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Re: orion Re: translation central

Jim West wrote:

> Many thanks to those who took the time to respond to my theoretical musings.
> Richard Weis, Paul Flesher and Bob Kraft's comments have been very helpful,
> along with many others.
> The basic problems with my theory seem to melt down to two
> 1- the biblical mss at Qumran show that the Hebrew text is at least as old
> as the greek text.
> 2- the greek text shows definite signs of being a translation.
> Concerning the first objection- translation of a document deemed very
> significant can and often does take place within a few years.  This is true
> now and seems to be within the pale of reality or at least possibility for
> the period BCE as well.
> About the second- I simply have grave difficulties with the thesis that a
> document demonstrates "characteristics of being a translation".  Are we to
> assume that every wooden document written in a stilted, horrid, not very
> grammatical style is a translation?  If so, many third graders must be
> translating documents written in greek!
> My point is, stilted writing styles do not a translation make.
> So- despite the objections raised, I still do not think that there is
> anything impossible or even necessarily unlikely about the idea that the OT
> documents were orignially composed in Greek and later translated into
> Hebrew.  But I am very interested in learning otherwise.
> Again, thanks.
> Jim
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Jim West
> Adjunct Professor of Bible
> Quartz Hill School of Theology
> jwest@highland.net

Let me again remind you of the difficulty in explaining how Semitic expressions,
texts and ideas(e.g., the description of Leviathan in Is. 27:1, an almost exact
equivalent of which appears in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle; or the Flood Story,
which so closely follows the Gilgamesh/Atrahasis Flood Stories; or Qohelet"s
advice to get a good wife and enjoy life, Qohelet 9, which appears in Siduri's
advice to Gilgamesh)) were translated into Greek and then back again into Hebrew
without becoming garbled in the transfer (as did Gilgamos in Herodotus).
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Bible
Beit Berl College