Author Topic: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement  (Read 11233 times)

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Offline Keble

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2006, 05:08:20 PM »
So, what were the MT's variant texts?  Hebrew versions that circulated throughout the diaspora and were thought to have arisen independently of the LXX (and possessed the linguistic/literary peculiarities of the DSS-era Hebrew texts)?

Well, the answer is that there aren't any-- not within the MT complex, anyway. MT copies are for all intents identical to each other.

There are some other testimonies to the state of the text pre-MT: the LXX, other (later) Greek translations, the DSS, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the targums, and the mishnah. But there are only the merest fragments of pre-MT tenakh except for the DSS and the Samaritan Pentateuch. It's also important to understand that the reading of the tenakh has always occurred in a context of oral commentary and tradition as to how to read and interpret it, made worse by the decay of the Hebrew itself. If you look in 1 Samuel in any modern verison, you will see a thick underbrush of footnotes, including many occurances of the phrase "Hebrew uncertain". A lot of it simply doesn't make sense, so that the translators go back to the ancient translations (the LXX and the targums) and the mishnah for help. OT translation is far more often about what the text means, and not nearly so much about what it is.

Ironically, the oldest substantially complete LXX manuscripts are found in Vaticanus and Sinaticus-- with those nasty Alexandrian NT texts. There are much older fragments. I discovered in the course of researching this that modern Orthodox don't use the LXX Daniel, but instead prefer one of the other Greek (Jewish) translations.

Offline Matthew777

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2006, 07:57:37 PM »
Ironically, the oldest substantially complete LXX manuscripts are found in Vaticanus and Sinaticus-- with those nasty Alexandrian NT texts.

That does not pose a problem if the Septuagint of the Alexandrian manuscripts is in substantial agreement with older copies of the Septuagint.
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Offline Keble

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2006, 08:57:57 AM »
The only "problem" is a translation from a group whose theory of MT origins is wrong to the point of being an anti-semetic slander.

Offline Matthew777

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2006, 03:36:54 PM »
It is not anti-semetic to claim that the Masoretic text purposely edits out types and prophecies of Christ.
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #49 on: August 30, 2006, 03:38:50 PM »
It is not anti-semetic to claim that the Masoretic text purposely edits out types and prophecies of Christ.

By tweaking vowel marks, sure. However, to claim that the entire thing is a retranslation of the Septuagint into "medieval Hebrew" is so irrational that only something like anti-semitism could be at work.

Offline Matthew777

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #50 on: August 30, 2006, 03:43:12 PM »
By tweaking vowel marks, sure. However, to claim that the entire thing is a retranslation of the Septuagint into "medieval Hebrew" is so irrational that only something like anti-semitism could be at work.

George Lamsa claimed that it's a retranslation into Hebrew from the Aramaic Tanakh. It isn't surprising if the Jews lost their sacred texts, only to translate them from sources used by Christians. That would be symbolic of how the Church replaces the Jewish race as the New Israel, encompassing all races and cultures.

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Offline Keble

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2006, 03:57:30 PM »
George Lamsa claimed that it's a retranslation into Hebrew from the Aramaic Tanakh.

Another reason to discount him as a crank.

Again, if one starts looking at the MT in its worst places-- and they are really quite bad-- it would be rediculous to accuse it of being a translation of anyway. What one finds is that the various translations (the targums, the LXX, etc.) "fix" the broken places. So do English translations, and they (in part) refer to these other translations for guidance at the problem points. It's hardly logical, however, that the MT "translators" would break these spots. (It also wouldn't surprise me to find out that the DSS text is often "broken" in the same places, but I don't know that for sure.) And there's no reason to suppose the break in Hebrew transmission that would bring about the back-translation in the first place.

Offline KATHXOYMENOC

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2006, 03:59:53 PM »
George Lamsa claimed that it's a retranslation into Hebrew from the Aramaic Tanakh. It isn't surprising if the Jews lost their sacred texts, only to translate them from sources used by Christians. That would be symbolic of how the Church replaces the Jewish race as the New Israel, encompassing all races and cultures.

Peace.

From what I've read (not OF the Peshitta, but ABOUT the Peshitta), the Peshitta exhibits too many indications of being a translation itself for it to claim priority over the Masoretic Text. Lamsa's claim are not generally accepted, AFAIK.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 04:00:52 PM by KATHXOYMENOC »
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #53 on: August 30, 2006, 04:00:28 PM »
George Lamsa claimed

Matthew777 "George Lamsa"  thread hijack #447.

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #54 on: August 30, 2006, 04:20:53 PM »
Yeah for real. Don't mention Lamsa again in this thread.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2006, 05:53:34 PM »
Amen, amen, amen

I've been so "GL"'ed here lately that I replaced my copy of "it" back in cellar where mother-in-law stored "it".
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #56 on: August 30, 2006, 09:38:06 PM »
Another reason to discount him as a crank.

That may be true. I am pointing out that the claim of the Masoretic being a re-translation is not unique to one particular group.
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #57 on: August 30, 2006, 09:40:54 PM »
From what I've read (not OF the Peshitta, but ABOUT the Peshitta), the Peshitta exhibits too many indications of being a translation itself for it to claim priority over the Masoretic Text.

The question is whether the Peshitta was translated directly from the Hebrew, or is merely dependent upon the Septuagint. No one has claimed the Peshitta to be the original Old Testament, but that the Masoretic text is a re-translation from the Peshitta, the Septuagint, or some other text.
Even if the Masoretic is based upon an earlier Hebrew source, that does not rule out intentional corruption within the text.

Peace.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 09:43:46 PM by Matthew777 »
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Offline Keble

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2006, 11:20:37 PM »
The question is whether the Peshitta was translated directly from the Hebrew, or is merely dependent upon the Septuagint.

I at least don't really care that much. It's a choice between being a tertiary or a secondary source.

Quote
No one has claimed the Peshitta to be the original Old Testament, but that the Masoretic text is a re-translation from the Peshitta, the Septuagint, or some other text.

And there's no reason to take any of these claims seriously, because it's far more reasonable to suppose that there is no interruption in the transmission of the Hebrew. It would take extremely strong evidence to demonstrate any of these claims.

Quote
Even if the Masoretic is based upon an earlier Hebrew source, that does not rule out intentional corruption within the text.

Well, not only is it not ruled out, but the Masoretes themselves testify to directing interpretation in specific directions. But the LXX is not safe either, since after all its main path of transmission is through Christian sources.

Offline KATHXOYMENOC

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #59 on: August 30, 2006, 11:46:28 PM »
Well, not only is it not ruled out, but the Masoretes themselves testify to directing interpretation in specific directions. But the LXX is not safe either, since after all its main path of transmission is through Christian sources.

I've read that pre-Christian (?) Greek Old Testaments used an anachronistic style of Hebrew to write the Tetragrammaton in the text where YHWH occurred in the Hebrew, whereas later Christian copies of the LXX wrote "Kyrios."
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2006, 03:56:32 AM »
But the LXX is not safe either, since after all its main path of transmission is through Christian sources.

The Law and the Prophets are safer with the Church of Christ than any group who rejected Him.

Peace.
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Offline Anastasios

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #61 on: August 31, 2006, 08:13:01 AM »
The Law and the Prophets are safer with the Church of Christ than any group who rejected Him.

Peace.

For once I agree with you.  Only in the Church is truth preserved, so I would expect the text that the Church has always used to be safer than what others use.

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Offline Keble

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #62 on: August 31, 2006, 09:36:55 AM »
There's a point where making statements such as this slips into a sort of magical thinking that justifies whatever one has to say.

Let me take a much bigger picture on this. There seem to be three general factions in the matter. The first, and least reputable, is the superliberals represented by the Jesus Seminar and skeptics like Bart Ehrman. They are trying to push a picture of a heavily tampered text of dubious reliability. They don't have much credibility within the scholarly community, and almost none within the Christian community; their claims are excessive and are not consonant with the general uniformity of the various texts.

The second faction is what I'll call the "one true text" group. And on one level it isn't utterly unreasonable; a good translation of whatever original text they settle upon would not be so bad as to be rejected for religious use-- except, of course, by those who have picked a different "true" source text. But the problem seems to arise that people in this group in practice tend to emphasize the source text over the quality of translation. At this late date, the KJV is no longer a good translation for modern liturgical or study use; other single text versions we've discussed also appear to have substantial translational flaws. On the other hand, it should also be kept in mind that the KJV translators belonged to the next group I am about to describe.

The dominant faction is what I'll call the "best composite" faction. The argue about exactly what text to translate, and (as was suggested) they put themselves in the position of creating a phantom text which never existed in any original. They are willing to play the various versions and ancient translations against each other.

There's a point here which I've touched upon obliquely, but which at this point needs to be raised to the fore. There are two levels at which these questions and factions function: the translators, and the buyers. It's one thing to say that a translation project should pick a single text and translate that. There is clearly a need for a quality, modern English translation of a standardized Byzantine-type text, preferably with notes indicating variations in other versions. The problem for the buyer is that such a version doesn't exist (at least, not as far as I can tell). Therefore, we as buyers have to perform a balancing act between the quality of the translation and the quality of the source text. And with one exception, versions which hew to a single source text simply are not good modern English translations. That exception is the JPS Tanakh, but no Christian group is going to be comfortable with a strictly MT translation from a strictly non-Christian body.

The problem for the buyer, then, is this: is a substandard translation of the best text to be preferred over a better translation of a lesser version of the text? My answer to this is No, that the buyer is better off picking a widely recognized modern translation. My justification is three-fold.

  • The quality of the English is far more of a factor than most people admit. Heing able to understand the English is crucial, and (for instance) the various TR-based versions are just too hard for most people to follow.
  • The textual variations are not as extensive as is often made out, and many of the variations do not translate into English anyway. And even then, the translators often enough prefer the "correct" version.
  • Examination of many of the translatable variations does not show that they lead to meaningful differences in theology. This is particularly the problem with the bishop's criticism of eclectic translations: even in the small the variations do not unambiguously point to the theological claims he makes for them.

Orthodox theology, like Anglican theology, believes in looking at the whole of scripture, rather than niggling over individual verses and phrases. It doesn't make a lot of sense for an Orthodox critic, looking at a bible translation, to focus so much on spot changes. The quotations from church offices are clear: they prefer generally recognized, composite, modern translations over other versions, even though those versions are demonstrably imperfect.

Offline KATHXOYMENOC

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #63 on: August 31, 2006, 09:56:02 AM »
The problem for the buyer, then, is this: is a substandard translation of the best text to be preferred over a better translation of a lesser version of the text? My answer to this is No, that the buyer is better off picking a widely recognized modern translation. My justification is three-fold.

The quotations from church offices are clear: they prefer generally recognized, composite, modern translations over other versions, even though those versions are demonstrably imperfect.

With reference to the New Testament, by "lesser version of the text" and "demonstrably imperfect," are you referring to non-Byzantine text-types? I.e., do you classify UBS4/NA27 as "lesser versions of the text" and as "demonstrably imperfect"? If so, why do you say that? If not, what do you mean, or which text-types are you referring to, when you say "lesser version" and "demonstrably imperfect"? What do you consider to be "the best text"? What do you think of Stephanus's text, or the Hodges-Farstad or the Robinson-Pierpont Majority Texts?

And what do you mean by "lesser versions of the text" and "demonstrably imperfect" with respect to the Old Testament? What OT text do you recommend?
« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 09:57:20 AM by KATHXOYMENOC »
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Offline Keble

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2006, 11:09:01 AM »
"Lesser" here is within the context of a definite preference for a particular text type. As far as NT texts are concerned, I hold myself unqualified to hold an opinion as to which is best. The point was more to ask, of a hypothetical Byzantine text advocate that "Given that translations of the Byzantine text type, or failing that, the TR, are not to the same standard of modern English, is it still more important to prefer such a translation over one with better English but the wrong variants?" My assertion is that the choice should be made on the basis of the translation, and not the text, given the translations that are currently available.

As far as the OT is concerned, the issue is simpler with respect to texts, and much more difficult with respect to translation. The MT is the de facto basis because it is the only complete Hebrew text; reference to other versions/translations is necessary as a matter of course. It makes the most sense, where possible, to prefer the LXX/DSS readings where they agree against the MT, and to take the MT/DSS readings where they agree against the LXX. And of course one must take the vowel markings in the MT with a grain of salt. Doing all these things, however, does not leave one with a text that can be directly translated; and of course the places where there is no DSS are more difficult to resolve differences between the LXX and the MT. And then there's Daniel, because I'm told the Orthodox churches do not use the LXX Daniel, but yet another Greek translation that is also different from the Hebrew text.

I've tended to prefer the RSV for three reasons:

  • It and the NRSV are the only versions to have extensive ecumenical participation.
  • It preserves the basic KJV language.
  • It is one of the least theologically and linguistically adventurous versions.

For myself, the textual basis for the NT is not that important; conversely, the OT basis is used by almost everyone, unless one is committed to ignoring the Hebrew.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #65 on: August 31, 2006, 06:12:54 PM »
The MT is the de facto basis because it is the only complete Hebrew text;

Let's say that (Heaven forefend) the "Good News" version was the only complete English version left after a massive worldwide book-burning. Wouldn't this make the Good News version the most complete English text in existence? But does that automatically make it the most authoritative English text and the basis for all subsequent English translations? In the same way, just because the MT is the only complete text in Hebrew doesn't make it the authoritative Hebrew text. Otherwise we must also accept translations/interpretations of Shakespeare's works (or are they actually Marlowe's?) into contemporary English as being "authoritative" if all copies of the original English text are lost, and the only other "complete text" of the original was a translation into Spanish.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 06:34:33 PM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Holy Apostles Covenant and the Old Calendarist Movement
« Reply #66 on: October 09, 2006, 01:33:10 PM »
The funny thing was, I was trying very hard in my last post on this thread to not say what I really believed (and know with a pretty good degree of assurance to be the case). In any event, I'll just say what I've always said: look into things. Want to know about the GOC? Contact them. Want to know about ROAC? Contact them. Who they are will show through if you truly want to know.
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