Semitic and Greek Daniel, was: Greek vs. Hebrew
jwwesselius at mail.thuk.nl
Mon Dec 31 06:54:26 EST 2001
I think that Clay Stirling Bartholomew is basically right,
and that there are too many variables to come to a
conclusion about the original form of the book of Daniel,
unless (I would add) one can think of a reason why this or
that form of the book looks the way it does: in that case
at least part of the genealogy of the book can be
reconstructed. See my "The Writing of Daniel", in: J.J.
Collins & P.W. Flint, The Book of Daniel. Composition and
Reception, vol II (Leiden: Brill, 2001) 291-310, for the
view of MT Daniel as a literary emulation of the book of
Ezra and of the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50, in which
nearly all the discontinuities (language, literary genre,
division of the book, first-third-person narration,
anachronistic position of chapters) in the book find a
natural place. This would make the LXX version, where much
of this is different, secondary in any case. In general
about this interesting literary strategy: J.W.
Wesselius, "Discontinuity, Congruence and the Making of the
Hebrew Bible", Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 13
As for the LXX itself, in a paper for the IOSCS this
summer, I proposed a systematic literary shift as part of
the background for the LXX/Old Greek version: one of the
general characteristics of MT Daniel is postponing the
giving of information to the reader, for as long as
possible, about the accusations, the saving of the martyrs
and the riddles in the stories. The LXX attempted to
reverse this, with complex literary changes in some
chapters as a result.
Finally, best wishes for all for 2002!
Hoekenes 26A, 1068 MT Amsterdam
tel 0(031)20 619 1535; fax 619 1636
e-mail wesselius at chello.nl
office: Theological University Kampen
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e-mail jwwesselius at mail.thuk.nl
> -----Original Message-----
> From: c stirling bartholomew
[mailto:cc.constantine at worldnet.att.net]
> Sent: maandag 31 december 2001 7:14
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Greek vs. Hebrew
> on 12/30/01 12:53 PM, Dave Washburn wrote:
> >> We need to shift our focus when moving from NT Textual
criticism to a
> >> discussion of the relationship between the MT and LXX.
> >> approach with the NT is to make the goal of TC the
recovery of the
> >> autographs. If you make that your goal with a book
like Daniel you are
> >> certainly going to end up being frustrated.
> > Why?
> Why not?
> I have studied the text of both Greek versions of Daniel
> compared them at many points with Daniel in the Hebrew
> I certainly
> see a number of substantial reasons for being daunted by
> of finding
> the "autograph" of the book of Daniel.
> First - What is the book of Daniel? If you take the
Hebrew Bible as the
> standard it is a book with 2 major divisions and a number
> divisions. If you take the LXX Daniel you have a book
with five major
> divisions, substantial additional material and a lot of
> Furthermore in the pseudoepigrapha we find other pieces
> Daniel floating
> about. So what is the book of Daniel? What kind of book
> looking for
> in our "autograph?"
> Second - The LXX version of Daniel (Old Greek) is
considered my many a
> marginal piece of work as translations go. What is called
> version may contain a text as old as the OG version.
There is debate on
> this issue. The OG and Theodotion versions of Daniel are
> Which Greek edition are you going to trust for finding
> Eclectic approach? Sure, why not.
> Third - Daniel in the Hebrew Bible is bilingual. The
> division does
> not fall exactly on a major discourse boundary. The
original language of
> Daniel is a topic of debate. We may not have some of the
book in its
> original language. It might have all been written
originally in Aramaic.
> What language are we looking for in our "autograph?"
> Fourth - What is called the Masoretic Text (MT) is
actually a family of
> texts, highly standardized and centuries removed from the
date of even the
> latest OT books. The MT is for the Old Testament what the
Majority Text is
> for the New Testament. It is the "official" text. This is
not a pejorative
> observation. Being an official text does not make it a
> inferior text
> but it does imply that "standardization" was a part of
> process. Official
> texts may not preserve the "autograph." An
understatement? Yes indeed.
> So when we take a look at the text of a book like Daniel
we find ourselves
> working with a lot of variables. Problems with lots of
> difficult to solve. I think the "autograph" of the Daniel
is out of reach.
> We don't even know what we are looking for, the language,
> size the shape
> the contents.
> Enough on this topic.
> Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
> Three Tree Point
> P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
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