Author Topic: How accurate is the Septuagint ?  (Read 2446 times)

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Offline psalm110

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How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« on: June 01, 2012, 04:48:21 AM »
Hi All,

Just want to find out or be directed to literature to read upon how accurate the Bible is - for example how accurate and true is the Septuagint which the Orthodox church uses was it by any means altered throughout the last 2000 years ? Does Archaleogical evidence support the Septuagint in being accurate to this day?.

Thanks

Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 09:48:04 AM »
Hi All,

Just want to find out or be directed to literature to read upon how accurate the Bible is - for example how accurate and true is the Septuagint which the Orthodox church uses was it by any means altered throughout the last 2000 years ? Does Archaleogical evidence support the Septuagint in being accurate to this day?.

Thanks

First, most of it is older than 2000 years and there is no evidence that I am aware of that any of it has changed. What do you expect, or suspect, that the archaeological evidence is show exactly - many versions of the Septuagint, or what?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 09:57:21 AM »
Define accurate.

It accurately records what God wants to say quite nicely.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 10:17:07 AM »
Hi All,

Just want to find out or be directed to literature to read upon how accurate the Bible is - for example how accurate and true is the Septuagint which the Orthodox church uses was it by any means altered throughout the last 2000 years ? Does Archaleogical evidence support the Septuagint in being accurate to this day?.

Thanks

First, most of it is older than 2000 years and there is no evidence that I am aware of that any of it has changed. What do you expect, or suspect, that the archaeological evidence is show exactly - many versions of the Septuagint, or what?
The manuscript evidence is about as solid as the New Testament.

One thing to consider: St. Jerome picked the Hebrew text that the Jews were using at his time, and it differs from the Hebrew text of the Masorites which the Jews canonized over a half a millenium later.  That is well within the era of solid manuscript evidence of the LXX.  In fact, the vast majority of the evidence for the text of the Old Testament is based on the LXX (the basis of most translations of the Old Testament, not the Masoretic text).
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline psalm110

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 11:08:50 AM »
What was the Hebrew text at the time of Jesus - Pshitta along side with the Septuagint? How do we know and how can we trust that the last 2000years since christianity came into the picture that OT - "Septuagint" which the Orthodox church uses has not been tampered to suit us Christians in verses about the Messiah , ie: Isaiah 7:14 - In a nutshell which bible is the inspired word of God to this day ?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 11:09:04 AM by psalm110 »

Offline dzheremi

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 11:37:16 AM »
The Peshitta is not a Hebrew text. It is the standard Syriac version of the Bible.

Offline age234

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 12:24:01 PM »
What was the Hebrew text at the time of Jesus - Pshitta along side with the Septuagint?

The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Scriptures used by Greek-speaking Jews (which, by Jesus' time, was the majority of Jews, even in the Holy Land). Naturally, the early Christians spoke Greek and adopted that translation.

The Hebrew text of the time, IIRC, was lost around the end of the 1st century. The Masoretic Text is the oldest Hebrew text we have, and it dates from the middle of the 1st millennium or so.

How do we know and how can we trust that the last 2000years since christianity came into the picture that OT - "Septuagint" which the Orthodox church uses has not been tampered to suit us Christians in verses about the Messiah , ie: Isaiah 7:14 - In a nutshell which bible is the inspired word of God to this day ?

We have pre-Christian manuscripts we can compare it with. The Septuagint dates to 300 BC and was translated 100% by Jews.

How do we know the Jews didn't tamper with the Hebrew text in response to Christians, in their view, misinterpreting the scriptures?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 12:25:49 PM by age234 »

Offline age234

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 12:26:15 PM »
Define accurate.

It accurately records what God wants to say quite nicely.

This is the best answer.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 01:31:04 PM »
What was the Hebrew text at the time of Jesus - Pshitta along side with the Septuagint? How do we know and how can we trust that the last 2000years since christianity came into the picture that OT - "Septuagint" which the Orthodox church uses has not been tampered to suit us Christians in verses about the Messiah , ie: Isaiah 7:14 - In a nutshell which bible is the inspired word of God to this day ?
The Jews started making new translations, as the Christians proved too good at proving Jesus was the Christ from the LXX.

One of these translations, Theodotion, a Jewish proselyte, produced a new translation meant for Jewish use (his contemporary, St. Irenaeus, notes his and Aquilla of Pontus, another Jewish proselyte translator, of their objection to that very translation of Isaish 7:14, showing that the translation by the LXX predates the Christians use of it).  These were produced in reaction to the success of the Christians using the LXX, as shown earlier () in St. Justin martyr's debate with Trypho the Jew.
Reading the Old Testament With the Ancient Church: Exploring the Formation ...
 By Ronald E. Heine
http://books.google.com/books?id=7cSua5-tLIgC&pg=PA117&lpg=PA117&dq=Trypho+Isaiah+7:14&source=bl&ots=Zpgd7a0oOY&sig=U6TEgaMw9lWuoPjm_NT8kcj00Co&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8PjIT6P_Nemw2wXi383aCw&ved=0CFsQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Trypho%20Isaiah%207%3A14&f=false
so it is quite clear that "parthenos" predates the split of the Jews from Christianity.

But back to Theodotion.  He produced a translation which the Church Fathers preferred to the LXX text of Daniel.  The problem is that Theodotion's translation includes what is now called Susanna, the Song of the Three Youths, and Bel and the Dragon, which the LXX includes but the Masorah rejects.  Again, Theodotion was a Jew translating for Jews, and so he would have no reason to alter his text towards the Church's LXX.   This is parralleled by Sirach, which the Masorah rejected but the Talmud comments on.  Then there is the Jewish feast of Hanukkah, whose only Scriptural warrant comes from Maccabbees, a book the LXX includes but the Masorah rejected (of importance, as the NT shows Christ celebrated Hanukkah).

and then there is the Masoretic Text's testimony to the LXX itself: the MT divides Psalm 9 into Ps. 9 and Ps. 10.  However, the Pslam is a poem where the lines end in the letters of the alphabet in order: the MT divides the alphabet, whereas LXX Ps. 9-with no reference to the acrostic-preserves the alphabet whole.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline JamesR

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 01:43:01 PM »
It is what St. Paul quoted scriptures from so I would say it must be reasonably accurate if it was good enough for an Apostle.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
In the infinite wisdom of God, James can be all three.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2012, 02:51:25 PM »
Hi All,

Just want to find out or be directed to literature to read upon how accurate the Bible is - for example how accurate and true is the Septuagint which the Orthodox church uses was it by any means altered throughout the last 2000 years ? Does Archaleogical evidence support the Septuagint in being accurate to this day?.

Thanks

What do you mean by accurate?

Of ancient Biblical texts, we have many variants.

Are the versions of the Septuagint accurate translations of the original Hebrew? We'll never know, since the Septuagint predates the Hebrew texts from which it was translated. Those have been lost. Of the ancient non-Masoretic texts that we have, most of these (Dead Sea Scrolls and Samaritan Pentateuch) concur with the Septuagint, rather than the Masoretic.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2012, 02:52:54 PM »
What was the Hebrew text at the time of Jesus - Pshitta along side with the Septuagint? How do we know and how can we trust that the last 2000years since christianity came into the picture that OT - "Septuagint" which the Orthodox church uses has not been tampered to suit us Christians in verses about the Messiah , ie: Isaiah 7:14 - In a nutshell which bible is the inspired word of God to this day ?

How is a group of people spread out over the earth going to change Biblical texts also spread out over the earth, many of which they are not the primary custodians. Let alone the many copies existing. The conspiracy theory does not fly.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 05:29:41 PM »
What was the Hebrew text at the time of Jesus - Pshitta along side with the Septuagint?

The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Scriptures used by Greek-speaking Jews (which, by Jesus' time, was the majority of Jews, even in the Holy Land). Naturally, the early Christians spoke Greek and adopted that translation.

The Hebrew text of the time, IIRC, was lost around the end of the 1st century. The Masoretic Text is the oldest Hebrew text we have, and it dates from the middle of the 1st millennium or so.

How do we know and how can we trust that the last 2000years since christianity came into the picture that OT - "Septuagint" which the Orthodox church uses has not been tampered to suit us Christians in verses about the Messiah , ie: Isaiah 7:14 - In a nutshell which bible is the inspired word of God to this day ?

We have pre-Christian manuscripts we can compare it with. The Septuagint dates to 300 BC and was translated 100% by Jews.

How do we know the Jews didn't tamper with the Hebrew text in response to Christians, in their view, misinterpreting the scriptures?

Yes, the oldest copy of the Septuagint is hundreds of years older than the oldest copy of the Masoretic Text.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 12:41:44 PM »
http://ctosonline.org/historical/AH.html

A simple pamphlet that might serve as a good introduction to the subject.

Offline psalm110

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 05:06:09 AM »
Does the Septuagint agree with archaeological finds of Scrolls found in Qumran and around it ? Such as the Qumran Scrolls, Nahal Hever Scrolls
Do the scrolls agree word for word with the prophecies of Christ in the Septuagint in mind to say that the Septuagint has not been in anyway altered, edited to suit the Claims of Jesus as the Messiah?. Do the Archaeological scrolls of the Old Testament show any discrepancies against the Prophecy's regarding Christ such as Psalm 22 Isaiah 7:14 Micah 5:2 etc etc etc ?.

Is there any online library with Ancient Scrolls online which have been translated that I read ? What books from scholars have been written talking about the above finds of ancient menuscripts comparing them with the septuagint, I'am looking forward in doing some research?. Has anyone elses done research regarding the ancient finds of biblical scrolls comparing them to the Septuagint and seeing any differences ?

Thanks


Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2012, 01:48:06 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Does the Septuagint agree with archaeological finds of Scrolls found in Qumran and around it ? Such as the Qumran Scrolls, Nahal Hever Scrolls
Do the scrolls agree word for word with the prophecies of Christ in the Septuagint in mind to say that the Septuagint has not been in anyway altered, edited to suit the Claims of Jesus as the Messiah?. Do the Archaeological scrolls of the Old Testament show any discrepancies against the Prophecy's regarding Christ such as Psalm 22 Isaiah 7:14 Micah 5:2 etc etc etc ?.

Is there any online library with Ancient Scrolls online which have been translated that I read ? What books from scholars have been written talking about the above finds of ancient menuscripts comparing them with the septuagint, I'am looking forward in doing some research?. Has anyone elses done research regarding the ancient finds of biblical scrolls comparing them to the Septuagint and seeing any differences ?

Thanks



  What exactly is your reason for speculating the accuracy or authenticity of the Septuagint exactly? The truth of the amtter is we have no other more complete version of the Old Testament Scriptures.  For all we know, there never even was a complete Hebrew Bible because simply put, we've never found it.

Quote
The oldest known dated Hebrew manuscript was written in Tiberias, in 895 CE, and it contains a portion of the Bible. Although there are undated fragments that may be older, their existence does not alter the basic situation, which is that there is a huge gap of centuries separating the Dead Sea Scrolls from the appearance of the earliest medieval Hebrew manuscripts. The rabbinic inclination against writing down rabbinic and liturgical texts may partially explain this phenomenon, but it does not explain the lack of surviving copies of the Bible from that period.
http://www.fathom.com/course/72810016/session1.html

At this point  in the game, we have thousands, indeed hundreds of thousands of Hebrew fragments of the Scriptures, but it would be naive to assume that these fragments are clinching evidence of the entirety of the Bible being as old as they. The reality is that today, scholars check the authenticity of Hebrew manuscripts to the Septuagint, not the other way around ;)

stay blessed,
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Offline psalm110

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2012, 11:18:40 PM »
When you mention Hebrew menuscripts do you mean the masoretic menuscripts ? Have not scholars compared the Septuagint with the dead sea scrolls or the scrolls of nahal hever(which contain the famous psalm21(22) with the Septuagint ?. Are they just comparing it with the Masoretic text which was put together In the 10century ?.

Do not the fragments of the scrolls found confirm with the Septuagint ? Which old testament bible agrees more with the ancient menuscript scrolls/fragments found the Septuagint or the masoretic text ?

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2012, 11:44:33 PM »
How do we know the Dead Sea scrolls are accurate?  Sure, we know they are old, but we are not certain who wrote them, why they wrote them, or how careful they copiests were.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2012, 11:52:46 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Do not the fragments of the scrolls found confirm with the Septuagint ? Which old testament bible agrees more with the ancient menuscript scrolls/fragments found the Septuagint or the masoretic text ?

The key word is fragments.  The oldest complete manuscripts of the Old Testament are the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate translations.  The Hebrew texts are relatively contemporary in that context.  Further, the Dead Sea scrolls and other older Hebrew/Aramaic texts are just that, fragments, and you can't exactly check things like authenticity and accuracy with just fragments.  To be sure, the Dead Sea texts are priceless, but they are not exactly smoking guns in any particular direction. 

The Septuagint is not an exclusively Christian version, its just also the one which Christians adopted.  The Jewish folks, and probably even the Muslims too relied on these versions until their own Arabic and Hebrew revivals in the Middle Ages.  This is why both the oldest Hebrew Bibles and also the Ku'rans are from around the 9th centuries..

stay blessed,
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Offline Father H

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2012, 01:41:54 AM »
Hi All,

Just want to find out or be directed to literature to read upon how accurate the Bible is - for example how accurate and true is the Septuagint which the Orthodox church uses was it by any means altered throughout the last 2000 years ? Does Archaleogical evidence support the Septuagint in being accurate to this day?.

Thanks

Are you sure that you are Orthodox, as your faith/jurisdicition identity maintains?  The avatar is disturbing.  It is an example of "monastery icons" (not Orthodox at all) tampering with the direction of the Trinity.  Some who are well-seasoned at this may find it hard to believe that your inquiry is sincere, that is, based on the evidence that is seen in the verbage, iconography of self-representation, and otherwise. 

Offline Father H

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2012, 01:42:28 AM »
Define accurate.

It accurately records what God wants to say quite nicely.

exactly

Offline Father H

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2012, 01:43:40 AM »
What was the Hebrew text at the time of Jesus - Pshitta along side with the Septuagint? How do we know and how can we trust that the last 2000years since christianity came into the picture that OT - "Septuagint" which the Orthodox church uses has not been tampered to suit us Christians in verses about the Messiah , ie: Isaiah 7:14 - In a nutshell which bible is the inspired word of God to this day ?

Septuagint is pre-Incarnation, and Peshitta is post-Incarnation

Offline Salpy

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2012, 02:05:37 AM »
A good website about the Septuagint.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2012, 04:30:18 AM »
A good website about the Septuagint.

Did you forget the link, or were you commenting on a website mentioned earlier? :)

Offline psalm110

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 09:18:47 AM »
Quote

Are you sure that you are Orthodox, as your faith/jurisdicition identity maintains?  The avatar is disturbing.  It is an example of "monastery icons" (not Orthodox at all) tampering with the direction of the Trinity.  Some who are well-seasoned at this may find it hard to believe that your inquiry is sincere, that is, based on the evidence that is seen in the verbage, iconography of self-representation, and otherwise. 

I'm perplexed at this post. It is not nice to publicly insult me on thinking I'm some sort of a heretic when i am NOT and stand firm in my Orthodox Christian belief. What does that POST have to do with my question ?, It does not help me answer my question. If this was a thread introducing my self to the forum by all means, yet even this "icon" which you find offense to it; is one of many avatar icons available for forum users who sign up to this forum board to select, I was looking for the Hospitality of Abraham and this is all I could find, Maybe take it up with the board owner if you find it disturbing?. If you would like to enlighten me and help me on my question please help but if you find offense to my question and icon you are best to speak to me regarding about it in a private message to enlighten me, let us learn from this and move on, Let us stay strictly on the TOPIC.

I came here with a Question regarding the Septuagint that many anti-christians claim that we are WRONG, How they proclaim that "WE" Orthodox have been fooled and that our hearts have believed in a LIE made by high church Leaders and State, that our Old Testament is a false Testimony, claims that we have altered verses and words to SUIT Jesus as the Messiah, hence my struggle to find and learn what ancient manuscript have to say. [/u] I Have come here to find conclusive answers to be corrected and sent in the RIGHT & TRUTHFUL direction regarding such claims which I think are not truth. I thought trying to find, learn and read about the ancient fragments/scrolls of the old testament whether they confirm with the Septuagint or Masoretic Text. 

Here is something interesting I came across its regarding the Ancient Scrolls/fragments found at Nachal Hever - Psalm 22:16 heres the link http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Ps22.16.pdf
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 09:21:19 AM by psalm110 »

Offline DavidH

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2012, 11:12:20 AM »
A great site on the Septuagint comparing its usage in New Testament quotes of the Old Testament vs. the Masoretic text.

http://mysite.verizon.net/rgjones3/Septuagint/spindex.htm

Offline Salpy

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2012, 11:17:44 PM »
A good website about the Septuagint.

Did you forget the link, or were you commenting on a website mentioned earlier? :)

Yikes!  I meant to link the website that DavidH just linked.   :D

Offline Kerdy

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Re: How accurate is the Septuagint ?
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2012, 09:20:23 AM »
Quote

Are you sure that you are Orthodox, as your faith/jurisdicition identity maintains?  The avatar is disturbing.  It is an example of "monastery icons" (not Orthodox at all) tampering with the direction of the Trinity.  Some who are well-seasoned at this may find it hard to believe that your inquiry is sincere, that is, based on the evidence that is seen in the verbage, iconography of self-representation, and otherwise. 

I'm perplexed at this post. It is not nice to publicly insult me on thinking I'm some sort of a heretic when i am NOT and stand firm in my Orthodox Christian belief. What does that POST have to do with my question ?, It does not help me answer my question. If this was a thread introducing my self to the forum by all means, yet even this "icon" which you find offense to it; is one of many avatar icons available for forum users who sign up to this forum board to select, I was looking for the Hospitality of Abraham and this is all I could find, Maybe take it up with the board owner if you find it disturbing?. If you would like to enlighten me and help me on my question please help but if you find offense to my question and icon you are best to speak to me regarding about it in a private message to enlighten me, let us learn from this and move on, Let us stay strictly on the TOPIC.

I came here with a Question regarding the Septuagint that many anti-christians claim that we are WRONG, How they proclaim that "WE" Orthodox have been fooled and that our hearts have believed in a LIE made by high church Leaders and State, that our Old Testament is a false Testimony, claims that we have altered verses and words to SUIT Jesus as the Messiah, hence my struggle to find and learn what ancient manuscript have to say. [/u] I Have come here to find conclusive answers to be corrected and sent in the RIGHT & TRUTHFUL direction regarding such claims which I think are not truth. I thought trying to find, learn and read about the ancient fragments/scrolls of the old testament whether they confirm with the Septuagint or Masoretic Text. 

Here is something interesting I came across its regarding the Ancient Scrolls/fragments found at Nachal Hever - Psalm 22:16 heres the link http://www.torahresource.com/EnglishArticles/Ps22.16.pdf


Here is the thing…if you worry over everything some anti-Christian, God hater says, you will be too busy to do anything else.  You have no idea how easy it is to claim scripture is wrong, take a verse out of context and twist its meaning, toss wild claims it’s all a hoax, foolishly say Jesus never existed, etc.  What no one realizes is, and I have no idea why they don’t, the burden of proof isn’t on us, it’s on them.  They are making the erroneous claims, so they must prove them.  By prove, I do not mean provided half-truths that may or may not support the idea itself without providing real proof of anything, which is what they usually do. 

If I were you, I would approach this from a different angle.  I would not approach this from the angle of proving the nut jobs wrong; I would approach this from the angle of getting as close to the truth as humanly possible, ignoring the naysayers, as a personal journey of discovery.  I have literally had thousands of debates with people who fall into the “anti” crowd and with the exception of a handful, most are in a different orbit and ignore any sibilance of reality when it comes to proof and evidence.  This is just my advice.  The anti-Christian folks will always claim we are wrong, regardless of how many times we show their claims hold no water.  They will always find something to put on a billboard or a bus and spread their vitriol.  It’s what they do.  It’s what gives their life meaning.  Don’t fall into their trap.  All they have to do is get you to doubt.  You do the rest for them.