The MT has been corrupted by the hebrews because of christianity.. Those who wrote the New Testament, cited the Scripture mostly as it is in the Septuagint and not in the Masoretic Text, or other hebrew versions..
The Septuagint was the first translation made of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. It was begun over two hundred years before the birth of Jesus. It was translated from a Hebrew Old Testament text-type that is older than the Masoretic text, from which most Old Testaments are translated today. This is sad, for the apostles had access to both the Septuagint and to the proto-Masoretic text that was in existence in their time. And they chose to quote from the Septuagint¡ªnot the proto-Masoretic text.
You have probably noticed that many of the Old Testament passages that are quoted in the New Testament don't read the same in the New as they do in the Old. However, if you were using the Septuagint Old Testament, they would read the same.
For example, notice this passage from the Psalms that is quoted in the Book of Hebrews: "Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering thou hast not desired, but a body thou hast prepared for me'" (Heb. 10:5,6). In that passage, Paul is quoting from Psalm 40:6. If you look up Psalm 40:6 in your Bible, you will find that it reads: "Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired; mine ears Thou hast opened." That's not how writer of Hebrews quoted that verse, is it?
Our Old Testaments don't say anything in Psalms about "a body Thou hast prepared for me." Is that not part of Scripture? If it isn't, why did the writer of Hebrews quote it as Scripture? If it is part of Scripture, what justification do we have for using a text that is different from what the apostles were using?
That is not an isolated example. Such variances between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text are fairly numerous. In fact, one of the cardinal teachings of Christianity turns on one of these variances. We have all read Matthew's quotation from Isaiah 7:14: "Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel'" (Matt. 1:22,23). What I did not realize until recently was that the Hebrew Masoretic text does not say, "the virgin shall be with child." It says, "the young woman shall be with child." No wonder the apostles and their disciples chose the Septuagint over the Masoretic text.
Unless you use the Revised Standard Version, if you look up Isaiah 7:14 in your Old Testament, you will probably find that it reads "virgin" instead of "young woman." That's because translators have fudged on their use of the Masoretic text in order to conform to the cardinal Christian doctrine of the virgin birth. But how honest is that? Can we ignore the Septuagint and treat it as "a translation full of errors," but then when one of those "errors" supports a major Christian doctrine, go over and borrow from it? Are we really seeking truth when we do that?
Is the Septuagint Full of Errors?
During the Middle Ages, and for many centuries thereafter, western Christians mistakenly thought that the Septuagint was merely a careless translation of the Hebrew text. Many Christians today still think that. However, during the 1800s, scholars began to postulate that perhaps the reason for the variance between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text was that the translators of the Septuagint were working from an earlier Hebrew text that varied from the later Masoretic text.
In 1947, when scholars were still speculating about these things, an Arab shepherd accidentally discovered some ancient Jewish scrolls near the settlement of Qumran in Palestine. Those scrolls, along with numerous other scrolls later found in the same vicinity, have come to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the Qumran Library. The Old Testament texts found among these scrolls were centuries older than any previously known Old Testament manuscripts. Among the first scrolls examined were two manuscripts of the Book of Isaiah. The initial published reports proclaimed that those manuscripts were virtually identical to the Masoretic text of today. Evangelical Christians were quick to propagate these initial reports.
However, later, a more sober reflection on the Isaiah scrolls, coupled with the discovery of Dead Sea manuscripts for other Old Testament books, revealed that the initial reports were premature. Rather than vindicating the Masoretic text as being the original Hebrew text, the thousands of Qumran text specimens reveal that there was a definite diversity of text types of the Old Testament in use during the centuries before Christ. The Masoretic text reflects only one of those text types. Unfortunately, evangelicals have not been very quick to retract those original premature reports.
More importantly, those manuscripts confirmed that there were early Hebrew manuscripts that largely agree textually with the Septuagint. So the Septuagint was not a sloppy translation of the Masoretic text. Rather, it is apparently a reasonably faithful translation of another text type¡ªa text that may well be older than the prototype of the Masoretic text. Again, let me emphasize that the differences between these text types do not affect any significant spiritual truths. They mainly affect the wording of various Old Testament passages.
The Value of the Septuagint
More and more Bible scholars today are recognizing the immense value of the Septuagint and its unique relationship to the New Testament. For example, Bible scholar George Howard points out:
If the writers of the NT [New Testament] were influenced by secular Greek, they were influenced more by LXX [Septuagint]. Separated from LXX the NT would have been almost unintelligible to the contemporary reader, according to B. Atkinson. ... At any rate, in the past decades there has developed an appreciation for the influence which LXX vocabulary had on NT thought and the contributions in this area of Septuagintal research are still coming. Consequently, the debate over which source is more important for NT lexicography, Greek or Hebrew, will probably be resolved in terms of LXX.
Dr. Sven Soderlund of Regent College writes:
The LXX was the Bible for most writers of the NT. Not only did they take from it most of their express citations of Scripture, but their writings¡ªin particular the Gospels, and among them especially Luke¡ªcontain numerous reminiscences of its language. The theological terms of the NT, such as ¡°law,¡± ¡°righteousness,¡± ¡°mercy,¡± ¡°truth,¡± ¡°propitiation,¡± were taken over directly from the LXX and must be understood in the light of their use in that version.
Other Old Testament scholars have expressed similar sentiments.
In 2007, Oxford University Press came out with a new translation of the Septuagint, called A New English Translation of the Septuagint, or NETS for short. To read more about this new work, click on the following link about NETS.
Here are some of our favorite Septuagint links:
The site, Greek Septuagint, contains a wealth of information about the Septuagint.
This site provides a good introduction to the Septuagint and its use by the New Testament writers: Rick¡¯s Notes on the Septuagint
This site provides a free online interlinear version of the Lucian rescension of the Septuagint: Interlinear Septuaginthttp://www.scrollpublishing.com/store/Septuagint.html
Acts 15.17 (New Testament, King James Version)
...That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Acts 15.17 tells us that a remnant of Israelites will seek the Lord along with all the Gentiles upon whom the name of the Lord is called. Acts 15.17 is actually a quote from Amos 9.12, but when we compare the quote above with its alleged source in Amos 9.12 of the KJV Old Testament, we find a sharp disagreement:
Amos 9.12 (Old Testament, King James Version)
...That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.
Rather than telling us that a remnant of Israelites will seek the Lord along with all the Gentiles upon whom the name of the Lord is called, as the New Testament quotes it, Amos 9.12 in the KJV would have us believe that the Jews will "POSSESS the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen..." Remember, Acts 15.17 is supposed to be a quote of Amos 9.12, but when we compare them, we see that they disagree sharply in content. How are we to explain this descrepancy?
The cause for the confusion rests in the fact that the KJV Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text instead of the Greek Septuagint. When we compare the quote of Amos 9.12 found in Acts 15.17 of the KJV with an English translation of Amos 9.12 from the Septuagint, we find a virtually perfect match:
Amos 9.12(Old Testament, Brenton’s English Translation of the Greek Septuagint)
...that the remnant of men, and all the Gentiles upon whom my name is called, may earnestly seek me, saith the Lord who does all these things.
While doing some digging on the subject, I learned that the New Testament, as a general rule, agrees with the Septuagint more frequently than with the Masoretic Text. But the Old Testament that I was using (the King James Version) was translated using the Masoretic Text rather than the Septuagint. I also learned that the Septuagint is more closely aligned with the biblical manuscripts found in the Dead Sea scrolls as well, and the Dead Sea scrolls date back to the 2nd century BC, well before the New Testament was written.
As Wikipedia puts it, "Some of the Dead Sea scrolls attest to Hebrew texts other than those on which the Masoretic Text was based; in many cases, these newly found texts accord with the LXX version [emphasis mine]." So not only does the Masoretic Text conflict with the Septuagint and New Testament, but it even conflicts with the Dead Sea scrolls, which predate the oldest manuscripts of the Masoretic Text by almost 1000 years.
It should not be surprising to learn that the Dead Sea scrolls indicate the existence of Hebrew texts of the Old Testament other than the Masoretic Text, firstly because the Dead Sea scrolls predate the Masoretic Text by 1000 years, and secondly because the Masoretic Text was redacted by the Masoretes (who of course rejected Jesus as the Messiah).
Wikipedia’s article on the Masoretic Text has this to say: "The MT was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the seventh and tenth centuries CE...it has numerous differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to (extant 4th century) manuscripts of the Septuagint, a Greek translation (made in the 3rd to 2nd centuries BCE) of the Hebrew Scriptures that was in popular use in Egypt and Palestine and that is often quoted in the Christian New Testament."
My own brief survey, in which I compared Old Testament passages with New Testament quotations, was done using the King James Version of the Bible. As I said, I found significant disagreements between the two, and this is because the KJV Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Text, but the authors of the New Testament must have quoted from an Old Testament source that much more closely resembled the Septuagint.
Here is a short list of disagreements between New Testament quotes from the Masoretic Text of the Old Testament. My source for this is The Septuagint in the New Testament:
Matthew relies on the Septuagint for the assertion that the Messiah's mother was to be a virgin (Matthew 1.23). Jesus himself follows the traditional Septuagint wording in condemning the Pharisees' traditions (Matthew 15.8-9 /Isaiah 29.13)... The Septuagint foretold that the Messiah's death would be unjust (Acts 8.32-33) and that the Gentiles would seek the Lord (Acts 15.16-17 /Amos 9.11-12). The Hebrew has the nations being "possessed" along with Edom. Paul knows that a remnant of Israel will be saved because he was reading the Old Testament in Greek (Romans 9.27-28 / Isaiah 10.22-23). Perhaps if his topic were the return to the Holy Land and not salvation, he would have found the Hebrew reading more suitable... Paul's thought that Jesus would rule the Gentiles also depends on a Septuagint reading (Romans 15.12 / Isaiah 11.10). The author of the book of Hebrews - to prove the deity of Christ - proclaims that Jesus is worshipped by all the angels of God (Hebrews 1.6 / Deut. 32.43). But the Hebrew Old Testament does not contain that verse. Also on the basis of the Greek Old Testament, that author asserts that the incarnation was prophecied (Hebrews 10.5-7 / Psalm 40.6-8) - that Jesus would have a body, which he would offer for our sanctification (Hebrews 10.10). The Masoretic text at this point stresses auditory capability. Finally, where the Masoretic text described a nonviolent suffering servant, the Septuagint prophesied a sinless Messiah (1 Peter 2.22 / Isaiah 53.9)...
Overall, the agreement in sense between the New Testament and the Septuagint is 93%. This compares favorably with the rate of agreement between the New Testament quotations and the Hebrew Old Testament, 68%.
Here are more examples of where the New Testament agrees with the Greek Septuagint but contradicts the Hebrew Masoretic Text. What I have done below is list the New Testament quote from the "Authorised Version" (aka King James Version), followed by its source-text in the Old Testament, first from the Septuagint and then from the KJV Old Testament. Agreements between the New Testament and the Septuagint are in blue text; red text is used to highlight the divergence of the KJV Old Testament:
Hebrews 10:5 cf. Psalm 40:6
Hebrews 10:5 (KJV New Testament)
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me...
Psalm 40:6 (Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint)
Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me...
Psalm 40:6 (quoted from KJV Old Testament)
Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened...
Comment: Psalm 40:6 is regarded by Christians as a prophecy of the Incarnation of Christ, and Hebrews 10:5 quotes it as such, but the Masoretic Text omits the key phrase entirely, replacing “but a body hast thou prepared for me” with “mine ears hast thou opened.” Note that the KJV New Testament and the Greek Septuagint agree with each other against the reading of the KJV Old Testament, which was translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text.
Hebrews 1:6 cf. Deuteronomy 32:43
Hebrews 1:6 ( KJV New Testament)
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
Deuteronomy 32:43 (Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint)
Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him...
Deuteronomy 32:43 (KJV Old Testament)
Comment: The Masoretic Text completely omits the phrase “and let all the angels of God worship him” from Deuteronomy 32.43.
Matthew 12:21 cf. Isaiah 42:4
Isaiah 42:4 is regarded by Christians as a prophecy of Gentile acceptance of, and faith in, the name of the Messiah, and Matthew 12:21 quotes it as such, but the Masoretic Text omits the key phrase entirely, replacing the phrase “and in his name shall the Gentiles trust” with “and the isles shall wait for his law.” Note that the KJV New Testament and the Septuagint agree with each other against the reading of the KJV Old Testament, which was translated from the Masoretic Text:
Matthew 12:21 (KJV New Testament)
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Isaiah 42:4 (Brenton’s English Translation of the Septuagint)
He shall shine out, and shall not be discouraged, until he have set judgment on the earth: and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.
Isaiah 42:4 (KJV Old Testament)
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
These contradictions prove two things:
1) It proves that the ancient texts have been altered to suit the agenda of the alterers,
2) It puts the lie to the claim that the King James Version is a perfect, "divinely-inspired translation". Obviously, if the New and Old Testaments of the King James Version contradict each other then the King James Version cannot be an inerrant document.