Re: The Septuaginta

From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Mon Aug 30 1999 - 14:34:44 EDT

Guy Lipkins wrote:

>Pondering a question for a possible upcoming article; Is the Septuaginta
>"authoritative" or simply "accommodative" or both. I did a research paper
>on Gen.12:1-3 "The Call of Abraham" employing the Septuaginta (as my Hebrew
>is virtually nil. My professor gave me an "A" but,in his comments, he
>stated; "though your exposition, application and exegegis was excellent, I
>questioned the validity/accuracy of your use of the LXX,to stress your
>position. I would be more comfortable had you used a "hebrew based help"
>such as "Keil & Delitzsch" or "Theological Dictionary of the Old
>Testament". My question is, If the LXX is the Bible that Jesus used, was
>it authoritative and binding, or did He merely use it to accommodate the
>"Hebraically Challenged" populous. Your comments and thoughts will be
>greatly appreciated.

Dear Guy,

To which extent Jesus used the LXX together with the Hebrew text is not
clear. If data for another conclusion are not available, I would trust the
Hebrew text in cases where there are disagreement. The Hebrew text must be
studied in its own right and other versions are just helping hands.
However, the LXX can solve a discrepancy in connection with Abraham.
According to Galatians 3: 16,17 the law was given 430 years after the
covenant with Abraham was established. However, Genesis 12:40 (Hebrew) says
that the sons of Israel dwelt in *Egypt* for 430 years. Both cannot be
correct! The LXX speaks about the sons of Israel hHN KATWiKHSAN EN THi
AIGUPTWi KAI EN *THN CANAAN* for 430 years. This can solve the
discrepancy. So do not neglect the study of the Greek OT, just keep in mind
that the different books are of varying quality from a translational point
of view and that it is just a complement, not a better version.


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

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