[b-hebrew] Septuagint vs Hebrew, effect on Christianity

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Oct 14 11:59:38 EDT 2006


K Randolph wrote:

> LXX was irrelevant to the founding of Christianity and the writing of
> the New Testament.

HH: What do you mean when you say this? It is 
obvious that the NT quotation of many OT verses 
follows the LXX wording exactly or almost exactly.

HH: Here is a good scholarly page with assistance 
on studying the Septuagint and its relation to the NT:

http://www.kalvesmaki.com/LXX/

HH: It includes this paragraph:

Some of the differences between the LXX and MT 
crop up in the New Testament (NT), which draws 
extensively, but not exclusively, from the LXX. 
The meaning of the theological vocabulary of the 
NT is interlocked with that of the LXX, especially 
in the Pauline writings, and the peculiarities of 
the LXX are readily apparent in NT quotations. 
Notable is LXX Isaiah 7.14, which promises that a 
virgin will be with child. MT Isaiah 7.14 reports 
her merely  as a "woman" (Heb: almah). Thus the 
argument behind Matthew 1.23, which cites this 
verse as a prophecy of Jesus Christ, only makes 
sense given the reading in the LXX. This, and 
examples like it, prompted early Christians to 
attribute to the LXX a special status, so as to 
safeguard the authority of the NT. As a result, 
the differences between the LXX and MT directly 
contributed to the distinct directions Judaism and 
Christianity took in Late Antiquity.

HH: I don't agree with that interpretation of Isa 
7:14 entirely, since I believe that "almah" could 
mean "virgin," but he whole paragraph reflects a 
widespread academic recognition of the 
correspondence of NT texts to the LXX.

HH: Here is an interesting website on the topic by 
an admitted non-expert who has nonetheless done 
work that shows the basic correspondence of much 
NT quotation of OT material to the text of the LXX:

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pines/7224/Rick/Septuagint/spexecsum.htm

Yours,
Harold Holmyard



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