Translation Studies

Jim West jwest at
Thu Sep 6 11:42:05 EDT 2001

At 02:39 PM 9/6/01 +0000, you wrote:

>And perhaps this is not the forum to raise the issue, but I always thought 
>that the LXX was the Bible of Jesus and the early Church, in that the OT was 
>the Bible.

Jesus was illiterate.  The bible he heard read from each sabbath was the
Hebrew text, translated into aramaic.

As far as the early christian church (as reflected in the documents we call
the NT) is concerned, there is evidence that sometimes the author
paraphrases the Hebrew text, sometimes translates it, sometimes uses
something akin to the LXX, and sometimes freely paraphrases the LXX.  There
is not a single text in the NT, however, where any version or copy of the
LXX is copied word for word.  So either they had did their own translation
of the hebrew text, paraphrased the LXX, or had a veersion of the LXX now
lost to us.

>The vast majority of quotations from the OT by all the NT authors are taken 
>from the LXX, are they not? 

no they are not.  see above.  and if you say LXX you have to say which one.
The issue is more complex then simply saying *the early church used the LXX*.

 Is there any evidence that the OT quotes are 
>fresh translations into Greek from the old Hebrew when the NT was written?  

yes.  see Matthews use of Hos 11:1 for instance.

>If not, then wouldn't the LXX seem to be the Bible of the early Church and 

No, again, Jesus was illiterate.  He knew the Bible in its semitic guise.
the authors of the various NT texts all went their own way as described above.




Jim West, ThD

Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies, Roane State Community College

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