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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My comment to Catz206

This is taken from the comment section of By Whose Authority. I won't be able to go back and forth with him for much longer for I'm kinda bizzy. I told him that we could chop it up again in a few months.

* I believe that the idea of a Palestinian "fixed" Canon in the 1st century to be a myth.

* I don't believe the Jews in Alexandria formed a council to canonize the books they used. This is why I reject the idea of an "Alexandrian Canon". Instead, I believe that their tradition was different than that of Palestine, and that they used more books in their Sacred/Divine scrolls/Scriptures.

* The Jews at Qumran hated the Pharisees. If you read their works, you would see this. And this is why I think they should be included in our discussion.

* The early Pharisees persecuted the early Christians so why would they want to use their "tradition" of collected books?

* You would have to assume two things. 1.) That the Alexandrian Hellenistic Jewish tradition was 100%ly the same as that of the Pharisee tradition. 2.) And that the Pharisaic tradition was " 100%ly stable" in the first, second, and 3rd centuries. If not, then you have no argument.

* I believe that the Septugient was the scriptural tradition that Jesus, the Apostles, and the early Christians mostly used.

* I believe that the Septugient family of texts has more books than the later Pharisaic tradition.

* I believe that it took time for the non believing Jews to have a "stable" canon. It was not stable in the first couple of centuries. If one book was missing or if one book was added or was argued over then their collection of texts was still "unstable".

* I also believe that when it comes to "believers"/ A.K.A. the early Christians......they too didn't have a "stable" Old Testament. Now when I say stable, I mean 100% uniformity. If one book was missing, added or disputed then they didn't have stability.

* I believe that since the Apostles mostly used the LXX, that Eastern Orthodoxy is the keeper of the Scriptural tradition that the Apostles themselves used. We don't need a stable O.T. canon in order to be true to the LXX family of texts.

* I believe that for the most part, most early Christians simply embraced the D.C.'s as scripture. Most of them quoted the D.C.'s along with the P.C.'s without distinction, Some of them even used words like "scripture", The Holy Spirit Says, Divine, it is written, when quoting from the D.C.'s. They made no distinction. Many of them also used the D.C.'s as an authority when talking about doctrine, or in a dispute about doctrine. Also, the D.C.'s were read in Churches......This is very important, and everyone who belongs to a Liturgical Church understands the importance of this.

Now my Questions for you.

1.) If the early Christians followed the tradition of the Pharisees then why didn't they follow the "Hebrew structure" that Jews use today? And why is the Protestant structure different from the Pharisaic tradition? The Protestant structure is an edited version of the Septugient structure......not the Pharisaic one.

2.) What Protestant tradition do you follow? The Anglican, the Lutherian, the Dutch Reformed, or the English Puritan? This is very important for they differ in degree when it comes to the issue of the D.C.'s

3.) Do you really believe the Early Christians rejected the D.C.'s? If so why?

4.) If Pharisees were arguing over a few books in the 1st and early second century then you can't say that they had a stable canon. All it takes for me to prove my point is to show that one book was either missing or added or was disputed over. So why are you claiming that it was stable when it wasn't?

You said:
"Oh, and I have another question. I've been wondering for a while now whether the Eastern Orthodox Church uses the LXX and if so- how? Since we have a lot of fragments and different manuscript traditions..."

Yes we use the LXX family of texts. Over time a certain LXX tradition was used as a standard for Byzantines, but I am not talking about a certain jurisdiction, instead I am talking about Pan-Orthodoxy. So yes we use the LXX family of texts. If Rome was still in communion with us then I would include her into "Pan-Orthodoxy", but since she isn't....I am not including her. Now if I was to debate you about my own jurisdiction then I would change my argument of one of "a stable O.T.", but I am not. I am looking at this from the perspective of Pan-Orthodoxy. So those different manuscript traditions mostly came from different regions of the World in where we dwell. This is why I am saying that we embrace the LXX family of texts. So it doesn't matter if you are talking about Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, Ephraemi Rescriptus, N+v2......ect. Archeaology didn't steal every book or copy we have. Our books are mostly scattered with our service books. Before the time of the printing press no one had all the books in one big book. They were mostly scattered in different places. So no, we didn't loose the books only to find what the west took from us centuries later in a museum....only to copy them and put them back in our churches. We always had copies. We need them for our Liturgy.
We use the LXX because that's what the Apostles used, and when they died, we kept their stuff. And this is the only reason why we use the LXX. Other than that, there is no other reason.

You said:
"Would you include the Christian Recensions (Origen) and Jewish ones as well (Aquila…ect)? Are you referring to all the parts of the Hebrew text (including Apocrypha) that were translated into Greek?"

Yes, I would include the Revisions/Recensions, although Origen's Recension was nothing more than a 6 colomn parallel Bible. He needed it to debate the Jews, for the Jews wouldn't accept the books we had nor the extra verses we had that they didn't. So when christians debated Jews, they had to know what books the Jews were using.

However, the Jewish ones are not LXX. So no, Aquila and the rest would not be part of the LXX (eventhough Origen included them in his Parallel Bible), but they were known not to be part of the LXX. Infact, they were made to help the Hellenistic Jews reject the LXX. So no!

You said:
"Alright, what are your thoughts on the Alexandrian collection of sacred Scripture? Are they known? Has a definite collection been found?"

You keep trying to look for 100% stability in the ancient world. You won't find 100% stability back alot of things. However, it was known that the LXX had more books. Some LXX may have a few less books, than another LXX but over all they had more books than what was found in Palestine.

The Old Latin translations of the LXX included the D.C.'s and that was in the 2nd century. Some parts of the LXX(D.C.'s) was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and that was first century.

And then we have the quotes, and references of the New Testament, and Pre-Nicen Christians. In whose main text was the LXX. In Origen's day, when he argued with Africanus, he said:

"“In answer to
this, I have to tell you what it behoves us to do in the cases not only of the History of Susanna, which is found in every Church of Christ in that Greek copy which the Greeks use, but is not in the Hebrew, or of the two other passages you mention at the end of the book containing the history of Bel and the Dragon, which likewise are not in the Hebrew copy of Daniel; but of thousands of other passages also which I found in many places when with my little strength I was collating the Hebrew copies with ours.”


"“4. Again, through the whole of Job there are many passages in the
Hebrew which are wanting in our copies, generally four or five verses, but sometimes, however, even fourteen, and nineteen, and sixteen. But why should I enumerate all the instances I collected with so much labour, to prove that the difference between our copies and those of the Jews did not escape me? In Jeremiah I noticed many instances, and indeed in that book I found much transposition and variation in the readings of the prophecies. Again, in Genesis, the words, "God saw that it was good," when the firmament was made, are not found in the Hebrew, and there is no small dispute among them about this; and other instances are to be found in
Genesis, which I marked, for the sake of distinction, with the sign the
Greeks call an obelisk, as on the other hand I marked with an asterisk
those passages in our copies which are not found in the Hebrew. What needs there to speak of Exodus, where there is such diversity in what is said about the tabernacle and its court, and the ark, and the garments of the high priest and the priests, that sometimes the meaning even does not seem to be akin? And, forsooth, when we notice such things, we are forthwith to reject as spurious the copies in use in our Churches, and enjoin the brotherhood to put away the sacred books current among them, and to coax the Jews, and persuade them to give us copies which shall be untampered with, and free from forgery! Are we to suppose that that Providence which in the sacred Scriptures has ministered to the edification of all the Churches of Christ, had no thought for those bought with a price, for whom Christ died;[2] whom, although His Son, God who is love spared not, but gave Him up for us all, that with Him He might freely give us all

5. In all these cases consider whether it would not be well to remember the words, "Thou shalt not remove the ancient landmarks which thy fathers have set."[4] Nor do I say this because I shun the labour of investigating the Jewish Scriptures, and comparing them with ours, and noticing their various readings. This, if it be not arrogant to say it, I have while I paid particular attention to the interpretation of the Seventy, lest I might to be found to accredit any forgery to the Churches which are under heaven, and give an occasion to those who seek such a starting-point for gratifying their desire to slander the common brethren, and to already to a great extent done to the best of my ability, labouring hard to get at the meaning in all the editions and various readings;[5] bring some accusation against those who shine forth in our community. And I make it my endeavour not to be ignorant of their various readings, lest in my controversies with the Jews I should quote to them what is not found in their copies, and that I may make some use of what is found there, even although it should not be in our Scriptures. For if we are so prepared for them in our discussions, they will not, as is their manner, scornfully laugh at Gentile believers for their ignorance of the true reading as they have them. So far as to the History of Susanna not being found in the Hebrew
. Origen(185A.D.-230A.D.)

Origen rejected the idea that the Church should get rid of the books they had in favor of what the Jews had. Most of the scholars I J.N.D. Kelly, Pelikan and others all believe that the LXX had more books, and that the early christians embraced many of the D.C.'s.

I hope this helps, and I'm sorry if I was a little rude or mean.



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