[b-greek] Paul, LXX and Gamliel

From: yochanan bitan-buth (ButhFam@compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Jul 02 2000 - 06:04:37 EDT

Polucarpos egraysen:
>Since he [Paul] was from the diaspora,
>it makes me wonder if perhaps he didn't feel totally comfortable with

As a student of Gamliel in Jerusalem you can be sure that Paul was both
fully comfortable and fluent in Hebrew, AND comfortable and fluent in

Gamliel was famous in rabbinic literature (i.e. Hebrew sources) for
teaching "half of his students Greek wisdom". Paul gave a speech in the
temple in Acts 22 in Hebrew.

The only language we can't be 100% sure of for Paul is Aramaic, but I would
put that as a reasonable assumption, too. Rabbis were expected to be able
to write legal documents in Aramaic.

As for his OT, Paul is not always LXX:
Eph 4.8 //Ps 68.19 MT (67.19LXX) reflects an old Jewish interpretation
that LATER gets preserved in the targum. (I need to say LATER for NT people
because the targum was not in existence in Paul's day, even though most NT
people assume the opposite, based on the (Central/literary)-Aramaic
translation of Job found at Qumran in two copies, behind LXX at Job 42.17
and mentioned in a famous rabbinic story. The special character of Hebrew
Job and its multiple attestation in Aramaic, likewise Hebrew Tobit,
actually point out the lack of a Judean, 2nd-temple Aramaic targum for the
rest of the Hebrew bible.)

yisge shlamxon
Randall Buth

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