“The Many Faces of Scripture: Reflections on the LXX and 4QReworked Pentateuch”
Prof. Emanuel Tov
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Greenfield Scholars Seminar Presentation, December 2006 [Abstract]
We are faced with many different Scripture texts, all of which need to be taken into consideration in the exegetical and literary study of Hebrew Scripture. The meticulously transmitted MT is a given, but beyond that there were many widely divergent texts within ancient Israel. Among them were several compositions earlier than the ones included in the MT, as well as texts rewriting compositions like the MT.
In this presentation, we focused on the latter texts, especially the ones incorporated into the LXX (3 Kingdoms, Esther, and Daniel). An early rewritten Bible text, Chronicles, was included in both the Hebrew and Greek canons. Some of these literary reshapings were accepted only by some of the communities. Thus, some of them made their way to the Jewish LXX translators, but not to the collection of MT. Other texts circulating in ancient Israel made their way to the Qumran community. 4QReworked Pentateuch, to be reclassified as a biblical text, was one such reshaping, about whose authoritative status we have no further information. Perhaps it was considered to be authoritative Scripture by the Qumran community or another group. What 4QRP, the Hebrew source of some LXX books, and the Samaritan Pentateuch group have in common is the interaction of stretches of Scripture text and exegetical expansions, although they had different tendencies. If all these texts were considered authoritative, probably 4QRP enjoyed a similar status. All these texts need to be studied as Hebrew Scripture.