[b-hebrew] Septuagint vs Hebrew, effect on Christianity
hholmyard at ont.com
Mon Oct 16 10:09:41 EDT 2006
>>> One good book is by Floyd Nolen Jones.
>>> http://www.floydjones.org/LXX.pdf The Septuagint: A Critical Analysis
>> HH: This does not look like a good piece of writing, as reviewed here: http://ecclesia.org/truth/defense.html
> Harold, that is not a "review", not even close.
HH: Yes, it is a review, though not as formal as
you might like.
> Do you just cruise for a link and not even check it out carefully ?
HH: Here is one assertion by Jones that I have had
a chance to check out. He says:
2. A letter, purporting to be written by a certain
Aristeas to his brother Philocrates during the
reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 B.C.),
relates how Philadelphus, persuaded by his
librarian (Demetrius of Phalerum) to obtain a
translation of the Hebrew Scriptures for his royal
library, appealed to the high priest at Jerusalem.
HH: Later he adds:
Others speculate that the LXX was primarily
prepared for the benefit of a large population of
Greek-speaking Jews living in and around
Alexandria, Egypt. Yet, it is unlikely that in a
space of approximately 35 years the Jews of
Alexandria would have found such a translation
needful or desirable. It is noteworthy that we
find no vestige of any versions having been made
by the Jews into the languages of other countries
– countries in which they had settled for much
longer periods than in Alexandria.
HH: But his figure of approximately 35 years is
skewed at best. Here is a note from Wikipedia on
the presence of Jews in Alexandria. I include a
large paragraph to show the somewhat independent
position of the Jews in this city as compared with
many other places:
The history of the Jews of Alexandria dates from
the foundation of the city by Alexander the Great,
332 B.C., at which they were present. From the
very beginning their numbers seem to have been
HH: Before continuing with the quotation, let me
say that 332 minus 285 gives 47 years, not
"approximately 35" count of Jones. That 47 year
figure uses the 285 B.C. date, which was the first
year of the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus and not
necessarily the year the Old Greek translation
began. There were evidently large numbers of Jews
in Alexandria from the start, probably because
Jews had been living in Egypt in considerable
numbers from the time of the Babylonian Captivity
in 587 B.C. The line of reasoning Jones pursues is
inaccurate and misleading.
HH: Here is the rest of the quote:
at all events, they formed a very large portion of
the population under the successors of Alexander.
A separate section of the city was assigned to
them by the first Ptolemies, so that they might
not be hindered in the observance of their laws by
continual contact with the pagan population.
Moreover, the whole city was divided into five
districts, which were named after the first five
letters of the Greek alphabet. Of these five
districts two were denominated Jewish districts,
because the majority of their inhabitants were
Jews. As regards number and position, the Jews in
Alexandria enjoyed a greater degree of political
independence there than elsewhere. While the
Jewish inhabitants of other cities of the Roman
empire, without any political separation, formed
private societies for religious purposes, or else
became a corporation of foreigners like the
Egyptian and Phenician merchants in the large
commercial centers, those of Alexandria
constituted an independent political community,
side by side with that of the heathen population.
HH: Perhaps it was their political independence
and integration into the society that allowed the
Jews in Alexandria to pursue a Greek translation
of the Bible.
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