Question of the day: the LXX.

Today is week 9 in the series of questions put forth by Dr. Sam Gipp in His book “The Answer Book.”* I feel like these questions have been beneficial for people on both sides of the fence:  you share your thoughts, others share their thoughts – everyone learns something in between.

As I said before, the point of these questions is not to start a Baptist War, but rather encourage everyone to engage in a discussion and learn from and among fellow believers. I believe everyone’s doing a good job at sticking to the purpose.

I don’t want you to rely on “he said, she said” or even unconfirmed history. Read your Bible, study accurate accounts of History, pray about it, and take what you don’t understand by faith.

I will post Dr. Gipp’s written answer to the question tomorrow, so be sure to check back on here for the answer to today’s question.

Here’s the question for today…

What is the LXX?

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Scriptures to back your position?

*All material from “The Answer Book”© is used on Grow Up! with permission received directly from Dr. Sam Gipp.

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Posted on July 18, 2011, in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The LXX is the Roman numeral for 70 and is used by biblical scholars to label the Septuagint, so named because *supposedly* 70 scholars translated the OT independently and all came up with exactly the same translation. (Interestingly enough, some KJV-onlyists tell the same sort of story about the KJV’s translation.)

    The LXX is the Bible that the apostles and Jesus seemed to be working with in most (if not all) circumstances, since they operated in a Greek-speaking culture. Sometimes the LXX gives insight to difficult readings which are contained in the Masoretic Text (the Hebrew Bible; gross oversimplification, but it’ll do for this post), reflecting an earlier, easier reading. This can be verified because the readings in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are from an earlier tradition than the Masoretic Text (MT) sometimes line up with how the Septuagint renders the verse instead of the MT.

    What Sam Gipp says about the LXX will be of interest. I am going to take a stab and say that he’ll say the Bible is primarily in one language for each age of the people of God…Hebrew, Greek, Latin and then, English. I hope everyone will see anything like this to be a gross over-simplification since it doesn’t give anything to people who speak French, German, or Coptic, since believers have been reported to speak each of those languages and more…and since, well, the Reformers didn’t speak English at all.

  2. Yeah, what Dave said. I would have said it that way if he hadn’t beat me to it.

  3. Ditto to Dave.

  4. To pile on some more-

    The LXX is one of a few Old Testament textual traditions. It is the oldest complete OT corpus in existence (DSS does not have Esther and is most of it illegible; the so-called MT (which is not one thing) is medieval (Leningrad codex completed around 1009AD)). It survives today in manuscript form in a few Jewish and Christian recensions (Theodotion/Aquila/Symmachus and Origen’s Hexapla/Lucian’s edition respectively). Note that the first document to self-identify as “Septuaginta” was Rahlf’s critical edition in the 1930’s. The LXX then is a collection of Greek Bible manuscripts, some composed Greek (like II Maccabees) and some translation Greek (like Genesis), from various faith communities (Jewish and Christian) over multiple generations. The LXX is not monolithic. Some manuscripts within the LXX traditions are quite different from one another (not to mention the differences one finds when comparing Greek and Hebrew texts).

    So what does this mean to me as a Baptist? So far, it means that if I am interested in a theological understanding of the OT, then only reading my BHS (critical edition of MT) is not enough. What does it mean for me as a confessor to confess in BHS Ps 133 that Yahweh’s command of eternal life is in the life together of family, and then to read in DSS Ps 133 that Yahweh’s command is peace over Israel found in the life of family together? Can I struggle with the cultural/historical possibilities? What does it mean for me as a Baptist to now have a beautiful Davidic Ps 151 in the LXX tradition- which does not exist in Hebrew-?

    Having all these diverse Bible traditions ready and waiting for me to leap into makes me feel really really free.

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