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2.1.2 “Septuagint” While it is not necessary for this study to go into all of the complexities of LXX research, it is necessary to outline my basic presuppositions about the LXX in order to understand the inclusion and use of certain LXX manuscripts and texts in this study. To do this, I begin by looking at the question of the origins of the LXX. I then offer a brief examination of some textual issues, concluding with a remark about the critical texts that I use in this study.
The LXX likely dates to the third century BCE, with the translation of the Pentateuch from Hebrew into Greek in Alexandria. This assumes that there is at least a kernel of truth to the Letter of Aristeas,3 an apologetic piece from the second century BCE.4 Let.Aris. is helpful when looking at the origins of the LXX in so far as it Hereafter, LXX. At odds with the nomenclature of LXX is that this chapter does not include texts such as Sirach and 1-2 Maccabees, which are regularly included in LXX canons. These texts are treated in chapter four.
J. Dines, “Imaging Creation: The Septuagint Translation of Genesis 1:2,” HeyJ 36 (1995), has clearly shown how the differences of the Greek translation open up ‘new possibilities for interpretation’ of Gen 1.2. (448) For a critical Greek text of Let.Aris, see: H.St.J. Thackeray, “Appendix: The Letter of Aristeas,” in An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek (ed. H.B. Swete and R.R. Ottley; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914) 533-606; and for an English translation see the translation with an introduction by R.J.H. Shutt, “Letter of Aristeas,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H. Charlesworth; New York: Doubleday, 1985) 2.7-34.
S. Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968) surveys opinion about the dating of Aristeas, giving a range of opinion between 200 BCE – 33 AD (48 n.1), himself opting for a terminus ante quem of – 49 –
CHAPTER TWOattests to an 'original' translation5 of the Torah or Pentateuch in Alexandria in the third century BCE.6 Evidence external to Let.Aris. for a third century BCE Greek translation of the Pentateuch comes in Demetrius the Hellenist,7 who used quotations from a Greek translation of Genesis possibly as early as late-3rd c. BCE.8 In all likelihood, then, there was at least one translation of the Pentateuch in the third century BCE, if not more than one, with revisions quick to follow. The remaining books of the Hebrew Scriptures and other writings (e.g. Sirach, Tobit) were likely translated over the next two centuries. In the prologue to Sirach (c.132 BCE), it is reported that the Law, the prophets, and ‘remaining books’ (ta. loipa. tw/n bibli,wn) were different in their secondary language of Greek.9 c.170 BCE, based primarily on the assumption that it was primarily a Jewish apologetic text written to the Jews of Egypt ‘to encourage fidelity to their religion as embodied in the Law’ under the spectre of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
(49-50) Cf. K.H. Jobes and M. Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2000) 34.
Additionally, H.B. Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, (2nd revised ed.; London: Cambridge, 1914) notes that the story told in Let.Aris. is recounted by Alexandrians Aristobulus and Philo and Palestinian Josephus, which if genuine, attest that the story of Aristeas was told in the first half of the second century BCE in northern Africa, per Aristobulus, and in Palestine in the first century CE per Josephus. (12-13) This is of interest at least because it shows that the legend of Let.Aris. regarding the origins of the LXX was being told and presumably believed by those using the Greek translation. In short, it points to the fact that communities were using these texts (Pentateuch plus) and thus interpreting and expounding them. Cf. Jellicoe, Septuagint and Modern Study, 353.
Whether or not there was an 'original' translation of the Pentateuch is one of the stickier wickets in the history of LXX research. To avoid leaving the wicket in the open, I stand on the side of a Lagardian understanding that there was an 'original' translation, as opposed to the position of Kahle that there were many competing Greek versions with the Let.Aris. arguing for an Alexandrian version. For an outline of Kahle's thought, see Jellicoe, Septuagint and Modern Study, 59-63. I accept a general Lagardian picture of LXX origins with the qualifiers articulated by Jobes and Silva, Invitation, that there are two distinct translations for some books (e.g. Judges and Esther) and that revision of these original translations began at a very early stage in the development of the LXX. (274-276) Another interesting, though underdeveloped, piece of the puzzle is Jellicoe's suggestion that there may have been a ‘rival version’ of the Alexandrian Greek Pentateuch originating from Leontopolis (See S. Jellicoe, “The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter of Aristeas: a Re-examination,” NTS 12 (1966) 144-150; and Jellicoe, Septuagint and Modern Study, 50). Given the distance from and present fragmentary nature of the textual witnesses, any theory of LXX origins is incomplete.
In his survey of scholarly opinion, Jellicoe, Septuagint and Modern Study, outlines six generally, though not universally, accepted historically reliable elements of Aristeas: (1) Alexandrian provenance; (2) the translation attested to ‘was regarded as authentic and unalterable and received the imprimatur of the Jewish authorities’ and was received well by the Jewish community in general; (3) the Pentateuch was the first part of the Scriptures of Israel to be translated into Greek; (4) the original translation was an official Jewish undertaking possibly with the blessing of civic authorities; (5) the original translation of the Pentateuch likely dates to the first half of the third century BCE;
and (6) the translation was made for Jewish liturgical and pedagogical use. (55) Not to be confused with Demetrius of Phalerum, the librarian of Alexandria, in the Let.Aris.
On the date of Demetrius, the reference to Ptolemy IV Philopator in the summary by Clement of Alexandria (Strom 1.141.1f) of Demetrius' work, Peri. tw/n evn th/| VIoudai,a| Basile,wn, would place Demetrius in the late third century BCE. Swete, Introduction, assumes that the reference to Ptolemy IV is genuine and outlines three examples of Demetrius' use of a Greek Genesis. (17-18). Accepting a late third century BCE date for Demetrius, J. Hanson, “Demetrius the Chronographer,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (ed. J.H.
Charlesworth; New York:
Doubleday, 1985), also notes questions that have been raised about the identity of the Ptolemy referenced by Demetrius. (844) ouv ga,r ivsodunamei/ auvta. evn e`autoi/j ~Ebrai?sti. lego,mena kai. o[tan metacqh/| eivj e`te,ran glw/ssan\ ouv mo,non de. tau/ta( avlla. kai. auvtoj o` no,moj kai. ai` profhtei/ai kai. ta. loipa. tw/n bibli,wn ouv mikra.n e;kei th.n diafora.n evn e`autoi/j lego,mena) – 50 –
CHAPTER TWOWhile it is debatable what is meant by ta. loipa,, it is likely that the translation effort in Egypt had progressed at least to include the Prophets and some of the Writings. A terminus ante quem of the first century CE can be established for most of the books eventually included in the full Greek codices.10 Given that the primary aim of this study is to explore the intertextual history of Gen 1.1-5 up to the historical boundary of c.200 CE, and in so doing to look at how that history interacts with the wider intertextual tapestries of Gen 1.1-5 and its intertexts, there is a problem of just what texts can be chronologically considered in this chapter. Similarly, there is the issue of the so-called ‘later versions’ of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion along with Origen's additions and corrections in the fifth column of the Hexapla. Origen's (c.182-c.251 CE) fifth column Hexaplaric materials, most likely dating from the first half of the third century CE, are excluded from consideration. This comes into play significantly in the case of Job 26, where a large portion of the chapter is material asterisked by Origen,11 and as such is left out of intertextual consideration.12 In the case of the texts of Aquila,13 Symmachus,14 and Theodotion,15 it can be assumed that these texts were in circulation and well known by the time of Origen, especially among Greek speaking Jews. That they are included in the Hexapla seems reason enough to believe that they were texts that Origen felt needed to be addressed for his Jewish – Christian textual dialogue to work.16 These later versions are included and addressed when bearing specifically on the intertextual relationship with LXX Gen 1.1-5.
From J. Ziegler, ed., Sapientia Iesu Filii Sirach, (Septuaginta - Vetus Testamentum Graecum: Auctoritate Acadamiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum., XII,2, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1965) 125.
Swete, Introduction, argues that, though the evidence is fragmentary, there is reason to think that prior to the 1st century C.E., there was either a complete or nearly complete translation into Greek of the entire Hebrew scriptures.
Evidence for this includes the fact that Philo (1st cent. C.E.) quotes from all LXX books except Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Esther, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel; and the New Testament quotes from all but Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, and ‘certain Minor Prophets.’ (25-26) Swete also includes lists of the contents of the major uncials along with canonical lists of the early Church. (201ff.) It is thought that Origen usually corrected his text (Hexapla, column five) to Theodotian’s (column six), which could place the asterisked materials in Job within the time-frame of this study, the provenance of Origen’s asterisked material is largely an open question. See J.M. Dines, The Septuagint (London: T&T Clark, 2004) 100-102.
See below, pp. 89-92.
Column three in Origen's Hexapla, Aquila's work falls into my historical time frame, if the completion of his translation of the ‘recently standardized’ Hebrew text can be dated with Jobes and Silva, Invitation, 39, at c.140 CE.
The effect of Aquila's translation on certain intertextual relationships may be more likely felt in early Jewish texts, if he, a convert to Judaism, was correcting the LXX ‘in so far as it appeared to support the view of the Christian Church.’ Swete, Introduction, 31-42.
Column four of the Hexapla, Symmachus' work can be dated to the last half of the first century CE. A. Salvesen, Symmachus in the Pentateuch, (JSSMS 15; Manchester: University of Manchester, 1991), argues for a later date around 200 CE and describes Symmachus work as combining ‘the best Biblical Greek style, remarkable clarity, a high degree of accuracy regarding the Hebrew, and the rabbinic exegesis of his day: it might be described as a Greek Targum, or Tannaitic Septuagint.’ (297) As quoted by Jobes and Silva, Invitation, 40.
Column six of the Hexapla is Theodotion's Greek version. There is a debate whether or not Theodotion's version is a translation or a revision of a ‘proto-Theodotion’ or kaige recension. Most recently, P.J. Gentry, The Asterisked Materials in the Greek Job, (SBLSCS 38; Atlanta: Scholars, 1995), argues that Theodotion is an independent translation and that there is much yet to be studied regarding the diversity in the kaige group of mss. and its complex relationship with the Old Greek and the later versions. Gentry also suggests that Theodotion specifically in Job dates to the early first century CE, though he carefully does not assume that Theodontionic materials are all of the same date. Significant is his call for a stop to all references to a proto-Theodotion. (495-498) Gentry, Asterisked Materials, 495-496.
– 51 –
CHAPTER TWOFinally, the critical texts that I employ in this chapter are primarily from the Göttingen editions,17 and when Göttingen are unavailable the Larger Cambridge editions.18 To these critical editions I differ in matters of punctuation and form (i.e., narrative or poetic presentation). It becomes quickly apparent when working with the LXX that textual matters can take over ad nauseam. In the interest of both rigor and sensibility, in LXX matters I attempt to walk the fine line between over-simplification and over-complication.
2.1.3 Considering Commonality: Criteria for Establishing Intertextuality The criteria for establishing intertextuality in general terms is the same as for chapter one. Differences occur in the specifics of certain words. That is, there is not always a one-to-one relationship between the IMs for the
Hebrew and Greek texts. The intertextual markers identified for chapter two are:
words – avo,ratoj( avkataskeu,astoj( sko,toj( a;bussoj( evpife,rw( diacori,zw minor phrases – evn avrch/( to.n ouvrano.n kai. th.n gh/n( pneu/ma qeou/( o[ti kalo,n(qeo.j kalei/( h`me,ra mi,a word-pairs –ouvrano,j and gh/( fw/j and sko,toj( h`me,ra and nu,x Two rather glaring omissions from this list are fw/j and the word-pair, ouvrano,j and gh/. Though I do employ fw/j along with sko,toj as a word-pair and the verbatim use of to.n ouvrano.n kai. th.n gh/n from LXX Gen 1.1, I have chosen not to address fw/j and the more general word-pair of ouvrano,j and gh, along with pneu/ma, because the frequency of their use in the LXX limits their usefulness.19 These texts were identified with the aid of concordances, old20 and new.21
2.2 A Look at LXX Gen 1.1-5 The Greek and the Hebrew of Gen 1.1-5 are both the same text and different texts. While both texts come at the beginning of their respective texts of Genesis, they live within two very different language worlds, their structure is different, if even slightly, and their vocabularies carry different connotations within the context of their respective language world. While the Greek is a translation of a Hebrew text, these two independent texts have intertextual lives of their own. As such, I treat them in separate chapters with their own analysis. In what follows, I look at both the structure of the whole of the primary text, LXX Gen 1.1-5, and at the IMs in their primary context.
VEn avrch/| evpoi,hsen o` qeo.j to.n ouvrano.n kai. th.n gh/n) 2h` de. gh/ h=n avo,ratoj kai.