Maurice A. O'Sullivan mauros at iol.ie
Tue Nov 16 19:28:49 EST 1999

At 18:01 16/11/99 -0800, Numberup at worldnet.att.net wrote:
>Jewish rabbinical tradition knows of no mediator for the Law but Moses,
>and the Hebrew of the verse at Deuteronomy has an ambiguous word,
>"eshdat."  Does anyone know of  other traditions -- Qumran, apocryphal,
>etc., which would favor the "angels" of Christian tradition?  Or of
>versions of the LXX which do not have AGGELOS at this verse, or any
>information on why AGGELOS was used?

According to Fitzmyer:
Fitzmyer, Joseph A. Acts of the Apostles. Anchor Bible vol. 31. New York: 
Doubleday, 1998.

Stephen is here "echoes a contemporary Jewish belief that the law was given 
to Moses by angels " and in addition to the LXX you quote, he cites 
Jubilees 1:27-29 and also Josephus Ant. 15.5.3 s.136

Here is the Josephus citation:
"...........And for ourselves, we have learned from God the most excellent 
of our doctrines, and the most holy part of our law, by angels or 
ambassadors; for this name brings God to the knowledge of mankind, and is 
sufficient to reconcile enemies one to another.  "
Josephus, Flavius, The Works of Josephus, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research 
Systems, Inc.) 1997.

Jub. 1:27 reads:
" and he said to the angel of the presence "Write for Moses from ........

Also, Fitzmyer states:
" For the rise of this idea in the later rabbinic tradition see Str.-B 
3:554-6 " but as I do not have this I cannot quote it for you.

BTW, on the phrase EIS DIATAGAS AGGELWN Fitzmyer states;
"The phrase is strange and difficult to translate; probably 'by direction 
of angel;s i.e by God's direction of angels to transmit it".
So don't necessarily jump to the conclusion that "mediation" is meant here 
--- transmission is an altogether different order of things. Also, EIS=EN , 
used in an instrumental sense, according to BDF s.206.1

There is also a section in Philo "On Dreams" ( Book 1: 141 ff ) --- a bit 
long to quote here --- about the angels ascending and descending.

Hope this helps


Maurice A. O'Sullivan  [ Bray, Ireland ]
mauros at iol.ie

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