[b-hebrew] ejectment vs. extermination

Paul Zellmer pzellmer at sc.rr.com
Thu Dec 9 06:36:27 EST 2010


The answer is in fact simple.  It is "no," the Greek LXX does not define the meaning of the Masoretic text, any more than the versions of the English translations define it.  The LXX is a translation, which means that there is an interpretive step, which is necessary to take the concept expressed by the original vocabulary, grammar, and syntax (the last two parts of which your questions always seem to overlook) and state it (the concept) using the target vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.  Everyone who tries to understand any language that is foreign to them goes through this interpretive step.  All that written translations of works do is to standardize the interpretation for those of the target language.  The translation is only as good as the accuracy of the interpretation and its resulting expression.  To some degree, all interpretations have an element of degradation of the original message.

By continually trying to use the LXX to define the Hebrew text, most of us are actually running into two interpretations.  Because most of us are not native Greek speakers, and definitely not native Koine speakers, we have to interpret the LXX into English.  This adds a new level of degradation of to an already degraded message.

Hope this helps,

Paul Zellmer

-----Original Message-----

Fred wrote:

In the second clause of Isaiah 40:3, the operative hebrew verb פנה appears;
and generally means "turn" or "face." The septuagint however, uses a
corresponding word meaning "prepare." And hence, the question becomes; does
פנה mean "prepare?" The niv committee apparently prefers that meaning over
"face" or "turn."

I guess the question distills to: does the greek septuagint define the
meaning of the masoretic text hebrew words? It seems like a question
susceptible of a simple "yes" or "no" answer. .... But apparently not.

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