[b-hebrew] OT Translations

Philip Engmann phil-eng at ighmail.com
Tue Jun 8 12:53:34 EDT 2004

Dear George,
Perhaps the footnotes are not reflecting properly.
In my last email, I gave the following examples of irreconcilable LXX
MT, (and by extension LXX Vorlage and Proto-MT) differences.
[1] For example, in Deuteronomy 32:43, LXX Deuteronomy 32:43 is longer
than MT Deuteronomy 32:43, and so LXX Deuteronomy 32:43 contains certain
phrases that MT Deuteronomy 32:43 does not contain, strongly suggesting
that the parent texts of the LXX and MT were different texts. The DSS
Qumran manuscript 4QDeutq matches the LXX text here, indicating that the
LXX was derived from an ancient Hebrew source which differed from the
Also 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.
Philip Engmann
-----Original Message-----
From: George F. Somsel [mailto:gfsomsel at juno.com] 
Sent: 08 June 2004 13:37
To: phil-eng at ighmail.com
Cc: peterkirk at qaya.org; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] OT Translations
The answer to this very general question might differ when it comes to
discussing particular passages.  For one thing it depends upon your
definition of irreconcilable differences.  E.g., somse translations are
rather free in finding a problem with the text such as the JPS Tanak
which has 2,000 + cases where they declare the Hebrew uncertain.  Many
these are not so very uncertain so it would appear that this depends
an individual's tolerance for uncertainty.  Another matter is the
question of whether one can establish a general rule that in such cases
the LXX is to be preferred.  Sometimes it would appear that the LXX
translators themselves didn't understand the text.  In other cases they
may have had a different text before them.  Nor do I think that the Sam.
Pent. should be excluded from consideration.  Would you care to propose
particular passage or a limited list of passages for consideration?
On Tue, 8 Jun 2004 12:00:30 +0100 "Philip Engmann"
<phil-eng at ighmail.com>
> 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]
> Philip Engmann
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