Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Proof the name JEHOVAH was in the 1st Century Septuagint LXX

Was God's personal name JEHOVAH in the first Century Septuagint?

Swete's Intro to the OT in Greek, chapter 2.6.5:
"The Tetragrammaton is not transliterated, but written in Hebrew letters, and the characters are of the archaic type , not יהזה cf. Orig. in Ps. ii., καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἀκριβεστάτοις δὲ τῶν ἀντιγράφων Ἐβραίοις χαρακτῆρσιν κεῖται τὸ ὄνομα, Ἐβραικοῖς δὲ οὐ τοῖς νῦν ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀρχαιοτάτοις —where the 'most exact copies' are doubtless those of Aquila's version, for there is no reason to suppose that any copyists of the Alexandrian version hesitated to write Ο ΚΣ or ΚΕ for (יהזה)”

Foead 266

1st century B.C.

The Foead-papyrus collection (Foead; inv. n° 266) is in possession of the Société Egyptienne de Papyrologie in Caïro. This collection is dated from the 1st century B.C.
The collection was discovered in Egypt in 1939 and includes parts from the Bible books of Genesis and Deuteronomy. The Name cannot be found in the Genesis fragments, because the text is incomplete. But, in the book of Deuteronomy, in the midst of the Greek text, it is written 49 times in Hebrew characters. The Tetragrammaton can be found three more times in fragments that are not identified (fragments 116, 117 and 123).
IIn a commentary on this papyrus collection Paul Kahle wrote in 'Studia Evangelica', edited by Kurt Aland, F. L. Cross, Jean Danielou, Harald Riesenfeld and W. C. van Unnik, Berlin 1959, page 614:
“A distinguishing characteristic of the papyrus is the fact that the name of God is written as the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew square-shape [(יהזה)]. Upon my request made for an examination by father Vaccari in regards to the published fragments of the papyrus, he came to the conclusion that the papyrus must be written 400 years before the codex B, probably the most perfect text of the Septuagint that has reached us".
Facsimile made by B. Bonte

Facsimile made by B. Bonte

Leviticus Fragment

1st century B.C.

It was world news indeed when, by accident, the Death Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947! Local Bedouins and archaeologists started with fierce digging, searching for old manuscripts. An old man remembered an incident from his youth. He was chasing a partridge and accidentally found a cave with potsherds and an old oil lamp. Proof that people had lived in this cave. The man had good memory. He still remembered the exact rock cracks where he had entered the cave. They started digging in the ground and 1 meter deep they found pieces of. In total, they found 40.000 pieces, which came from about 400 handwritings. About 400 were Bible manuscripts. All the books of the Old Testament were represented, with the exception of Esther.
Ancient manuscripts are still of great importance because they reveal much about our human history. Many fragments ware made of papyrus. Papyrus was used from 2000 B.C. as material to write on. It is made from the stem of a water plant called papyrus, which grows along the waterside of the river Nile in Egypt. The word "paper" comes from the word "papyrus".
A few papyrus fragments of the Greek Septuagint that were found were written in the 1st century B.C. One fragment, with verses from Leviticus, does not use 'ΚΎΡΙΟΣ' or 'Lord', but the Tetragrammaton IAW (or IAO) - a Greek transliteration of the Divine Name. Thus distinguishing the use of the Divine Name.
The shown fragment contains Leviticus 3:12 and 4:27. The size is approximately 9 cm wide and 5 cm high.
Facsimile made by B. Bonte

The Minor Prophet Scroll

50 B.C. - 50 A.D.

In 1961 a group of experts started to explore the caves of Nahal Hever in the barren wilderness of the Dead Sea. They risked their lives descending from steel cables into a cavern, 80 meters below. What they found was so horrible that they gave this cave the nickname 'Cave of Horror'. The explorers discovered 40 skeletons of adults and children, who had hidden themselves in this place. They were followers of the Jewish leader Bar Kochba. During their stay in the cave, the Romans were quartered on top of the rock. They were literally trapped and probably died of hunger and thirst.
The explorers also made another important discovery relating to the Name of God - they found old manuscripts in the caves. Nine fragments must have been part of an old scroll of leather, containing the Bible books of Hosea through Malachi. That is why this is now called the 'Minor Prophet Scroll'. The text is written in Greek, the common language of that time, and is dated 50 B.C. - 50 A.D. So it includes the period of time Jesus lived on earth. What did they know in that time about the name of God?
Because the Septuagint, commonly used in Jesus' time, had replaced the Tetragrammaton with Kurios (which means 'Lord'), the presumption was that the first Christians did not use the Divine Name. But, the fragments they found put an end to the theological discussion of whether Jesus and his apostles used the Divine Name or not. The fragments, written in Greek, contain the Divine Name in an ancient Hebrew script, showing that the Name was still used by the Jews in those days. Verses like Mathew 6:9 and John 17:6 are proof that Jesus used and hallowed the Name of his father.
What you see shown are 2 fragments found in the cave. The first and largest fragment contains parts of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:15-20 and 3:9-14). We can see the Tetragrammaton written twice, in another font – paleo Hebrew. The second fragment contains parts of Zechariah (Zechariah 8:20 and 9:1,4). Here also we can see the Tetragrammaton twice, in a first century Hebrew font.
Facsimile made by B. Bonte

Oxyrhynchus 3522

1st century A.D.

Two scientists from Oxford, Bernard P. Grenfell and Arthur S. Hunt, were sent to explore Egypt towards the end of the 19th century. A place called Behnesa sounded promising to Grenfell because of the old Greek name that it bore - Oxyrhynchus. This city was the centre of Egyptian Christianity in the 4th and 5th centuries. The explorers were hoping to find Christian literature, but their exploration of churchyards and ruined houses yielded nothing. Only the mountains of waste remained to be examined and some of them where nine meters high! Despite little hope, they tried. In January 1897 they did some exploratory drilling and within the hour they found old papyrus material. In just over 3 months, they had found almost 2 tons of papyri and in the years to come - they found much more.
Most documents were written by what would be considered the common people. This proves that the Koine-Greek, the common language, was used by ordinary men on the street. They also found fragments of Bible manuscripts without much decoration and of very poor quality - the Bible of the common man.
Facsimile made by B. Bonte
This fragment, Oxyrhynchus 3522, is dated from the first century A.D. The measures are 7 cm by 10,5 cm. The text is a portion from Job 42:11,12. It is interesting to note the use of the Divine Name. A long time held common opinion was that the name was not written in the Greek Septuagint, but fragments like this prove the opposite.

The translation of Symmachus

3rd or 4th century A. D.

There are still preserved manuscripts written on parchment from the beginning of our era. Included are many fragments of the Holy Scriptures. They were often bound around two sticks, one at each end – these were known as scrolls. - Luke 4:17 (to v.21).
Writings on parchment have the advantage of being stronger and more permanent than writings on papyrus. In Latin, parchment is called 'pergamena'. The process used to make parchment was developed in the old city of Pergamon. They took the skin of goats, sheep or calves and treated the leather in such a way that writing on both sides was possible. The writer used a pen made of reed and the ink was made of gum, soot and water.
In the National Library of Vienna, Austria, we can see a certain fragment dated from the 3rd or 4th century. The fragment contains a Greek text, but what is remarkable is that the Name of God is written in Old Hebrew. The fragment contains verses from Psalm 69, specifically verses 13, 30 and 31. The parchment is supposed to have been made by Symmachus, someone considered to be a Jew converted to Christianity. He was a translator of the Old Testament, from Hebrew writing to Greek. In his translation, made around 200 A.D., he tried to give the Greek text the right meaning like it is found in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Facsimile made by B. Bonte

The translation of Aquila

End of 5th century – beginning of the 6th century

What did the early Jews do with old Bible manuscripts that could not be used anymore? Because of their respect for the holy Name of God, they did not throw them away or destroy them. They stowed the old documents away in a room belonging to the synagogue, called geniza. When there was no more room in the geniza, they took the material to sacred ground and buried it ceremoniously. Time decomposed the material.
In the year 1890 Solomon Schechter discovered such a geniza in Cairo, Egypt. He found a tremendous amount of manuscripts, including Bible fragments. This geniza was found intact because the documents were placed in brickwork - in this way hidden for centuries. Superstition may have played a part in this. A poisonous snake was presumed to be at the entrance of the geniza, ready to kill thieves.
In between the old documents was a very important one, written about 128 A.D. by a Jew proselyte named Aquila. The document was a palimpsest, a manuscript, which was re-used - in most instances the parchment would be washed and/or scraped and resurfaced, then written on again. In this case, the letters were scraped from the original scroll, but the new text was still visible under the old one. The parchment contains parts from the Psalms in Greek, translated by Aquila. In various places the Divine Name is written in Old-Hebrew.
Facsimile made by B. Bonte
It is interesting to know that the 3rd century theologian, Origines used Aquila’s translation in his famous Hexapla. In this enormous work he placed 6 columns besides each other, containing Hebrew Scriptures.

Column 1: the Hebrew and Aramaic text
Column 2: the Greek transliteration from column 1
Column 3: Aquila's Greek translation
Column 4: Symmachus' Greek translation
Column 5: the Greek Septuagint, reviewed by Origen
Column 6: Theodotion's Greek translation
By presenting these translations together Origen hoped to shed more light on the original text.

Throughout history there have been many different ways of writing God's name.
Ancient script
800 B.C.
Kuntillet Ajurud
625 B.C.
Ketef Hinnom - silver
+- 600 B.C.
Letters of Lachis - Ostraka of Arad
514-398 B.C.
Aramaic papyri
100-50 B.C
Papyrus Foead 266
30-50 A.D.
Dead Sea scrolls - Psalms
50 B.C. - 50 A.D. Nachal Hever
50 B.C - 50 A.D. Nachal Hever
30-50 A.D. Dead Sea - Psalms
2nd Century Syracuse
3rd Century Symmachus
3rd Century Oxyrynchus
5th Century Aquila
from 800 A.D. Codexes

NOTE: (18/10/10) Sorry folks the pictures are not displaying properly at present. I will endevour to fix them when I get time.