Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

 
 
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:05 AM
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Default Did the LXX exist before the NT?

I am starting this thread in response to a suggestion by Steven Avery to review some of the teachings of Dr. Peter Ruckman [not as a means of personal attack or support of him] from a Biblical prospective.

One topic that is of interest to many is whether or not the Septuagint (LXX) existed B.C. and whether or not it was used by the NT writers as a reference; or conversely, is it a figment of the mind based on the work of early century heretics?

Sam Gipp questions its existence, so I suppose that Dr. Ruckman does also (not having read his teachings on this specifically). Matthew Verschuur supports its existence (right, Matthew?). What are the facts?
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Brother Tim View Post
I am starting this thread in response to a suggestion by Steven Avery to review some of the teachings of Dr. Peter Ruckman [not as a means of personal attack or support of him] from a Biblical prospective.

One topic that is of interest to many is whether or not the Septuagint (LXX) existed B.C. and whether or not it was used by the NT writers as a reference; or conversely, is it a figment of the mind based on the work of early century heretics?

Sam Gipp questions its existence, so I suppose that Dr. Ruckman does also (not having read his teachings on this specifically). Matthew Verschuur supports its existence (right, Matthew?). What are the facts?
No, the LXX is a myth, says Ruckman. There is a chapter dedicated to "The Mythological LXX" in Ruckman's The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence. (I am not a Ruckmanite.)
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:53 AM
jerry
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I am not addressing Ruckman's comments here - but from what I have read regarding the Septuagint, ALL that existed prior to Christ was the Pentateuch translated into Greek. The first actual account and copies of all the OT in Greek were done by Origen (there were no copies of the OT in Greek found that existed prior to this time).

Alfred Edersheim (a 19th century messianic Jewish scholar) makes mention of this, and quotes or refers to Josephus to back up his statements. Edersheim's book that he makes this comment is The Life And Times Of Jesus The Messiah. If you have the book in electronic format or part of a Bible program, you can search it for "Pentateuch" and find his comments. In other words, it is not a 20th century philosophy or invention that the whole Septuagint did not exist prior to the time of Christ.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:14 AM
MDOC
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Originally Posted by jerry View Post
I am not addressing Ruckman's comments here - but from what I have read regarding the Septuagint, ALL that existed prior to Christ was the Pentateuch translated into Greek. The first actual account and copies of all the OT in Greek were done by Origen (there were no copies of the OT in Greek found that existed prior to this time).
That's right, and Origen lived after the Ascension of Christ.
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Alfred Edersheim (a 19th century messianic Jewish scholar) makes mention of this, and quotes or refers to Josephus to back up his statements. Edersheim's book that he makes this comment is The Life And Times Of Jesus The Messiah.
I have this book. The subject on LXX is on pg 23 to 30.
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If you have the book in electronic format or part of a Bible program, you can search it for "Pentateuch" and find his comments. In other words, it is not a 20th century philosophy or invention that the whole Septuagint did not exist prior to the time of Christ.
In other words, it is a 20th century invention that the LXX, partially or wholly, existed prior to Christ.

Last edited by MDOC; 05-01-2008 at 10:15 AM. Reason: error in HTML quoting
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:30 AM
Connie
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Wow, I've believed for years that the Septuagint was a translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek done by Jewish scholars during about three hundred years up to the time of Christ. I had no idea anybody disputed this. As I've understood it, it began with the Torah or Pentateuch about 300 BC or so, and then other books were added over the next few centuries -- not all perhaps, but most or something like that. I also understood that the way the New Testament phrases its references to the Old Testament shows that it was based on the Septuagint Greek translation.

I can't see why on earth anyone would doubt that such a translation existed. It was clearly needed by the Jews who were scattered throughout the Hellenic world of the time, and that's why it was ordered to be done.

I hope you all will be supplying evidence one way or the other instead of just assertions that this or that person believes this or that about it.
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:49 AM
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I can't see why on earth anyone would doubt that such a translation existed.
Whether or not it existed is less important than whether or not any of the LXX was actually used by Christ or the authors of the NT. Modernists interested in pressing the case that corrupt translations are "a-okay" try to convince people that the NT itslef contains quotations from the LXX. It does not -- where the LXX agrees with the NT it is simply because the LXX got it right.

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It was clearly needed by the Jews
Says who? It was needed by academics of the day. The Jews would not have trusted their texts to the scholars that produced the LXX.

I suggest you read Chapter 6 of Crowned With Glory which addresses the LXX question. Here are some quotes:
For years it had been thought that the Bible Christ used was the Greek Septuagint (also known as the LXX). The common thought was that the Jews at the time of Christ had all but lost their use of Hebrew since the international language of that day was Greek. However, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which will be discussed in greater detail in the following chapter), it has been established that the Jews did not lose their use of Hebrew. In fact, most of their writings (both sacred and otherwise) were written in Hebrew.

Alan Millard, Professor of Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages at the University of Liverpool, England, observed that for years scholars believed that Hebrew was limited to religious usage during the time of Christ. But from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and books written in common Hebrew among them, it can now be established that a form of Hebrew, like the Hebrew used in the Old Testament yet distinct in form, was in use during the time of Christ and the apostles.


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Old 05-01-2008, 11:23 AM
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My thoughts at this point, being simply musing based on some information that I have read:

The story of the LXX (the seventy) seems very fanciful on its surface. The idea that someone could gather 6 scholars from each tribe, long after 10 of the tribes were totally scattered to every nation, seems to me to be impossible. The claim that it was produced in 72 days by 72 individuals whose separate translations were identical (without collaboration) is impossible outside the direct control of the Holy Spirit. If that were the case, then there would not be the significant errors and omissions present. These arguments against its origin weaken its validity as Scripture.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:30 AM
Connie
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie
I can't see why on earth anyone would doubt that such a translation existed.
Whether or not it existed is less important than whether or not any of the LXX was actually used by Christ or the authors of the NT. Modernists interested in pressing the case that corrupt translations are "a-okay" try to convince people that the NT itslef contains quotations from the LXX. It does not -- where the LXX agrees with the NT it is simply because the LXX got it right.
So the idea is that the LXX was corrupt? I haven't heard the argument in favor of the modern translations based on this myself, but I'll take your word for it and read up more on it.

Quote:
Quote:
It was clearly needed by the Jews
Says who? It was needed by academics of the day. The Jews would not have trusted their texts to the scholars that produced the LXX.
Well, I know the Jews didn't and still don't like the idea of having their Hebrew scriptures translated into Greek, and I know it was forced upon them by the Greek authorities, but I also understood that it was highly qualified Jews who did the translation and that it was well done, at least the Pentateuch.

Quote:
I suggest you read Chapter 6 of Crowned With Glory which addresses the LXX question. Here are some quotes:

Quote:
For years it had been thought that the Bible Christ used was the Greek Septuagint (also known as the LXX). The common thought was that the Jews at the time of Christ had all but lost their use of Hebrew since the international language of that day was Greek. However, with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which will be discussed in greater detail in the following chapter), it has been established that the Jews did not lose their use of Hebrew. In fact, most of their writings (both sacred and otherwise) were written in Hebrew.

Alan Millard, Professor of Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages at the University of Liverpool, England, observed that for years scholars believed that Hebrew was limited to religious usage during the time of Christ. But from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and books written in common Hebrew among them, it can now be established that a form of Hebrew, like the Hebrew used in the Old Testament yet distinct in form, was in use during the time of Christ and the apostles
.
Yes, I knew they also had the Hebrew and it was used in the temple, that Paul had studied Hebrew as the Pharisees did, and so on. But that doesn't mean that a Greek version of the OT wasn't also in common usage.

However, apparently there's a lot more to learn here, so carry on. I'm probably not going to get to do much research on my own for a while so I hope this thread is chock full of facts and evidence.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:49 AM
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The second thought that I have had as I mused:

I do not have the data at hand to answer the following, so it is mere speculation at this point.

How many OT quotes are made in the NT?
What percentage of those have exact or very close resemblance to the LXX?
Are there any writers who quote OT passages (of reasonable statistical number) whose quotes also predominately align with the LXX, indicating that this writer had access to a copy for reference?

My guess is that the overall percentage is low, and that no particular writer showed an affinity to the supposed LXX.

Whether or not there were Greek translations of parts (the Law as an example) of the OT is not the question. The claim is that the LXX existed and was in wide-spread use during the first century AD. This would have been difficult considering the logistics of distribution of many hand-written copies, which non-rulers like certain Galilean fishermen would likely be unable to obtain for personal use (unless the library at Alexandria had a web site for easy access.)
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:02 PM
MDOC
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Originally Posted by Brother Tim View Post
My thoughts at this point, being simply musing based on some information that I have read:

The story of the LXX (the seventy) seems very fanciful on its surface. The idea that someone could gather 6 scholars from each tribe, long after 10 of the tribes were totally scattered to every nation, seems to me to be impossible. The claim that it was produced in 72 days by 72 individuals whose separate translations were identical (without collaboration) is impossible outside the direct control of the Holy Spirit. If that were the case, then there would not be the significant errors and omissions present. These arguments against its origin weaken its validity as Scripture.
That's not all. Acording to Origen, there were seventy-two translators from twelve tribes, thus violating the OT instructions pertaining to the OT upkeep: the tribe of Levi alone was to be the custodian of the Scriptures (Mal 2:4-7; Ezra 7:12; Deut. 17:18; 31:25; 33:10).
 

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