In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

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Bill Ross
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In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Bill Ross » July 14th, 2020, 3:29 am

The NT leans very heavily on Habakkuk 2:4 and it is clear that it is not looking at the Hebrew, which reads like this:

[Rom 1:17 NKJV] (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

[Gal 3:11 NKJV] (11) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."

[Heb 10:38 NKJV] (38) Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him."

Here is the Masoretic Hebrew based Habakkuk:

[Hab 2:4 NKJV] (4) "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.

So it is clear to me that the NT authors were working from the Greek.

But there are also key differences between the NT Greek and the LXXs that I have. There is the matter of word order in Hebrews 10:38 but much more importantly is the fact that Habakkuk has μου after πίστεώς.

[Hab 2:4 LXX] ἐὰν ὑποστείληται οὐκ εὐδοκεῗ ἡ ψυχή μου ἐν αὐτῷ ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεώς μου ζήσεται

[Hab 2:4 Brenton]
If he should draw back, my soul has no pleasure in him: but the just shall live by my faith.

If I remove ἐκ πίστεώς μου I get "...but the just shall live."

What does that clause add? Does it say that "...the just shall live by my faith"? Or is it, "...the just owing to my faith shall live"?
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Ken M. Penner » July 14th, 2020, 8:22 am

Bill Ross wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 3:29 am
But there are also key differences between the NT Greek and the LXXs that I have. There is the matter of word order in Hebrews 10:38 but much more importantly is the fact that Habakkuk has μου after πίστεώς.

[Hab 2:4 LXX] ἐὰν ὑποστείληται οὐκ εὐδοκεῗ ἡ ψυχή μου ἐν αὐτῷ ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεώς μου ζήσεται
In case it's helpful, here is some bibliography:
]Gheorghita, Radu. The Role of the Septuagint in Hebrews: An Investigation of Its Influence with Special Consideration to the Use of Hab 2:3-4 in Heb 10:37-38. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003.
Koch, Dietrich A. “Der Text von Hab 2:4b in der Septuaginta und im Neuen Testament.” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der lteren Kirche 76.1–2 (1985): 68–85.
Kraus, Wolfgang. “Hab 2:3-4 In The Hebrew Tradition And In The Septuagint, With Its Reception In The New Testament.” Pages 97–117 in Septuagint and Reception. Brill, 2009. https://brill.com/view/title/16437.
Kraus, Wolfgang 1955-. “Hab 2,3-4 in der hebräischen und griechischen Texttradition mit einem Ausblick auf das Neue Testament.” Die Septuaginta und das frühe Christentum (2011): 153–73.
Millard, Matthias. “„Der Gerechte Wird Aus Glauben Leben”(Röm 1, 17). Hab 2, 4b in Seinen Textlichen Und Inhaltlichen Varianten Im Alten Testament Und Qumran Sowie Bei Paulus, Rabbi Simlay Und Martin Luther.” Pages 237–58 in Textual History and the Reception of Scripture in Early Christianity. Septuagint and Cognate Studies 60. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2013.
Moody, R.M. “The Habakkuk Quotation in Romans 1 17.” The Expository Times 92.7 (1981): 205–8.
Steyn, Gert Jacobus. A Quest for the Assumed LXX Vorlage of the Explicit Quotations in Hebrews. Forschungen Zur Religion Und Literatur Des Alten Und Neuen Testaments Band 235. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011. https://www.vr-elibrary.de/doi/abs/10.1 ... 3666530999.
Tresham, Aaron K. “Paul’s Use of Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11.” Master of Theology, The Master’s Seminary, 2008. https://www.academia.edu/5886101/Pauls_ ... tians_3_11.
Zemek, George J. “Interpretive Challenges Relating to Habakkuk 2:4b.” Grace Theological Journal 1.1 (1980): 43–69.
Zorn, Walter. “The Messianic Use of Habakkuk 2:4a in Romans.” Stone-Campbell Journal 1.2 (1998): 213–30.

And for the LXX textual issue, here's a table from Koch:
Hab 2.4.png
Hab 2.4.png (111.6 KiB) Viewed 794 times
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Ken M. Penner
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Ken M. Penner » July 14th, 2020, 8:36 am

Bill Ross wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 3:29 am
[Hab 2:4 LXX] ἐὰν ὑποστείληται οὐκ εὐδοκεῗ ἡ ψυχή μου ἐν αὐτῷ ὁ δὲ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεώς μου ζήσεται

[Hab 2:4 Brenton]
If he should draw back, my soul has no pleasure in him: but the just shall live by my faith.

If I remove ἐκ πίστεώς μου I get "...but the just shall live."

What does that clause add? Does it say that "...the just shall live by my faith"? Or is it, "...the just owing to my faith shall live"?
These early interpretations might help:
Origen, Comm. Ro. 1.15 wrote:The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel through the fact that with respect to salvation no one is excluded whether he should come as a Jew, Greek, or barbarian. For the Savior says equally to all, “Come to me, all you that labor and are burdened.” But concerning the words “from faith to faith” we have already said above250 that the first people who had believed God and his servant Moses were also in the faith; from this faith they now transfer over to the faith of the gospel.252 But it says this from the testimony of the prophet Habakkuk, “the righteous lives by my faith.” Either it means that he who is under the law must believe in the Gospels as well, or that he who is under the Gospels must also believe in the law and the prophets. For a person does not possess complete life who has one but not the other.254
Cyprian, Ad Quirinium 3.42 wrote: 42. That faith is of advantage altogether, and that we can do as much as we believe.
In Genesis: “And Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Also in Isaiah: “And if ye do not believe, neither shall ye understand.”12 Also in the Gospel according to Matthew: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Also in the same place: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Pass over from here to that place, and it shall pass over; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”14 Also according to Mark: “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye shall receive them, and they shall be yours.” Also in the same place: “All things are possible to him that believeth.”16 In Habakkuk: “But the righteous liveth by my faith.” Also in Daniel: “Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, trusting in God, were delivered from the fiery flame.”
Cyprian, Ad Quirinium 1.5 wrote: 5. That the Jews could understand nothing of the Scriptures unless they first believed in Christ.
In Isaiah: “And if ye will not believe, neither will ye understand.” Also the Lord in the Gospel: “For if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.”19 Moreover, that righteousness should subsist by faith, and that in it was life, was predicted in Habakkuk: “Now the just shall live by faith of me.” Hence Abraham, the father of the nations, believed; in Genesis: “Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”2 In like manner, Paul to the Galatians: “Abraham believed in God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Ye know, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are children of Abraham. But the Scripture, foreseeing that God justifieth the heathens by faith, foretold to Abraham that all nations should be blessed in him. Therefore they who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”4
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Ken M. Penner
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Bill Ross » July 14th, 2020, 10:24 am

Wow, those were two incredibly helpful posts. To complicate the textual issues even more is that in the DSS of the Hebrew texts things are complicated:

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/ ... n-progress

So despite all these resources, the fidelity of the NT usage of Habakkuk 2:4 will need to be decided with a blindfold and a dartboard!
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » July 15th, 2020, 11:03 am

Bill Ross wrote:
July 14th, 2020, 10:24 am
Wow, those were two incredibly helpful posts. To complicate the textual issues even more is that in the DSS of the Hebrew texts things are complicated:

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/ ... n-progress

So despite all these resources, the fidelity of the NT usage of Habakkuk 2:4 will need to be decided with a blindfold and a dartboard!
Yes, but regardless of the issues, it is clear how the verse is used and understood in the NT.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Bill Ross » July 15th, 2020, 1:48 pm

Actually, it's still a bit mysterious to me. I would have expected Paul or have a cook (spell checker's take on Habakkuk) to have used dia and that's how most translate it). What does ek tell us here?
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by MAubrey » August 4th, 2020, 2:01 pm

Bill Ross wrote:
July 15th, 2020, 1:48 pm
Actually, it's still a bit mysterious to me. I would have expected Paul or have a cook (spell checker's take on Habakkuk) to have used dia and that's how most translate it). What does ek tell us here?
Well the two avenues you'd need to pursue here would be

(1) How is ἐκ used with ζάω normally?
(2) How is ἐκ used with δίκαιος normally?

One or both of those should guide your answer.
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Bill Ross » August 4th, 2020, 3:16 pm

I'll see what I can find, thanks.
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Bill Ross » August 5th, 2020, 11:17 am

Okay, I've come to a "conclusion" of the matter and have written it up as an answer to a related question regarding Romans 1:17, here:

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/34545/20832

Thanks for all your help.
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Bill Ross
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Re: In Habakkuk 2:4 LXX, what does ἐκ πίστεώς μου tell us?

Post by Bill Ross » August 5th, 2020, 11:54 am

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