accuse an entire people group of conspiring against Christianity is just as wrong as claiming that all black or Mexican people are lazy and violent.
It has nothing to do with anti-semiticism. Individuals are prone to defend their beliefs. It isn't any different than Christians down through the ages who have attempted to interpret passages to fit with their own personal ideologies on a number of different topics. Think about the Jehovah Witnesses who made their own Bible and tweaked the translation of certain passages to "clarify" what the passage "truly means". We aren't anti-semitics, but to refuse to believe that people act like people just because they are Jews is a tad naive IMHO.
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2014, 05:27:08 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap

Yes, because Jews never did anything wrong.
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2014, 07:56:50 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap and St. Justin Martyr endorsing it doesn't make it any less so. Your statement that you "wouldn't but it pass them" is only more confirmation.

We all have biases and I'm not opposed to the idea that the Masoretes as a group could have had a systemic bias towards variants that did not lend themselves as obviously to a Christian interpretation and it is true that they "cleaned up" the text to avoid anthropathy, disparagement of Moses, etc. But to accuse an entire people group of conspiring against Christianity is just as wrong as claiming that all black or Mexican people are lazy and violent.
It has nothing to do with anti-semiticism. Individuals are prone to defend their beliefs. It isn't any different than Christians down through the ages who have attempted to interpret passages to fit with their own personal ideologies on a number of different topics. Think about the Jehovah Witnesses who made their own Bible and tweaked the translation of certain passages to "clarify" what the passage "truly means". We aren't anti-semitics, but to refuse to believe that people act like people just because they are Jews is a tad naive IMHO.
I fully acknowledge this. Reread the last paragraph of the quote you just posted.

john_mo is not saying that, or at least not only that, though. He's saying that they physically altered the manuscripts. The Masoretes did alter manuscripts, I acknowledge this. One example, they changed "Moses" to "Mannesah" in Judges 18:30 because they they didn't like the idea that the grandson of Moses fell into idolatry. But to posit some kind of conspiracy to remove references to Christ is going to take some hard evidence, not just "I wouldn't put it past them." That's just paranoia.

It's also rather amusing paranoia seeming as how Christians get accused of altering the manuscripts as well.
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2014, 10:48:03 PM »

It's anti-semitic bullcrap and St. Justin Martyr endorsing it doesn't make it any less so. Your statement that you "wouldn't but it pass them" is only more confirmation.

We all have biases and I'm not opposed to the idea that the Masoretes as a group could have had a systemic bias towards variants that did not lend themselves as obviously to a Christian interpretation and it is true that they "cleaned up" the text to avoid anthropathy, disparagement of Moses, etc. But to accuse an entire people group of conspiring against Christianity is just as wrong as claiming that all black or Mexican people are lazy and violent.
It has nothing to do with anti-semiticism. Individuals are prone to defend their beliefs. It isn't any different than Christians down through the ages who have attempted to interpret passages to fit with their own personal ideologies on a number of different topics. Think about the Jehovah Witnesses who made their own Bible and tweaked the translation of certain passages to "clarify" what the passage "truly means". We aren't anti-semitics, but to refuse to believe that people act like people just because they are Jews is a tad naive IMHO.
I fully acknowledge this. Reread the last paragraph of the quote you just posted.

john_mo is not saying that, or at least not only that, though. He's saying that they physically altered the manuscripts. The Masoretes did alter manuscripts, I acknowledge this. One example, they changed "Moses" to "Mannesah" in Judges 18:30 because they they didn't like the idea that the grandson of Moses fell into idolatry. But to posit some kind of conspiracy to remove references to Christ is going to take some hard evidence, not just "I wouldn't put it past them." That's just paranoia.

It's also rather amusing paranoia seeming as how Christians get accused of altering the manuscripts as well.
I did not get that interpretation out of what he wrote. I have no idea if they did that or not and to me, it doesn't really matter. I don't care what the Masoretes did or did not do. I only know why I believe the LXX to be the best version in existence.
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2014, 11:06:43 PM »


I did not get that interpretation out of what he wrote. I have no idea if they did that or not and to me, it doesn't really matter. I don't care what the Masoretes did or did not do. I only know why I believe the LXX to be the best version in existence.
Perhaps I've been too harsh. I see antisemitism everywhere at times and I ought not. *sigh*

I'm sorry if I misjudged you, john_mo.

I agree the LXX is one of the best. My jury is still out as to whether it's the best. I have a lot of respect for the late Bruce Metzger (one of the head compilers of the NRSV), for one. Though, I could stand to do a lot more research on the specifics.
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2014, 11:21:18 PM »

I've used the NRSV and I think it is mostly ok. I know OCA does not allow it's use in Liturgy or Bible studies. I use KJV or NKJV the most though.  That is was I grew up on, so I'm most used to that. I have or have had copies of most different English versions in existence. I have a habit of collecting them, or I did until my wife put her foot down and the dozens of Bibles I had on my shelf and made me give most of them away.
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2014, 11:25:37 PM »

Protestants are always suspicious of Orthodox and their love for the Bible  Sad
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2014, 11:40:11 PM »

Protestants are always suspicious of Orthodox and their love for the Bible  Sad
On the contrary. I'm deeply ashamed of my own tradition when I see how soaked in Scripture your Liturgy is. I'm just leery of a lot of the cultural attitudes I see in some posts here. I'm just as condemning of myself and some areas I see in my own life where I'm kind of a racist.

For example, as I was growing up my dad did his best to make me hate the Japanese over WWII (thankful he's recanted many of those opinions since). I've only unevenly recovered from it and still catch myself thinking really ugly things about them at times.
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« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2014, 12:06:36 AM »

Sorry Volnutt, I should have quoted him, but I meant that as a joke pointed at TheTrisagion, whose wife is (if I remember correctly) a Protestant, so I thought it humorous (=contrary to the stereotype) that she was making him get rid of Bibles.  angel
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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2014, 12:31:52 AM »

I think that groups of Jews changed the Scriptures in the same way that groups of Christians did or Muslims did. Everyone manipulates the text when it suits their interest. It doesn't mean that the whole group is guilty of changing the Scriptures to mislead people.

Also, every group is biased and the Jews who standardized the Masoretic text are no exception.
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« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2014, 12:32:13 AM »

Sorry Volnutt, I should have quoted him, but I meant that as a joke pointed at TheTrisagion, whose wife is (if I remember correctly) a Protestant, so I thought it humorous (=contrary to the stereotype) that she was making him get rid of Bibles.  angel
Oh. Oops!
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« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2014, 12:32:58 AM »


Also, every group is biased and the Jews who standardized the Masoretic text are no exception.
Agreed.
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« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2014, 12:55:17 AM »

Is it held to be a perfect mirror of the OT autographa? Is this a theologoumenon?

Out of curiosity, why is the question specifically about the Septuagint?
I was concerned I might have discovered the Orthodox version of KJV-Onlyism. I'm pleased I was mistaken.


Personally, I am somewhat of a Septuagint enthusiast.  This is for the simple reason that it crystallizes much of how the Jews of that era interpreted Scripture.  So in this sense it contains more information than later translations.  It is another way of determining accuracy.



+1   I agree!  I think it captures the culture of the time the best.  It's not perfect, but look at each translation as a tool box with tools inside.  A perfect toolbox would have every tool needed to complete the job, the Septuagint has the most tools, but not all of them.  Thus it gives you most of what you need to complete the job.
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« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2014, 12:56:58 AM »

One point worth considering here is how some passages might have different connotations or be interpreted differently in the Hebrew vs. Greek, even if there was not a purposeful attempt to change things, or a radical change in the text. For example, it is my understanding that in the Hebrew, "image" and "likeness" in Genesis are roughly equivalent terms, whereas in the Greek these terms have different ideas or connotations to them, leading the Fathers (at least the early ones, and Greek-speaking--I am not sure about everyone) to see image as that which was graced to us in making us human, and which had to do with intellect, creativity, reflection, free-will, etc., and was warped and tarnished, but which could be restored; and they saw the likeness as something which was lost but could be regained and made continual progress in. In other words, the two terms meant essentially the same thing in Hebrew, but the distinction derived from the two terms in/from Greek became a cornerstone of Christian anthropological thought. Even someone as learned and sympathetic to eastern/early Christianity as Jaroslav Pelikan said that this use of the distinction in Greek was based on "shaky exegetical ground" (Melody of Theology, p. 138)... yet as he also acknowledged, by doing this Christianity was able to give a clearer and more profound (not weaker) interpretation and explanation of what Scripture said and was trying to get across.

This is a good point.  I took a class last year called "Theology of the Human Person" and that very topic was brought up. 
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« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2014, 11:22:19 AM »


I did not get that interpretation out of what he wrote. I have no idea if they did that or not and to me, it doesn't really matter. I don't care what the Masoretes did or did not do. I only know why I believe the LXX to be the best version in existence.
Perhaps I've been too harsh. I see antisemitism everywhere at times and I ought not. *sigh*

I'm sorry if I misjudged you, john_mo.

I agree the LXX is one of the best. My jury is still out as to whether it's the best. I have a lot of respect for the late Bruce Metzger (one of the head compilers of the NRSV), for one. Though, I could stand to do a lot more research on the specifics.

No problemo.  

Just so we are clear, I don't think it's a black and white issue.  If it did happen, I don't think it was a majority of Jews who did it.  Even in the St. Justin dialog I linked too; he is speaking with a Jew and says that "the people" changed the Scriptures, so it seems like he isn't accusing a majority of Jews.  It also has nothing to do with the Masoretic texts, since they came centuries later.

There are some differences which I find suspicious, but there could be any number of reasons apart from a deliberate Jewish conspiracy.  Recently, I've been surprised to learn how liberally the Jews can interpret their Scripture.  It is quite similar to how the Muslims do.  By this I mean they look at the original language (Hebrew) and try to see how flexible it can be.  Of course, Hebrew (like Arabic) can mean pretty much anything when done this way.  Especially since the original Hebrew had no vowels.

Although this isn't entirely foreign in Christianity (or Orthodoxy), we (the Orthodox) tend to balance this out with the historical method of trying to see how it was interpreted historically.  This is why we think the Septuagint is of tremendous value.  When you translate the original language into another language it gives a fossilized historical interpretation, which can act as a safeguard to the let's-see-what-else-this-could-mean approach.

Of course, the early Church's interpretation of the OT is often it's own animal since it was interpreted in light of Christ.

Ultimately I don't see that any one version is uninspired.  Christianity certainly doesn't need the Septuagint to prove it's case, and I know it's not perfect but...  aww heck, LXX 4 LIFE, Y'ALL!!
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« Reply #39 on: December 14, 2014, 02:55:59 PM »

Sorry Volnutt, I should have quoted him, but I meant that as a joke pointed at TheTrisagion, whose wife is (if I remember correctly) a Protestant, so I thought it humorous (=contrary to the stereotype) that she was making him get rid of Bibles.  angel
LOL!!  I got it now. I missed that one as well.  laugh
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« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2014, 02:58:28 PM »


I did not get that interpretation out of what he wrote. I have no idea if they did that or not and to me, it doesn't really matter. I don't care what the Masoretes did or did not do. I only know why I believe the LXX to be the best version in existence.
Perhaps I've been too harsh. I see antisemitism everywhere at times and I ought not. *sigh*

I'm sorry if I misjudged you, john_mo.

I agree the LXX is one of the best. My jury is still out as to whether it's the best. I have a lot of respect for the late Bruce Metzger (one of the head compilers of the NRSV), for one. Though, I could stand to do a lot more research on the specifics.

No problemo.  

Just so we are clear, I don't think it's a black and white issue.  If it did happen, I don't think it was a majority of Jews who did it.  Even in the St. Justin dialog I linked too; he is speaking with a Jew and says that "the people" changed the Scriptures, so it seems like he isn't accusing a majority of Jews.  It also has nothing to do with the Masoretic texts, since they came centuries later.

There are some differences which I find suspicious, but there could be any number of reasons apart from a deliberate Jewish conspiracy.  Recently, I've been surprised to learn how liberally the Jews can interpret their Scripture.  It is quite similar to how the Muslims do.  By this I mean they look at the original language (Hebrew) and try to see how flexible it can be.  Of course, Hebrew (like Arabic) can mean pretty much anything when done this way.  Especially since the original Hebrew had no vowels.

Although this isn't entirely foreign in Christianity (or Orthodoxy), we (the Orthodox) tend to balance this out with the historical method of trying to see how it was interpreted historically.  This is why we think the Septuagint is of tremendous value.  When you translate the original language into another language it gives a fossilized historical interpretation, which can act as a safeguard to the let's-see-what-else-this-could-mean approach.

Of course, the early Church's interpretation of the OT is often it's own animal since it was interpreted in light of Christ.

Ultimately I don't see that any one version is uninspired.  Christianity certainly doesn't need the Septuagint to prove it's case, and I know it's not perfect but...  aww heck, LXX 4 LIFE, Y'ALL!!
Ok. Makes sense Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: December 14, 2014, 03:28:01 PM »

Sorry Volnutt, I should have quoted him, but I meant that as a joke pointed at TheTrisagion, whose wife is (if I remember correctly) a Protestant, so I thought it humorous (=contrary to the stereotype) that she was making him get rid of Bibles.  angel
LOL!!  I got it now. I missed that one as well.  laugh

Have there been any epic threads in this forum addressing why Orthodox are so poor (in general) at studying the Bible?
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« Reply #42 on: December 14, 2014, 03:33:44 PM »

Sorry Volnutt, I should have quoted him, but I meant that as a joke pointed at TheTrisagion, whose wife is (if I remember correctly) a Protestant, so I thought it humorous (=contrary to the stereotype) that she was making him get rid of Bibles.  angel
LOL!!  I got it now. I missed that one as well.  laugh

Have there been any epic threads in this forum addressing why Orthodox are so poor (in general) at studying the Bible?
I'm guessing, yes. Not sure which ones, though. The basic answer I keep hearing, at least in the US, is that the Bible was de-emphasized by parish preaching in the 50s as a misguided reaction to the rise of Evangelicalism.

Poverty and Communist oppression leading to fewer copies of Scripture is likely part of the answer for Eastern Europe.
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