[B-Greek] LXX Greek vs NT Greek

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Wed Apr 26 11:06:26 EDT 2006

On Apr 26, 2006, at 9:15 AM, Gene Gardner wrote:

> Thank you all for the information. It is always nice to have the 
> scholars weigh in. My next question is related to my first. In your 
> view, can someone use the application of the Greek words found in the 
> LXX, as chosen by the translators to best express its Hebrew 
> equivalent, as a template to define what the possible Hebrew 
> equivalent of the same NT words might be in a reverse fashion? Would 
> this sort of application be considered accurate or acceptable in the 
> academic language community?

Consider the implication of your suggestion. It would mean that when 
Greek X is paired with Hebrew Y,  the meaning of Greek X is thereby 
altered. Hence  Greek X can now be said to have taken on the meaning of 
Hebrew Y.

If that were indeed the case, we would have to conclude that an  
INDIVIDUAL  translator, in isolation from the LANGUAGE COMMUNITY  to 
which s/he belongs, is capable of changing the meaning of a word as 
shaped by the language community through long-term usage.  This 
simplistic notion is, unfortunately, responsible for many a 
Septuagint-specific entry in LSJ, when a new meaning is ascribed, to an 
existing Greek word, based on such pairing. The methodological faux pas 
is that, in such cases,  the HEBREW context is superimposed on that of 
GREEK context.

While it is of course true that such pairing of Hebrew words with Greek 
word in the act of translating CAN GIVE RISE TO altered meaning, IF THE 
the meaning of Hebrew Y, that process takes time, and is analogous to 
an immigrant becoming a naturalized citizen.  An  apt example of 
'naturalization' might be Greek DIAThHKH. Such instances, however,  are 
the (great) EXCEPTION, not  the RULE.
>  Once again, thank you all for your input,
>  Gene Gardner
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Albert Pietersma
Professor of Septuagint and Hellenistic Greek
Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
University of Toronto
Home: 21 Cross Street,
Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm

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