What version did Jesus use?

Anything related to Biblical Greek that doesn't fit into the other forums.
kenjacobsen
Posts: 7
Joined: December 28th, 2013, 9:32 pm

What version did Jesus use?

Post by kenjacobsen » August 6th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Hello, I'm a newbie with a simple question I'm hoping someone can help me with;

In Luke 4:16-17, Jesus reads from Isaiah in a synagogue.
Is it safe to assume he's reading from the Septuagint?
Or is he reading from Hebrew? Or an Aramaic version?

I'm asking because I haven't been able to find an answer elsewhere..

Thank you.

Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » August 8th, 2016, 7:02 pm

kenjacobsen wrote:Hello, I'm a newbie with a simple question I'm hoping someone can help me with;

In Luke 4:16-17, Jesus reads from Isaiah in a synagogue.
Is it safe to assume he's reading from the Septuagint?
Or is he reading from Hebrew? Or an Aramaic version?

I'm asking because I haven't been able to find an answer elsewhere..

Thank you.
I was tempted to be snarky and say "The King James Version, of course..." :roll:

The general consensus at least among conservative scholars is that Jesus would have read from the Hebrew, but that Luke quotes the LXX as the version most accessible to his Greek speaking readers.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

timothy_p_mcmahon
Posts: 202
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:47 pm

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » August 8th, 2016, 9:31 pm

Barry, do you know of a brief and easily accessible treatment of the question of to what extent NT citations agree with MT, LXX or other? I have a copy of Archer/Chirichigno, which I really like, but a short, effective treatment easily available online would be great.

Thanks!

Jason Hare
Posts: 459
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Rehovot, Israel
Contact:

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by Jason Hare » August 8th, 2016, 10:24 pm

timothy_p_mcmahon wrote:Barry, do you know of a brief and easily accessible treatment of the question of to what extent NT citations agree with MT, LXX or other? I have a copy of Archer/Chirichigno, which I really like, but a short, effective treatment easily available online would be great.

Thanks!
Is it not the case that the Septuagint so-called may very well have had its readings altered to match the versions of the verses in the New Testament?
Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

S Walch
Posts: 121
Joined: June 13th, 2011, 4:27 pm
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by S Walch » August 9th, 2016, 3:08 am

Barry Hofstetter wrote:I was tempted to be snarky and say "The King James Version, of course..." :roll:

The general consensus at least among conservative scholars is that Jesus would have read from the Hebrew, but that Luke quotes the LXX as the version most accessible to his Greek speaking readers.
Except in the case here in Luke 4:18-19, Luke quotes neither the Hebrew MT text-type, nor the LXX:

Luke:
Πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐπʼ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει, κηρύξαι ἐνιαυτὸν κυρίου δεκτόν.

LXX:
Πνεῦμα Κυρίου ἐπʼ ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με· εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς ἀπέσταλκέν με, ἰάσασθαι τοὺς συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν, κηρῦξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, καλέσαι ἐνιαυτὸν Κυρίου δεκτὸν [καὶ ἡμέραν ἀνταποδόσεως]

MT:
רוּחַ אֲדֹנָי יהוה עָלָי יַעַן מָשַׁח יהוה אֹתִי לְבַשֵּׂר עֲנָוִים שְׁלָחַנִי לַחֲבֹשׁ לְנִשְׁבְּרֵי־לֵב לִקְרֹא לִשְׁבוּיִם דְּרוֹר וְלַאֲסוּרִים פְּקַח־קוֹחַ׃ לִקְרֹא שְׁנַת־רָצוֹן לַיהוה וְיוֹם נָקָם
(Trans: The Spirit of the Lord Yahweh is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me, he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and liberation to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favour, [and our God’s day of vengeance])

So to answer your question, Ken - Luke has a quotation of Isaiah 61:1-2 that matches neither the LXX nor the Hebrew versions that have come down to us today.

FWIW, the four manuscripts among the Dead Sea Scrolls that contain Isaiah 61:1-2 in Hebrew (1QIsaa, 1QIsab, 4QIsab, 4QIsam) also don't match the Masoretic, LXX, nor Luke either.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Textual Criticism :)
Jason Hare wrote:Is it not the case that the Septuagint so-called may very well have had its readings altered to match the versions of the verses in the New Testament?
I believe that NT/LXX cross harmonisations aren't very common. Some manuscripts may've done so, but are in the minority IIRC reading one of Emanuel Tov's books/articles.

RandallButh
Posts: 877
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by RandallButh » August 9th, 2016, 5:58 am

kenjacobsen wrote:Hello, I'm a newbie with a simple question I'm hoping someone can help me with;

In Luke 4:16-17, Jesus reads from Isaiah in a synagogue.
Is it safe to assume he's reading from the Septuagint?
Or is he reading from Hebrew? Or an Aramaic version?

I'm asking because I haven't been able to find an answer elsewhere..

Thank you.
He was reading from the Hebrew Bible as is evidenced in the midrashic pick up of "favor of YH" between Isaiah 61:2 and Isaiah 58:5-6, the only two places that such a phrase occurs in the Hebrew Bible, and a phrase not mimicked in the LXX nor part of the AramaicTargum (which probably didn't exist in the first century in Israel).

This lines up with the cultural situation: in the first century the synagogue reading in Galilee was from the Hebrew text. See Zeev Safari's article on targumim.

Sorry for the technicalities, but they are necessary even for a newbie in Greek.

kenjacobsen
Posts: 7
Joined: December 28th, 2013, 9:32 pm

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by kenjacobsen » August 9th, 2016, 6:26 pm

Thank you very much for the responses, which are great.
Maybe my question is one of history more than translation, however.

I'm reading more and more that Greek culture was far more well established in Galilee than previously believed, including the assumption that Jewish residents of Galilee were very likely expected to know at least some Greek. Nazareth being a suburb of what is now seen as a very Greek Sepphoris, it seems likely that that would include Jesus as well.

So maybe to refine my question: is the Galilean Aramaic of Jesus' time similar enough to the Hebrew of the biblical texts to allow an ordinary Galilean to easily read it? (Greek I know a little, but Hebrew not at all.)

Thank you again!

RandallButh
Posts: 877
Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by RandallButh » August 10th, 2016, 1:07 am

Your question appears to present an incomplete paradigm.
If you are reading more and more in this area, you probably need to track down and study:

R. Buth and R.S. Notley, editors,
The Language Environment of First Century Judaea
Brill, 2014.

The book is expensive, so an interlibrary loan would be recommended.
The reading will open up doors to the languages of the period and their application to the gospel texts.

Shirley Rollinson
Posts: 282
Joined: June 4th, 2011, 6:19 pm
Location: New Mexico
Contact:

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by Shirley Rollinson » August 10th, 2016, 7:42 pm

kenjacobsen wrote: . . . including the assumption that Jewish residents of Galilee were very likely expected to know at least some Greek. Nazareth being a suburb of what is now seen as a very Greek Sepphoris, it seems likely that that would include Jesus as well. . . .
In the USA we tend to be monolingual. It's probable that the little boys in the Galilee of Jesus' time were like the little boys there now - they can all say "Forty Postcards one dollar/euro/yen/etc" and carry on at least a basic conversation in half-a-dozen languages.
:-)
Shirley Rollinson

kenjacobsen
Posts: 7
Joined: December 28th, 2013, 9:32 pm

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by kenjacobsen » September 7th, 2016, 10:26 pm

Shirley Rollinson wrote:
kenjacobsen wrote: . . . including the assumption that Jewish residents of Galilee were very likely expected to know at least some Greek. Nazareth being a suburb of what is now seen as a very Greek Sepphoris, it seems likely that that would include Jesus as well. . . .
In the USA we tend to be monolingual. It's probable that the little boys in the Galilee of Jesus' time were like the little boys there now - they can all say "Forty Postcards one dollar/euro/yen/etc" and carry on at least a basic conversation in half-a-dozen languages.
:-)
Shirley Rollinson
Good point! It's clear enough to me that all over the Roman world in Jesus' time being multilingual was the norm, not the exception, both in speaking and reading.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest