[b-hebrew] A question on the Hebrew text

Raymond Regalado fwgk5942 at mb.infoweb.ne.jp
Mon Oct 25 06:46:18 EDT 2004

On 2004.10.25, at 06:27  PM, Peter Kirk wrote:

> On 25/10/2004 08:51, Yigal Levin wrote:
>> Hi Raymond,
>> The first thing you must realize, is that most Jews and Israelis, 
>> just like
>> most Christians who are not professional Bible scholars, are not 
>> really
>> aware that there are differences between different versions of the 
>> MT, and
>> so to most, a Bible is a Bible, and if they even notice slight 
>> variations in
>> spelling or in cantilation marks between different prints, they don't 
>> give
>> them much thought. However unlike Christians, for whom Bible 
>> translaions
>> from the Greek onward are part of tradition, for Jews, the ONLY text 
>> that
>> "counts" is the MT.
> Not too much of the "unlike Christians", please. For most Protestant 
> Christians who know anything about such matters, the only 
> authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible is the "original Hebrew", not 
> any translation. And although they recognise that the precise 
> "original Hebrew" is not available, in practice most would consider 
> the MT to be the closest that we can get to it, although they might 
> allow emendation where ancient translations show a clear error in the 
> MT.
> Of course in practice nearly all Christians use translations because 
> they don't know Hebrew well enough. But all Protestant translations 
> from the 16th century onwards (and the more recent Catholic 
> translations) are based on the MT, with more or less emendation of 
> apparent errors based on LXX and other ancient translations.

Thanks all, for the responses, both on and off-list.  I do recall 
reading somewhere that for Greek Orthodox Christians, "the" Bible is 
the Septuagint (with Apocrypha) and the Byzantine Greek texts of the 
New Testament.  In other words, Greek Orthodox Christians do not use 
the MT.  Am I correct on this one?  Pardon me if this is off-topic.


Raymond Regalado
Tokyo, Japan

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