Isaiah 9:6 and the Septuagint

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Isaiah 9:6 and the Septuagint

nikolai_42
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24 Apr 2017, 14:56 #1

Listening to the last week's debate between Dr. White and Joe Ventilacion of Iglesia ni Cristo I am wondering why no one references (as yet - still not finished the debate) Isaiah 9:6. In an effort to compare the Greek to the Greek (not knowing Greek!) and what would have been read by those of Jesus' day, I wondered what the Septuagint said. Here's the comparison :

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him.
Isaiah 9:6 (LXX)

In checking the online version of the Great Isaiah Scroll of the Dead Sea scrolls, it essentially agreed with the KJV. I'm not too surprised since I know the KJV is pretty close to the oldest manuscripts. But the difference between it and the Septuagint on this verse is significant. Is it known what documents it was translated from or is that lost to history?

Returning to the verse, how is that discrepancy (on what seems like a rather important text concerning Christ's nature) viewed? Does it bring into question, at all, the scriptural value of the LXX?

Too many questions arise in my mind, generally, about the place of the Septuagint in importance and relevance in determining Scripture, so if there is a good resource on the broader topic, I would love to read it!

EDIT : When I ask if this brings into question (in any way) the scriptural value of the LXX, I think I am being too general (and risk misunderstanding). I am really trying to find out what this discrepancy implies in terms of how the Septuagint is viewed. Wondering why there is such a difference between the two renderings.
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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larry joseph pearson
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25 Apr 2017, 01:10 #2

Hello Nikolai_42, Good post for food for thought. I personally wonder which  LXX Version is used.The Greek LXX of Isaiah 9:6 is the best translation given in Greek and then into English. John Qwen seemed to have believed the LXX was reversed engineered. The LXX is off in many Scriptures not just the ISAIAH one you highlighted. The LXX is good reading BUT there never was a pre-Christian official version of it. Origen attempted a Hebrew to Greek one as well as others. The LXX translators used whatever of the best Hebrew sources they possessed but as in all translations sometimes people miss it. The Dead Sea Scrolls containing Isaiah gives us the translation that the KJV does as well as the 1917 Jewish Publication of the Jewish Bible. In fact the LXX gives different height sizes for Goliath and varies in Jacob's death. Read John Owens on his book of Hebrews. John Gill had problems with the LXX. Do not get me wrong, the LXX is excellent reading material but as with any translation beware of only using one to get a text. For a text without a context is a pretext. As I see it the Hebrew in Isaiah 9:6 establishes a name. More of which, if time permits, to talk about later. Meanwhile, may the Lord of Hosts continue to bless you, your studies and family. Keep digging it is food for all of us for none of us, especially me, knows it all. God Bless!




:twobits:
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nikolai_42
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25 Apr 2017, 02:53 #3

larry joseph pearson:26030 wrote:Hello Nikolai_42, Good post for food for thought. I personally wonder which LXX Version is used.The Greek LXX of Isaiah 9:6 is the best translation given in Greek and then into English. John Qwen seemed to have believed the LXX was reversed engineered. The LXX is off in many Scriptures not just the ISAIAH one you highlighted. The LXX is good reading BUT there never was a pre-Christian official version of it. Origen attempted a Hebrew to Greek one as well as others. The LXX translators used whatever of the best Hebrew sources they possessed but as in all translations sometimes people miss it. The Dead Sea Scrolls containing Isaiah gives us the translation that the KJV does as well as the 1917 Jewish Publication of the Jewish Bible. In fact the LXX gives different height sizes for Goliath and varies in Jacob's death. Read John Owens on his book of Hebrews. John Gill had problems with the LXX. Do not get me wrong, the LXX is excellent reading material but as with any translation beware of only using one to get a text. For a text without a context is a pretext. As I see it the Hebrew in Isaiah 9:6 establishes a name. More of which, if time permits, to talk about later. Meanwhile, may the Lord of Hosts continue to bless you, your studies and family. Keep digging it is food for all of us for none of us, especially me, knows it all. God Bless!

:twobits:
Thank you Larry.

I was aware there were a few different Septuagint's around, but without the historical or linguistic grounding, I have to take what it says at face value. I recall, years ago, trying to wrestle with the claims made by the KJVO types and one of their claims is that there simply isn't an LXX. It's a "Babylonian Fiction". And I never could fully grasp where they came up with that because - as you point out - the KJV itself quotes the Septuagint directly in the NT when its own OT says things differently (the Matthew 21:16/Psalm 8:2 variation seemed to me to be a big strike against either their overly rigid literalism or their Septuagint claim - or both!). I have perused the Brenton translation as well as the Thomson translation and can't remember seeing a huge difference between them. So this sort of absence makes me wonder, generally, how one should approach the Septuagint. I can understand scribal errors making differences in numbers - or even whole words or sentences since a single jot or tittle can make one word change to another. But this seems more like a glaring omission to me - if the underlying texts used for the LXX and the KJV are the same. It makes me wonder what the Jews of that day considered the best sources - or if there were some manuscripts that were lost. Wikipedia even says (so reliability is questionable) that while some LXX manuscripts were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls, even the Jews (2nd century AD) started to doubt its accuracy. In summary, though, I fully agree with your caution to not take it blindly but check it against the scriptures we have.

Having given some more of my own thoughts, I will again thank you for the response and look for Owen on the Septuagint. Do you know where Gill addresses the matter? While not having read much of his work, what I have read has been extremely impressive.
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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larry joseph pearson
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25 Apr 2017, 04:44 #4

Hello Nikolai_42, Gill and Owen get into it in the study of Hebrews. Owen is perhaps the hardest on the LXX. John Gill is vocal about Psalm 14:3 among other passages. It is funny that Jerome once embraced the LXX but later changed his mind because he believed Augustine was wrong about the LXX and called Augustine's story nonsense in the preface of his translation of the Pentateuch but of course Jerome had his own agenda to pursue. So, should you get 5 bible scholars in the same room you would get 7 to 10 different opinions on the same subject. Yes, beware of the KJV Only diatribes they have their own agenda also. They remind me of the minister that preached from a different version one Sunday. A dear matronly church lady rushed up after the service and scolded him for not preaching from the Bible the apostles wrote-------the King James Version..... God bless you!




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Ask Mr. Religion
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25 Apr 2017, 15:12 #5

Septuaginta = 70; hence LXX. I do not believe that Jesus quoted from a translation of the Old Testament which was made according to the details of the fabulous story of 72 translators arriving at the same inspired translation.

Once the literal referent of the "septuagint" is rejected we are left with the more mundane "Greek translation." If a "Greek translation" is the point of reference, what form does it take -- oral or written? To what extent was this translation completed and/or accepted at the time of Jesus? Is it even safe to assume that such a Greek translation would have been in use in Palestine at the time of Jesus? Then there is the perplexing question as to whether Jesus Himself would have used such a translation. Following on from this is the question of accommodation, To what extent did Jesus simply make use of what was available in order to get His message across?

See also:
http://standardbearers.net/uploads/The_ ... hD_ThD.pdf

I fail to see how Jesus' reference to jots and tittles lines up with claims He quoted from the Septuagint since the Greek OT (LXX) does not have jots and tittles. Seems to me He was not referring to this inferior translation which has a historical background and timetable that are very suspect.

That the wording of of a particular LXX Isaiah passage is close to the AV reading proves nothing. Our Lord and the apostles often quoted the OT loosely, and not the ipsissima verba, according as the Spirit of God guided them.

Nearly all references in the literature which allude to the Septuagint actually pertain to only two notoriously corrupt manuscripts, Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus Aleph. Hence, why not conclude the LXX that was written more than 250 years after the completion of the New Testament canon.

There were forms of the Greek Old Testament available to Jesus and the writers of the New Testament Scripture. Usually the Alexandrian translation of the Law of Moses combined with a regionally done copy of the Holy Writings and the Prophets, is called the Septuagint in a non-technical sense. Yet, there is no reliable evidence that the Septuagint as it is known and published today, did exist in the pre-Christ world. For that matter, assuming the existence of these Greek translations, the real question is whether the NT shows a dependence on the Septuagint. It does not.

If Jesus and the writers of Scripture accepted the LXX as authoritative Scripture then the plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture is irrelevant. If Jesus and the writers of Scripture accepted it as authoritative Scripture then the doctrine of preservation is a sham.

I am not saying there is no value in these Greek OT translations. The pseudo-Septuagint offers the modern Bible student a rich source of semi-Biblical, theological literature. Having this large homogenous yet diverse body of literature, the student can determine with relative accuracy the meaning of words he finds in the Greek New Testament. The search facilities of modern computers allows the student to do original statistical analysis and reach first hand decisions on matters of definition and use. The student is no longer servant to the scholars.​
AMR (a.k.a. Patrick)
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larry joseph pearson
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25 Apr 2017, 19:50 #6

:amen1: Amen and Amen AMR. Thank you for that post!
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nikolai_42
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26 Apr 2017, 12:43 #7

Thank you Patrick.

I've really never known what to do with the Septuagint. I've glanced through it a few times and only ever thought of it as a way to correlate the Greek of the NT to the OT in more of a direct way than can be done by a non-Greek and non-Hebrew speaker. And I've had difficulty knowing how to ascertain its history. I could easily have become another KJVO-ite but their doctrine of Scripture seemed wanting to me (and men like Ruckman were not a good testimony - though I fully agree with Jones in that he was abrasive and crude, but not always wrong). And the rampant conspiracies that seem to come from many in that camp made it hard for me to accept their assertion that there is no Septuagint. I never put much stock in the whole 72 scholars independently translating the OT writings identically, but it seemed reasonable that there would be an attempt to preserve the Hebrew sacred writings for the (then) modern reader. Greek would have been a natural choice. But given the disparities I found between the English translation of the Septuagint (really only found Isaiah 9:6 recently - which shows you how much I actually read it!) and the KJV - and the abundant confirmations of the reliability of that versions - it's never given much cause for second thought.

I look forward to reading this work by Jones - having already perused it and found much of interest - but it sounds like the historical verdict on an LXX is that there wasn't some authoritative Greek version to which all native speakers would have looked. And very interesting that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus should be the source of most of the Septuagint/KJV discrepancies.
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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David
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Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 15:59

01 May 2017, 23:15 #8

nikolai_42:26029 wrote:Listening to the last week's debate between Dr. White and Joe Ventilacion of Iglesia ni Cristo I am wondering why no one references (as yet - still not finished the debate) Isaiah 9:6. In an effort to compare the Greek to the Greek (not knowing Greek!) and what would have been read by those of Jesus' day, I wondered what the Septuagint said. Here's the comparison :

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

For a child is born to us, and a son is given to us, whose government is upon his shoulder: and his name is called the Messenger of great counsel: for I will bring peace upon the princes, and health to him.
Isaiah 9:6 (LXX)

In checking the online version of the Great Isaiah Scroll of the Dead Sea scrolls, it essentially agreed with the KJV. I'm not too surprised since I know the KJV is pretty close to the oldest manuscripts. But the difference between it and the Septuagint on this verse is significant. Is it known what documents it was translated from or is that lost to history?

Returning to the verse, how is that discrepancy (on what seems like a rather important text concerning Christ's nature) viewed? Does it bring into question, at all, the scriptural value of the LXX?

Too many questions arise in my mind, generally, about the place of the Septuagint in importance and relevance in determining Scripture, so if there is a good resource on the broader topic, I would love to read it!

EDIT : When I ask if this brings into question (in any way) the scriptural value of the LXX, I think I am being too general (and risk misunderstanding). I am really trying to find out what this discrepancy implies in terms of how the Septuagint is viewed. Wondering why there is such a difference between the two renderings.
Isn't Iglesia ni Cristo a Fillipino cult?
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nikolai_42
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02 May 2017, 00:27 #9

David:26039 wrote: Isn't Iglesia ni Cristo a Fillipino cult?
In short, yes.
If God promises life, He slayeth first; when He builds, He casteth all down first. God is no patcher; He cannot build on another's foundation. - William Tyndale
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