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Re: orion Re: translation central

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to add a couple of points to the already considerable
discussion of Prof. West's proposal.  One point has not, I believe
been introduced yet; the other is an elaboration of a point already

1.  Prof. West points to the relative age of LXX and Hebrew 
manuscripts in making his proposal.  To wit:

> I appreciate Bob Kraft's comments.  They are very useful for future
> investigation.  Nonetheless, the facts are:
> 1- Greek mss of the OT are older than Hebrew mss.  On a merely empirical
> level we must say that the Greek Bible is older than the MT.

I don't think this point can be maintained.  The earliest LXX mss are 
dated to the second century BCE.  Tov (Textual Criticism of the 
Hebrew Bible, p. 106) cites a second century radiocarbon date for 
1QIsa-a.  It is also well-known that palaeographic dates in the third 
century BCE are assigned to some DSS (although I realize that these 
dates will be contested by some).  So the Greek mss are *not* older 
than the Hebrew mss.

2.  Several contributors have pointed to the matter of the character
of LXX Greek as translation Greek, rather than freely composed
Greek. From my point of view, this is the insurmountable obstacle
for any proposal of an original Greek composition of the OT. 
Moreover, this character for LXX Greek has been established
statistically, in ways that are repeatable.  To my knowledge Raymond
Martin was the first to do so in his 1974 work, _Syntactical
Evidence of Semitic Sources in Greek Documents_ (Missoula: Scholars
Press).  His method has been criticized, most recently by Karen
Jobes.  To my mind, however, the criticisms to not affect his basic
finding that the LXX translates a Semitic source.  Indeed, the
findings of Jobes, who substantially refines and improves Martin's
methods, confirm that basic result.

Richard Weis
Richard D. Weis                                          rweis@rci.rutgers.edu
New Brunswick Theological Seminary        phone: 1-732-246-5613
17 Seminary Place                                       FAX: 1-732-249-5412
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1196 USA