[b-hebrew] Re: Documentary Hypothesis - OT translations

VC vadim_lv at center-tv.net
Sun Jun 6 03:29:33 EDT 2004

Dear Joe,

It is inconceivable, as you seem to imply, that Masorets introduced major
additions to the Tanakh. Look at their commentaries to see how painstakingly
these folks tried to understand every minute detail. Not the kind of guys
you can suspect of the inserts. Even the earliest known rabbis addressed the
issue of minor contradictions in the Tanakh. If they would have accepted the
path of additions, harmonization would be of no problem to them.
It is surely possible that the piece on David was inserted. Zaddukis who
controlled the scrolls at the supposed time of LXX (although I argue
elsewhere that LXX as a whole did not exist still in the 1st century CE) did
not believe the Davidic fables (which are also unsupported by the modern
archeology) and excluded certain pseudepigrapha, which later drifted in the
Tanakh. This does not mean that LXX is accurate in its many crude
mistranslations, many of which are readily explicable for the folks who
don't know Hebrew well.


Vadim CHerny

> These days the DH is confined to Genesis-Deuteronomy only. (And IMO J and
> are really one author bringing different traditions together). But, as
> of you know (and accept), every other books has clear evidence of multiple
> sources and different authors (ie like the three Isaiahs).
> In regard to the OT translation thread. Yes I understand why MT is (for
> most part) the primary document. But, in regard to Jeremiah, LXX clearly
> the "more primary source". From an historical view point, if LXX were
> to the primary document, then it is easy to explain the MT additions. On
> other hand if MT were closer to the primary source it is difficult to
> explain the "omissions" in the LXX text. The very existence of two
> of Jeremiah is evidence for the validity of a documentary hypothesis
> approach - for in (the ultimate source of) LXX Jeremiah we have a document
> which later was considerably expanded to produce (the ultimate source of)
> Jeremiah.
> Jeffrey Tigay has edited an excellent book (Empirical Models for Biblical
> Criticism) which illustrates how very early biblical documents (I am
> of LXX, MT, Samaritian, Josephus, etc) contain large chunks of additions
> omissions. It shows how even the "superior" MT version is not always the
> "primary" document.
> One example comes from the book of 1 Samuel. When compared to the MT, the
> LXX omits a large chunk of information dealing with the rise of David.
> omission is not a single section but consists of scattered verses and
> phrases, ie
> 17:12-31, 48b, 50, 55-58; 18:1-5, 8b, 10-11, 12b, 17-19, 21b, 29b-30.
> Just looking at this break up reminds one of the charts produced by modern
> scholars when they break down Genesis-Deuternomy into primary sources.
> Yet this "omitted material" in 1 Samuel 17-18, read on its own, is a small
> fully self contained story. It is internally consistent unit, but in some
> parts it contradicts the main narrative. Again it is easy to see how this
> material could be edited into an LXX type text to produce the MT version,
> but it is extremely difficult to understand how, if it were once part of a
> fuller (ie MT type) text, it was so selectively edited out to produce the
> LXX version.
> IMO, and I do agree that the MT version of 1 Samuel is the "more primary"
> version, this parallel story (with its contradictions) was not part of the
> original version of the book but was added to MT sometime after the LXX
> MT split during the Persian period.
> Regards
> Joe Baker ===========\
> Perth                |
> Western Australia ===/
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