Sunday, March 12, 2017

Different vocalic readings
of the Hebrew text:
Merely issues of interpretation /

Διαφορετικές φωνηεντικές αναγνώσεις
του εβραϊκού κειμένου:
Απλώς ζητήματα ερμηνείας

In discussing this version [LXX] it will be necessary to observe at the outset that there were no vowel signs in the Hebrew text from which the Septuagint was made, nor were there any accentual signs. Both of these systems of signs used in the Hebrew manuscripts were first introduced into the text by certain scribes called Massoretes who lived about the year a.d. 500. These signs represented the exegesis of the Rabbis of that time. Whenever, therefore, the Greek translators translate the same consonants as those found in the Hebrew text, but with the use of different vowels from those affixed by the later Hebrew scribes, the Greek translation represents only a different exegesis of the original text. Thus the consonants עד in Prov. xii. 19, Amos i. 11, Mi. vii. 18 and Zeph. iii. 8 are read ‘ad (ever) by the Massoretes and ‘ed (witness) by the Greek exegetes; in Gen. xlix. 27 ‘ad (prey) and ‘od (again). In Ps. l. 23 the letters זבח are read by the Massoretes as a participle zobeah (sacrificer) and by the Greeks as zebah (sacrifice). In Ps. xc. 5 the Massoretes read שנה as shenah (sleep) and the Greeks shanah (year). In Gen. vi. 5 the Hebrew pronounces יצר as yeser (imagination) and the Greek as yasar (imagines). There are hundreds of such different readings of the original text; but they do not affect that text itself but merely the interpretation of it.

* Robert Dick Wilson,
The Textual Criticism of the Old Testament
«Η Κριτική του Κειμένου της Παλαιάς Διαθήκης»,
The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 27, 1929,
pp. 49, 50 [36-60.]


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