[b-hebrew] MT for most OT Translations?

Reinier de Blois r.de.blois at solcon.nl
Wed Jun 23 03:09:40 EDT 2004

> So what is UBS policy now?

I think I mentioned that. We prefer to work with MT as much as possible.
Translators are advised to work with HOTTP (the report I mentioned),
which sticks closely to MT in most cases, but not everywhere. It is not
a law though. People are free to consult LXX and other resources if they
help to make sense out of an obscure passage. Only occasionally we will
use LXX as a textual bases.

Because of the fact that it has become quite obvious that MT and LXX are
based on somewhat different traditions we prefer people to make a
choice. Either translate the MT or the LXX, but do not try too much to
mix the two. In practice, though, I believe that it is impossible to do
that consistently. You cannot translate MT without consulting LXX now
and then and vice versa.

Earlier translations, such as RSV, NEB, and TEV are based on a text that
has been emended in many places. This was done with the purpose of
reconstructing the "original" text and to get rid of "obvious textual
errors". These days many scholars are of the opinion that that is a goal
that is extremely difficult and to attain and somewhat unrealistic. You
don't get there by comparing the MT and the LXX. The purpose of HOTTP
was to establish the text that was generally accepted by the Jewish
religious community shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem. That is
a much more realistic goal. In practice, however, this means that in
most cases where texts used to be emended people are now advised to
follow the MT.

One more comment. We are still using the term LXX in our discussion. In
scholarly debates about textual criticism, however, people prefer to use
the term OG (Old Greek) these days. The abbreviation LXX is more and
more reserved for the Greek translation of the Pentateuch only.
Best wishes,


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Philip Engmann [mailto:phil-eng at ighmail.com] 
> Sent: dinsdag 22 juni 2004 22:29
> To: 'Reinier de Blois'
> Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] MT for most OT Translations?
> There are cases, especially in eastern Europe where churches 
> have requested that the Old Testament be translated with the 
> LXX as textual basis. This was a problem at first for the 
> UBS, because it used to be our policy to always use the MT as 
> the textual basis. We had to change our policy somewhat to be 
> able to deal with exceptional cases like this.
> So what is UBS policy now?
> (I'm sorry I cannot get hold of the preliminary and interim 
> report of the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project published by 
> UBS right now).
> > Thank you.
> >  
> > Philip Engmann
> >  
> >  
> > _______________________________________________
> > b-hebrew mailing list
> > b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b> -hebrew

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