[b-hebrew] Psalm 14 'smoothed' to Romans 3 in Greek OT

Harold Holmyard hholmyard at ont.com
Tue Oct 17 19:10:04 EDT 2006

schmuel wrote:

> http://fontes.lstc.edu/~rklein/Documents/psalm_14.htm

>  The Old Testament and the Ancient Near East -
> Ralph W. Klein BHS notes a long insertion here
> in LXX, which began in Romans 3:13-18, was then
> added to LXX, and even found its way into two
> medieval Hebrew manuscripts. Note also that the
> DSS is a confirmation of Psalm 14 (and 13) as
> in the Masoretic Text, omitting one verse in
> the reconstruction while matching the Masoretic
> Text verse by verse.
> ============= Harold, do you agree with
> Professor Klein and BHS that this was a Greek
> OT rigging 'smoothing' to match Psalms ?

HH: Klein does not use the words "rigging" or 
"smoothing," and I see no requirement for them. 
You need to realize that all sorts of things 
happened with ancient texts. People wrote in the 
margins of them, and often marginal notes were 
inserted into the main text by later copyists. 
This is perhaps because sometimes scribes 
committed omissions, which they later corrected by 
placing the omitted material in the margin. So 
scribes were used to regarding marginal material 
as possible main text substance. It could be that 
a scribe mistakenly did this with a marginal note 
of Psalm 14 that quoted Romans.

HH: I have not studied this issue in detail, 
though in the past I have noted the insertion. 
Delitzsch says that the addition is in Codex 
Alexandrinus, in the Greco-Latin Psalterium 
Veronese, and in the Syriac Psalterium 
Mediolanense. The words are in Apollinaris' 
paraphrase of the Psalms as a later interpolation. 
The Codex Vaticanus has them in the margin. 
Delitzsch says that Origen rightly excluded the 
LXX addition from his text of Psalm 14. Supposedly 
Jerome has a correct explanation o the matter in 
the preface to Book XVI of his commentary on 
Isaiah, but I do not have access to it right now.

Tyler Williams, Chair of the Religion & Theology 
Department and Assistant Professor of Old 
Testament/Hebrew Bible at Taylor University 
College in Edmonton, Alberta, writes:

The LXX is replete with examples of clearly 
secondary readings that have full textual support 
(The most famous is Psalm 14(13):3, which includes 
the text of Romans 3:13-18. This clearly was 
triggered by the fact that Paul quotes a chain of 
OT texts beginning with Ps 14(13):3 and then 
moving without comment to Ps 5.10, 139.4, 9,28; 
Isa 59:7, 8; Ps 35.2).

> Or do you think that Paul was quoting a Greek
> copy of Psalms verbatim ?
> This example is so fundamental that I dropped
> the dialog to share with the forum :-)

HH: Thanks for reminding of this passage, but it 
in no way supports the massive conclusions that 
Will Kinney wants to draw from it, leaning on the 
older view of John Owen.

Harold Holmyard

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