The Masoretic Hebrew vs. The Septuagint Part 3: Variations and How they Happened

That the LXX differs from the Masoretic Hebrew Bible (MT) in significant ways was recognized almost immediately after the translation appeared.  However, because of the lack of philological knowledge about the Greek and Hebrew languages, the exact nature of such differences was largely a mystery until the dawn of the modern study of philology and linguistics. While the ancients knew a great deal about their own language, our knowledge of the inner…

The MT vs. LXX: A Clarification

The response to the two posts in my series on the Masoretic Hebrew Bible (MT) and the Septuagint (LXX) has engendered a lot of discussion on various online fora, some of it good, and much of it, in my opinion, rather misguided in a very particular way. I mean that there is an underlying assumption from such people that I am trying to undermine the Church or the Fathers in some way.…

The Masoretic Hebrew vs. The Septuagint (Part II): The Septuagint

What is the Septuagint? As we continue this series of posts dealing with the Masoretic Hebrew text (MT) and the Septuagint (LXX), I want to bring our focus to the phenomenon of Greek Bible translation in the Ancient Mediterranean, the nature and make-up of the LXX itself, and the transmission history of the LXX within the Christian Church.  It is most often said that the Orthodox Church uses the LXX as its…

Church School: Romans 1:16-17

I am teaching a weekly church school class for adults at my home parish in Chicago moving through St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans with meticulous care in order to understand St. Paul’s exposition of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will reproduce each lesson in a post for this blog, so that everyone can join in as we take this very challenging but exciting journey through St. Paul’s Magnum Opus. In the…

The Masoretic Hebrew vs. The Septuagint (Part 1)

  Let’s face it, in the Orthodox Church, the Masoretes and their Masoretic text of the Hebrew Old Testament have gotten a bad name.  It is argued almost universally that Orthodox Christians ought to use the Septuagint Old Testament, because (1) It represents a translation of an older Hebrew text, (2) It includes books not found in the Masoretic text, (3) the Apostles used the Septuagint, and (4) the Masoretic text is…

A Helper and Protector

One of the many tasks that we will engage in with this Blog is an investigation into the nature of the text of the Bible in the original languages and the nature of the Greek translation of the Old Testament known commonly as the Septuagint.  What follows is a serious philological examination of three Septuagint translations of an archaic Hebrew refrain, two of which end up in our liturgical texts. The content…

St. Phoebe the Deaconess and the Role of Women in Ministry

Over the next several months, I will be teaching an adult Sunday school class at my parish wherein we will be studying St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.  I hope to turn each week’s lesson into a post or two on this blog.  As a first reflection on the Epistle to the Romans, we consider the people involved in the sponsorship and composition of the epistle, and what the ramifications are for our…

What Does the Bible Say about Corporal Punishment?

Recent events involving prominent NFL players, including running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, have once again brought the national attention to the issue of domestic abuse, in the case of Rice, the video taped incident where he knocked out his then fiancée in a casino elevator, and in the case of Peterson, the indictment of a grand jury for the abuse of his four-year-old child while whipping him with a “switch.”  Data collected…

Welcome!

“Departing Horeb”, the title of this web-log, derives from a rather mundane verse in Deuteronomy 1, which caught my attention some time ago during my undergraduate years.  From verse 5, it reads, “Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses began to explain this Torah, saying, “Yahweh our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt a long time at this mountain.  Turn, set out, and go to the…