[b-hebrew] LXX, MT and the NT

Schmuel schmuel at nyc.rr.com
Tue Oct 17 17:28:20 EDT 2006

Hi Folks,

Mark Spitsbergen - 
>the population is clearly less than 10%, which I am certain would be rejected as significant
>by any statistical model ....I really am scratching my head at this point as to what this lengthy "smoothing argument" is really all about. Is this argument really in the interest of discovering truth?

   Mark, statistics on this are all over the map, since the definitions can be so wide.
Are we talking about specific citations, or general allusions, or in between?  Are
we concerned with minor grammatical changes, or only significant meaning changes ?
Are we allowing for midrash or interpretation by the NT authors or are we assuming
that they only attempt to quote the Tanach verbatim ?  Or do we split that up depending
on the nature of the citation or allusion.  What about situations where even the speaker
is unclear (Micah 5 - Matthew) and perhaps the difference was a function of Luke reporting
what was spoken by the folks helping Herod using a who-knows-what text.  

   Such questions go on an on, explaining why you might give one
statistical number, others have given very different. 

   However, all that being said, there are a dozen or two or three cases where one can look
at the 4th century and later Greek OT manuscripts and say 

 "aha - this/that Greek OT is significantly closer to the NT than the Hebrew Bible"

    And one three basic alternatives for why this occurred -

a) textual accident, with Hebrew texts they were using now missing, stuff like that.
    squirrelly answers that essentially hand-wave

b) the apostles (or even Jesus in the Temple in the most strained claims) referred to 
    a Greek OT when writing the Tanach - even in Israel ! - perhaps replacing what was 
    said by the Hebrew Bible by Jesus with a Greek OT that they had at hand.

c) The apostles and Jesus used the Hebrew Bible, and the Greek OT was changed
    in many ways from the 2nd through 5th-6th centuries. ("smoothed") to be closer 
    to the NT.

Ok, I use the word "smoothed" ... "tampered" is more accurate.  
Scribal shenanigans. 
(Something is seen especially in alexandrian Greek texts).

   This is why I shifted gears and showed the forum the Psalm 14 - Romans 3 situation.

   This is an actual "smoking gun" of a huge tampering - a whole chapter. (Other theories
are possible, but quite difficult and un-Ockhamish.)  Once you see that the Greek OT
would even change a whole chapter, and you see similar with the example of the word
"Cainan", and you realize that generally these Greek OT variants have no support in
Targumim, DSS, Latin or Aramaic, and you study a bit the wooly and wild textual 
history of the Greek OT, you find it much easier to take (c) over (b) above.  Especially
adding the fact that these were Hebrew-savvy men, as is the emphasis in the posts from

  So does this help "discover truth" ?  
  Definitely, if you are interested in what is the true Bible.

Steven Avery
Queens, NY

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