В поисках «теологии Септуагинты»: методологические аспекты
M. Seleznev. In Search of the “Theology of the Septuagint”: Methodological Aspects
The article discusses the role of the “theology of the Septuagint” in comparison with other factors that caused differences between the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Old Testament. The author insists that in dealing with these differences we should speak about theologically motivated exegesis only when other, simpler, explanations fail.
There was a marked development of concepts and ideas (including theological concepts and ideas) between the time in which the texts of the Hebrew Bible were written and the time of Philo and Josephus. Scholars dealing with the “theology of the LXX” often ascribe a good part of this development to the translators of the LXX. But in fact the translation itself was only a link among many other links in a lengthy and complicated chain of exegetical developments within Second Temple Judaism.
The paper lists factors that can create a false impression of a theologically motivated translation, and illustrates them with concrete examples. (a) The Hebrew text of the LXX Vorlage may have been different from the Hebrew text known to us. (b) The meaning of Hebrew words and expressions may have changed by the time of the translation. (c) The translator’s choice may have been affected by the use of standard equivalents, by stylistic considerations, by peculiarities of translation technique, or by the translator’s desire to make the text more explicit. (d) The LXX text known to us may be different from the real OG. (e) Our own understanding of the LXX may be influenced by later exegesis. Speaking about theologically motivated exegesis in such cases would be misleading.