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St Augustine voted for the Septuagint

January 14, 2012

“For my part, I would much rather that you would furnish us with a
translation of the Greek version of the canonical Scriptures known as the
work of the Seventy translators. For if your translation begins to be more
generally read in many churches, it will be a grievous thing that, in the
reading of Scripture, differences must arise between the Latin Churches
and the Greek Churches, especially seeing that the discrepancy is easily
condemned in a Latin version by the production of the original in Greek,
which is a language very widely known; whereas, if any one has been
disturbed by the occurrence of something to which he was not accustomed
in the translation taken from the Hebrew, and alleges that the new
translation is wrong, it will be found difficult, if not impossible, to get at
the Hebrew documents by which the version to which exception is taken
may be defended. And when they are obtained, who will submit, to have
so many Latin and Greek authorities: pronounced to be in the wrong?
Besides all this, Jews, if consulted as to the meaning of the Hebrew text,
may give a different opinion from yours: in which case it will seem as if
your presence were indispensable, as being the only one who could refute
their view; and it would be a miracle if one could be found capable of
acting as arbiter between you and them.” [From Augustine of Hippo’s,
Letter LXXI, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Volume 1.]

 

Blessed Augustine was writing to Jerome, whom took up the task of translating the the OT into Latin, but made the decision to use the Hebrew OT rather than the Greek OT known as the Septuagint. Augustine voted against such an attempt, since the Septuagint was the common OT used in the church, and much like Marcion, Jerome decided that the OT had been tampered with, and the Septuagint was not a reliable text. However, it is known that the NT quotes more often from the Greek Septuagint that the Hebrew OT, meaning; if the Greek OT is fake, so is the NT.

Reformation over!

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5 Comments
  1. reyjacobs permalink

    “However, it is known that the NT quotes more often from the Greek Septuagint that the Hebrew OT, meaning; if the Greek OT is fake, so is the NT.”

    Bingo! The NT is a sham. With or without the Septuagint, if you take any supposed prophecy about Jesus and go read it in the OT, you’ll see its about no such thing. And other OT references are also taken out of context and twisted, especially in Paul, like for example every passage used in Romans 9 and the string of passages in Romans 3.

  2. reyjacobs permalink

    Further, all of Paul’s arguments against the Law are contrived. “The Law is bad because it has requirements.” That’s what “the Law is not of faith for he that doeth them will live by them” boils down to. Its silly and contrived because he uses that passage from Hosea, “The just shall live by faith” and says “The just shall live by faith but the Law is not of faith…” Yet when Hosea wrote “the just shall live by faith,” being a Jew, he obviously meant faith in the Law. In fact, when Hosea says “the just shall live by his faith” (Paul omits the word ‘his’) it clearly means something along the lines of “the just shall live out his faith” or “the just shall live in accordance to his faith” — not as Paul twists it to mean “the just shall receive life as a result of faith alone.”

  3. reyjacobs permalink

    Or again, Paul interprets Deuteronomy very fundamentalistly (as any Pagan who began reading the OT and barely got through the Torah might) and forgot about how Micah 6 and several other passages (Isaiah 1, Amos 5) correct this fundamentalism. That is, he came to the conclusion on reading Deuteronomy that “without shedding of blood is no forgiveness” whereas Micah is clear when asked about sacrifices that “God had told you what is good, and all the LORD requires is that you do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” — Micah says this explicitly to answer the question ‘What sacrifice does the LORD want?’ The answer, clearly, is none. Meaning that the supposed axiom in Hebrews (“without shedding of blood is no forgiveness”) is invalid according to the Old Testament itself. Micah corrects Paul’s wrong reading of Deuteronomy. But the whole theory of Christianity — of a god-man sacrifice for sins being necessary for salvation due to ‘original sin’ — requires Paul’s wrong reading of Deuteronomy! So absolutely, Reformation over! Christianity as a whole is based on a false reading of Deuteronomy that caused a corrupt interpretation of Jesus’ life. The reality is that the Ebionites were the ones who were undoubtedly right about Jesus, namely that he came to preach against the sacrificial system and preaching “Unless you cease sacrificing my wrath will abide on you” — not that he came to sacrifice himself.

  4. Eric Castleman permalink

    RJ, may I ask if you are a convert to Judaism? I am not interested in knowing for the purpose of arguing against your convictions, or a certain group, I am just curious as to your past, and where you stand at the moment. I know someone that left Christianity for Judaism around a year ago, who said similar things. I will agree with you, that if the Septuagint is false, Christianity must be rejected. I have not cut that much into the research as of yet, so I am not able to say that you are correct or not.

  5. Not yet but I’m thinking about converting to Judaism.

    But as I said–Septuagint or no Septuagint, Christianity simply requires a magical reading of the OT wherein context is simply ignored.

    In a chapter in Isaiah (ch 42) where it specifically says that Israel is God’s servant and goes on to speak of the servant as ‘blind’ because of his (Isael’s constantly going off into idolatry) several verses that also must be speaking of Israel is cherry-picked as a prophecy of Jesus!

    I checked the LXX. It has the same. 42:1 “Jacob is my servant, I will help him: Israel is my chosen, my soul has accepted him; I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor shall his voice be heard without. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench; but he shall bring forth judgment to truth.”

    All of that is said to be about Jesus by the church — every church — yet it plainly says it is speaking of Jacob, of the nation of Israel as a whole. A bruised reed shall he not break and smoking flax shall he not quench, Tertullian interprets of the Pharisees whom Jesus did not ‘break’ and the taxcollectors whose faith he did not ‘quench.’ Yet since the passage is clear it is about Israel, it is more rational to understand it as meaning that the Jews will allow conversion of Gentiles to Judaism: the smoking flax he (the nation) will not quench.

    Verse 4 “He shall shine out, and shall not be discouraged, until he have set judgment on the earth: and in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” They do trust the name of the Jew, for they borrow their money from him and make him their bankers.

    “18 Hear, ye deaf, and look up, ye blind, to see. 19 And who is blind, but my servants? and deaf, but they that rule over them? yea, the servants of God have been made blind. 20 Ye have often seen, and have not taken heed; your ears have been opened, and ye have not heard. 21 The Lord God has taken counsel that he might be justified, and might magnify his praise. 22 And I beheld, and the people were spoiled and plundered: for there is a snare in the secret chambers everywhere, and in the houses also, where they have hidden them: they became a spoil, and there was no one that delivered the prey, and there was none who said, Restore. 23 Who is there among you that will give ear to these things? hearken ye to the things which are coming to pass. 24 For what did he give to Jacob up to spoil, and Israel to them that plundered him? Did not God do it against whom they sinned? and they would not walk in his ways, nor hearken to his law. 25 So he brought upon them the fury of his wrath; and the war, and those that burnt round about them, prevailed against them; yet no one of them knew it, neither did they lay it to heart.”

    Here where Israel is called blind Christians will exult “they are blind for they reject Christ” — yet the blindness spoken of here was that they did not consider aright the cause of the Babylonian captivity.

    “43:1 And now thus saith the Lord God that made thee, O Jacob, and formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”

    God has redeemed Israel from Babylon to return them to their land; as he once redeemed them from Egypt.

    “19 Behold, I will do new things, which shall presently spring forth, and ye shall know them: and I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the dry land. 20 the beasts of the field shall bless me, the owls and young ostriches; for I have given water in the wilderness, and rivers in the dry land, to give drink to my chosen race, 21 my people whom I have preserved to tell forth my praises.”

    Turned into a prophecy of Jesus despite the clear context of redeeming Israel from Babylon.

    “44:1 But now hear, Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen. 2 Thus saith the Lord God that made thee, and he that formed thee from the womb; Thou shalt yet be helped: fear not, my servant Jacob; and beloved Israel, whom I have chosen.”

    The whole context over several chapters is that although Israel has been a blind servant and gone off time and again into idolatry he is still God’s chosen and will be restored by God so that he can carry out his mission to convert the Gentiles to monotheism.

    This context continues all the way to Isaiah 53.

    “53:1 O Lord, who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 We brought a report as of a child before him; he is as a root in a thirsty land: he has no form nor comeliness; and we saw him, but he had no form nor beauty. 3 But his form was ignoble, and inferior to that of the children of men; he was a man in suffering, and acquainted with the bearing of sickness, for his face is turned from us: he was dishonoured, and not esteemed. 4 He bears our sins, and is pained for us: yet we accounted him to be in trouble, and in suffering, and in affliction. 5 But he was wounded on account of our sins, and was bruised because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his bruises we were healed. 6 All we as sheep have gone astray; every one has gone astray in his way; and the Lord gave him up for our sins.”

    That is, we did not esteem the nation of Israel as of any worth, for God seemed to have cast him off in the captivity. He, the nation, was beaten for the sins of the few.

    “7 And he, because of his affliction, opens not his mouth: he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth. 8 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken away from the earth: because of the iniquities of my people he was led to death.”

    Exaggeration because the nation did not die; but to those living through it it seemed as if the captivity was indeed the death of the nation. It was as if it was all over; Israel was dead and would not rise again. He was taken from the land of the living and none would declare his generation; he would die childless in captivity.

    “And I will give the wicked for his burial, and the rich for his death; for he practised no iniquity, nor craft with his mouth.”

    That is, he will be buried in Babylon.

    “10 The Lord also is pleased to purge him from his stroke. If ye can give an offering for sin, your soul shall see a long-lived seed: 11 the Lord also is pleased to take away from the travail of his soul, to shew him light, and to form him with understanding; to justify the just one who serves many well; and he shall bear their sins. 12 Therefore he shall inherit many, and he shall divide the spoils of the mighty; because his soul was delivered to death: and he was numbered among the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and was delivered because of their iniquities.”

    The true purpose of the captivity revealed: Israel the nation bore the sins of the individuals to deliver them from their iniquity that they might be able to return to the land.

    “54:1 Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that dost not travail: for more are the children of the desolate than of her that has a husband:”

    Turned to a prophecy of the church, but really respecting the daughter of Zion who was esteemed as divorced by God and thus desolate. She would be restored.

    And so forth. There is nothing ‘foreign’ in Isaiah’s prophecy. No prophecy of Mithras-type dying-rising-savior-God. It all fits the context of the Babylonian captivity. And LO! All that I have quoted has come from Brenton’s translation of the LXX. I noticed it originally reading the KJV which is based on the Hebrew, but it bears out also in the Septuagint.

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