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Did Jesus and His Apostles Quote from the Greek Old Testament Translation, the Septuagint (LXX)?

Updated: Dec 18, 2023


The Septuagint (also known as the LXX) is a translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language. The name Septuagint comes from the Latin word for “seventy,” hence the Roman numeral LXX. Tradition has it that 70 Jewish scholars translated the Septuagint from a Hebrew Text, which occurred in the third and second centuries B.C. (250 to 150 B.C) in Alexandria, Egypt, home of everything corrupt concerning bibliology and other Christian doctrine. In fact, nothing good has ever come out of Alexandria, Egypt, including the corrupt Critical Text of 1881 (known as the Nestle-Aland text today) which is also known as the Egyptian text or the Alexandrian text due to the manuscripts it is based upon—two actually, the “Aleph” (Codex Sinaiticus) and “B” (Codex Vaticanus)—originated in Egypt and the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which was a center of learning during the early centuries of the church age, and also a centre of serious heresy and apostasy. Egypt is not a place where the Spirit of God gave the N.T. Scriptures. God chose to deliver the Scriptures to churches in Israel, Syria, Asia Minor, and Europe. Not one book of the N.T. is associated with Egypt. Everything Egypt is considered apostatized and untrustworthy, including the corrupted codices and LXX. Many false doctrines canonized in the Roman Catholic Church can be traced back to Alexandria as their birth place.


The Septuagint is the ancient representation of Bible perversion to its counterpart, the modern Bible perversions derived from the Critical Text. Modern editions of the Greek O.T. are corrupted likewise as they are based on the Codices Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus, all of which are severely scandalous three-fold — by addition, omission and change (cf. Rev 22:18-19). Belief in the N.T. writers’ use of the LXX is foundational for the promotion of (1) the pseudo-science of textual criticism, (2) the various corrupt Greek editions (Critical and Eclectic text), (3) the manifold English perversions that originate in the corrupt Greek editions, and (4) culminating in the unbiblical Totality of Manuscripts position (preservation allegedly only exists in the totality of the ancient language manuscripts of that revelation). Therefore, the argument goes, God has preserved His word (thought, concept, doctrine), but not His Words (in contradiction to Ps 12:6-7; Matt 4:4; 5:18; 24:35; Jn 12:48).


Men as early as 17th century decided that both Jesus and the apostles quoted from a Greek version of the Hebrew O.T. But like any other historic tradition, we evaluate the hypothesis with truth (Jn 17:17). It seems perhaps the Septuagint defenders always have the same common denominator in their bibliology, which is textual criticism and superior or older manuscripts, while denying the promises of God such as the perfect preservation of His words in the 66 books that make up His Word. Since they do not approach Scripture with exegesis, though many attempt to proclaim that argument, the best they can come up with besides revising the meaning of verses on perfect preservation such as Is 59:21; Matt 4:4; 5:18; 24:35; and Ps 12:6-7; etc, or just attacking the already developed and historic doctrine of preservation, is arguing the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the O.T., even though by all accounts the original LXX text is actually unknown.


It is very common in our day to read of the falsehood that Jesus and the apostles and other N.T. authors used and quoted from the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew Masoretic Text (the O.T. scripture that God indeed inspired and preserved) in their preaching and teaching, alongside the proclamation that this Greek translation of the Bible is equivalent to the authoritative Word of God. This was recently argued here as well at 20/20 by one commenter, who argued against the Hebrew Masoretic Text and King James Bible in the report Why Modern Bible Versions are Corrupt, and the King James Version is Not, claiming that the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles quoted from the Septuagint, and that the Septuagint was equivalent to the paleo-Hebrew O.T.


Consider the proof as to why both these arguments (Jesus and His Apostles quoted from the Septuagint, and the Septuagint is equivalent to the Hebrew Masoretic Text) are fallacious, from the Bible and from the testimony of the Septuagint itself.


1. First of all, the Septuagint (LXX) is extremely inaccurate and corrupt, along similar lines as modern translations from the Critical Text, though not the exact same sort of corruptions, since the obvious foundational issue with the modern versions is the corrupt Critical Text, which came into existence in the late 19th century only. But there is a connection, in that the corrupted manuscripts utilized by the Critical Text translators were corrupted in Alexandria, Egypt, just like the LXX. But the corrupt LXX translation of the Hebrew O.T. doesn’t fit into either of the true or false stream of Bibles, though it is a false, corrupt Bible only for other reasons.


For instance,

“[T]he scribes who copied the surviving manuscripts of the LXX [which date after the composition of the gospels] were by and large [professing, alleged] Christians who would have been familiar with the NT writings. When, in the process of producing a LXX manuscript, they came to a passage that was quoted in the NT, they sometimes adjusted the text, either inadvertently (because of their memory of the NT form) or purposefully (because they assumed the NT form was correct)” (Moises Silva and Karen Jobes, Invitation to the Septuagint, 2000, p. 191)

This historic tradition creates a huge problem for one’s view of inspiration and inerrancy. It says Jesus quoted an extremely flawed translation, especially textually, making error in Scripture, “satisfactory.” Then certain points debunk the historic tradition. Many of these O.T. quotations in the NT are significantly different from certain modern Septuagint's. Cumulatively a large majority of the quotations from Job, Zechariah, and Malachi agree solely with the Masoretic. This same historic tradition today underlies denial of ipsissima verba of Christ for unorthodox ipsissima vox.


How corrupt is the Septuagint (LXX)? The LXX is rife with errors, omissions and transcriptional gaffes. There is hardly a page in the LXX where errors do not abound. In passages such as Ps 2:9; 145, and Am 5:26 for instance, the LXX has “corrected” alleged errors in the Masoretic text (Kent Brandenburg, Thou Shalt Keep Them, p. 155) and the LXX adds 586 years to the time from Adam to the flood in Gen 5. Why would someone do that, and what does it say about the character of the text? For not only that reason, the LXX's character is further suspect seeing that the current LXX (original we are unaware of, since it is not presently extant) contains the Apocrypha intermingled with the canonical books of the Tanak. Furthermore the LXX corrupts the Hebrew text at places especially in the Psalms (e.g. Ps 9 and 10 are a single Psalm), and in Jeremiah (vv. 46-51 come after v. 13 in Jer 25). The current LXX is a compilation of Origen’s Hexapla, which includes his revision of the LXX, along with the Greek renderings of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. The LXX attempts to "smooth out" the change of person in Hos 2:6. The Lord addressed Israel with the second person suffix (“thy way”) and then employed the third person “she shall seek.” The LXX uses the third person throughout this verse. Unger adds these comments about portions of the LXX concerning its questionable veracity:

“The Psalms, on the other hand, and the Book of Isaiah show obvious signs of incompetence . . .In the latter part of Jeremiah, the Greek . . . is ‘unintelligibly literal.’ The Book of Daniel is mere Midrashic paraphrase." (Merrill F. Unger, Unger’s Bible Dictionary, 1972, p. 1147)

Textual Critic proponents hold to the popular O.T. Text Criticism theory that the LXX predates the Masoretic Text and even corrects the Masoretic Text, which isn't unusual for them seeing that the same argument of antiquity is proffered towards modern English Bible perversions in their contrast or opposition to the King James Bible, but its a red herring. As noted with this representative example, modern textual "scholarship" is encumbered with inconsistencies and faulty rationale. The LXX is a translation; why should a translation correct the original language text? Is this not an example of Ruckmanism reversed, something that might have escaped them seeing that Ruckmanism is their brain child on Bible versions?


So there are many important challenges for those who promote Christ’s use of the Septuagint including its history, character and known errors. But the greatest challenge is overcoming the biblical passages which declare His exclusive use of the Hebrew text in the absence of any tangible proof that He used the Greek. Questions that lack clarity include when was it originally translated, and by how many Jewish elders, and how much of the O.T. Dates of translation range anywhere from the 4th century B.C. to the 2nd century B.C. The number of Jewish translators were seventy (LXX) or seventy-two (LXXII), and were they actually Jewish. The translation may have only included the Pentateuch. It seems almost impossible to disentangle truth from fiction when it comes to the Septuagint.


The corruption of and inaccuracy of the Septuagint directly reflects an attack on the preservation of Scripture. It denies God's promise of perfect preservation of His Word.


The following references among others promise the perfect and Divine preservation of Scripture: De 8:3; Ps 12:6-7; 111:7-8; 119:152; 119:160; Is 59:21; Matt 4:4; 5:18-19; 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 3:3; 16:17; 21:33; Jn 12:48; 1 Pet 1:23-25; 2 Pet 3:2. These cumulatively give a stronger testimony for perfect preservation than the Bible even gives for its own inspiration. If you believe the latter, then you should believe the former. In addition, among the above verses and others, we have testimony to the general accessibility of God’s verbally, plenarily preserved Words: De 30:11-14; Is 59:21; Matt 4:4. Implied in the ability to keep all the Words of God is their availability: De 6:24; 10:2; 12:28; 27:26; 28:14; 28:58; 29:9; 31:12. The Bible affirms that people will be held eternally accountable for disobeying the Words contained therein: Ps 50:16-17; Lk 24:35; Jn 12:48; 2 Tim 3:15-17.


Here is a sample from these verses showing that true born again Christians are fully convinced that they should expect to have present the perfect perseveration of all the Words God inspired in the original manuscripts and copied on through the generations, since the just live by faith:

"As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever." (Is 59:21)
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." (Matt 5:18)
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matt 24:35)
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt 4:4)
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever." (Ps 12:6-7)

This is what people have seen and then depended on as a basis for a belief in the perfect preservation of Scripture. It has seemed plain to the average Christian that this is what God has said. But then we have those who have read about textual variants and textual criticism and superior or older manuscripts, and their faith is shaken in these promises of God, or maybe they never had the foundational faith to begin with, having never been genuinely born again, quite possibly the primary reason for their confusion, being "carried about with every wind of doctrine" and "carried about with divers and strange doctrines." (Eph 4:14; Heb 13:9). Some have had to react to men preaching these verses to them. They didn't approach their view of preservation beginning with exegesis, so now they are scrambling for an explanation for what they believe from Scripture. The best they can come up with, besides revising the meaning of verses like those above or just attacking the already developed and historic doctrine of preservation, is the LXX or Septuagint argument.


We see there are many important challenges for those who promote Christ’s use of the Septuagint including its history, character and known errors. But the greatest challenge is overcoming the biblical passages which declare His exclusive use of the Hebrew text in the absence of any tangible proof that He used the Greek. Questions that lack clarity include when was it originally translated, and by how many Jewish elders, and how much of the O.T. was actually translated. Dates of translation range anywhere from the 4th century B.C. to the 2nd century B.C. What was the number of Jewish translators, seventy (LXX) or seventy-two (LXXII), and were they actually Jewish? The original translation may have only included the Pentateuch. It seems almost impossible to disentangle truth from fiction when it comes to the Septuagint.


2. Secondly, the story that a group of scholars translated the O.T. into Greek in 250 to 150 B.C, and then called it the Septuagint, meaning 70 in Latin (LXX), is clearly legendary. The letter of Aristeas is dubious in the highest degree, containing, as it does, statements that are fictitious upon their very face.

“A letter, purporting to be written by a certain Aristeas to his brother Philocrates during the reign of Ptolomy Philadelphus (285-246 BC), relates how Philadelphus, persuaded by his librarian to get a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures for his royal library, appealed to the high priest at Jerusalem, who sent seventy-two elders (six from each of the twelve tribes) to Alexandria with an official copy of the Law. There in seventy-two days they made a translation which was read before the Jewish community amid great applause, and then presented it to the king. From the number of the translators it became known (somewhat inaccurately) as the Septuagint” (Jack Moorman, Forever Settled).

However,

“Its claims to authenticity were demolished by Dr. Hody two centuries ago (De bibliorum textibus originalibus, Oxon., 1705). Clearly the writer is not a Greek, but a Jew, whose aim is to glorify his race and to disseminate information about their sacred books” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).

72 elders in 72 days eh. It appears even the name Septuagint is based on a fable.


The extensive research of Paul Kahle has demonstrated that there was no Septuagint prior to the time of Christ.

“Paul Kahle, a famous OT scholar who has done extensive work in the Septuagint, does not believe that there was one original old Greek version and that consequently the manuscripts of the Septuagint (so-called) cannot be traced back to one archetype. The theory, proposed and developed largely by him, is that the LXX had its origin in numerous oral, and subsequently written translations for use in the services after the reading of the Hebrew original. Later an official standardized version of the Law was made, but did not entirely replace the older versions, while for the rest of the books there never was a standard Jewish translation, but only a variety of versions” (Jack Moorman, Forever Settled).

Frederic Kenyon, while not agreeing with Kahle, acknowledged that he made a strong case. There is no actual manuscript evidence of a Greek O.T. that dates from before the time of Christ. At best there is a fragment of one small portion of the Law. The earliest of the extant manuscripts of a Greek translation of the O.T. date to 200 years A.D. One possible exception is the Ryland Papyrus (No. 458), which has a few portions of De 23-28. It is possible that this fragment dates to 150 B.C., though without certainty. Thus the actual manuscript evidence is inconclusive at best. The best one can assume from the extant manuscript evidence is that it is possible that there was a translation of the Law, the Pentateuch, into Greek prior to the time of Christ, in Alexandria, Egypt. The likeliest scenario is that the Pentateuch was translated at one point in time into Greek and then the other O.T. books translated piecemeal by various individuals at a later date, with the name Septuagint subsequently given to cover this hodge-podge of translations. Whether this was it or a complete formal translation of the O.T. was completed by the time of Christ, no evidence suggests that it was translated with any form of authority acceptable to most Jews or that it was generally received amongst the Jews.


Thus there was no “the Septuagint” that we know of any certainty in the 1st century. Even today the textual scholars don’t know exactly what “the Septuagint” is. Jerome makes mention of three different versions of the Septuagint that already existed in his day:

“Alexandria and Egypt in their Septuagint acclaim Hesychius as their authority, the region from Constantinople to Antioch approves the copies of Lucian the martyr, the intermediate Palestinian provinces read the MSS which were promulgated by Eusebius and Pamphilius on the basis of Origen’s labors, and the whole world is divided among these three varieties of texts.”

H. St. J. Thackeray, in the “Septuagint,” The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (Volume IV, 1939, pp. 2724-2725), writes:

“The main value of the LXX is its witness to an older Hebrew text than our own. But before we can reconstruct this Hebrew text we need to have a pure Greek text before us, and this we are at present far from possessing . . . the original text has yet to be recovered . . . Not a verse is without its array of variant readings.”

Must we abandon the plain teaching of Scripture, which evidences the Lord’s use of the Hebrew O.T., as demonstrated briefly below, for the bruised reed of the “evidence” from a reconstructed, hypothetical, non-preserved modern edition of “the” LXX? Deniers of perfect preservation of Scripture may do the latter, but as for me and my house, we will go with, “thus saith the Lord.”


3. Thirdly, Jesus or the apostles never quoted from a Greek translation, even if one was available then. To think that the Jews in Israel, with their pride of language and tradition, would stoop to use a hodge-podge Greek translation from Alexandria, Egypt, a language and people that are Gentiles which were seen as dogs at best, which was a hotbed of Greek philosophy-tinged Jewish cults, is absolutely unfathomable.


On the other hand, there is clear evidence from the Gospels that the Lord Jesus put His stamp of authority upon the Hebrew O.T. and not upon some corrupt Greek translation. Here are a few points of exegetical proof.


(a) Christ spoke of the jots and tittles of the Hebrew O.T. (Matt 5:18), that they would be preserved, and this refers specifically to the Hebrew language.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt 5:18)

The jot or jod is the tenth and smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It can also be observed in many editions of the KJV in the heading to Ps 119:73-80. The tittle is a tiny part of a Hebrew letter; in particular it is that part that distinguishes the daleth (see the heading to Ps 119:25-32) from the resh (see the heading to Ps 119:153-160). The Lord Jesus Christ believed that the very consonants and the very vowels of the OT Hebrew words of prophecies (and of course all the other words of Scripture) were preserved perfectly intact in His day and would continue until their final fulfillment (Jn 12:48). A Greek translation (including the LXX) has no jots or tittles, so Jesus was not referring to this inferior translation, which does have a questionable background and character.


(b) Christ referred to the O.T. by Hebrew division, which division the LXX does not follow.

“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in THE LAW of Moses, and in THE PROPHETS, and in THE PSALMS, concerning me.” (Lk 24:44).

The law (Torah), the prophets (Nebiim), and the writings (Kethubim [of which Psalms was first]) made up the Hebrew O.T. and is called the Tanak. This is precisely the order of the O.T. in Hebrew, but it is not the order of the Greek O.T. In the Greek the order is the Law, the writings, and the Prophets as in the English Bible.


Jesus elaborated on His use of the Hebrew O.T. when He identified the Pharisees’ persecution of the prophets with their murderous Jewish ancestors, saying,

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar” (Matt 23:35).

When the Lord Jesus referred to the first and last prophets that were martyred in the O.T., He referred to them by the order of the Hebrew Text rather than by the order of the Greek. In His survey of the whole scope of the Hebrew O.T., He used the examples of the murder of the righteous Abel from the first book (Gen 4:8) to the murder of the righteous Zacharias from the last book (2 Ch 24:20-22). By this statement, Christ charged the Jewish leaders with the deaths of the prophets throughout the O.T. age, and He used the Hebrew canon. This follows the order of the Hebrew O.T., which begins with Genesis and ends with 2 Chronicles. The Greek Septuagint, on the other hand, ends with the prophets (concluding with Malachi) or with some apocryphal (uninspired) book.


(c) There is no question that Hebrew was the language of the Jews in that day of the 1st century, as it always had been from the beginning of time, when we look at specific Scriptural examples. Pilate required the title on the cross to be written in three known and read languages of the Greco-Roman world—Hebrew, Greek and Latin (Jn 19:20). James affirmed that the Torah was the text by which preaching was done on every Sabbath in every town of Judea, and elsewhere, in the synagogue (Ac 15:21). The Apostle Paul, in his great apologetic speech to the Jews in Jerusalem, spoke “in the Hebrew tongue” (Ac 21:40), the tongue of the people of Israel. The Lord also spoke to Paul “in the Hebrew tongue” at the time of his conversion (Ac 26:14).


Nowhere do we find any similar doctrine of “Greek translation usage,” except to exegete the preface of translation. This paragraph exemplifies how one gets a bibliology of preservation, something you will not see among the critical and eclectic textual purveyors.


Therefore, as the Scriptures state “for Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day” (Ac 15:21), there is no biblical reason to assume that any language other than Hebrew was the language of the Jews in Jerusalem in the first century. In a word, the Jews throughout Judea read the Hebrew Tanak every Sabbath in the synagogue.


(d) The Lord Jesus Christ spoke both Hebrew (“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”) and Aramaic (“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani”) from the Cross, as the Gospels of Matthew and Mark testify (Matt 27:46; Mk 15:34), but no mention of Greek.


(e) Jesus targummed, which means He quoted and commented on Scripture as Jewish teachers would. Of course Jesus was completely fluent in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, and any other language, so He could translate on the fly and impart commentary as well, speaking new Scripture based upon His own authority, since He is God. In Ez 4:7 we read that a "letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue." The word “interpreted” here is translated from the Hebrew word "tirgam" from whence we derive the Biblical precedent and principle for the interpretive translation of a document to be called a Targum. This then means the script of the letter referred to in Ez 4:7 was in Aramaic and then translated into the Syrian tongue, which is a targum. Historically, the Jews referred to the Aramaic portions of Genesis, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezra as targums, and later rabbis developed the Babylonian Targum, interpreting the Tanak or O.T. Scriptures.


The writers of the N.T., along with the Lord Jesus Christ, employed the practice of interpreting or translating the Tanak in their citations of the O.T., which were inspired (2 Tim 3:16). Throughout the book of Acts we see many instances of the principle of “targuming” (cf. the many N.T. citations of the O.T). We witness this Jewish practice of targumming by Jesus in Lk 4:16-21:

"And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. [17] And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, [18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. [20] And he closed the book, and he gave itagain to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. [21] And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."

The teacher would stand up and open the scroll (vv. 16-17a), and then read the O.T. with running interpretation or Targum (vv. 17b-19), roll up the scroll, hand it back, sit down, and then preach his sermon, or in the case of this sermon, start preaching (v. 21).


The Scripture written (cf. Lk 4:4) cited by Luke is Is 61:1-2a and one clause of Is 58:6b. The perfect tense of his verb “is written” (gegraptai) indicates that the Hebrew had been written (by Isaiah) and was still intact in Christ’s day. When you read Is 61:1-2a, you will note that the actual words Luke inscribed are obviously not the exact equivalent words of the Hebrew text, or any text for that matter. It was targummed, even noted in the corrupt texts like the LXX and Critical Text (CT). It should be obvious then that no translation quoted verbatim the Hebrew text and that the post-Hebrew writers did not directly quote the Hebrew text but paraphrased or even targummed the OT Scriptures.


Septuagint promoters and supporters will misuse targums to argue the popular-mantra that the "antique" Septuagint (LXX) was the Bible for the Greek-speaking world, especially Jews of the Diasopra or Dispersion, and that Christ, Paul and other Apostles quoted from it. They also deny that the Hebrew text was intact in Christ’s day. The argument then subsequently follows that since it is universally accepted that the veracity of the LXX is questionable in many places, this precedent allows for modern Christians to accept as and even call all modern translations, regardless of omissions and additions or other unacceptable changes, “the word of God.” This is a logical fallacy based upon a corrupt foundation.


Several commentators affirm Christ’s employment of the Targum, including Norval Geldenhuys who states:

“As far as we know, He read in Hebrew and translated into Aramaic, the common spoken language at that time . . . G. Dalman finds reflections of the traditional Aramaic paraphrase (Targum) in the present passage in Luke [4:18 ff.].” (The New International Commentary on the New Testament, The Gospel of Luke, 1979, p. 167).

The employment of inspired targuming by Christ and Apostles as their contribution to the N.T. text, is another piece of proof, like the previous points, of the irrefutable position that Christ and the Apostles cited from the preserved Hebrew text which was preserved intact in Christ’s day, and consequently did not use the LXX as their O.T. source.


(f) Neither Jesus or His apostles and disciples had any evangelistic need for the LXX. Since the Jews of first century Israel knew how to read and speak Hebrew, the Lord and the Apostles did not need to use the LXX (if it actually existed at that time) for evangelistic purposes toward the Jews. The initial ministry of Christ was to the Jews in Galilee and Judaea (Jn 1:19-4:3). He sent His Jewish Apostles to the Jews to declare to them that their Jewish King was at hand (Matt 10:2-6). When He ministered to the Jews, there was no exegetical necessity that He had to use the LXX, and not use the Hebrew OT Scriptures, since all the Hebrews spoke and fully understood Hebrew. On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached to the Jews citing the OT book of Joel, but never used the LXX (Ac 2:14-36). When the Lord Jesus Christ ministered to the Syrophenician Greek woman, He did not use the Hebrew OT or the LXX, but His own inspired words in Greek (Mk 7:26-30). For the Gentiles in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and who did not know Hebrew, the Spirit of God guided the apostles “to speak with other tongues” (Ac 2:4), and eliminated the need to use the LXX. The Ethiopian treasurer apparently knew Hebrew since he came to Jerusalem “to worship” the God of the Jews (Act 8:26-32). As he read the Hebrew Scriptures and needed help with the interpretation of Is 53:7-8, or rather, have someone explain the gospel to him through these OT Scriptures, the Lord sent Philip to “targum” the passage for him, so that he might be saved (cf. Rom 10:17). The apostles instructed the new converts, from both the Jews and the Gentiles, in “the apostles’ doctrine” (Ac 2:42) which was not from the OT or the LXX, but from Christ’s earthly teaching ministry which He taught in Greek to His disciples (Lk 1:1-4; Ac 1:1). It is obvious from Scripture that there was no necessity for Christ or the Apostles and other born again believers to evangelize Jews or Gentiles with the LXX, and in fact they clearly did not.


Granting for a moment the unproved assumption that there was a complete LXX prior to Christ’s ministry, one must still prove that the Lord Jesus Christ, who indeed did have the preserved Hebrew text (Matt 4:4), would have any inclination, in precept or practice, to use a questionable translation in a secondary language to minister N.T. revelation to Jew or Gentile.


In summary, the Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that the Hebrew text was intact in His day, that the jot and tittles were intact in His day and preserved to future prophetic fulfilment, alluded to the three-fold division of the O.T. Scriptures and not by its Greek division, referred to the first and last prophets that were martyred in the O.T. by the order of the Hebrew Text rather than by the order of the Greek, Jesus targummed and made it clear that neither He or His apostles and disciples had any evangelistic need for the LXX. This ample biblical evidence has not been and can not be overturned by the ungodly critical textual scholars, since they reject biblical revelation. Christ absolutely did allude to the Hebrew text, and never alluded to the LXX at any one point, throughout His entire ministry. Since the Lord had the preserved Hebrew text, and since He could speak and read Hebrew, He had no necessity to use the LXX, whether it was in existence or not in the first century.


4. Fourthly, what about those places in the N.T. which appear to be quotations from the Septuagint? Since the earliest extant copies of the Septuagint are of late date, it is just as possible that the Septuagint is quoting the N.T. as it is that the apostles are quoting the Septuagint.

“How do we know that the present text of the Septuagint was not that found in those Greek OT translations of the second century AD by Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotian, or even that of Origen and his Hexapla. If this were the case, this text would follow that of the NT and you might have these translators quoting the OT quotes found in the NT rather than vice versa!” (D.A. Waite).

In fact, what we often have in the N.T. is the Spirit of God quoting from His own O.T. Scriptures in an expansive, interpretive manner, not in actually taking words away, but in the sense of interpreting and paraphrasing, as one who exegetes Scripture in his preaching.

“Does a mere similarity in wording of the NT to that of the Greek OT necessarily mean that those were direct quotations? Is not God the Holy Spirit, who inspired the very words of the OT and the NT, able to pick and choose what set of words He wishes to employ to reveal His truth in the NT? Is He bound to His own words exactly on every occasion in the OT Hebrew text, or does He not have liberty to alter, reinterpret, add to, or subtract from that text as He presents truth in the Now Testament?” (D.A. Waite).

Did the King James Bible translators not give credence to all translations, including the Septuagint?


What about the King James Bible translators, did they not give credence to all translations including the Septuagint, regardless how off the translation might be? No, the KJV translators did not approve of or give credence to unBiblical, corrupt translations of Scripture such as modern Bible perversions, when they spoke approvingly of the "meanest translation" in the preface, as anti-KJVists argue. Though the prevailing view concerning the Septuagint has a degree of antiquity tied to it, this doesn't make it either true or authoritative. All that antiquity really proves is that both truth and error go back to the beginning. Scripture, and Scripture alone, is the source for and measurement of all inscripturated truth (1 Cor 2:13) because it is truth (Jn 17:17). Concerning antiquity, the KJV translators held, wrongly, that the Greek LXX was the early O.T. Bible for the first century Christians (though they did not believe that either Christ or the other N.T. writers quoted from the Septuagint or that it was superior or even on the same page as the Masoretic Hebrew Text), a view they held in spite of not actually having studied the Septuagint in contrast to the Masoretic Text (cf. Pr 18:13). In “The Translators to the Reader,” The Holy Bible, 1611 Edition, King James Version, they appear to accept early Septuagint tradition which includes the historical testimonies of the Letter of Aristeas, Philo, Josephus, et al. Nevertheless, those that defend the KJV as the supreme English translation do not necessarily defend the practices or theology of the translators. Unfortunately these men merely parroted a tradition without actually studying out the history, character and errors of the LXX.


The KJV translators most definitely not say that every translation of the Bible even if filled with grammatical, translational, or doctrinal errors could be accepted and rightly called the Word of God. If reformed Calvinists and other modern day evangelical gainsayers would look at the quote of the KJV preface in its context (a major error that carries over to much of their reading and studying of Scripture, that is, not interpreting in context), they would see that the translators were arguing for translation contra Romanism, not approving of poor translations:

"Now to the latter we answer, that we do not deny, nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English set forth by men of our profession (for we have seen none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God: as the King’s speech which he uttered in parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King’s speech, though it be not interpreted by every translator with the like grace.”

It is contextually clear that by the word "meanest" they do not mean "worst" (i.e. "evil in the highest degree"). Who would dare mistranslate the king’s speech? Clearly they were not talking about sense and grammar but style. By "meanest" they meant poor in literary grace. For beginners translating the Greek Bible into English, it may be rough and wooden, but if its literal and precise, it is the Word of God. It is utterly ridiculous and absurd to suggest that the Puritans who were involved in the KJV translation, humoured wicked, corrupt versions. The KJV translators were linguistic scholars by most accounts, and certainly not "liars," but anti-KJV proponents have put words in their mouths to make them mean something they did not mean by "meanest." in a mean attempt to demean the pro-KJV position and Received Text of the Hebrew and Greek Bible. But that is how they treat the English translations as well, continually abiding in their condemnation and damnation in accordance with Rev 22:18-19; Mk 3:29; Ju 1:4, among other passages.


The Masoretic Text Alone is the Preserved Inspired Word of God Concerning the O.T.


A high view of inspiration and thus perseveration practices classic harmonization. Often attacks on Scripture point at supposed conflicts with the various accounts to relegate the Bible to something only human. Rather than capitulating to errors, a high Biblical view guides viable explanations.


When Satan tempted the Lord Jesus Christ, He submitted Himself to the written words of God by saying, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4), which harmonizes with Ps 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” The expression “It is written” (gegraptai) in Matt 4:4 is in the perfect tense indicating past action with continuing results. In effect, the Lord said that this Hebrew verse to which He alluded (De 8:3), and obviously the Hebrew Book of Deuteronomy and consequently the Hebrew Pentateuch, had been written (by Moses the Hebrew) and was still written to His very day. The Lord Jesus Christ had the preserved words of the Hebrew O.T. available to Him just as He had promised (cf. De 4:2; 12:32; 17:18-20; 29:1,29; 30:11-14 [see Rom 10:6-8]; 31:9-13, 24-27; Jos 1:7-8; Ps 12:6-7; 119:111, 152, 160).


The Scriptures state clearly the means by which the Hebrew text was preserved:

“What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Rom 3:1-2)
“This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” (Ac 7:38)

The Lord blessed His chosen people, the Jews, in many ways, including using them to preserve His inspired words, jots and tittles of the Hebrew O.T. (cf. Rom 9:3-5).


The Masoretic Text is the inspired and preserved Word of God in the O.T., which was complete in its 37 books (or 35 actually, since neither Chronicles or Kings is divided into two books in the Masoretic Text) after the completion of the last prophetic book of the OT, which was Malachi, just like the N.T. was canonized after the giving of the book of Revelation. There is a span between the last book of the O.T. and the coming of Christ of 400 years. During those years, the Masoretic Text in its complete canonization most certainly existed and was the Bible of all Israel, NOT the Septuagint. Israel was and continues to be the custodians of that Book.


Have you ever considered the meticulous process the Hebrew scribes undertook in their scribing work? This process started after the Jewish captives returned to Jerusalem from Babylon in the 6th century BC. According to the Bible, Ezra recovered a copy of the Pentateuch-Torah and read it aloud to the whole nation. Historical records tell us that it was after this that the Jewish scribes solidified the following process for creating copies of the Torah and eventually other books in the OT, though its possible the process existed prior to the Babylonian captivity.

  • They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even the strings to bind the manuscripts.

  • Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.

  • The ink must be black, and of a special recipe.

  • They must verbalize each word aloud while they were writing.

  • They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the word "Jehovah," each time they wrote it.

  • There must be a review within thirty days, and if a mistake was found on a page, the page was destroyed, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.

  • The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document.

  • The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc).

  • As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried, in a genizah — a Hebrew term meaning "hiding place." These were usually kept in a synagogue or sometimes in a Jewish cemetery.


After Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 135, the Masoretic scribes had to painstakingly copy the Scriptures on a much greater scale in order to preserve them, since they were exiled throughout the nations of the world. The most famous Masoretic Hebrew Bible is the Aleppo Codex of AD 900. The professing believers of the Protestant reformation time used the Masoretic Hebrew text as the basis for the Bibles that were translated at that time such as the German Luther and the English King James. At that time it was not possible to know what the Hebrew Bible looked like prior to AD 900, because no manuscripts existed that were older than this. Bible believers trusted God’s promises that He would and had preserved His Word. The Bible teaches the perfect preservation of Scripture, and truly converted believers in Jesus Christ believe this, like all other Bible doctrine, to be true. But in the 1950s, scrolls of the Hebrew Bible were found in caves near the Dead Sea. Every book in the OT was represented in this discovery except Esther, and numerous copies of each book was discovered (25 copies of Deuteronomy for instance). There were very few discrepancies found in comparison to the versions from the 10th century. The scrolls date to 100-200 years BC, a full millennium earlier than the Masoretic Aleppo Codex, yet they were found to be nearly word-for-word the same as the Masoretic Hebrew Bible of the 10th century AD! For example, when Isaiah 53 is compared between the nearly complete Great Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea Caves and the Aleppo Codex, there are only three letters that differ. This means that the Hebrew Bible was successfully preserved until the time of printing, in spite of the fact that the Jews were dispersed among the nations and bitterly persecuted.


This is why all the Hebrew texts discovered are practically identical and they align precisely to those Bible translations done from this text, via formal equivalence (word for word) into vernacular languages such as English (i.e. King James Bible) or Dutch (Strataveleng) or German (Heilige Schrifft, aka. Martin Luther Bible), or Arabic (Van Dyke Bible), etc.


Many, many Jewish people including Rabbis have come to Christ through the Masoretic Text (read here: Rabbi's that converted to Christ). Hebrew scholars also stand behind this text.


Conclusion


There is zero evidence that the Scriptures Christ and the apostles quoted from was the Septuagint and not the Masoretic, so its pure speculation and conjecture with no factual basis. The Bible refutes this ancient and popular false notion. LXX promoters must insist upon this untenable assumption to justify their biblically weak position on the Hebrew and Greek texts and their subsequent translations.


The true Biblical position is that the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles quoted from the Hebrew O.T., which builds its biblical defence on the interpretation of many Scriptures. Christ and the Apostles had the preserved Hebrew words intact in their possession and preached from them. Christ believed the O.T. words were preserved (Ps 12:6-7; Matt 4:4) down to the Hebrew jots and tittles (Matt 5:18), and divided the O.T. into its three-fold Hebrew division (Lk 11:51; 24:44). Neither He or the Apostles used the LXX to evangelize Jews or Gentiles, but instead employed the Hebrew Masoretic text for Jews and the Greek N.T. words for Gentiles (Mk 7:26-30; Ac 2:42).


Our strongest argument is that we take our positions about the text of Scripture from Scripture itself. Jesus wouldn't have used or quoted from a terribly corrupt text of Scripture. He would not have endorsed it. He would have flat-out rejected it. It was the position of God the Son that God the Father would preserve His Words for every generation (Matt 24:35). Jesus Himself testifies at the very end of the N.T. as to the perfection and the settled nature of the text, which we read in Rev 22:18-19:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Those that endorse “Bibles” that add, omit, or change God’s Word, such as the LXX or modern English perversions, that denigrate or diminish the inspired and preserved words of God, should give careful attention to what Jesus warned in these passages.


Sadly, the truth is that many that embrace the LXX are not genuine Bible believers at all, but rather scoffers and mockers, of which the Bible warns will be prevalent in “the last days” upon the earth (2 Pet 3:3).


The true view of bibliology requires the born again believer to recognize that God preserved His Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words in the original languages and that these preserved extant words must be the foundation for all bibliological truth, including all translational efforts of Scripture.

“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged” (Rom 3:4).

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