A Presentation of 4QLXXNum in Comparison with the LXX and MT

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Used by permission: The Institute for Biblical Text Research of the Korean Bible Society and the author.

At the time of writing Koot Van Wyk was affiliated with Avondale College as a Conjoint Lecturer.


Texts from Qumran received attention in publications and research since their discovery. The text under investigation here is no exception. There are some serious questions to consider in relation with this text: What can this Qumran text tell us about the relationship with the consonantal text of the Masoretic Tradition? What can it tell us about its relationship with any of the Ancient Translations? What can it tell us about its relationship with the so-called LXX or Septuagint? And what can it tell us about the condition of the Septuagint in the pre-Christian era? What scholars may not have realized, is that 4QLXXNum is able to tell us something about the conditions of the Hebrew Vorlage in the pre-Christian period related to the existence or not of one canonical perceived and applied text. Textual variety over millennia is no secret nor surprise. Close correlation of texts over millennia is a noteworthy surprise. It appears that 4QLXXNum is the survival of a pre-Antiochus Epiphanes text-form of the Septuagint (pre-164 BCE) which was more literal and in line with the consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition than the Greek text-form that survived in post-Epiphanes times through Christian hands. Since 4QLXXNum is aligning so well with the consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition (a period of nearly 1148 years) the stability of these two texts calls for a canon form to have existed almost identical to the consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition from which the literal translation was made. It implies that this form existed already at Qumran. Any deviation from this standard is later and due to degenerative scholarship. Wevers is correct, he did not reconstruct the original Septuagint of Genesis for the Göttingen edition. He reconstructed the post-Epiphanes degenerative product and what was preserved through Christian hands, and not the original, of which 4QLXXNum is an example.

textual criticism, textual analysis, septuagint, slips

van Wyk, K. (2013). A presentation of 4QLXXNum in comparison with the LXX and MT. Journal of Biblical Text Research, 33, 114-138. Retrieved from http://en.bskorea.or.kr/?page_id=830

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