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

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 09:11:31 EDT 2006


The impression I get is that your knowledge of the Greek New Testament
is akin to that of Hebrew and the Hebrew Tanakh — it is dependent on
translations and the scholarly opinions of others, but that you
yourself have not read it even once cover to cover. If you spent as
much time reading the original documents in their original languages
as you have spent reading translations and commentaries, I would give
more weight to your comments. But right now I view you more of a
lightweight in the scholarship arena, dependent more on others than
your own scholarship.

Now your comments concerning the Greek of the Greek New Testament
demonstrate your ignorance of said document. When students of Greek
language tell me that they find John the hardest to read because of
the poor grammar and syntax, though the vocabulary is correct, I
believe them because I have read the Greek New Testament 20+ times.
Paul's writing is in competant and correct Greek, but not an example
of outstanding literary style. Other authors showed differing levels
of competency in Greek. Only Luke, whom early church historians credit
with writing a Gospel, the Acts and co-authored Hebrews, demonstrated
high Greek literary style.

But getting back to the question of did the LXX influence the writing
of the New Testament? Most certainly not in any significant manner.
Where New Testament citations differ from MT has been shown from the
DSS to rest not only on LXX, but often on varient readings found among
extent ancient Hebrew MSS, which leaves the possibility that the
remaining differences are based on Hebrew readings no longer extent.
Secondly many times the New Testament reference is a citation, not a
quote. In fact, the citation may be a commentary of sorts or the
logical conclusion indicated by the Hebrew, far from a direct quote.
Even in the vocabulary used, there is no reason to insist on LXX
influence, as any translator will use terminology in both languages
that is equivalent, no matter who is the translator. The bottom line
is that there is absolutely no reason to assume that LXX is necessary
for the development of New Testament.

On a personal note: once you have staked out a position, it seems that
you cannot admit that you have made a mistake, or that the person that
you assumed was correct actually was in error. I recognize that
problem as I tend to do the same thing. But once you have staked out a
position, you will even contradict sources that you reference, which
is more than I am willing to do. Furthermore, once people show me that
my original source is in error or flakey, I am willing to admit it,
which apparently you are unable to do. Even in your answers to me, you
misstate what I say, which is not a good sign.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 10/14/06, Harold Holmyard <hholmyard at ont.com> wrote:
> K Randolph wrote:
> > First of all, look at those who wrote the New Testament. Only one
> > wrote in really educated Greek literary style, namely Luke.
> HH: The Book of Hebrews is also in good, literate
> Greek, as are other books. This claim that the NT
> is all pedestrian Greek is way overdrawn.
>   The Gospel
> > of Matthew that we have is actually a translation of his original into
> > Greek.
> HH: This may or may not be true.
>   More than once Greek scholars have told me that
> John is the
> > most difficult of the authors to read, because his Greek was so bad.
> HH: That's not a necessary conclusion.
> > To a large extent, it is Greek words on a Hebrew / Aramaic grammar,
> > which makes him the easiest for me to read. Even Paul, even though he
> > was well educated and was from a Greek city, most of his education was
> > in Hebrew so his use of Greek was middling at best. So the claim that
> > the LXX was the basis of their knowledge of Tanakh just does not wash
> > with this crowd.
> HH: The LXX was not necessarily the basis of their
> knowledge of the Tanakh, but they used the LXX
> when they wrote the NT.
> > Moreover, discoveries among the DSS show that many places where the
> > LXX and NT agree are based on Hebrew texts that were extant during NT
> > times, that sometimes are not reflected in MT. Secondly I have heard
> > the claim that some verses of LXX were "corrected" to be more like
> > their citations in NT from other people besides Steven Avery.
> >
> > The bottom line is that it is very doubtful that the LXX had any
> > meaningful effect on the development of the New Testament.
> HH: The bottom line is that the LXX was quite
> significant in the composition of the NT.
> Yours,
> Harold Holmyard

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