RE: 2 Sam 23:5c

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Sep 07 1999 - 15:55:50 EDT

At 12:33 PM -0600 9/7/99, Stevens, Charles C wrote:
>On 3 September 1999 at 10:10PM, Paul S. Dixon commented:
><< ... I knew there were discrepancies between the Masoretic Text and the
>LXX, but this one seemed so bizarre. I checked Rahlfs, as well as the LXX
>on Logos (Rahlfs?). They both had the same text, including PARANOMOS. The
>LXX appears to be corrupt once again. ...>>
>It seems to me that evidence from Qumran has given significant support for a
>Hebrew original for a number of LXX differences from the MT, though it's not
>clear that such Hebrew originals have (yet) been found in the case of the
>passage at hand. Most of these differences were previously thought to have
>been relatively late interpolations and adjustments made during the
>development and transmissions of the Greek text; Qumran has shown that their
>provenance is frequently much older than that.
>Should all text in which the LXX differs from the MT be dismissed ab initio
>as corruption? What credence should be given to a hypothetical Hebrew
>original that is significantly older than our oldest MT-type text but
>supports the LXX variant?

Interesting questions, to be sure, and not trivial ones, either. But I
wonder whether this is the right forum for it; the questions are partly
hermeneutical, partly text-critical, and partly, I guess, what could be
called "canonical criticism."

>Perhaps more importantly, is the outright dismissal of such texts as
>corrupt, when/if such dismissal is based solely on the texts' nonconformance
>with the Hebrew Masoretic Text, appropriate to the atmosphere of B-Greek?

For my part, I would think that approval or rejection/dismissal of such
texts on grounds of either their corruption or their possibly more reliable
witness than the MT really does NOT belong to this forum; it would/will be
quite enough for this forum to occupy itself with questions of what the LXX
text means, as a Greek text, and to leave the question of the canonicity
and authority of such texts for discussion somewhere else.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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