[b-greek] LXX and Apocrypha

From: John Lupia (jlupia2@excite.com)
Date: Wed May 09 2001 - 12:02:13 EDT

John N. Lupia
501 North Avenue B-1
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA


Following the thread: LXX and Apocrypha

To: Tony Costa

Septuagint, (LXX) the canon of the Old Jewish bible fixed by the Alexandrian
Jews in 200 BC, containing 43 books. Josephus, Ant. Jud. 12:89 relates that
in a letter of Aristeas, the Sefer Torah presented to Eleazer, the high
priest of Ptolemy Philadelphius, was written in gold. This canon was
rejected sometime between AD 70-135 by the Palestinian Jewish leadership at
Jamnia. This subsequent canon known as the Hebrew Bible contains 24 books,
that represents 37 of the books of the LXX. The six rejected books include:
Wisdom (alt. title: Wisdom of Solomon), Ecclesiasticus (alt. title: Wisdom
of Sirach, or Ben Sirach), Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees (plus the
apocraphal 3 and 4), and Baruch (which includes in chapter 6 the so-called
Ep(Let)Jer “Epistle (Letter) of Jeremiah”). The order of books of the LXX
vary among the extant MSS. It contains all the books of the Hebrew Bible
translated into Greek with variations, omissions and additions. The
additions are significant in Esther and Daniel, and rejected by the Hebrew
Bible. These rejected portions by the Hebrew Bible canonists are classified
as AddEsth = Additions to Esther, and Daniel 3:24-90; and all of chapter 13
referred to as Sus “Sussana”, and all of chapter 14 referred to as Bel “Bel
and the dragon”.
        There are three families of Septuagint manuscripts -- the Hexaplaric,
Hesychian, and Lucianic. Manuscripts of Origen's Hexapla (q.v.) and Tetrapla
were preserved at Cæsarea by his disciple Pamphilus. Some extant manuscripts
(v.g. aleph and Q) refer in scholia to these gigantic works of Origen. In
the fourth century, Pamphilus and his disciple Eusebius of Cæsarea
reproduced the fifth column of the Hexapla, i.e. Origen's Hexaplaric
Septuagint text, with all his critical signs. This copy is the source of the
Hexaplaric family of Septuagint manuscripts. In course of time, scribes
omitted the critical signs in part or entirely. Passages wanting in the
Septuagint, but present in the Hebrew, and consequently supplied by Origen
from either Aquila or Tehodotion, were hopelessly commingled with passages
of the then extant Septuagint. Almost at the same time two other editions of
the Septuagint were published -- those of Hesychius at Alexandria and of
Lucian at Antioch. From these three editions the extant manuscripts of the
Septuagint have descended, but by ways that have not yet been accurately
traced. Very few manuscripts can be assigned with more than probability to
one of the three families. The Hexaplaric, Hesychian, and Lucianic
manuscripts acted one upon the other. Most extant manuscripts of the
Septuagint contain, as a result, readings of each and of none of the great
families. The tracing of the influence of these three great manuscripts is a
work yet to be done by the text-critics.

Deutercanonical Books, These books are included in the Septuagint, but not
included in the Hebrew Bible. Protestants call them Apocrypha. The Roman
Catholic and Orthodox churches include all of these apocrypha (except for
the books of Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh), which they refer to as
"deuterocanonical" books. The Roman Catholic-Orthodox "deuterocanonical"
books are referred to by Protestants as the "pseudoepigrapha."

Peace in Christ,

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