[b-hebrew] OT Translations

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Jun 8 09:01:17 EDT 2004

On 08/06/2004 04:00, Philip Engmann wrote:

> In cases where the LXX Vorlage clearly differs irreconcilably from the 
> Proto-MT which text is more accurate? And which text should be seen as 
> ‘more correct’? ^^[1] <#_ftn1>

Well, if you are asking for a general principle rather than looking at 
individual examples, I would suggest looking at Jewish understanding of 
the text. At the time when the Qumran library was assembled, it would 
seem that proto-MT texts were dominant, although a minority of preserved 
texts are closer to the LXX or to the Samaritan Pentateuch. Soon after 
the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE it seems that the proto-MT was accepted 
as the only standard text. So it seems that the scholars of that time 
preferred the proto-MT. That doesn't necessarily imply that it is "more 
accurate" or "more correct" as these scholars may have been mistaken. 
But it would seem strange to prefer now, as a general rule, a text which 
was rejected nearly 2000 years ago.


> ^^ <#_ftnref1>
> Also in Chapter 3.3, the difference between the LXX and MT quotations 
> of Psalm 40:7[6] is that the phrase ‘*but you have given me an open 
> ear*’, in MT Psalm 40:7[6] is radically and irreconcilably different 
> from the corresponding LXX phrase ‘*a body you have prepared for me*’ 
> in LXX Psalm 40:7[6]; leading to the conclusion that the LXX Vorlage 
> differed from the Proto-MT for this text.
There are alternative possibilities, just as likely a priori, that this 
was a translation error by the LXX translators, or that the LXX text was 
corrupted during the several centuries between its first translation and 
the time of the oldest surviving manuscripts. Also for that matter that 
there was corruption between the proto-MT and the existing MT - or is 
the MT version attested in the DSS?

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

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