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

Ethel Jean (Kowan) Saltz macnietspingal at airmail.net
Sat Oct 14 14:16:22 EDT 2006

This is what happened to me in Chorus Class at Richland Community College,
Dallas TX.  This education, Music, theory and all, was my very first real
experience with Christianity.  I was 69 YO and had an Orthodox Jewish ed
from 7-12 YO.  All my life I blamed the "goyeem" for mistranslating almah
into virgin.

With my acquisition of Latin versions of the bible through my music ed, I
started giving more attention to the Septuagint.  I soon discovered that the
Septuagint was really a Jewish production.  So I started wondering how they
translated almah into Greek.  I wondered outloud in Chorus class one day.  A
fellow student told me her father was a Greek scholar and a retired
minister.  I could call him and ask.  I did.  He said he never thought about
that before.  He did his research and said that indeed it was the Greek word
for "virgin".  That's when I really started rethinking my Jewish experience
(for almost 3/4 of a century).  Now I'm pretty arrogant about my knowledge.
First of all it was we Jews who were responsible for "Virgin" Mary:)  I can
read Hebrew with a dictionary since I have an idea of grammar.  You have to
understand that in my day you weren't supposed to understand Hebrew, because
God understood:)  There's a modern primary textbook that has this teaching
in a Hebrew tale:)  It's fun to read in first year Hebrew because it really
reflects my Orthodox education.  Since then I've been conservative,
constructionist and now that reform has reformed itself backwards in time,

Personally, I've been grateful to the Vatican for preserving my entire
global Jewish ed for me.
Discussing Talmud Tractate Megillah, I saw with my own eyes that the
talmudists considered
Greek a Holy Language second to Hebrew.

Just three weeks ago I got another tremendous surprise about the creation of
the Christian bible which deals with the subject exactly.  From my Encyc
Britannica DVD


      (from the Latin editio vulgata: “common version”), Latin Bible used by
the Roman Catholic Church, primarily translated by St. Jerome. In 382 Pope
Damasus commissioned Jerome, the leading biblical scholar of his day, to
produce an acceptable Latin version of the Bible from the various
translations then being used. His revised Latin translation of the Gospels
appeared about 383. Using the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament,
he produced new Latin translations of the Psalms (the so-called Gallican
Psalter), the Book of Job, and some other books. Later, he decided that the
Septuagint was unsatisfactory and began translating the entire Old Testament
from the original Hebrew versions, a process that he completed about 405.

      Jerome's translation was not immediately accepted, but from the
mid-6th century a complete Bible with all the separate books bound in a
single cover was commonly used. It usually contained Jerome's Old Testament
translation from the Hebrew, except for the Psalms; his Gallican Psalter;
his translation of the books of Tobias (Tobit) and Judith (apocryphal in the
Jewish and Protestant canons); and his revision of the Gospels. The
remainder of the New Testament was taken from older Latin versions, which
may have been slightly revised by Jerome. Certain other books found in the
Septuagint—the Apocrypha for Protestants and Jews; the deuterocanonical
books for Roman Catholics—were included from older versions.

      Various editors and correctors produced revised texts of the Vulgate
over the years. The University of Paris produced an important edition in the
13th century. Its primary purpose was to provide an agreed standard for
theological teaching and debate. The earliest printed Vulgate Bibles were
all based on this Paris edition.

      In 1546 the Council of Trent decreed that the Vulgate was the
exclusive Latin authority for the Bible, but it required also that it be
printed with the fewest possible faults. The so-called Clementine Vulgate,
issued by Pope Clement VIII in 1592, became the authoritative biblical text
of the Roman Catholic Church. From it the Confraternity Version was
translated in 1941.

      Various critical editions have been produced in modern times; in 1965
a commission was established by the second Vatican Council to revise the

           MLA style:
            "Vulgate."Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica
2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD 14 Oct. 2006 .

            APA style:
            Vulgate.Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved October 14, 2006,
from Encyclopædia Britannica 2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD .

            Britannica style:
            "Vulgate."Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica
2006 Ultimate Reference Suite DVD .[Accessed October 14, 2006].

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