Yesterday, I posted some brief reflections on a tea break conversation I had with Peter Williams, the warden here at Tyndale House – The LXX doesn’t exist. Let me begin by saying that I didn’t even begin to fairly represent Williams’s arguments; he had a few other points which I forgot, including linguistic arguments (you’ll have to wait for his book.) Also, this issue is way “above my pay grade” (to use an infamous quote from someone we all know.) But it has become a teachable moment for me, and I appreciate the responses.
Jim West took this schoolboy out to the woodshed – The Madness of Good King Ben saying:
- You’re full of nonsense, plowing the seashore, etc.
- Spell Rahlfs right.
- Oh – and read mogens muller on the subject
First, there’s more than enough textual evidence to support the existence of a collection of Greek texts which were translations of Hebrew texts later called the Septuagint and the Hebrew Bible respectively. (Emphasis mine.)
It is a question of two processes running partly parallel, and it is no longer possible automatically to give priority to the current Hebrew text (104).
“the Greek translation may reasonably be seen as evidence of a process reflecting changing traditions which only gradually came to a standstill once a particular Hebrew text became normative.” (italics his, sorry, I lost the page number somewhere around 30 or 40?)[Much later] In principle only canonization can give traditions their final form (121). [See also Doug Chaplin’s The Bible doesn’t exist?]
. . . some of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament which cannot be explained as originating from either the Masoretic text or the Septuagint may derive from a Greek translation depending on a Hebrew text which was not identical with the Masoretic text (Muller, 114; emphasis mine.)
Strictly speaking, there is really no such thing as the Septuagint. This may seem like an odd statement in a book entitled Invitation to the Septuagint, but unless the reader appreciates the fluidity and ambiguity of the term, he or she will quickly become confused by the literature. . .. . . [The Septuagint, was produced by many people unknown to us, over two or three centuries, and almost certainly in more than one elocation. Consequently, the Greek Old Testament does not have the unity that the term the Septuagint might imply.](page 30; cites Leonard J. Greenspoon, “the Use and Abuse of the Term ‘LXX’ and Related Terminology on Recent Scholarship,” BIOSCS 20 (1987): 21-29.
- The Letter of Aristeas
- The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies
- Septuagint Institute (Trinity Western University)
- The Septuagint Online: Academic Resources for the Study of the Septuagint and Old Greek Versions (Joel Kalvesmaki)
- Centre for Septuagint and Textual Criticism, Leuven
- Moses, Isaiah, etc.
- the law, the prophets, and the writings (Tanak)
- Scripture (even “The Scriptures”)
- [All the above] in Greek; Greek translations of [1, 2, 3]
- What we formerly conceptualized as “the LXX” ;-).