Who Am I? Part 9

“One more thing you should know about me,” I wrote in another essay: “I usually appreciate God’s deceptiveness (the NIV translates it shrewdness, if you prefer) first, before I recognize his reliability, trustworthiness and loyalty.  So I assume that I am far more perverse (NIV, crooked [now, devious]), than I am blameless, innocent or faithful.”  As I revisited this essay to make tables for 2 Samuel 22:26, 27 it occurred to me that this is no longer true.

In the Tanakh (and KJV) חסיד (châsı̂yd) was translated merciful (Table1) rather than loyal.  Daily infusions of God’s own love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control[1] have rendered me more merciful than perverse.  Consequently, I view God as more merciful than deceptive these days.  Paul described a similar transformation in his own life for believers in Galatia (Galatians 2:20 NET):

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.  So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

He prayed the same transformation for believers in Ephesus (Ephesians 3:16, 17a NET):

I pray that according to the wealth[2] of his glory [the Father,[3] from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named] will grant[4] you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ will dwell in your hearts through faith…

I noticed something comparing the English translations of 2 Samuel (Reigns, Kings) 2:26, 27 from the Septuagint (Table2 and Table3) to those of the Masoretic text.

Septuagint

Masoretic Text
2 Reigns 22:26, 27 (NETS) 2 Kings 22:26, 27 (Septuagint Elpenor) 2 Samuel 22:26, 27 (Tanakh)

2 Samuel 22:26, 27 (NET)

With the devout you will be deemed devout, and with a perfect man you will be deemed perfect, and with the select you will be select, and with the crooked you will be deemed crooked. With the holy thou wilt be holy, and with the perfect man thou will be perfect, and with the excellent thou wilt be excellent, and with the froward thou will be froward. With the merciful Thou dost show Thyself merciful, with the upright man Thou dost show Thyself upright, With the pure Thou dost show myself pure; and with the crooked Thou dost show Thyself subtle. You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful; you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.  You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless, but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.

The English translations from the Masoretic text seem to imply that God changes his behavior toward me depending upon my response to Him.  If I achieve the rank of crooked (Tanakh) or perverse (NET), God dost show Himself subtle (Tanakh) or prove to be deceptive (NET).  If I strive to be pure (Tanakh) or blameless (NET), He dost show myself (KJV: thyself) pure or prove to be reliable.  If I make myself upright or innocent, He dost show Himself upright or prove to be trustworthy.  If I become merciful or faithful, He dost show Himself merciful or prove to be loyal.

The translations from the Greek Septuagint (especially the NETS, “you will be deemed…”), however, called this into question and forced me to dig deeper.  With the exception of the adjective ἐκλεκτὸς, the verbs—ὁσιωθήσῃ, τελειωθήσῃ[5] and στρεβλωθήσῃ—applied to God by the rabbis who translated the Septuagint were all passive.  In other words, my perception—not God—changes as He has his way with me.  There is a caveat.

In a similar verse (Table3 below) Psalm 18:26 (18:27, 17:27) the rabbis chose the active διαστρέψεις for תתפתל (pâthal) rather than the passive στρεβλωθήσῃ (the Hebrew word תתפל [pâthal] was slightly different).  Here are the words in tabular form:

Reference

NET Parallel Hebrew Tanakh Parallel Hebrew (chabad.org) Strong’s Concordance Septuagint (BLB)

Septuagint (Elpenor)

2 Samuel (Kings) 22:27 תתפל תִּתַּפָּֽל פָּתַל (pâthal) στρεβλωθήσῃ στρεβλωθήσῃ
Psalm 18:26 (18:27; 17:27) תתפתל תִּתְפַּתָּֽל פָּתַל (pâthal) διαστρέψεις διαστρέψεις

In other words, with the froward (Tanakh), perverse (NET/English Elpenor) or “crooked” (NETS) God is more actively froward (Tanakh) or deceptive (NET), wilt shew frowardness (English Elpenor) or “will pervert” (1 Kings 22:19-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-5).  His mercy toward me is ever astonishing.  At my most crooked or perverse I mistook God’s mercy for his nonexistence.  He remained pure, reliable, upright, trustworthy, merciful and loyal despite my religious mind’s inability to perceive it at that time.

Before I get too carried away with the English translation merciful, however, I want to study the Greek translation some.  The Hebrew word חסיד (châsı̂yd) translated merciful in the Tanakh and KJV was translated ὁσίου (a form of ὅσιος) in the Septuagint rather than ἐλεήμων (Hebrews 2:17 NET):

Therefore [Jesus] had to be made like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he could become a merciful (ἐλεήμων) and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people.

Peter quoted David’s psalm about Jesus, you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor permit your Holy One to experience decay.[6]  Paul quoted part of the same psalm: You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.[7]  Here in both quotes ὅσιον (another form of ὅσιος) was translated Holy One.

The Greek word διαφθοράν translated decay above was itself a translation of the Hebrew word שחת.  But it was translated (Table4 below) corruption (Tanakh) or the Pit (NET).  A table contrasting these Hebrew homographs follows.

Reference

NET Parallel Hebrew Tanakh Parallel Hebrew (chabad.org) Strong’s Concordance Tanakh (Jewish Virtual Library)

NET

Psalm 16:10 שחת שָֽׁחַת שַׁחַת (shachath) corruption the Pit
Genesis 13:10 שחת שַׁחֵ֣ת שָׁחַת (shâchath) destroyed obliterated

The only difference between them is the vowel points.  Whether Peter and Paul misquoted the psalm to make it prophesy Jesus’ resurrection, or the Masoretes manipulated the vowel points to make it less obvious so as to defend their people from Christian interpretation will remain a matter of faith.  Admittedly, the rabbis who translated the Septuagint chose καταστρέψαι for שחת in Genesis 13:10 rather than διαφθοράν.  But they didn’t choose any form of Βόθυνος (Matthew 12:11) or φρέαρ (Revelation 9:1) for either occurrence.

Moses identified Levi’s holy one, whom Thou didst prove at Massah, with whom Thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah.[8] Again, the Hebrew word translated holy was חסידך (châsı̂yd) which was translated ὁσίῳ (another form of ὅσιος) in the Septuagint.  To Paul Levi’s holy one (τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ ὁσίῳ in the Septuagint; literally, holy man) was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 NET Table):

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.  For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

A plural form of ὅσιος (Table19 below) was translated holy (NET) or mercies (KJV) in Paul’s exhortation in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:34 NET):

But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the dead, never again to be in a state of decay, God has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy (ὅσια) and trustworthy promises made to David.’[9]

The last was a quote from the prophet Isaiah (Table8 below): I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.[10]  The Hebrew word חַסְדֵ֥י (chêsêd) was translated mercies on chabad.org as well.  The Greek translation ὅσια was also rendered mercies in the Elpenor English translation of the Septuagint, but sacred things in the NETS (Table9 below).

Who will not fear you,[11] O Lord, and glorify[12] your name, because you alone are holy[13] (ὅσιος), those who conquered the beast sang.  All nations will come and worship before you for your righteous acts (seven final plagues, seven angels holding the seven trumpets, the scroll and its seven seals) have been revealed.[14]  John’s vision continued: Now I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are just[15] – the one who is and who was, the Holy One[16] (ὅσιος) – because you have passed these judgments, because they poured out the blood of your saints and prophets, so you have given[17] them blood to drink.  They[18] got what they deserved!”[19]

Without reverting to my old ways—considering justice and mercy as opposites—it seemed only fair to mention these contexts for ὅσιος.  The varied translations of ὅσιος seem to confirm my understanding of a category called “justice-mercy.”  Though I struggle to describe this category in words or diagrams it becomes much clearer—along with faithfulness and love—in the person of Jesus the Christ.

He will keep the feet of His holy ones,[20] Hannah prayed.  I planned to quote this as an example of חסידו] חסידיו] (châsı̂yd) [contrast chabad.org] translated δικαίου (a form of δίκαιος) in the Septuagint.  Comparing the Greek of the Septuagint to the Masoretic text proved more problematic than that.  The English translations follow:

English Translations from Masoretic Hebrew

English Translations from Septuagint Greek
1 Samuel 2:9 (Tanakh) 1 Samuel 2:9 (NET) 1 Reigns 2:9 (NETS)

1 Kings 2:9 (English Elpenor)

He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for not by strength shall man prevail. He watches over his holy ones, but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness, for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails. Granting the prayer to the one who prays, he has even blessed the years of the righteous, because not by strength is a man mighty. granting his petition to him that prays; and he blesses the years of the righteous, for by strength cannot man prevail.

Admittedly, I wondered at first how the rabbis who translated the Septuagint got granting his petition to him that prays from but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness.  Still I lamented that this woman of ancient Israel understood something I required almost a lifetime to learn: not by strength (NET: one’s own strength) shall man prevail.  The more I meditated though, the more sense it made to me that Hannah would have prayed what she acknowledged to Eli (1 Samuel 1:26-28 Tanakh):

And she said: ‘Oh, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto HaShem.  For this child I prayed; and HaShem hath granted me my petition which I asked of Him; therefore I also have lent him to HaShem; as long as he liveth he is lent to HaShem.’  And he worshipped HaShem there.

Then I began to wonder why the Masoretes changed granting his petition to him that prays to but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness.  No contrast with the wicked is required to understand that the righteous do not prevail by their own strength.  I began to consider Hannah’s prayer of dedication in its entirety, but that must wait for another essay.

To conclude this essay, I won’t gainsay merciful as a translation of חסיד (châsı̂yd), but it was translated holy more often, indicating the Messiah.  Tables comparing Psalm 18:25, 26; 16:10; Deuternomy 33:8; Isaiah 55:3; 1 Samuel 2:9 and 1:26-28 in the Tanakh and NET, and tables comparing Psalm 18:25 (17:26); 18:26 (17:27); 16:10 (15:10); Deuteronomy 33:8; Isaiah 55:3; 1 Samuel (Reigns, Kings) 2:9; 1:26; 1:27 and 1:28 in the Septuagint (BLB and Elpenor) follow.  Following those are tables comparing Ephesians 3:14; 3:16; Acts 13:35; 13:34; Revelation 15:4 and 16:5, 6 in the NET and KJV.

Psalm 18:25, 26 (Tanakh)

Psalm 18:25, 26 (NET)

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; You prove to be loyal to one who is faithful; you prove to be trustworthy to one who is innocent.
With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward. You prove to be reliable to one who is blameless, but you prove to be deceptive to one who is perverse.

Psalm 18:25 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 17:26 (Septuagint Elpenor)

μετὰ ὁσίου ὁσιωθήσῃ καὶ μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἀθῴου ἀθῷος ἔσῃ μετὰ ὁσίου ὅσιος ἔσῃ, καὶ μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἀθῴου ἀθῷος ἔσῃ

Psalm 17:26 (NETS)

Psalm 17:26 (English Elpenor)

With the devout you will be deemed devout, and with the innocent man you will be innocent, With the holy thou wilt be holy; and with the innocent man thou wilt be innocent.

Psalm 18:26 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 17:27 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ μετὰ ἐκλεκτοῦ ἐκλεκτὸς ἔσῃ καὶ μετὰ στρεβλοῦ διαστρέψεις καὶ μετὰ ἐκλεκτοῦ ἐκλεκτὸς ἔσῃ καὶ μετὰ στρεβλοῦ διαστρέψεις

Psalm 17:27 (NETS)

Psalm 17:27 (English Elpenor)

and with the select you will be select, and with the crooked you will pervert, And with the excellent [man] thou wilt be excellent; and with the perverse thou wilt shew frowardness.

Psalm 16:10 (Tanakh)

Psalm 16:10 (NET)

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. You will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful follower (châsı̂yd, חסידך) to see the Pit.

Psalm 16:10 (Septuagint BLB)

Psalm 15:10 (Septuagint Elpenor)

ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῗν διαφθοράν ὅτι οὐκ ἐγκαταλείψεις τὴν ψυχήν μου εἰς ᾅδην, οὐδὲ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν

Psalm 15:10 (NETS)

Psalm 15:10 (English Elpenor)

because you will not abandon my soul to Hades or give your devout to see corruption. because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Deuteronomy 33:8 (Tanakh)

Deuteronomy 33:8 (NET)

And of Levi he said: Thy Thummim and Thy Urim be with Thy holy one, whom Thou didst prove at Massah, with whom Thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; Of Levi he said: Your Thummim and Urim belong to your godly (châsı̂yd, חסידך) one, whose authority you challenged at Massah, and with whom you argued at the waters of Meribah.

Deuteronomy 33:8 (Septuagint BLB)

Deuteronomy 33:8 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ τῷ Λευι εἶπεν δότε Λευι δήλους αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀλήθειαν αὐτοῦ τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ ὁσίῳ ὃν ἐπείρασαν αὐτὸν ἐν πείρᾳ ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀντιλογίας καὶ τῷ Λευὶ εἶπε· δότε Λευὶ δήλους αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀλήθειαν αὐτοῦ, τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ ὁσίῳ, ὃν ἐπείρασαν αὐτὸν ἐν πείρᾳ, ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀντιλογίας

Deuteronomy 33:8 (NETS)

Deuteronomy 33:8 (English Elpenor)

And to Leui he said: Give Leui his clear ones and his truth to the devout man, whom they tempted him with temptation.  They reviled him at the water of dispute. And to Levi he said, Give to Levi his manifestations, and his truth to the holy man, whom they tempted in the temptation; they reviled him at the water of strife.

Isaiah 55:3 (Tanakh)

Isaiah 55:3 (NET)

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Pay attention and come to me!  Listen, so you can live!  Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to you, just like the reliable covenantal promises (chêsêd, חסדי) I made to David.

Isaiah 55:3 (Septuagint BLB)

Isaiah 55:3 (Septuagint Elpenor)

προσέχετε τοῗς ὠτίοις ὑμῶν καὶ ἐπακολουθήσατε ταῗς ὁδοῗς μου ἐπακούσατέ μου καὶ ζήσεται ἐν ἀγαθοῗς ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν καὶ διαθήσομαι ὑμῗν διαθήκην αἰώνιον τὰ ὅσια Δαυιδ τὰ πιστά προσέχετε τοῖς ὠσὶν ὑμῶν καὶ ἐπακουλουθήσατε ταῖς ὁδοῖς μου· εἰσακούσατέ μου, καὶ ζήσεται ἐν ἀγαθοῖς ἡ ψυχὴ ὑμῶν· καὶ διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην αἰώνιον, τὰ ὅσια Δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά

Isaiah 55:3 (NETS)

Isaiah 55:3 (English Elpenor)

Pay attention with your ears, and follow my ways; listen to me, and your soul will live in good things.  I will make with you an everlasting covenant, the sacred things of David that are sure. Give heed with your ears, and follow my ways: hearken to me, and your soul shall live in prosperity; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, the sure mercies of David.

1 Samuel 2:9 (Tanakh)

1 Samuel 2:9 (NET)

He will keep the feet of His holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for not by strength shall man prevail. He watches over his holy (châsı̂yd, [חסידו]) ones (châsı̂yd, חסידיו), but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness, for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.

1 Samuel 2:9 (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 2:9 (Septuagint Elpenor)

διδοὺς εὐχὴν τῷ εὐχομένῳ καὶ εὐλόγησεν ἔτη δικαίου ὅτι οὐκ ἐν ἰσχύι δυνατὸς ἀνήρ διδοὺς εὐχὴν τῷ εὐχομένῳ καὶ εὐλόγησεν ἔτη δικαίου· ὅτι οὐκ ἐν ἰσχύϊ δυνατὸς ἀνήρ

1 Reigns 2:9 (NETS)

1 Kings 2:9 (English Elpenor)

Granting the prayer to the one who prays, he has even blessed the years of the righteous, because not by strength is a man mighty. granting his petition to him that prays; and he blesses the years of the righteous, for by strength cannot man prevail.

1 Samuel 1:26-28 (Tanakh)

1 Samuel 1:26-28 (NET)

And she said: ‘Oh, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto HaShem. She said, “My lord. Just as surely as you are alive, my lord, I am the woman who previously stood here with you in order to pray to the Lord.
For this child I prayed; and HaShem hath granted me my petition which I asked of Him; For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me the request that I asked of him.
therefore I also have lent him to HaShem; as long as he liveth he is lent to HaShem.’  And he worshipped HaShem there. So I also dedicate him to the Lord. For all the days of his life he is dedicated to the Lord.” Then he bowed down there in worship to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:26 (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 1:26 (Septuagint Elpenor)

καὶ εἶπεν ἐν ἐμοί κύριε ζῇ ἡ ψυχή σου ἐγὼ ἡ γυνὴ ἡ καταστᾶσα ἐνώπιόν σου ἐν τῷ προσεύξασθαι πρὸς κύριον καὶ εἶπεν· ἐν ἐμοί, κύριε· ζῇ ἡ ψυχή σου, ἐγὼ ἡ γυνὴ ἡ καταστᾶσα ἐνώπιόν σου μετὰ σοῦ ἐν τῷ προσεύξασθαι πρὸς Κύριον

1 Reigns 1:26 (NETS)

1 Kings 1:26 (English Elpenor)

and said, “By me, sir!  Your soul lives, I am the woman who stood before you when praying to the Lord; And she said, I pray thee, my lord, as thy soul liveth, I [am] the woman that stood in thy presence with thee while praying to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:27 (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 1:27 (Septuagint Elpenor)

ὑπὲρ τοῦ παιδαρίου τούτου προσηυξάμην καὶ ἔδωκέν μοι κύριος τὸ αἴτημά μου ὃ ᾐτησάμην παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ ὑπὲρ τοῦ παιδαρίου τούτου προσηυξάμην, καὶ ἔδωκέ μοι Κύριος τὸ αἴτημά μου, ὃ ᾐτησάμην παρ᾿ αὐτοῦ

1 Reigns 1:27 (NETS)

1 Kings 1:27 (English Elpenor)

for this boy I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my request that I requested of him. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has given me my request that I asked of him.

1 Samuel 1:28 (Septuagint BLB)

1 Kings 1:28 (Septuagint Elpenor)

κἀγὼ κιχρῶ αὐτὸν τῷ κυρίῳ πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἃς ζῇ αὐτός χρῆσιν τῷ κυρίῳ κἀγὼ κιχρῶ αὐτὸν τῷ Κυρίῳ πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας, ἃς ζῇ αὐτός, χρῆσιν τῷ Κυρίῳ. Καὶ εἶπεν

1 Reigns 1:28 (NETS)

1 Kings 1:28 (English Elpenor)

And I lend him to the Lord as long as he lives, a loan to the Lord. And I lend him to the Lord all his days that he lives, a loan to the Lord: and she said,

Ephesians 3:14 (NET)

Ephesians 3:14 (KJV)

For this reason I kneel before the Father, For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

Τούτου χάριν κάμπτω τὰ γόνατα μου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα τουτου χαριν καμπτω τα γονατα μου προς τον πατερα του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου τουτου χαριν καμπτω τα γονατα μου προς τον πατερα του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου

Ephesians 3:16 (NET)

Ephesians 3:16 (KJV)

I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he will grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ἵνα δῷ ὑμῖν κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον ινα δωη υμιν κατα τον πλουτον της δοξης αυτου δυναμει κραταιωθηναι δια του πνευματος αυτου εις τον εσω ανθρωπον ινα δωη υμιν κατα τον πλουτον της δοξης αυτου δυναμει κραταιωθηναι δια του πνευματος αυτου εις τον εσω ανθρωπον

Acts 13:35 (NET)

Acts 13:35 (KJV)

Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.’ Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

διότι καὶ ἐν ἑτέρῳ λέγει· οὐ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιον σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν διο και εν ετερω λεγει ου δωσεις τον οσιον σου ιδειν διαφθοραν διο και εν ετερω λεγει ου δωσεις τον οσιον σου ιδειν διαφθοραν

Acts 13:34 (NET)

Acts 13:34 (KJV)

But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the dead, never again to be in a state of decay, God has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.’ And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ὅτι δὲ ἀνέστησεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν μηκέτι μέλλοντα ὑποστρέφειν εἰς διαφθοράν, οὕτως εἴρηκεν ὅτι δώσω ὑμῖν τὰ ὅσια Δαυὶδ τὰ πιστά οτι δε ανεστησεν αυτον εκ νεκρων μηκετι μελλοντα υποστρεφειν εις διαφθοραν ουτως ειρηκεν οτι δωσω υμιν τα οσια δαβιδ τα πιστα οτι δε ανεστησεν αυτον εκ νεκρων μηκετι μελλοντα υποστρεφειν εις διαφθοραν ουτως ειρηκεν οτι δωσω υμιν τα οσια δαυιδ τα πιστα

Revelation 15:4 (NET)

Revelation 15:4 (KJV)

Who will not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name, because you alone are holy?  All nations will come and worship before you for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

τίς οὐ μὴ φοβηθῇ, κύριε, καὶ δοξάσει τὸ ὄνομα σου; ὅτι μόνος ὅσιος, ὅτι πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἥξουσιν καὶ προσκυνήσουσιν ἐνώπιον σου, ὅτι τὰ δικαιώματα σου ἐφανερώθησαν τις ου μη φοβηθη σε κυριε και δοξαση το ονομα σου οτι μονος οσιος οτι παντα τα εθνη ηξουσιν και προσκυνησουσιν ενωπιον σου οτι τα δικαιωματα σου εφανερωθησαν τις ου μη φοβηθη σε κυριε και δοξαση το ονομα σου οτι μονος αγιος οτι παντα τα εθνη ηξουσιν και προσκυνησουσιν ενωπιον σου οτι τα δικαιωματα σου εφανερωθησαν

Revelation 16:5, 6 (NET)

Revelation 16:5, 6 (KJV)

Now I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are just – the one who is and who was, the Holy One – because you have passed these judgments, And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

Καὶ ἤκουσα τοῦ ἀγγέλου τῶν ὑδάτων λέγοντος· δίκαιος εἶ, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν, |ὁ| ὅσιος, ὅτι ταῦτα ἔκρινας, και ηκουσα του αγγελου των υδατων λεγοντος δικαιος κυριε ει ο ων και ο ην και ο οσιος οτι ταυτα εκρινας και ηκουσα του αγγελου των υδατων λεγοντος δικαιος ει ο ων και ο ην ο οσιος οτι ταυτα εκρινας
because they poured out the blood of your saints and prophets, so you have given them blood to drink.  They got what they deserved!” For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

NET Parallel Greek

Stephanus Textus Receptus

Byzantine Majority Text

ὅτι αἷμα ἁγίων καὶ προφητῶν ἐξέχεαν καὶ αἷμα αὐτοῖς |[δ]έδωκας| πιεῖν, ἄξιοι εἰσιν οτι αιμα αγιων και προφητων εξεχεαν και αιμα αυτοις εδωκας πιειν αξιοι γαρ εισιν οτι αιμα αγιων και προφητων εξεχεαν και αιμα αυτοις εδωκας πιειν αξιοι εισιν

 

[1] Galatians 5:22, 23a (NET) Table

[2] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had πλοῦτος—the nominative case—here along with its corresponding article τὸ, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had πλουτον (KJV: riches)—the accusative case—with its corresponding article τον.

[3] The Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου (KJV: of our Lord Jesus Christ) here.  The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 did not.

[4] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had δῷ—in the subjunctive mood—here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had δωη (KJV: would grant)—in either the optative or subjunctive mood (depending on diacritical marks which are absent, though the word would may indicate that the translators understood it as subjunctive).  The NET will grant indicates a more “definite outcome,” the “result” of Paul’s prayer according to wealth of the Father’s glory.

[5] In a similar passage in Psalm 18:26 (17:27) the rabbis chose the adjective ἀθῷος to translate תתמם (tâmam) rather than the passive τελειωθήσῃ though the Hebrew was also תתמם (tâmam).

[6] Acts 2:27 (NET) Table

[7] Acts 13:35b (NET)

[8] Deuteronomy 33:8b (Tanakh)

[9] In the NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text David was spelled Δαυὶδ, and δαβιδ in the Stephanus Textus Receptus.

[10] Isaiah 55:3b (Tanakh)

[11] The Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had σε here.  The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 did not.

[12] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had the future tense indicative mood verb δοξάσει here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had the aorist tense subjunctive mood verb δοξαση.  This is potentially a significant difference.  For what it’s worth, φοβηθῇ (fear) is in the aorist tense and subjunctive mood.  Of course, it is also in the passive voice while both δοξάσει and δοξαση are in the active voice.

[13] The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Stephanus Textus Receptus had ὅσιος here, where the Byzantine Majority Text had αγιος.

[14] Revelation 15:4 (NET)

[15] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had κυριε (KJV: O Lord) here.  The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text did not.

[16] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had και (KJV: and shalt be) preceding the Holy One.  The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text did not.

[17] The NET parallel Greek text and NA28 had δέδωκας here, where the Stephanus Textus Receptus and Byzantine Majority Text had εδωκας (KJV: hast given).

[18] The Stephanus Textus Receptus had the conjunction γαρ (KJV: for) joining these clauses.  The NET parallel Greek text, NA28 and Byzantine Majority Text did not.

[19] Revelation 16:5, 6 (NET)

[20] 1 Samuel 2:9 (Tanakh)

Paul’s OT Quotes – Antioch

Old Testament quotations in the New Testament frustrated me terribly as I began to study the Bible.  When I turned back to the passages listed in the footnotes and read the actual text, it was often significantly different.  How could Paul and even Jesus quote the Old Testament so poorly and inaccurately?  It was difficult for me to see how they arrived at the understanding they presented.  And it was even more difficult for me to believe that they were correct.

A table follows with quotations from Paul’s sermon at Pisidian Antioch, the NET translation of the Old Testament passage he quoted, and the New American Bible translation of the same passage.  (I was told that the New American Bible was better regarding this issue.)

#

Paul (NET/NAB)

New English Translation

New American Bible

1

I have found David…

Acts 13:22 (NET)

I have discovered David, my servant.

Psalm 89:20a (NET)

I have chosen David, my servant…

Psalm 89:21a (NAB)

2

…to be a man after my heart…

Acts 13:22 (NET)

The Lord has sought out for himself a man who is loyal to him…

1 Samuel 13:14 (NET)

The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart…

1 Samuel 13:14 (NAB)

3

You are my Son; today I have fathered you. [NAB: this day I have begotten you]

Acts 13:33 (NET)

You are my son!  This very day I have become your father!

Psalm 2:7 (NET)

You are my son; today I am your father.

Psalm 2:7 (NAB)

4

I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.

Acts 13:34 (NET)

I shall give you the   benefits assured to David.

Acts 13:34 (NAB)

Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to you, just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David.

Isaiah 55:3 (NET)

I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.

Isaiah 55:3 (NAB)

5

You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.

Acts 13:35 (NET)

You will not suffer your holy one to see corruption.

Acts 13:35 (NAB)

You will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful follower to see the Pit.

Psalm 16:10 (NET)

For you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let your faithful servant see the pit.

Psalm 16:10 (NAB)

6

Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish!  For I am doing a work in your days, a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.

Acts 13:41 (NET)

Look on, you scoffers, be amazed and disappear.  For I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will never believe even if someone tells you.

Acts 13:41 (NAB)

Look at the nations and pay attention!  You will be shocked and amazed!  For I will do something in your lifetime that you will not believe even though you are forewarned.

Habakkuk 1:5 (NET)

Look over the nations and see, and be utterly amazed!  For a work is being done in your days that you would not have believed, were it told.

Habakkuk 1:5 (NAB)

Items #1-3 are not too bad in either translation.  I’d give the advantage to the New American Bible for Item #2, a man after his own heart.  The trouble begins in Items #4 and #5.  Again I’d give the advantage to the New American Bible on Item #4.  In the NET translation I’m not sure whether God will give the Messiah the same promises made to David or others like them.  And in Item #5 all hell breaks loose, literally.  Paul spoke about the Lord’s Holy One not experiencing decay or corruption, but both Bible translations are about Sheol and the Pit.

Here is the context for Paul’s usage of these Old Testament texts (Acts 13:32-39 NET).

And we proclaim to you the good news about the promise to our ancestors, that this promise God has fulfilled to us, their children, by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have fathered you.’  But regarding the fact that he has raised Jesus from the dead, never again to be in a state of decay (διαφθοράν, a form of διαφθορά),[1] God has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.’  Therefore he also says in another psalm, ‘You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay (διαφθοράν).’  For David, after he had served God’s purpose in his own generation, died, was buried with his ancestors, and experienced decay (διαφθοράν), but the one whom God raised up did not experience decay (διαφθοράν).  Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by this one everyone who believes is justified from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify you.

This was a rather important doctrine to be based on such inaccurate quotation of Old Testament Scripture.  I was surprised that no one stood up in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch to correct Paul’s misquotes.  While Item #6 is not too awful, apparently the words you scoffers and any mention of perishing or disappearing wasn’t in the original text.  So I was left with the impression that Paul added the pejorative and threatening language.

Later, I learned that Paul had quoted from the Septuagint (LXX), a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture completed in Alexandria about 200 years before the birth of Jesus.  Below is a table with Paul’s quotation from the NET and New American Bibles, the Old Testament text in Greek from the Septuagint, and the parallel Greek text used by the translators of the NET.  Both the Septuagint and the parallel Greek text used by the NET translators are available online.

#

Paul (NET/NAB)

Blue Letter Bible (Septuagint)

NET   Bible (Greek parallel text)

1

I have found David…

Acts 13:22 (NET)

εὗρον Δαυιδ

Psalm 89:20a

ευρον δαυιδ

Acts 13:22

2

…to be a man after my heart…

Acts 13:22 (NET)

ἄνθρωπον[2] κατὰ τὴν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ[3]

1 Samuel 13:14

[ανδρα][4] κατα την καρδιαν μου[5]

Acts 13:22

3

You are my Son; today I have fathered you. [NAB: this day I have begotten you]

Acts 13:33 (NET)

υἱός μου εἶ σύ ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε

Psalm 2:7

υιος μου ει συ εγω σημερον γεγεννηκα   σε

Acts 13:33

4

I will give you the holy and trustworthy promises made to David.

Acts 13:34 (NET)

I shall give you the benefits assured to David.

Acts 13:34 (NAB)

διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην[6] αἰώνιον[7]  τὰ ὅσια Δαυιδ τὰ πιστά

Isaiah 55:3

δωσω[8] υμιν[9] τα οσια δαυιδ τα πιστα

Acts 13:34

5

You will not permit your Holy One to experience decay.

Acts 13:35 (NET)

You will not suffer your holy one to see corruption.

Acts 13:35 (NAB)

οὐδὲ[10] δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν

Psalm 16:10

ου[11] δωσεις τον οσιον σου ιδειν διαφθοραν

Acts 13:35

6

Look, you scoffers; be amazed and perish!  For I am doing a   work in your days, a work you would never believe, even if someone tells you.

Acts 13:41 (NET)

Look on, you scoffers, be amazed and disappear.  For I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will never believe even if someone tells you.

Acts 13:41 (NAB)

ἴδετε οἱ καταφρονηταί[12] καὶ ἐπιβλέψατε[13] καὶ θαυμάσατε[14] θαυμάσια[15] καὶ ἀφανίσθητε[16] διότι[17]ἔργον ἐγὼ ἐργάζομαι ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ὑμῶν ὃ οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε ἐάν τις ἐκδιηγῆται

Habakkuk 1:5

ιδετε οι καταφρονηται και θαυμασατε και αφανισθητε οτι[18] εργον εργαζομαι εγω εν ταις ημεραις υμων εργον ο ου μη πιστευσητε εαν τις εκδιηγηται υμιν

Acts 13:41

Except for accent marks Item #1 is identical in both the Septuagint and the parallel Greek text.  In Item #2 the phrase began with ἄνθρωπος in the Septuagint and ἀνδρα (a form of ἀνήρ) in the parallel Greek text.  Both may be translated man.  The phrase in the Septuagint ended with a form of αὐτός (self) and with μοῦ (I, me, my, mine) in the parallel Greek text.  The rest, except for accent marks, are identical, and a form of καρδία[19] (heart) is clearly in both.  And finally, except for accent marks Item #3 is identical in Psalm 2:7 in the Septuagint and Acts 13:33 in the parallel Greek text.

In Hebrews 8:10 NET διαθηκη ην διαθησομαι is translated is the covenant that I will establish; διαθηκη = is the covenant; διαθησομαι = I will establish.  So I am guessing that the beginning of Item #4, διαθήσομαι ὑμῖν διαθήκην αἰώνιον from Isaiah 55:3 in the Septuagint means something like I will establish with you this covenant eternal as opposed to simply δωσω υμιν (I give you) in the parallel Greek text of Acts 13:34.  After that except for accent marks both are identical.

Item #5 begins with two different forms of negation, but after that except for accent marks both are identical.  The final word in both the Septuagint and the parallel Greek text is διαφθορά (decay, corruption) not βόθυνος[20] (cistern, ditch, pit), nor ἄβυσσος[21] (depthless, abyss, deep, bottomless, pit), nor φρέαρ[22] (cistern, well, abyss, prison, pit), nor ταρταρόω[23] (abyss, incarcerate, hell), nor τάφος[24] (grave, sepulchre, tomb), nor ληνός[25] (trough, vat, winepress), nor χάσμα[26] (chasm, gulf), nor γέεννα[27] (valley of the son of Hinnom, hell).

Item #6 displays some significant differences between the Septuagint and the parallel Greek text.  The phrase καὶ ἐπιβλέψατε in Habakkuk 1:5 was not repeated in Acts 13:41.  The word καὶ is a conjunction, probably and in this case.  The closest I could find to ἐπιβλέψατε was επιβλεψητε in James 2:3 (NET), which was translated do you pay attention.  So I assume the text of Habakkuk contained not only the word look (ἴδετε) but followed with and pay attention (καὶ ἐπιβλέψατε).  Next, where the parallel Greek text reads και θαυμασατε the Septuagint had καὶ θαυμάσατε θαυμάσια.  I found θαυμασια in Matthew 21:15 (NET) translated the wonderful.  So my assumption is that θαυμασια modifies θαυμάσατε.  Paul said and be amazed (και θαυμασατε) where the Septuagint said something like and be wonderfully amazed (καὶ θαυμάσατε θαυμάσια) or perhaps, and be amazed by miracles.

The second clause was joined by διότι (on the very account that, or inasmuch as) in the Septuagint and οτι (because, translated for) in the parallel Greek text.  (I suspect it has something to do with language construction since εργον (a work) was repeated at the beginning of the next clause in the parallel Greek text and not in the Septuagint.)  In the Septuagint ἔργον ἐγὼ ἐργάζομαι (a work I am doing) follows the conjunction διότι.  In the parallel Greek text εργον εργαζομαι εγω (a work am doing I) follows the conjunction οτι.  The latter is clumsy in English but I don’t think word order has the same significance in Greek.  Finally the parallel Greek text ended with a more definitive εκδιηγηται υμιν (tells you) while the Septuagint ended ἐκδιηγῆται (probably something like, tells of it).

Compared to the other quotations I’ve looked at these differences are significant (and I can’t explain them) but not substantial.  What is important to me is that οἱ καταφρονηταί (you scoffers) and καὶ ἀφανίσθητε (and perish or and disappear) occur in both.  Paul was not as bad at quoting Old Testament scripture as I at first thought.  In fact, this whole exercise leads me to believe that the Septuagint is like a snapshot of at least Diaspora Jewish thinking on the Bible when their Messianic hopes were still vital.

I suspect that no one interrupted or corrected Paul in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch because they all used the Septuagint, or had not yet gotten word from the religious authorities that the Hebrew language no longer meant what it meant when the Septuagint was translated.  Bible scholars and translators today (and apparently since Jerome in the fifth century) prefer the Hebrew text.  I doubt a tradition with that longevity is going to change any time soon.  But as I said before all of these resources are online.  I don’t know Greek either, but with a concordance and a little comparison and contrast among texts one can begin to see through the fog.

 

Addendum (6/19/2015): Jim Searcy has published that the Septuagint is a hoax written by Origen and Eusebius 200 hundred years or so after Christ.  “In fact, the Septuagint ‘quotes’ from the New Testament and not vice versa…”  His contention is that the “King James Version is the infallible Word of God.”  So, I’ll re-examine the quotations above with the KJV.

#

Paul (KJV)

King James Version

New American Bible

1

I have found David…

Acts 13:22 (KJV)

I have found David my servant…

Psalm 89:20a (KJV)

I have chosen David, my servant…

Psalm 89:21a (NAB)

2

…a man after mine own heart…

Acts 13:22 (KJV)

the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart…

1 Samuel 13:14 (KJV)

The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart…

1 Samuel 13:14 (NAB)

3

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

Acts 13:33 (KJV)

Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Psalm 2:7 (KJV)

You are my son; today I am your father.

Psalm 2:7 (NAB)

4

I will give you the sure mercies of David.

Acts 13:34 (KJV)

 

I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Isaiah 55:3 (KJV)

I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.

Isaiah 55:3 (NAB)

5

Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 13:35 (KJV)

 

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 16:10 (KJV)

For you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let your faithful servant see the pit.

Psalm 16:10 (NAB)

6

Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

Acts 13:41 (KJV)

 

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Habakkuk 1:5 (KJV)

Look over the nations and see, and be utterly amazed!  For a work is being done in your days that you would not have believed, were it told.

Habakkuk 1:5 (NAB)

Items #1 – #5 correspond excellently between Old Testament and Paul’s quotations in his sermon at Antioch.  Item #6 indicates that Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) altered a text addressed to the heathen, applied it to the Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, called them despisers, and threatened them (perish).  Later Origen copied this text into his false Greek text which became the Septuagint, if Mr. Searcy is correct.

The alternative here would be that the despisers could no longer bear to hear this word in the Hebrew text and assumed it was meant for the heathen, after the Greek text of the original Hebrew was firmly established.  Paul did seem to indicate that his words were what was spoken of in the prophets (τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν τοῖς προφήταις).