Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament

Yes, the proper understanding of Scripture is a game changer (as it should be). 

Of the multitude of Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, most of them came from the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX – the Greek translation of the Old Testament). This translation of the Old Testament is the oldest in existence, was widely used by the Apostles and all Jews at the time of Christ, and included the so-called “apocryphal” or “deuterocanonical” books that Protestants later removed.

Arranged as following: NT verse/LXX verse quoted – with the Hebrew for comparison

Here are some examples:

Matt. 1:23 / Isaiah 7:14 – behold, a “virgin” shall conceive. Hebrew – behold, a “young woman” shall conceive.

Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; John 1:23 / Isaiah 40:3 – make “His paths straight.” Hebrew – make “level in the desert a highway.”

Matt. 6:7/Sirach 7:14 – About prattling on in the assembly like the Gentiles do. 

Matt. 9:13; 12:7 / Hosea 6:6 – I desire “mercy” and not sacrifice. Hebrew – I desire “goodness” and not sacrifice.

Matt. 12:21 / Isaiah 42:4 – in His name will the Gentiles hope (or trust). Hebrew – the isles shall wait for his law.

Matt. 13:15 / Isaiah 6:10 – heart grown dull; eyes have closed; to heal. Hebrew – heart is fat; ears are heavy; eyes are shut; be healed.

Matt. 15:9; Mark 7:7 / Isaiah 29:13 – teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. Hebrew – a commandment of men (not doctrines).

Matt. 21:16 / Psalm 8:2 – out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has “perfect praise.” Hebrew – thou has “established strength.”

Matt. 23:37 / 2 Esdras 1:30 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing!” compare LXX “I gathered you together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings: but now, what shall I do unto you? I will cast you out from my face.” Absent from the Hebrew texts entirely.

Matt. 27:43 / Wisdom 2:16 – “He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” compare LXX “We are considered by him as something base, and he avoids our ways as unclean; he calls the last end of the righteous happy, and boasts that God is his father...

Mark 7:6-8 – Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13 from the Septuagint (LXX) – “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”

Luke 3:5-6 / Isaiah 40:4-5 – crooked be made straight, rough ways smooth, shall see salvation. Hebrew – omits these phrases.

Luke 4:18 / Isaiah 61:1 – and recovering of sight to the blind. Hebrew – the opening of prison to them that are bound.

Luke 4:18 / Isaiah 58:6 – to set at liberty those that are oppressed (or bruised). Hebrew – to let the oppressed go free.

Luke 6:31 / Tobit 4:15 – The Golden Rule, absent from the Hebrew texts!

Luke 14:13 / Tobit 4:7 – “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” compare LXX “Give alms from your possessions to all who live uprightly, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from any poor man, and the face of God will not be turned away from you.”

John 6:31 / Psalm 78:24 – He gave them “bread” out of heaven to eat. Hebrew – gave them “food” or “grain” from heaven.

John 10:22 / 1 Macc. 4:59 – A reference to the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), established in 1 Macc. 4:59, and which is absent from the Hebrew text.

John 12:38 / Isaiah 53:1 – who has believed our “report?” Hebrew – who has believed our “message?”

John 12:40 / Isaiah 6:10 – lest they should see with eyes…turn for me to heal them. Hebrew – shut their eyes…and be healed.

Acts 2:19 / Joel 2:30 – blood and fire and “vapor” of smoke. Hebrew – blood and fire and “pillars” or “columns” of smoke.

Acts 2:25-26 / Psalm 16:8 – I saw…tongue rejoiced…dwell in hope.. Hebrew – I have set…glory rejoiced…dwell in safety.

Acts 4:26 / Psalm 2:1 – the rulers “were gathered together.” Hebrew – rulers “take counsel together.”

Acts 7:14 / Gen. 46:27; Deut. 10:22 – Stephen says “seventy-five” souls went down to Egypt. Hebrew – “seventy” people went.

Acts 7:27-28 / Exodus 2:14 – uses “ruler” and judge; killed the Egyptian “yesterday.” Hebrew – uses “prince” and there is no reference to “yesterday.”

Acts 7:43 / Amos 5:26-27 – the tent of “Moloch” and star of god of Rephan. Hebrew – “your king,” shrine, and star of your god.

Acts 8:33 / Isaiah 53:7-8 – in his humiliation justice was denied him. Hebrew – by oppression…he was taken away.

Acts 13:41 / Habakkuk 1:5 – you “scoffers” and wonder and “perish.” Hebrew – you “among the nations,” and “be astounded.”

Acts 15:17 / Amos 9:12 – the rest (or remnant) of “men.” Hebrew – the remnant of “Edom.”

Rom. 2:24 / Isaiah 52:5 – the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles. Hebrew – blasphemed (there is no mention of the Gentiles).

Rom. 3:4 / Psalm 51:4 – thou mayest “prevail” (or overcome) when thou art judged. Hebrew – thou might “be clear” when thou judges.

Rom. 3:12 / Psalm 14:1,3 – they “have gone wrong.” Hebrew – they are “corrupt” or “filthy.”

Rom. 3:13 / Psalm 5:9 – they use their tongues to deceive. Hebrew – they flatter with their tongues. There is no “deceit” language.

Rom. 3:13 / Psalm 140:3 – the venom of “asps” is under their lips. Hebrew – “Adder’s” poison is under their lips.

Rom. 3:14 / Psalm 10:7 – whose mouth is full of curses and “bitterness.” Hebrew – cursing and “deceit and oppression.”

Rom. 9:17 / Exodus 9:16 – my power “in you”; my name may be “proclaimed.” Hebrew – show “thee”; may name might be “declared.”

Rom. 9:21 / Wisdom 15:7 – a reference to the potter having the right to choose what he makes out of the clay. No Hebrew reference.

Rom. 9:25 / Hosea 2:23 – I will call my people; I will call my beloved. Hebrew – I will have mercy (love versus mercy).

Rom. 9:27 / Isaiah 10:22 – only a remnant of them “will be saved.” Hebrew – only a remnant of them “will return.”

Rom. 9:29 / Isaiah 1:9 – had not left us “children.” Hebrew – Jehovah had left us a “very small remnant.”

Rom. 9:33; 10:11; 1 Peter 2:6 / Isaiah 28:16 – he who believes will not be “put to shame.” Hebrew – shall not be “in haste.”

Rom. 10:18 / Psalm 19:4 – their “voice” has gone out. Hebrew – their “line” is gone out.

Rom. 10:20 / Isaiah 65:1 – I have “shown myself” to those who did not ask for me. Hebrew – I am “inquired of” by them.

Rom. 10:21 / Isaiah 65:2 – a “disobedient and contrary” people. Hebrew – a “rebellious” people.

Rom. 11:9-10 / Psalm 69:22-23 – “pitfall” and “retribution” and “bend their backs.” Hebrew – “trap” and “make their loins shake.”

Rom. 11:26 / Isaiah 59:20 – will banish “ungodliness.” Hebrew – turn from “transgression.”

Rom. 11:27 / Isaiah 27:9 – when I take away their sins. Hebrew – this is all the fruit of taking away his sin.

Rom. 11:34; 1 Cor. 2:16 / Isaiah 40:13 (also Wisdom 9:13) -the “mind” of the Lord; His “counselor.” Hebrew – “spirit” of the Lord; “taught” Him. 

Rom. 12:20 / Prov. 25:21 – feed him and give him to drink. Hebrew – give him “bread” to eat and “water” to drink.

Rom. 15:12 / Isaiah 11:10 – the root of Jesse…”to rule the Gentiles.” Hebrew – stands for an ensign. There is nothing about the Gentiles.

Rom. 15:21 / Isaiah 52:15 – been told “of him”; heard “of him.” Hebrew – does not mention “him” (the object of the prophecy).

1 Cor. 1:19 / Isaiah 29:14 – “I will destroy” the wisdom of the wise. Hebrew – wisdom of their wise men “shall perish.”

1 Cor. 5:13 / Deut. 17:7 – remove the “wicked person.” Hebrew – purge the “evil.” This is more generic evil in the MT.

1 Cor. 15:55 / Hosea 13:14 – O death, where is thy “sting?” Hebrew – O death, where are your “plagues?”

2 Cor. 4:13 / Psalm 116:10 – I believed and so I spoke (past tense). Hebrew – I believe, for I will speak (future tense).

2 Cor. 6:2 / Isaiah 49:8 – I have “listened” to you. Hebrew – I have “answered” you.

2 Cor. 9:7 / Sirach 35:9  – “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” compare LXX “With every gift show a cheerful face, and dedicate your tithe with gladness.”

Gal. 3:10 / Deut. 27:26 – cursed be every one who does not “abide” by all things. Hebrew – does not “confirm” the words.

Gal. 3:13 / Deut. 21:23 – cursed is everyone who hangs on a “tree.” Hebrew – a hanged man is accursed. The word “tree” does not follow.

Gal. 4:27 / Isaiah 54:1 – “rejoice” and “break forth and shout.” Hebrew – “sing” and “break forth into singing.”

2 Tim. 2:19 / Num. 16:5 – The Lord “knows” those who are His. Hebrew – God will “show” who are His.

Heb. 1:3 / Wisdom 7:26 – “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact representation of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” compare LXX “[the Wisdom of God] is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.”

Heb. 1:6 / Deut. 32:43 – let all the angels of God worship Him. Hebrew – the Masoretic text omits this phrase from Deut. 32:43.

Heb. 1:12 / Psalm 102:25 – like a “mantle” … “roll them”… “will be changed.” Hebrew – “raiment”… “change”…”pass away.”

Heb. 2:7 / Psalm 8:5 – thou has made Him a little “lower than angels.” Hebrew – made Him but a little “lower than God.”

Heb. 2:12 / Psalm 22:22 – I will ” sing” thy praise. Hebrew – I will praise thee. The LXX and most NTs (but not the RSV) have “sing.”

Heb. 2:13 / Isaiah 8:17 – I will “put my trust in Him.” Hebrew – I will “look for Him.”

Heb. 3:15 / Psalm 95:8 – do not harden your hearts as “in the rebellion.” Hebrew – harden not your hearts “as at Meribah.”

Heb. 3:15; 4:7 / Psalm 95:7 – when you hear His voice do not harden not your hearts. Hebrew – oh that you would hear His voice!

Heb. 8:9-10 / Jer. 31:32-33 – (nothing about husband); laws into their mind. Hebrew – I was a husband; law in their inward parts.

Heb. 9:28 / Isaiah 10:22 – “to save those” who are eagerly awaiting for Him. Hebrew – a remnant of them “shall return.”

Heb. 10:5 / Psalm 40:6 – “but a body hast thou prepared for me.” Hebrew – “mine ears hast thou opened.”

Heb. 10:38 / Hab. 2:3-4 – if he shrinks (or draws) back, my soul shall have no pleasure. Hebrew – his soul is puffed up, not upright.

Heb. 11:5 / Gen. 5:24 – Enoch was not “found.” Hebrew – Enoch was “not.”

Heb. 11:21 / Gen. 47:31 – Israel, bowing “over the head of his staff.” Hebrew – there is nothing about bowing over the head of his staff.

Heb. 11:35 / 2 Macc 7 – A direct reference to 2 Macc. 7 – the martyrdom of the 7 Brothers, which does not exist in the Hebrew text.

Heb. 12:6 / Prov. 3:12 – He chastises every son whom He receives. Hebrew – even as a father the son in whom he delights.

Heb. 13:6 / Psalm 118:6 – the Lord “is my helper.” Hebrew – Jehovah “is on my side.” The LXX and the NT are identical.

James 4:6 / Prov. 3:34 – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Hebrew – He scoffs at scoffers and gives grace to the lowly.

1 Peter 1:24 / Isaiah 40:6 – all its “glory” like the flower. Hebrew – all the “goodliness” as the flower.

1 Pet. 2:9 / Exodus 19:6 – you are a “royal priesthood.” Hebrew – you shall be to me a “kingdom of priests.”

1 Pet. 2:9 / Isaiah 43:21 – God’s own people…who called you out of darkness. Heb. – which I formed myself. These are different actions.

1 Pet. 2:22 / Isaiah 53:9 – he “committed no sin.” Hebrew – he “had done no violence.”

1 Pet. 4:18 / Prov. 11:31 – if a righteous man “is scarcely saved.” Hebrew – if the righteous “is recompensed.”

1 Pet. 5:5 / Prov. 3:34 – God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Hebrew – He scoffs at scoffers and gives grace to lowly.

Isaiah 11:2 – this verse describes the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but the seventh gift, “piety,” is only found in the Septuagint.

 

 

Source

Masoretic Text vs. Original Hebrew

a text in hebrew   

by Fr. Joseph Gleason

The Masoretic Text is significantly different from the original Hebrew Scriptures.

 I used to believe the Masoretic Text was a perfect copy of the original Old Testament.  I used to believe that the Masoretic Text was how God divinely preserved the Hebrew Scriptures throughout the ages.

I was wrong.

The oldest copies of the Masoretic Text only date back to the 10th century, nearly 1000 years after the time of Christ. And these texts differ from the originals in many specific ways. The Masoretic text is named after theMasoretes, who were scribes and Torah scholars who worked in the middle-east between the 7th and 11th centuries. The texts they received, and the edits they provided, ensured that the modern Jewish texts would manifest a notable departure from the original Hebrew Scriptures.

Historical research reveals five significant ways in which the Masoretic Text is different from the original Old Testament:

  1. The Masoretes admitted that they received corrupted texts to begin with.
  2. The Masoretic Text is written with a radically different alphabet than the original.
  3. The Masoretes added vowel points which did not exist in the original.
  4. The Masoretic Text excluded several books from the Old Testament scriptures.
  5. The Masoretic Text includes changes to prophecy and doctrine.

We will consider each point in turn:

Receiving Corrupted Texts

Many people believe that the ancient Hebrew text of Scripture was divinely preserved for many centuries, and was ultimately recorded in what we now call the “Masoretic Text”. But what did the Masoretes themselves believe?  Did they believe they were perfectly preserving the ancient text?  Did they even think they had received a perfect text to begin with?

History says “no” . . .

Scribal emendations – Tikkune Soferim

Early rabbinic sources, from around 200 CE, mention several passages of Scripture in which the conclusion is inevitable that the ancient reading must have differed from that of the present text. . . . Rabbi Simon ben Pazzi (3rd century) calls these readings “emendations of the Scribes” (tikkune Soferim; Midrash Genesis Rabbah xlix. 7), assuming that the Scribes actually made the changes. This view was adopted by the later Midrash and by the majority of Masoretes.

In other words, the Masorites themselves felt they had received a partly corrupted text.  

A stream cannot rise higher than its source.  If the texts they started with were corrupted, then even a perfect transmission of those texts would only serve to preserve the mistakes. Even if the Masoretes demonstrated great care when copying the texts, their diligence would not bring about the correction of even one error.

In addition to these intentional changes by Hebrew scribes, there also appear to be a number of accidental changes which they allowed to creep into the Hebrew text.  For example, consider Psalm 145 . . .

Psalm 145 is an acrostic poem. Each line of the Psalm starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Yet in the Masoretic Text, one of the lines is completely missing:

Yet the Septuagint (LXX) Greek translation of the Old Testament does include the missing verse. And when that verse is translated back into Hebrew, it starts with the Hebrew letter ? (nun) which was missing from the Masoretic Text.

In the early 20th century, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves near Qumran. They revealed an ancient Hebrew textual tradition which differed from the tradition preserved by the Masoretes. Written in Hebrew, copies of Psalm 145 were found which include the missing verse:

The missing verse reads,

The Lord is faithful in His words and holy in all His works.

This verse can be found in the Orthodox Study Bible, which relies on the Septuagint. But this verse is absent from the King James Version (KJV), the New King James Version(NKJV), the Complete Jewish Bible, and every other translation which is based on the Masoretic Text.

In this particular case, it is easy to demonstrate that the Masoretic Text is in error, for it is obvious that Psalm 145 was originally written as an acrostic Psalm. But what are we to make of the thousands of other locations where the Masoretic Text diverges from the Septuagint? If the Masoretic Text could completely erase an entire verse from one of the Psalms, how many other passages of Scripture have been edited? How many other verses have been erased?

A Radically Different Alphabet

If Moses were to see a copy of the Masoretic Text, he wouldn’t be able to read it.

As discussed in this recent post, the original Old Testament scriptures were written in Paleo-Hebrew, a text closely related to the ancient Phonecian writing system.

The Masoretic Text is written with an alphabet which was borrowed from Assyria (Persia) around the 6th-7th century B.C., and is almost 1000 years newer than the form of writing used by Moses, David, and most of the Old Testament authors.

Adding Vowel Points

For thousands of years, ancient Hebrew was only written with consonants, no vowels. When reading these texts, they had to supply all of the vowels from memory, based on oral tradition.

In Hebrew, just like modern languages, vowels can make a big difference. The change of a single vowel can radically change the meaning of a word. An example in English is the difference between “SLAP” and “SLIP”. These words have very different definitions. Yet if our language was written without vowels, both of these words would be written “SLP”. Thus the vowels are very important.

The most extensive change the Masoretes brought to the Hebrew text was the addition ofvowel points. In an attempt to solidfy for all-time the “correct” readings of all the Hebrew Scriptures, the Masoretes added a series of dots to the text, identifying which vowel to use in any given location.

Adam Clarke, an 18th Century Protestant scholar, demonstrates that the vowel-point system is actually a running commentary which was incorporated into the text itself.
In the General Preface of his biblical commentary published in 1810, Clarke writes:

“The Masorets were the most extensive Jewish commentators which that nation could ever boast. The system of punctuation, probably invented by them, is a continual gloss on the Law and the Prophets; their vowel points, and prosaic and metrical accents, &c., give every word to which they are affixed a peculiar kind of meaning, which in their simple state, multitudes of them can by no means bear. The vowel points alone add whole conjugations to the language. This system is one of the most artificial, particular, and extensive comments ever written on the Word of God; for there is not one word in the Bible that is not the subject of a particular gloss through its influence.”

Another early scholar who investigated this matter was Louis Cappel, who wrote during the early 17th century. An article in the 1948 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica includes the following information regarding his research of the Masoretic Text:

“As a Hebrew scholar, he concluded that the vowel points and accents were not an original part of Hebrew, but were inserted by the Masorete Jews of Tiberias, not earlier then the 5th Century AD, and that the primitive Hebrew characters are Aramaic and were substituted for the more ancient at the time of the captivity. . . The various readings in the Old Testament Text and the differences between the ancient versions and the Masoretic Text convinced him that the integrity of the Hebrew text as held by Protestants, was untenable.”

Many Protestants love the Masoretic Text, believing it to be a trustworthy representation of the original Hebrew text of Scripture. Yet, at the same time, most Protestants reject Orthodox Church Tradition as being untrustworthy. They believe that the Church’s oral tradition could not possibly preserve Truth over a long period of time.

Therefore, the vowel points of the Masoretic Text put Protestants in a precarious position. If they believe that the Masoretic vowels are not trustworthy, then they call the Masoretic Text itself into question. But if they believe that the Masoretic vowels are trustworthy, then they are forced to believe that the Jews successfully preserved the vowels of Scripture for thousands of years, through oral tradition alone, until the Masoretes finally invented the vowel points hundreds of years after Christ. Either conclusion is at odds with mainstream Protestant thought.

Either oral tradition can be trusted, or it can’t. If it can be trusted, then there is no reason to reject the Traditions of the Orthodox Church, which have been preserved for nearly 2000 years. But if traditions are always untrustworthy, then the Masoretic vowel points are also untrustworthy, and should be rejected.

Excluding Books of Scripture from the Old Testament

The Masoretic Text promotes a canon of the Old Testament which is significantly shorter than the canon represented by the Septuagint. Meanwhile, Orthodox Christians and Catholics have Bibles which incorporate the canon of the Septuagint. The books of Scripture found in the Septuagint, but not found in the Masoretic Text, are commonly called either the Deuterocanon or the anagignoskomena. While it is outside the scope of this article to perform an in-depth study of the canon of Scripture, a few points relevant to the Masoretic Text should be made here:

  • With the exception of two books, the Deuterocanon was originally written in Hebrew.
  • In three places, the Talmud explicitly refers to the book of Sirach as “Scripture”.
  • Jesus celebrated Hanukkah, a feast which originates in the book of 1 Maccabees, and nowhere else in the Old Testament.
  • The New Testament book of Hebrews recounts the stories of multiple Old Testament saints, including a reference to martyrs in the book of 2 Maccabees.
  • The book of Wisdom includes a striking prophecy of Christ, and its fulfillment is recorded in Matthew 27.
  • Numerous findings among the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest the existence of 1st century Jewish communities which accepted many of the Deuterocanonical books as authentic Scripture.
  • Many thousands of 1st-century Christians were converts from Judaism. The early Church accepted the inspiration of the Deuterocanon, and frequently quoted authoritatively from books such as Wisdom, Sirach, and Tobit. This early Christian practice suggests that many Jews accepted these books, even prior to their conversion to Christianity.
  • Ethiopian Jews preserved the ancient Jewish acceptance of the Septuagint, including much of its canon of Scripture. Sirach, Judith, Baruch, and Tobit are among the books included in the canon of the Ethiopian Jews.

These reasons, among others, suggest the existence of a large 1st-century Jewish community which accepted the Deuterocanon as inspired Scripture. 

Changes to Prophecy and Doctrine

When compiling any given passage of Scripture, the Masoretes had to choose among multiple versions of the ancient Hebrew texts. In some cases the textual differences were relatively inconsequential. For example, two texts may differ over the spelling of a person’s name.

However, in other cases they were presented with textual variants which made a considerable impact upon doctrine or prophecy. In cases like these, were the Masoretes completely objective? Or did their anti-Christian biases influence any of their editing decisions?

In the 2nd century A.D., hundreds of years before the time of the Masoretes, Justin Martyr investigated a number of Old Testament texts in various Jewish synagogues.
He ultimately concluded that the Jews who had rejected Christ had also rejected the Septuagint, and were now tampering with the Hebrew Scriptures themselves:

“But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy [king] of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another. And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the [Septuagint] translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God, and man, and as being crucified, and as dying” (~150 A.D., Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Chapter LXXI)

If Justin Martyr’s findings are correct, then it is likely that the Masoretes inherited a Hebrew textual tradition which had already been corrupted with an anti-Christian bias. And if we look at some of the most significant differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text, that is precisely what we see. For example, consider the following comparisons:

These are not random, inconsequential differences between the texts. Rather, these appear to be places where the Masoretes (or their forebears) had a varied selection of texts to consider, and their decisions were influenced by anti-Christian bias. Simply by choosing one Hebrew text over another, they were able to subvert the Incarnation, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His healing of the blind, His crucifixion, and His salvation of the Gentiles. The Jewish scribes were able to edit Jesus out of many important passages, simply by rejecting one Hebrew text, and selecting (or editing) another text instead.

Thus, the Masoretic Text has not perfectly preserved the original Hebrew text of Scripture. The Masoretes received corrupted texts to begin with, they used an alphabet which was radically different from the original Hebrew, they added countless vowel points which did not exist in the original, they excluded several books from the Old Testament scriptures, and they included a number of significant changes to prophecy and doctrine.

It would seem that the Septuagint (LXX) translation is not only far more ancient than the Masoretic Text . . . the Septuagint is far more accurate as well. It is a more faithful representation of the original Hebrew Scriptures.

Perhaps that is why Jesus and the apostles frequently quoted from the Septuagint, and accorded it full authority as the inspired Word of God.

Source

The Root Of The Word “Hebrew”

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

The Book of Joshua is introduced in a decisive—not to say, abrupt—-fashion:

“It came to pass, after the death of Moses, the Lord’s servant, that the Lord spoke to Joshua ben-Nun, Moses’ deputy, saying, ‘Moses My servant is dead. Now, then, rise up, cross over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them-the sons of Israel. As I declared to Moses, I have given you every place that the sole of your foot may tread. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun, shall be your territory.'”

Since the conquest and settling of the Holy Land is the entire story in the Book of Joshua, it is important to understand these opening lines. We may begin by observing that—in several senses—boundaries are being crossed.

First, with respect to time: The death of Moses is a distinct dividing line in biblical history. The death of Moses marks the end of a specific era. All Israel was waiting for him to die; at last they were able to enter the Promised Land.

Second, this division pertains to space, as well as to time; the Jordan River is a geographical boundary; its crossing meant the end of wandering and the commencement of geographical stability. Thus, the text presents a crossover (‘abar, the root word of “Hebrew”) in both time and space.

The details of the Lord’s command to Joshua convey the impression of “here and now”: Moses is dead. Now then—we’ttah-–rise up, cross over. Although everyone is to go over the river, the Lord’s command is laid on Joshua specifically; this is conveyed by the singular imperative form of the verbs: ‘rise up, cross over” (qum ‘abor).

In the repetition of the adjective “this” (hazzeh) the reader senses a physical immediacy, as though the Lord, in the act of commanding Joshua, is actually pointing to “this Jordan,” “this people,” “this Lebanon.”

Within the Lord’s command, the reader feels a tension, as it were, between the established past and the still indefinite future. This is conveyed in the tenses of the two verbs:

“I have given you every place that the sole of your foot may tread.”

The “I have given” (netattiv) is a “perfect of certitude”; the gift of the Land has already been made. The “may tread” (tidrok) is an “imperfect of possibility.” An established past and a somewhat indistinct future are combined.

With respect to the past, this command to Joshua is based on the Lord’s promise to Abraham:

“To your seed I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7; cf. 15:7; 17:8).

Two qualifications attended that gift. First, it was not an untrammeled real estate endowment; it was a clause in a covenant. To understand the gift, it is essential to understand the covenant. Second, the sons of Israel could never possess the land except as tenants:

“The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me. (Leviticus 25:23).

With respect to the future, as well, Israel’s possession of the land is still a covenantal clause, not a real estate bequest separable from that covenant. When Israel, under Joshua’s leadership, took possession of the land, it was to prepare for the covenant’s fulfillment, in which—as God told Abraham—all the nations of the world would be blessed.

We Christians have a specific understanding of that fulfillment; it was declared by a rabbi who bore witness to it:

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘And to your seed,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).

The covenant with Abraham, of which the possession of the land was a clause, was fulfilled in Christ; Paul identifies Christ as the “seed” to whom the original promise was made.

The Israelites, then, conquered the land in order to prepare a place for God’s Messiah, Abraham’s seed, to be born and to live and to effect the work of salvation. Their territorial possession prepared for the rooting of the Cross in the promised soil. The ultimate consecration of the Promised Land came when the Messiah—who, like its original conqueror, was named Yeshuah—rose from a grave in the middle of it.

Christian theology declines to separate God’s gift of the land to Israel from the larger context that defines it. God makes no promises—God gives no gifts—apart from the Messiah. He is the divine affirmation, God’s yes, to mankind:

“For all the promises of God in him are yes” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

This consideration is essential to the proper theological understanding of the Promised Land: It pertains to that greater contract which is the salvific blessing of the human race.

Christian theology refuses to isolate God’s gift of the Promised Land from the canonical fullness introduced into history by the arrival of the Messiah.

Guns, Lies and Forgeries: A Bible Story

By Robert E. Reis

This article originally appeared on Mystagogy, the blog of John Sanidopoulos under the Title: Septuagint vs. Masoretic: Which is more authentic? Not even taking into account that the Septuagint is most often quoted in the New Testament, and therefore most often used by St. Paul and the other biblical writers, this article simply states the facts.

Once upon a time there was a tribe living in the Middle East that had a collection of sacred texts written in Hebrew, Chaldean and Aramaic. It is the nature of sacred texts to be venerated and transmitted from generation to generation unaltered.

As time passed members of this tribe emigrated to areas where Hebrew and Aramaic and Chaldean were not spoken. A large community settled and prospered in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Greek replaced their tribal language. They needed an accurate translation of their venerated documents into Greek.

Around 250 B.C. seventy rabbis translated the sacred texts into Greek. This translation was not a bootleg edition. The project was approved by the High Priest and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The Septuagint, the translation of the seventy, was an official document.

A Hebrew Bible exists today. It is used by Jews everywhere. It is called the Masoretic text. It was compiled around 700 A.D. It is almost one thousand years newer than the Septuagint. The rabbis who compiled the Masoretic text were not accountable to the High Priest in Jerusalem. There no longer was a High Priest. The rabbis who compiled the Masoretic text were not accountable to the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. There no longer was a Sanhedrin.

The Septuagint predates the first appearance of the Masoretic text by almost ten centuries. The Septuagint is based upon Hebrew texts at least twelve centuries older than the texts upon which the Masoretic version is based. .Yet, modern Christian translations of the Old Testament rely on the Masoretic Text, not the Septuagint.

Where is the problem?

Most of the quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament used the Septuagint as their primary source. The integrity and truthfulness of the Septuagint is completely dependant on the Septuagint being a truthful translation. Discredit the Septuagint and there is no New Testament.

There was no controversy about the integrity of the Septuagint from 250 B.C. until 135 A. D.

What had happened to provoke dissatisfaction with the Septuagint among the Jews?

Annas and Caiphas and the Sanhedrin had rejected the messianic claims of Jesus. The New Testament documents had been written and were circulating by A.D. 70. The Jews knew that the credibility of the Christian Gospels depended on the credibility of the Septuagint. Something had to be done.

Around 95 A.D. Rabbi Akiva, who later proclaimed Bar Kochba as the messiah, hired a man named Aquila to translate a Hebrew to Greek version of the Old Testament that would undermine the messianic claims of Jesus found in the Septuagint. Some scholars believe that the Masoretic text was based in part on this tendentious translation by Aquila.

How is the Masoretic text different from the Septuagint?

Psalm 22:16 the word “pierced” has been replaced by “lion”.

Psalm 145: 13 omitted entirely.

Isaiah 53:11 the word “light” is omitted.

On 134 occasions the Tetragrammaton, the name of God, has been replaced by “Adonai”.

Psalm 151 was omitted entirely. (It is now omitted by almost all Christian Bibles!)

Exodus 1: The number 75 replaced by 70

Genesis 10:24 some generations removed.

Deuteronomy 32:8 “Angels Of Elohim” replaced with “children of Israel.”

Jeremiah 10 verses 6 and 7 have been added in the Masoretic.

Psalm 96:10 “Say among the nations, YHWH reigns from the wood” omitted.

Isaiah 19:18 “city of righteousness” changed to the “city of the sun” or in some versions “the city of destruction.”

The Masoretic scribes purposely and willfully rearranged the original chapter order in the prophetic Book of Daniel, so that the chapters make no sense chronologically.

Isaiah 61:1 “recovery of sight to the blind.”Omitted.

In Psalm 40:6 “a body you have prepared for me” was replaced by “you opened my ears.” (lit. in Hebrew “You have dug out ears for me. Ed.)

Deuteronomy 32:43 ‘Let all the messengers of Elohim worship him.’” Omitted.

Genesis 4:8: “Let us go into the field” is omitted.

Deuteronomy 32:43. Moses’ song is shortened.

Isaiah 53 contains 10 spelling differences, 4 stylistic changes and 3 missing letters for light in verse 11, for a total of 17 differences.

Isaiah 7:14. “Virgin” replaced by “young woman.”

(When Aquila made his Greek translation of the Old Testament at the behest of Rabbi Akiva, he changed the Septuagint’s “virgin” into “young woman”. The Masoretic compilers may have followed his lead.)

The Masoretic text differs from the Septuagint in hundreds of places.

How do we know which text is accurate?

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered just after World War II.

According to carbon dating, textual analysis, and handwriting analysis the documents were written at various times between the middle of the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. There are fragments from all of the books of the Hebrew Bible fragments except the Book of Esther and the Book of Nehemiah.

In addition an independent Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible exists, the Peshitta.

Control of the Dead Sea Scrolls was a military objective of Israelis. It was achieved by their victory in the Six Days War.

The publication of the scrolls slowed to a trickle.

After 1971, the international team even refused to allow the publication of photographs of the material. They excluded scholars who wanted to make independent evaluations.

The embargo was not broken until 1991.

An addition to the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars can use the Peshitta to decide between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint.

I have given examples above of some of the places the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Peshitta, and the Septuagint agree.

The Masoretic Text is part of a tradition that began with Rabbi Akiva. Rabbis rewrote the Jewish Bible to destroy the credibility of the New Testament.

The Hebrew versions of the Old Testament have been used to proclaim scores of “messiahs” . The Septuagint was only used once.