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

Schmuel schmuel at nyc.rr.com
Sat Oct 14 13:57:27 EDT 2006

Hi Folks,

>K Randolph wrote:
>> LXX was irrelevant to the founding of Christianity and the writing of the New Testament.

Harold Holmyard,
>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.

Not so obviously - let's play carts and horses.  

a) The extant manuscripts of the Greek OT are 4th century and later.

b) These have a wild and wooly textual history, involving the Hexapla, 
    competing Jewish and Christian provenance, and the realm of
    alexandrian copyists, known for their lack of precision and ability
    to come up with doozies (a lot scribal level).

c) There are cases that are essentially indisputable where the Greek OT was
    'smoothed' to match the NT (by scribes who did not understand the NT text 
    fully).  One is Cainan in late Greek OT genealogy to match Luke 3:36. 
    Another is the rather amazing case of rigging Psalms to match a Romans section. 

d) There are very few cases where the Greek OT reading in question (that 
    is 'closer' to a NT reading) is supported by any other early texts, be 
    they Targumim, Peshitta, Vulgate or the DSS. 


An easier general explanation for the verses in question -

The Greek OT was 'smoothed' by low-quality scribes between 100 AD to 500 AD
to be closer to the NT - by scribes who simply could not leave midrash alone :-)

Steven Avery
Queens, NY

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