Greek vs. Hebrew

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Sun Dec 30 11:38:39 EST 2001


Yes, there were Greek texts among the DSS. I understand that the only ones
at Qumran itself were 18 tiny fragments in one jar in Cave 7 and six
fragments in Cave 4, and only five of all of these texts are certainly
biblical. Nothing to compare with the almost complete Isaiah scroll (which
is also a couple of centuries earlier) and the hundreds of other biblical
texts and fragments in Hebrew. These Greek texts are also very different
from the LXX as we know it today; Ulrich counted 15 variants from LXX in 28
damaged lines of text in 4QLXXLevA (quoted in C.P. Thiede "The Dead Sea
Scrolls and the Jewish Origins of Christianity", Lion, 2000, p.128).

There are a few other early fragments of the Greek scriptures e.g. the
papyri Rylands 458 and Fouad 266. These are from the same 2nd century BCE as
the DSS Isaiah scroll. There is almost nothing older, so we can only
speculate.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisbeth S. Fried [mailto:lizfried at umich.edu]
> Sent: 30 December 2001 15:57
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Greek vs. Hebrew
>
>
> I agree with everything you write here,
> but you give the impression that there were no
> Greek texts at Qumran. The LXX was there as well,
> as was the Samaritan version. All text types were
> represented.
> Liz
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Peter Kirk [mailto:Peter_Kirk at sil.org]
> > Sent: Sun, December 30, 2001 8:01 AM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: RE: Greek vs. Hebrew
> >
> >
> > My answer to this would depend on what you mean by the MT. If
> you mean the
> > fully pointed Masoretic text, then, yes, the earliest MSS are
> > later than the
> > oldest Greek MSS. But that is comparing apples and oranges; a better
> > comparison would be to say that the fully pointed Masoretic text
> > is earlier
> > than Rahlfs' critical edition of LXX, complete with capital letters,
> > punctuation, accents etc. On the other hand, the earliest MSS of
> > the Hebrew
> > text (at least large parts of it) used by the Masoretes (with
> only slight
> > differences) are older than the Greek MSS; they were found at
> Qumran. The
> > text of the great Isaiah scroll is very similar to the
> unpointed Masoretic
> > text. The DSS also show us that both the Greek and the Hebrew
> texts had a
> > complicated history even before the Christian era. I conclude
> > from that that
> > there is no evidence for the argument that the LXX is "more
> authoritative"
> > because somehow closer to the original.
> >
> > You seem to imply that "the Greek OT [is] generally considered more
> > authoritative". That is a minority opinion among scholars,
> > surely, although
> > a faith position of Orthodox Christians.
> >
> > Peter Kirk
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Theodore H. Mann [mailto:theomann at earthlink.net]
> > > Sent: 30 December 2001 05:04
> > > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > > Subject: Greek vs. Hebrew
> > >
> > >
> > > Greetings Friends:
> > >
> > > From earlier posts I have learned that the Greek OT predates
> > the earliest
> > > copy of the MT by a number of centuries.  I'm interested to
> know how OT
> > > textual critics weigh these two sources.  That is, for example, is the
> > > Greek OT generally considered more authoritative because it
> is closer in
> > > time to the autographs than the later MT?
> > >
> > > Many thanks from a novice (obviously).
> > >
> > > Ted Mann
> > >
>




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