[b-hebrew] Is the Massoretic text reliable?

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Fri Nov 20 07:27:45 EST 2009


Offlist I was asked:

wasn't the Septuagint written with LORD where the yhwh was

Onlist, for the benefit of those who also may have this same
misunderstanding and while preserving the anonymity of the original
enquirere, I reply:

No! The oldest fragments of the LXX show that the tetragammaton was
preserved. Does anybody have a link to photographs of the relevant
fragments?

James Christian

2009/11/20 Petr Tomasek <tomasek at etf.cuni.cz>

> On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 07:23:42AM -0800, K Randolph wrote:
> > James:
> >
> > I would like to see the details before making a decision. The first one
> > sounds plausible. Is there any evidence from other MSS to back it up?
> > Anything from the DSS?
> >
> > As for the anthropomorphisms of God, I don’t know of anyone who
> considered
> > them to be a description of physical attributes. Therefore they didn’t
> cause
> > a problem.
>
> You are very wrong! The anthropomorphisms posed a big problem for the
> translators
> of the Septuagint and to yet larger extent to the translators of the Targum
> Onkelos where such a biblical passages are transleted consistently in a way
> to avoid them (e.g. replacing "God" with "God's glory", "God's presence",
> "God's word", etc.).
>
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> > On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 2:07 AM, James Christian
> > <jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com>wrote:
> >
> > > In such cases of this type I would be suspicious of the change. The
> basis
> > > of the change is that it conflicts with their theology and should
> probably
> > > be better viewed as a corruption rather than a correction. If some were
> to
> > > get their way they would alter verses referring to God's 'hands',
> 'feet' etc
> > > as it conflicts with their idea of God. Obviously, God doesn't have
> physical
> > > hands and feet as we think of them and it is unlikely that the original
> > > authors believed he did but yet didn't have a theological problem with
> > > referring to them.
> > >
> > > James Christian
> > >
> > > 2009/11/17 K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
> > >
> > >> Thanks, Petr:
> > >>
> > >> It is my understanding that these are textual witnesses.
> > >>
> > >> I did see a discussion of the first one, Genesis 18:22, where the
> change
> > >> was
> > >> noted and why: the original had the Lord standing before Abraham. But
> the
> > >> Masoretes concluded that the inferior stands before the superior, that
> > >> it’s
> > >> not merely a spacial statement, therefore they changed the verse to
> say
> > >> that
> > >> Abraham stood before the Lord. But I don’t have any information about
> the
> > >> other passages.
> > >>
> > >> Karl W. Randolph.
> > >>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
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>
> --
> Petr Tomasek <http://www.etf.cuni.cz/~tomasek>
> Jabber: butrus at jabbim.cz
> SIP: butrus at ekiga.net
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