LXX-induced errors

Troels Hansen tkmh at get2net.dk
Wed May 29 05:34:19 EDT 2002

Aarhus, Denmark, May 29. 2002

Dear Sirs!

As you may all know, LXX is the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT,
probably made at sometime between 250 and 130 AC. As nobody knows for
sure how and when, the growing Hellenization little by little
eradicated Hebrew as a spoken language among the Diaspora Jews to such
an extent that it was the Greek LXX and not the Hebrew OT that became
standard text. An example: 'DIAQHKH' is the standard Greek rendering
of the Hebrew 'BRYT'. Now, 'BRYT' cannot mean 'last will' as it is a
covenant between two, who are very much alive. But 'DIAQHKH' is more a
legal word and as such it can also mean 'last will'. It is used in
this non-Hebrew 'last will' sense by Paul in Gal 3,15 and by the
author of Heb. in 9,15-17, what to me indicates that those two simply
did not know their Hebrew - or at least weren't aware of the

I would have liked to quote here from the beginning of the Greek
translation of the now lost Hebrew original of the apocryphal Jesus
Sirak's book - but I won't as I only have that text in Danish, which
will probably not be very helpful for most of you. Look it up
yourselves - and should you know where to find it on the Internet,
please let me know.

But this forgetting of the Hebrew is just one thing, another is the
forgetting of Greek. To me, there can be no doubt about that the
rendering of 'LOGIKOS' (Rom 12,1; 1. Pet 2,2) as 'spiritual' is
downright gibberish and that that of 'reasonable' is too unprecise.

Translating is like entering into a mine field where all the mines
have a time delay before exploding, a delay of in some cases maybe
1500 or more years. In that long period the seemingly secure area may
have been heavily populated, air ports built, and perhaps nuclear
rectors erected. And then, suddenly, for reasons long forgotten, time
runs out on the counter of one of those mines and it goes BOOOMM! The
reason for that explosion may only be found by very few people, and
indeed may not even be noticed by the rest, that are still building on
these seemingly secure foundations.

Cosy, isn't it?

Troels Hansen
tkmh at get2net.dk

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