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Re: orion translation central?

Jim West daringly hypothesized:
> OK- please contain your laughter at what I am about to suggest and recognize
> that it is sometimes the most wild eyed theories which eventually win the
> day. (but maybe not this time).
> Here goes (and these are all assumptions without any basis in fact; what I
> am interested in is your opinion as to the feasibility of the theory)
> theory 1- the OT was originally composed in Greek during the Hasmonean
> period by Hellenized folk seeking to legitimize their claim to the land
> (land propoganda in the most positive sense of the term).

Definitions: what is meant by "the OT"? 
Problems: the style and "quality" of the Greek in what became Jewish
scriptures varies widely, making it difficult to imagine it being composed
by the same group of people at one time.

> theory 2- the inhabitants of Qumran translated these documents from Greek
> into Hebrew and Aramaic in order to make them more widely available to the
> home audience (which explains (!) the presence of Greek manuscripts in the
> caves nearby).

Problems: the "translation techniques" used in various books or sections
of Jewish scriptures in this imaginative scenario vary widely, making it
difficult to imagine that the various translations could have been made by
the same group of people at one time. 

> theory 3- in the process of translation these Greek manuscripts were adapted
> both linguistically and theologically (which explains (!) the presence of
> different Vorlagen) by the anti-hellenistic inhabitants of the community.
> I.e., the Qumranites found these documents useful in a purged or lengthened
> form.  (for example, the LXX of Jeremiah is much shorter than the MT version
> with its many expansions, etc).

Problems: if I understand this hypothesis (and I'm not sure I do), the
processes would not be consistent, but would vary widely from book or
section to book or section.

> Now, again, I realize that this is all a shooting in the dark- but I am
> looking at the larger picture (which I think is sometimes ignored).

Problem: this larger picture self destructs on the rocks of the linguistic
evidence, I think, without need for recourse to other problems. 

> Have a nice evening (or day) and a nice smile! (though I am, of course, 
> serious).  

Well, I grimanced more than smiling. Theories that run so counter to the
basic evidence are more in the category of painful distractions than of
enjoyable diversions. Advice: read up on the nature of the Greek in which
the various ancient Greek Jewish scriptures have been preserved.

> Jim West 
> Adjunct Professor of Bible 
> Quartz Hill School of Theology 
> jwest@highland.net

Now back to encoding those Greek textual variants, which also stand as
serious obstacles to theories such as you have proposed.

Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania