Re: 2900 BC vs. 2350 BC

From: gordon brown (
Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 11:34:47 EDT

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    On Thu, 2 May 2002 wrote:

    > Jewish history tells us that from about 300 BC the Mazorite copyists went to
    > extreme lengths to make sure they perfectly preserved every single letter of
    > the ancient Hebrew manuscripts they copied. So we have very good reason to
    > believe that the Masoretic text is an extremely well preserved copy of the
    > ancient Hebrew scriptures. On the other hand, the Septuagint is only a Greek
    > translation of the Hebrew scriptures. A translation which shows many clear
    > signs of carelessness, paraphrasing and deliberate tampering with the Hebrew
    > text. These things being so, why would anyone think that the chronological
    > information contained in the LXX might be more trustworthy than that
    > contained in the MT?

    While I certainly don't dispute most of this, I would like to point out
    that it isn't always true that the Masoretic reading is the best that we
    have. There are cases where it can be convincingly demonstrated that the
    Septuagint reading is closer to the original. For example, Psalm 145 is an
    acrostic psalm based on the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Why does it
    have only 21 verses? That is because the Masoretes left out the one that
    should have been there beginning with the letter nun (N). The missing
    lines can be found in the LXX and that reading has been confirmed by the
    Dead Sea Scrolls. Some modern translations contain the missing lines as an
    addition to the 13th verse.

    Gordon Brown
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO 80309-0395

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