[b-hebrew] Masoretic Text - scribes faithful to the text

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Jun 7 11:25:28 EDT 2004

On 07/06/2004 07:00, Brian Roberts wrote:

> On Sunday, June 6, 2004, at 09:52  PM, Schmuel wrote:
> (snip)
>> One vital point is that what is called the LXX is often diffuse and 
>> diverse and rather
>> dubious manuscripts from 350 AD and later.  A text that could have 
>> been subject to
>> lots of corrupt alexandrian "Christian" scribe "smoothing" to match 
>> the NT, among other
>> problems.  And yet these texts are discussed as if it they were used, 
>> even in Israel,
>> 300 years earlier !   This I believe is a primary presumption blunder 
>> of much Scriptural
>> scholarship.  Floyd Nolan Jones discusses it some in a book on the web.
> I would remind you that the LXX is at least attested by Josephus in 
> the 1st century CE. This literary reference should not be 
> underestimated (whether or not one sees fraud or deception in the 
> account of Aristeas) because it demonstrates the existence of the 
> tradition of LXX creation in the Ptolemaic period. So, even though we 
> do not have an extant ms or fragment thereof from the 1st century CE, 
> the onus is upon those who claim that the LXX must be a later 
> development created to conflate the account of Aristeas and the 
> Christian theology of the 4th century CE.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that there was no Greek translation 
of the Hebrew Bible until the 4th century. Indeed this is demonstrably 
untrue. For in fact there are Greek fragments from the 1st century CE, 
among the DSS, and I rather think there are some older ones. But these 
fragments are clearly different from the text now published as the LXX, 
e.g. Rahlfs' edition. Schmuel's point, with which I agree, is that this 
published LXX, based mainly on 4th-5th century MSS, may be very 
different from what was circulating in the 1st century and earlier. It 
is certainly not the same as the version translated by 70 scholars, or 
however many there might have been, perhaps 600 years before the date of 
the existing MSS.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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