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Re: orion translation central?
A couple of comments:
Firstly, this must be connected to your claim that Jews nowdays are
inventing historical connections to Israel in order to justify their
claims to the land, which is something you previously sayd on this list.
The parallels between the two theories are just too obvious.
Secondly: only a very serious misunderstanding of the state of mind of
most Jews and Israelis could suggest that your theory will be perceived as
And thirdly, on a purely scientific note: I do not think that two thousand
years ago the kind of things that OT establishes could be translated into
any meaningfull "legitimacy." What difference would it make to Greeks or
Romans whether Jews were, or were not, residents of the land at some point
in the past? They certainly did not beleive in nations' historical rights
to rule themelselves. On the other hand, they did not dispute the right
of Jews to live in their land as loyal subjects of the Roman empire. The
one criteria for rulers that did exist - that the ruler is just and wise,
that the country prospers under him - is not necessarily established by OT
The suggestion seems to me a very obvious case of retrojecting 20th
century concepts of legitimacy back to a century where they just do not
belong. ~2000 years ago the motive that you propose for the project of OT
could not have existed.
Greetings, Asia Lerner
On Tue, 9 Dec 1997, Jim West wrote:
> 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).
> 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).
> 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).
> 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).
> Have a nice evening (or day) and a nice smile! (though I am, of course,
> Jim West
> Adjunct Professor of Bible
> Quartz Hill School of Theology