[sword-devel] clean bible or bad phantasy?

Patrick Narkinsky sword-devel@crosswire.org
Wed, 04 Dec 2002 19:52:29 -0500

Thus spake "porton@narod.ru"> :

>> The scriptures actually address these issues.
>> 1)  Christ himself (and the apostles) quoted the septuagint (as opposed to
>> the original hebrew) as authoritative.
> Jesus Christ himself never quoted septuagint (except of probably rare cases
> when He spoke with Greeks).
> Apostles in The Authoritative Texts really quoted septugiant, but
> 1. They quoted only some fragments of septugiant, not all of it.

I find this argument a bit thin. One might equally well say that Jesus
quoted parts of the Hebrew Bible, but not all of it, therefore we might get
rid of passages we find uncomfortable.

> 2. AFAIK (I haven't yet checked, if I mistaken correct me.) the quotes from
> septugiant in NT are not literal but sometimes somehow changed. This does not
> add authority to septugiant.

Oddly enough, I read a couple of paragraphs just the other day on this
subject.  From Richard Hays, "Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul",

"It would be misleading, however, to refer to this Scripture [i.e. the
Scriptures Paul uses"] as the Hebrew Bible, because the original Hebrew
language of the Biblical writings was not a concern of Paul.  His citations
characteristically follow the Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the
Hebrew Bible dating from the second or third century B.C.E., which was in
common use in Hellenistic synagogues during Paul's lifetime.  Rarely do
Paul's quotations agree with the Masoretic Hebrew text (MT) against the LXX;
even the few cases of apparent agreement with the Hebrew can be explained to
"hebraizing revisions," a tendency well attested elsewhere by the Greek
versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion.  (A technical discussion of
the biblical text employed by Paul can found in the comprehensive study of
Dietrich-Alex Koch, Die Schrift als Zeuge des Evangeliums: Untersuchungen
zur Verwendung und zum Verstandnis der Schrift bei Paulus. [Roughly
translated by PN: The scriptures as a witness to the gospel: investigation
to the use and appreciation of Scripture in the writings of Paul.]  It
appears that Paul, whose missionary activity concentrated on predominantly
Gentile congregations in Asia Minor and Greece, normally read and cited
Scripture in Greek, which was the common language of the eastern empire in
his time."

(For what it's worth, Richard Hays is a highly reliable source of
information on this subject.  He is one of the foremost American Pauline
scholars, and is incidentally, while probably not truly an Evangelical,
doing a lot to validate traditional evangelical understandings in many

> 3. BIBLE NEVER MISTAKES, BUT Paul epistles utterly CONTRADICT (!!) to
> Apostol's Acts speaking in Bible about whether people who was with Paul heard
> voice but not seen light or vice verse. But that place when Paul speaks the
> preaching it is a quoted (by Luke) speaking, not a direct saying of Bible,
> Paul surely messed here. Bible never mistakes (as opposed to man's who
> participated in its writing such as Paul) and never contradicts to itself: The
> correct is version of the Paul's epistle (where Paul is mistakeless co-author
> with God, while in Acts the co-author is Luke and Paul isn't and Paul mistakes
> in preaching). So, you have no foundation to refer to sayings of apostles as
> authoritative, even reverse, we all mistaken.

I think you will find that, if you regard the accounts in Galatians 1-2 and
Acts 9-15 as accurate, but not necessarily comprehensive recordings of
everything that was done and said, there is no significant conflict. In
fact, I am very concerned that you seem to be playing a "pick and choose"
game with Scripture. Scripture is reliable as a complete canon, and should
be understood with an holistic hermeneutic. It is a grave mistake to play
single proof-texts off against each other, since the truth of scripture is
not to be found in a single text out of context, but in all of the texts
taken together. 

(Sorry for the off-topic discussion, but I felt that the points vis a vis
the Septuagint particularly needed discussion.)


Patrick Narkinsky - Apprentice Pastor, Hope Community Church - 757-652-9540

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons
exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." - Chesterton