Should we trust the Septuagent like the Holy Spirit does?

trueseek1's picture

Recently read that the men who were under the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit and wrote down what we call New Testament, quoted almost always the Septuagent version of the Old Testament even when it disagrees with the Hebrew version even slightly. Wondering are we "liberals" who use modern scholarly techniques to lower the trustworthiness of the Greek Old Testament translation (LXX) by trusting the Hebrew version instead? Can not understand how I as a Bible believing Christian can justify such a move since I believe the New Testament authors were under the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit when they quoted from the Septuagent version of the Old Testament? It seems also the early Church fathers almost exclusively quoted from the same greek translation to strongly point to Christ as the fulfiller of all old testament prophecies. Eusebius was specially illuminating on this one recently.

Appreciate any other Bible believers' viewpoints on this one.

humbly,

trueseek1's picture

The Bible Jesus preached from most, is different than ours

As evangelicals, in our preaching and daiy readings of the Holy Word of God in America, we use mostly NIV, NAS, KJV, and NKJV. After reading ccel Church pastors and leader as well as historian pastors like Eusebius, I am shocked to find that we ignore the Bible that other Christians have been preaching from for almost 2000 years? Most of our translations ignore the reality that Christians and most importantly, our LORD, almost always quoted from a special trustworthy Bible in Greek.

I read the miracle of the Septuagint in Eusebius. Over 200 years before Christ, 70 trusted Jewish translators with knowledge of both Hebrew and Greek were brought over to a nonbelieving gentile king to translate the Holy Word of God. The king worried the translators would try to hide the meaning of their scriptures from him, so he put them in 70 different rooms to translate individually. When they were brought together, all translations were so exact in even minor phrases that even nonbelievers in the court acknowledged a great miracle had occurred. Why are not most of us believers in the west aware of this miracle?

This Bible is a much clearer presentation of our LORD Jesus as the Messiah, so why do we avoid it and prefer Hebrew translations, when The Holy Spirit gave us mostly quotes from the Old Testament from this translation?

Reading Eusebius and other Church fathers quoting from this translation, I found myself thinking that the disciples on the road to Emmaus must have felt this way when the Word of God was expounded by our LORD to show the disciples how Jesus was prophesied about all throughout the Holy Scriptures. (fyi: Those scriptures Jesus and many of the early Church fathers used in the 1st several decades of the beginning of the Church are what we now call "Old" Testament. To be more precise, almost all Church fathers quoted mostly from the Septuagint Holy translation of the Old Testament)

Here is what Pastor(Bishop) of Ceasarea, Eusebius Pamphili, says about the Bible's use of the name of Jesus and also the Name of Christ in the "Old" Testament:

Book III. "1 It is now the proper place to show that the very name Jesus and also the name Christ were honored by the ancient prophets beloved of God.42

2 Moses was the first to make known the name of Christ as a name especially august and glorious. When he delivered types and symbols of heavenly things, and mysterious images, in accordance with the oracle which said to him, "Look that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shown thee in the mount,"43 he consecrated a man high priest of God, in so far as that was possible, and him he called Christ.44 And thus to this dignity of the high priesthood, which in his opinion surpassed the most honorable position among men, he attached for the sake of honor and glory the name of Christ.

3 He knew so well that in Christ was something divine. And the same one foreseeing, under the influence of the divine Spirit, the name Jesus, dignified it also with a certain distinguished privilege. For the name of Jesus, which had never been uttered among men before the time of Moses, he applied first and only to the one who he knew would receive after his death, again as a type and symbol, the supreme command.

4His successor, therefore, who had not hitherto borne the name Jesus, but had been called by another name, Auses, which had been given him by his parents, he now called Jesus, bestowing the name upon him as a gift of honor, far greater than any kingly diadem. For Jesus himself, the son of Nave, bore a resemblance to our Saviour in the fact that he alone, after Moses and after the completion of the symbolical worship which had been transmitted by him, succeeded to the government of the true and pure religion.

5 Thus Moses bestowed the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, as a mark of the highest honor, upon the two men who in his time surpassed all the rest of the people in virtue and glory; namely, upon the high priest and upon his own successor in the government." from http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-06.htm#P605_333358

This was such a beautiful exposition of Christ our LORD in the Bible's part of what we call "old" testament, don't you think?

Going from Moses and Joshua to other prophets under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit(like Jeremiah and David) this early Christian wrote: "6 And the prophets that came after also clearly foretold Christ by name, predicting at the same time the plots which the Jewish people would form against him, and the calling of the nations through him. Jeremiah, for instance, speaks as follows: "The Spirit before our face, Christ the Lord, was taken in their destructions; of whom we said, under his shadow we shall live among the nations."46 And David, in perplexity, says, "Why did the nations rage and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ";47 to which he adds, in the person of Christ himself, "The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."48

Now, when I pick up my Bible and read Psalm 2 and many of the other parts in the "old" testament, it is translated as "anointed one" rather than CHRIST. Understand why a nonbelieving Jew would prefer this translation, but why a faithful follower of Abraham's seed would not use the Bible that Christians have used from the beginning? I am not a scholar nor one well versed in more than 3 languages, but I wonder if that Bible was the one almost all Christians quoted from in our early history, and even our LORD used it most often, why are not most believers today using translations from the Septuagint rather than the nonbeliever's hebrew version as the source of translation?

fyi: Found a great website on the subject showing a balanced difference this made in following verses with clear analysis of places that it was not used as well:

Heb 1.6 from Greek Deut. 32.43
"Let all God's angels worship him." vs the Hebrew Masoretic omitting this quotation completely. I looked up NIV, NAS, KJV, and even Amplified and the Message with all missing this important Deut 32:43 section, even when the Holy Spirit had confirmed its right use in Hebrews 1:6. Believers know that God's angels are called to worship Christ our LORD GOD. Why not leave the trusted LXX verse here and let the nonbelievers try to tear it out of the Word of God by using a less trustworthy translation of the old testament, which was not chosen by the Holy Spirit in majority of the "New" testament inspired writings?

Matthew 1.23/ Isaiah 7.14
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us). vs Masoretic hebrew as "Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Here the new Bible translations got it right, although they were supposed to be from Hebrew texts? Guess there are some things that believers know are true and these translators were not willing to play with them, or they accepted that the word translated "virgin" can be either one and were willing to lean towards the Holy Spirit's use in the NT.

Romans 9.27-28/ Isaiah 10.22-23
LXX- "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them shall be saved" vs Hebrew "For though your people Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return" KJV went Hebrew here. NKJV same. NIV and NAS quote same hebrew manuscripts rather than the Greek version here as well. At least they did not try to change Romans to line up with the Hebrew version of the old testament.

Heb 10.5-7/ Psalm 40.6-8
"Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired; but a body hast thou prepared for me" vs. Hebrew version of "Sacrifice and offering thou dost not desire; but thou hast given me an open ear"

There are some passages that the Greek manuscript of LXX we have intact today is not used. For a much more wholesome and balanced study, look up the website:
From http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pines/7224/Rick/Septuagint/spexecsum.htm

My personal preference seems to be to look for and buy good Septuagint based Bible unless someone can persuade me otherwise. Since I am not a theologian or a scholar, maybe some others have thought through this differently and have their reasons for throwing out the early Christians' preferred Bible.

Wonder if the Greek believers have any Bibles based on Septuagint, or if they also prefer the hebrew texts over the Greek?

humbly in His Service




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