Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

 
 
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  #11  
Old 05-01-2008, 12:19 PM
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Connie, you may not take these statements as facts, for indeed they are not. However, they are at least evidence from a logical prospective. The one piece of evidence that is a fact is what is available today. We have a copy that dates no earlier than 250+ years after the completion of the NT. That copy is clearly riddled with error when compared to the Hebrew OT.

Last edited by Brother Tim; 05-01-2008 at 12:25 PM.
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  #12  
Old 05-01-2008, 12:58 PM
jerry
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Even the Pentateuch in the Septuagint contains additions and corruptions. The genealogies contain extra names AND changes in the ages of the patriarchs when they had their children.
  #13  
Old 05-01-2008, 01:01 PM
Connie
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Quote:
Connie, you may not take these statements as facts, for indeed they are not. However, they are at least evidence from a logical prospective. The one piece of evidence that is a fact is what is available today. We have a copy that dates no earlier than 250+ years after the completion of the NT. That copy is clearly riddled with error when compared to the Hebrew OT.
OK, I'm listening. I'm interested in this subject now, though I won't have much time for it for a while.

But I have to add that having a surviving copy from a particular year really doesn't mean much about when the original was created, OR when the errors entered into it.
  #14  
Old 05-01-2008, 01:08 PM
jerry
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No - but if there are ABSOLUTELY NO copies of the Septuagint (except for the Pentateuch) in existance that were prior to Origen (or even records of the whole OT in Greek prior to Origen), then there is no reason to believe that there ever was one translated before the NT era.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:30 PM
Connie
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No - but if there are ABSOLUTELY NO copies of the Septuagint (except for the Pentateuch) in existance that were prior to Origen (or even records of the whole OT in Greek prior to Origen), then there is no reason to believe that there ever was one translated before the NT era.
I thought Brother Tim was saying that the copy from around 250 years after the completion of the NT was the earliest in existence. Are you saying that there are surviving copies of the Pentateuch that are earlier?

But unless I'm seriously misreading you, your logic is very flawed in any case. Manuscripts simply did not survive long (they still don't), the materials would wear away and finally disintegrate. The only copies of any early writing that we have just happened to be preserved for one reason or another against the ravages of time. The Dead Sea Scrolls survived so well because they were preserved in jars in caves. Otherwise we have no reason to expect that anything from before the NT era would have survived.

We have ABSOLUTELY NO copies of the New Testament earlier than the Alexandrian texts on which the new versions are based -- I've heard both 2nd century and 3rd century for those -- but we certainly assume those were preceded by not only the originals but many hundreds of copies of them, and that the only copies we have of any of the Greek texts are simply some that happened to survive.

So why would you assume that there was no Septuagint in existence before the few copies that happen to have survived?

Sounds to me like Origen simply happened to be the one who wrote about the Septuagint. Certainly doesn't mean it originated with him or in his time.

Last edited by Connie; 05-01-2008 at 01:37 PM.
  #16  
Old 05-01-2008, 04:05 PM
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My limited understanding of the Septuagint is that it is a multi headed monster. Generally speaking, it is referring to an OT translation originating from Alexandria Egypt, supposedly created by 72 scribes of Israel. There does seem to be fragmentary evidence of B.C. Greek translations of the OT. The 5th column of Origen's Hexapla is supposedly a revision of an older (B.C.) Greek translation referred to by textual critics today as the LXX / Septuagint, though there are "several" literary documents referred to as the Septuagint. The LXX has inaccuracies in the ages of the Kings of Israel and Judah, and adds 2000 years to the geneaologies in Genesis. What is at stake here is concept, or words that are inspired. If the Septuagint, with it's glaring inaccuracies and differences from the Masoretic text can be called the word of God, so can all the other perversions. I have not read it, but Floyd Nolan Jones has written an exhaustive critique of the Septuagint. He says it is found to be the two manuscripts Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and especially true of Vaticanus B. I believe the history of it, its myth, Alexandrian source, and piecemeal construction make it a useful commentary at best.

Last edited by Debau; 05-01-2008 at 04:13 PM.
  #17  
Old 05-01-2008, 05:57 PM
jerry
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There are no extant copies prior to that time - NOR any written record from any source prior to that time referring to a pre-Christian Septuagint. Surely, if there was any OT in Greek before Christ, someone would have referred to it or quoted it - yet there is no record of it until Origen - several hundred years afterwards, in a book he put together of various OT translations. Origen attirbutes it to pre-Christian scholars, yet there is only this heretic's and Bible corrector's own words for it - not any outside proof.
  #18  
Old 05-01-2008, 06:25 PM
Connie
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I just took a brief glance at some Wikipedia entries and find it treated as historical fact that the Septuagint existed, also that Philo referred to it in the century before Christ and that Jerome used it in his translation of the Vulgate Bible. So that is more than just Origen given as source of information, Jerry.

A comparison of a verse in Genesis is given that does show an amazing divergence between the Septuagint and the Masoretic text. Obviously there's a lot of stuff going on here I'll never have the time to slog through.
  #19  
Old 05-01-2008, 06:35 PM
Connie
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There's more to this, Jerry, as I vaguely recalled but couldn't remember clearly. Here's one source on it:

http://www.kalvesmaki.com/LXX/
Quote:
THE SEPTUAGINT, derived from the Latin word for "seventy," can be a confusing term, since it ideally refers to the third-century BCE Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, executed in Alexandria, Egypt. But the full story behind the translation and the various stages, amplifications, and modifications to the collection we now call the Septuagint is complicated.

The earliest, and best known, source for the story of the Septuagint is the Letter of Aristeas, a lengthy document that recalls how Ptolemy (Philadelphus II [285–247 BCE]), desiring to augment his library in Alexandria, Egypt, commissioned a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. Ptolemy wrote to the chief priest, Eleazar, in Jerusalem, and arranged for six translators from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The seventy-two (altered in a few later versions to seventy or seventy-five) translators arrived in Egypt to Ptolemy's gracious hospitality, and translated the Torah (also called the Pentateuch: the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures) in seventy-two days. Although opinions as to when this occurred differ, 282 BCE is a commonly received date.

Philo of Alexandria (fl. 1st c CE) confirms that only the Torah was commissioned to be translated, and some modern scholars have concurred, noting a kind of consistency in the translation style of the Greek Penteteuch. Over the course of the three centuries following Ptolemy's project, however, other books of the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek. It is not altogether clear which book was translated when, and in what locale. It seems that sometimes a Hebrew book was translated more than once, or that a particular Greek translation was revised. In other cases, a work was composed afresh in Greek, yet was included in subsequent collections of the Scriptures. By observing technical terms and translation styles, by comparing the Greek versions to the Dead Sea Scrolls, and by comparing them to Hellenistic literature, scholars are in the process of stitching together an elusive history of the translations that eventually found their way into collections.

By Philo's time the memory of the seventy-two translators was vibrant, an important part of Jewish life in Alexandria (Philo, Life of Moses 2.25–44). Pilgrims, both Jews and Gentiles, celebrated a yearly festival on the island where they conducted their work. The celebrity of the Septuagint and its translators remained strong in Christianity. The earliest Christian references to the translation, from the mid-second century (SS Justin Martyr and Irenaeus), credit the entire Old Testament in Greek, whether originally written in Hebrew or not, to the seventy-two. Thus Christians conflated the Septuagint with their Old Testament canon (a canon that included the so-called apocrypha). For their part, Jewish rabbis, particularly Pharisees, reacted to the Christian appropriation of the Septuagint by producing fresh translations of their Scriptures (e.g., Aquila, in 128 CE, or Symmachus in the late 2d c. CE), and discouraging the use of the Septuagint. By the second century Christian and Jewish leaders had cemented their position on the form and character of the Scriptures. By and large, Christians held to the peculiar, prophetic character of their Septuagint, and Jews rejected it.
  #20  
Old 05-01-2008, 07:32 PM
sophronismos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDOC View Post
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).
That's a worthless argument since none of you, yea none of us are Levites either. Should we all just never print the Old Testament because we aren't Levites?
 

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