[b-hebrew] Is the Massoretic text distant from the Latin Vulgate

schmuel schmuel at nyc.rr.com
Tue Jul 21 22:03:43 EDT 2009

Hi Folks,

 > If you would  like to make the first move and make a comprehensive 
list of the minor  differences of a
 > chosen text (let's say the Torah) then maybe we could  get the 
discussion moving quicker.

Not really.  I have on occasion looked at sections and numbers and 
seen that we have what was
referred to in the book .. the Vulgate is, for practical purposes, 
the Masoretic Text. And the ideas
that Jerome did not know Hebrew or that he was actually translating a 
disguised Greek range from
humorous to ludicrous.  (Granting that you have only floated those 
ideas, not stone-etched them.)

However, since that has been your basic concern, and since you want 
to now leave out the most salient
evidence (sections, books, verses missing or very different) I 
suggested to you a methodology that
would like at lesser evidences.  Take a dozen or two MT-Greek 
differences, semi-random, and then
look at the Vulgate and see where it stands. For me, however, it 
would not be a productive use of time.
You might find 80% Vulgate-MT over "the Greek", maybe 98%, it might 
vary based on some factors, but
you will find the Vulgate and MT in affinity. If you find out 
otherwise, please share, and I will listen

My 'aggressive' goal before was to keep the discussion on track. 
There are lots of theories that try
to minimize the Masoretic Text.  However the Peshitta, probably 
translated about 100 AD, affirms the MT,
very strongly.  The Vulgate, translated in 400 AD, affirms the MT, 
quite strongly, and in a spiritual atmosphere
where Jerome took a lot of flack for simply affirming the 
Hebrew  Both are early witnesses.  And the Great Isaiah
Scroll affirms that the Masoretes did not tamper with perhaps the 
most messianic-charged prophetic passages
in the whole OT.

On the other side you have the heavily tampered Greek OT, with Jewish 
and Christian and Ebionite
versions and tamperings (such as a section of Romans coming into 
Psalms).  You also have the complex
DSS, which however in many ways affirms the Masoretic Text, although 
generally not to the degree of
exactness as in , eg. the Peshitta.

Note, I am not against such a study.  On the NT I did a Peshitta 
Byzantine or Alexandrian study. (Result:
75% - 80% Byzantine over Alexandrian... I posted it on the textual 
criticism forum to amusing responses.)
They can be a lot of fun and insightful.  I simply personally do not 
see any need to re-open up an issue that
I have previously studied and examined and concluded.

Steven Avery
Queens, NY

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