[b-hebrew] Re: Difference between the DATE OF PRODUCTION of a MSS and the DATE OF THE OLDEST SURVIVING MSS of the same text? i.e. 4QDeutq

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Mar 5 14:40:18 EST 2004


On 05/03/2004 11:27, Philip Engmann wrote:

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>>4.      So LXX is older than the DSS by about 100 years.
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> You are comparing two different things, the date of production of LXX
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> against the date of the oldest surviving MSS of the Hebrew text. To make
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> a fair comparison, you need to compare date of production of both or
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> date of oldest MSS of both.
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> Date of production: As an original text must always be older than its
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> translation, the Hebrew text must be older than the LXX - unless you try
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> to argue that the Hebrew is a translation from the Greek.
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> Date of oldest MSS: Large parts of the Hebrew Bible are preserved in the
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> DSS. Only a few scraps of the LXX are preserved; the earliest MSS of
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> substantial parts of the LXX are 4th-5th centuries CE if I remember 
> rightly.
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> So the Hebrew text clearly wins on both comparisons of age, for what
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> it's worth.
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> -- 
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> Peter Kirk
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> peter at qaya.org (personal)
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> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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> http://www.qaya.org/
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> Thanks Peter,
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> I am no expert in DSS dating, and I have no fixed position.
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> But I wonder, what is the difference between the DATE OF PRODUCTION of 
> a text and the DATE OF THE OLDEST SURVIVING MSS of the same text?
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> For example, the DATE OF THE OLDEST SURVIVING MSS of 4QDeut/q/ is the 
> "second half of the first century BCE or perhaps the beginning of the 
> first century CE" (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert vol 14, p. 138), 
> according to its editors, Patrick Skehan and Eugene Ulrich. (Thanks 
> Soren).
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> Would you say that this date differs from the DATE OF PRODUCTION of 
> 4QDeut/q/ ?
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> Philip Engmann
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I am talking about the date of production of a text i.e. when it was 
written or finally redacted. This is distinct from the date of copying 
of a MS. The date of copying of this particular MS was 1st century CE, 
but the date when Deuteronomy was written was probably many centuries 
earlier (and certainly must have been before the date when Deuteronomy 
was translated into Greek). The date of copying of this MS is also 
earlier than the date of copying of any surviving LXX MS, at least if we 
exclude the LXX fragments among the DSS.

I realise this is somewhat over-simplified if we suppose a complex 
textual history for Deuteronomy and other books, in which copying and 
redaction cannot be separated. Nevertheless, the generally close 
agreement between the MT and the LXX, except in certain passages, 
suggests that we can speak of a reasonably stable Hebrew text, without 
major redaction of most parts of it, from before the date of translation 
into Greek.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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