1 DE SEPTUAGINTA. Studies in Honour of John William Wevers on his sixty-fifth birthday (ed. Albert Pietersma and Claude Cox.) Benben Publications: Mississauga, pp KYRIOS OR TETRAGRAM: A RENEWED QUEST FOR THE ORIGINAL LXX ALBERT PIETERSMA When more than fifty years ago Wolf Wilhelm Graf Baudissin wrote his massive work entitled Kyrios als Gottesname im Judentum und seine Stelle in der Religionsgeschichte 1 he arrived at the conclusion, on the basis of his extensive, detailed and at times belaboured investigation, that the ancient LXX read kyrios as a surrogate for Yhwh, and not a form of the Hebrew tetragram, as had been maintained as far back as Origen. Since his time, however, the claim for an original tetragram, either in Semitic guise or in Greek transliteration, is being reasserted by an increasingly growing number of scholars. The reasons for the revival of a theory already espoused by antiquity s great hebraizer are well known. Important early Greek texts have recently come to light on both Egyptian and Palestinian soil, which give us proof positive that the tetragram was indeed employed in pre-christian biblical manuscripts. Hence Baudissin must be wrong and Origen must be right! 2 What we propose to do in this essay is 1) to survey briefly the important new evidence and the use that has been made of it in scholarly writings, 2) to determine whether the Septuagint itself perhaps gives us a clear-cut answer to the question, Kyrios or 1 4 vols.; Giessen, See e.g. S. Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study (Oxford, 1968) and H. Conzelmann, An Outline of the Theology of the New Testament (New York, 1969) 83-4, Conzelmann is cited with approval by J. A. Fitzmyer in A Wandering Aramean (Missoula, 1979) 120.
2 86 tetragram? and 3) to suggest a terminus a quo for the substitution process. Our aim, however, is far more modest than Baudissin s. Rather than attempting to deal with the whole Greek Bible, the socalled LXX, we will focus on the (original) LXX, namely the Pentateuch. For an essay of modest scope such delimitation hardly needs defense. Furthermore, to begin at the beginning would seem eminently reasonable, especially now that a critical edition of the Greek Pentateuch is nearing completion thanks to the prodigious efforts and amazing perseverance of Professor J. W. Wevers. Critical texts for all but Exodus are complete, though not all of these are as yet generally accessible. 3 Not only have the newly discovered texts, to which we already alluded and to which we will presently turn, been thought to prove that the Hebrew tetragram was employed by some circles in some Greek MSS in pre-christian times, but that the Alexandrian translators incorporated it in their translation of the Hebrew scriptures. What form the tetragram is surmised to have had at that early date naturally has to depend on what evidence one selects as oldest and/or most trustworthy. When in 1944 W. G. Waddell 4 published a fragment of the now famous P. Fouad 266 (Rahlfs 848) he declared Baudissin wholly mistaken in having concluded, Darüber hinaus ergibt sich aus der Art des Artikelgebrauchs bei ku/rioj, dass in der ursprünglichen Septuaginta das Tetragramm nicht in hebräischen Buchstaben beibehalten, ebensowenig mit a0dwnai/ umschrieben war, und dass dafür nicht erst später ku/rioj substituiert worden ist. 5 When attacking, one understandably attacks at the enemy s weakest point and that is what Waddell clearly does. Der Artikelgebrauch bei ku/rioj is not Baudissin s most conclusive proof (at least not in the Pentateuch). But he does furnish some better evidence, in fact in the immediately preceding paragraph. Waddell, however, issues his verdict, This statement [says he in comment on Baudissin] is now flatly disproved by a new papyrus of the LXX, the remains of a roll containing the second half of the Book of Deuteronomy, which in the extant fragments shows no example of ku/rioj but everywhere the Tetragrammaton in Aramaic characters am grateful to Professor Wevers for giving me access to his critical texts of Leviticus and Numbers. 4 The Tetragrammaton in the LXX, JTS 45 (1944) Baudissin apud Waddell op. cit Waddell, ibid.
3 87 Much more recently George Howard has written a well documented and extensive article, The Tetragram and the New Testament, 7 in which he seeks to launch an exploration into the implications and consequences of early Christian confusion resulting from the substitution of the tetragram by kyrios. He discusses the evidence from P. Ryl. Gk. 458 (Rahlfs 957), P. Fouad 266 (Rahlfs 848), 8 HevXllgr (Rahlfs 943), and 4QLXXLev b (Rahlfs 802) and then writes, From these findings we can now say with almost absolute certainty that the divine name, hwhy, was not rendered by ku/rioj in the pre-christian Bible, as so often has been thought. Usually the Tetragram was written out in Aramaic or in paleo-hebrew letters or was transliterated into Greek letters. 8 Since the LXX had the tetragram, according to Howard, the New Testament authors when quoting the Greek Bible naturally incorporated the tetragram in their own writing, thus keeping distinct the Lord God and the Lord Christ ; but this line of demarcation disappeared with the substitution of kyrios for the tetragram. If correct, Howard s theory could produce interesting results for students of early Christianity, but as will be argued below, the foundation on which it has been built, namely, the ancient LXX, will not sustain it, though it might possibly still be debated whether perhaps the Palestinian copies with which the NT authors were familiar read some form of the tetragram. Interestingly enough, as we indicated earlier, the originality of the tetragram in the LXX is not a modem theory. No less a textual authority than Origen put forth the same claim. Wrote he, In the more accurate exemplars [of the LXX] the (divine) name is written in Hebrew characters; not, however, in the current script, but in the most ancient. 9 Similar statements are found in Jerome. 10 Clearly in Origen s estimation, Greek MSS with the tetragram written in paleohebrew were the best representatives of the LXX. There is, furthermore, evidence to suggest that Origen wrote the tetragram in his Hexapla. 7 JBL 96 (1977) Ibid Migne, PG (B): kai\ e0n toi=j a0kribeste/roij de\ tw~n a0ntigra/fwn Ebrai/oij xarakth=rsi kei=tai to\ o1noma, Ebraikoi=j de\ ou0 toi=j nu=n, a0lla\ toi=j a0rxaiota/toij. That Origen is indeed referring to paleohebrew in the last phrase is underscored by what follows: Fasi\ ga\r to\n 1Edran e0n th~ ai0xmalwsi/a e9te/rouj au0toi=j xarakth=raj para\ tou\j paradedwke/nai. 10 Prologus galeatus (PL ).
4 88 The Mercati palimpsest of Psalms 11 has it in all its columns, including the LXX one, and the Cairo Geniza fragment of Ps 22 from the Hexapla has pipi. 12 But it may well be asked what Origen s statement about the more accurate exemplars or the possible evidence from his Hexapla proves about the originality of the tetragram. In our opinion, neither proves anything! Origen obviously knew what we now also know first-hand, namely, that among the Jews there were Greek texts which sported the tetragram in Hebrew characters and he seized on this as original LXX. But in light of his all surpassing regard for the hebraica veritas and his colossal undertaking to attain it, is not this precisely what one would have expected, and is it any wonder 1) that Origen fondly and wishfully judged the tetragram to be more accurate and hence presumably original, and 2) that he therefore incorporated it in his Hexapla? One should rely on Origen for an original tetragram no more than one should rely on his fifth column as a whole for original LXX. That we have very ancient literary as well as documentary evidence for the use of the tetragram is clear. What is perhaps not quite so clear, rather, what has thus far not been clearly stated by the proponents of the original-tetragram theory, is the nature of the textual witnesses on which their case rests. There would appear to be room for closer examination and also for drawing into the discussion what others have said in other connections. The underlying assumption of the original-tetragram theory is a rather simple one: older is better, or to word it more adequately: since we have early, even pre-christian, MS evidence for the tetragram and no such MS evidence to the contrary, the tetragram must be original LXX. But before we conclude what we all like to believe, namely, that older is better, we should at least ask two questions: l) With what fidelity do these early texts testify to the LXX? and 2) What internal evidence on kyrios versus tetragram does the LXX itself supply? In answering our first question we begin by calling attention to a text which is being cited to instruct us on what the LXX had or did not have, even though it is not itself an exemplar of the LXX at all. The Scroll of the Minor Prophets (8 HevXIIgr), 13 written sometime 11 G. Mercati, Psalterii Hexapli reliquiae. Pars Prima: Codex rescriptus Bibliothecae Ambrosianae o.39 Supp. phototypice expressus et transcriptus (Vatican City, 1958). 12 C. Taylor, Hebrew-Greek Cairo Genizah Palimpsests from the Taylor-Schechter Collection Including a Fragment of the Twenty-Second Psalm according to Origen s Hexapla (Cambridge, 1900). 13 D. Barthélemy, Devanciers
5 89 between 50 BC and AD 50, 14 writes the tetragram in paleohebrew characters. To be sure this scroll has given us a wealth of information on the fascinating and complicated history of the LXX, 15 but it would be a patent mistake to treat it as a bona fide exemplar of the LXX. A hebraizing recension of the LXX it is, but a representative of the LXX itself it is not. And in a text so filled with hebraizing corrections of LXX readings what could persuade one to count its paleohebrew (!) tetragram as original LXX? Furthermore, since, where the Hebrew text is evidentially neutral, the scroll follows the LXX in articulating the tetragram, the latter would seem to be decidedly secondary (cf. Hab 3:20). Our second important text is P. Fouad 266, 16 or more particularly Rahlfs 848, the only one of three MSS registered under that number which has preserved the tetragram. It has been dated by Ludwig Koenen 17 to the middle of the first century BC. Like the Minor Prophets scroll it contains the tetragram, but in Aramaic rather than paleohebrew script. Also, in distinction from the MP scroll, 848 is an exemplar of the LXX. Whether it is a typical exemplar is open to question. Textually it is first of all an excellent witness to the Old Greek of Deuteronomy, but even by a conservative evaluation 18 it also contains at least half a dozen instances of correction to the Hebrew text. Some revising of this text has obviously been done in order to bring it in better accord with the Hebrew. 19 Furthermore, it consistently reads mwsh=j in place of LXX mwu+sh=j and as Wevers comments, The spelling of 848 is certainly nearer M(T), and may be due to the bilingual scribe s undoubted knowledge of the Hebrew name. 20 Whether or not the scribe was bilingual (he evidently could not manage to write the tetragram in Aramaic script!), some kind of influence of the Hebrew text seems to have been at work here, and with consistent result, it should be emphasized. 14 Cf. Barthélemy, Redécouverte d un chainon manquant de l histoire de la Septante, RB 60 (1953) and C. H. Roberts apud P. Kahle Opera Minora For a partial list of publications on the so-called kaige recension see Howard op. cit. 64 n Previous editions have now been superseded by Zaki Aly and Ludwig Koenen, Three Rolls of the Early Septuagint: Genesis and Deuteronomy (PapTA 27; Bonn, 1980). 17 Ibid. 18 For a textual assessment of 848 see J. W. Wevers, THGD and R. Hanhart, Review of F. Dunand, Papyrus grecs bibliques (Papyrus F. Inv. 266) in OLZ 73 (1978) cols Contrast Wevers op. cit. and K. G. O Connell s review of his Deuteronomium and THGD in JBL 99 (1980) THGD 64.
6 90 Then there is the tetragram itself. Is it to be taken seriously as original LXX or is it a secondary and foreign intrusion into LXX tradition like the other hebraizing corrections it contains? Robert Hanhart in a review of Dunand s edition of P. Fouad 266 leaves no doubt about his answer to that question. He writes, Ein lndiz dafür, dass dieser Text der ältesten Septuagintaüberlieferung gegenüber bereits eine sekundäre Stufe darstellt, die einen bewussten Eingriff in die vorgegebene Überlieferung voraussetzt, bleibt mir der für diese Handschrift wie für alle bis heute gefundenen jüdischen Septuagintatexte geltende Befund, dass der Jahwename konsequent nicht mit ku/rioj sondern mit dem Tetragramm wiedergegeben wird. 21 What the grounds are for his belief that the tetragram is not original LXX, Hanhart feels unable to document in the context of his review. Had he done so, the present essay would undoubtedly not have been written. Interestingly, if Ludwig Koenen is correct, MS 848 seems to furnish some purely physical evidence that kyrios rather than the tetragram was rooted in the textual tradition on which its scribe drew. Koenen has argued in his notes to the new edition of P. Fouad 266 that the scribe of 848 was unable to write the Hebrew tetragram and hence left space for a second scribe to insert it: Where it [the tetragram] was to occur the original scribe left a blank equal to 5-6 letters (i.e. about the size of ku/rioj written in full) and marked it by a high dot at its beginning. A second scribe filled in the Hebrew letters. They cover only the middle of the blank, usually the space of 2 1/2-3 letters. 22 The 6 letter kyrios, therefore, served apparently as a spacer for the tetragram which required only half the allotted room. Naturally, this piece of physical evidence ought not be pressed unduly. Yet, for the light it seems to throw on our problem, it is too interesting to pass by without notice. On textual grounds there is, however, complementary evidence for the secondary nature of the tetragram. In Deut 31:27 the LXX text, supported by all MSS, including 847 (by Koenen s placement of the relevant fragment), reads pro\j to\n qeo/n for the Hebrew hwhy-m(, but mistakenly in this instance the scribe(s) of 848, rather than substituting the tetragram for qeo/n, inserted it after pro/j, thus creating a unique doublet. That the introduction of the tetragram into the Greek text was more important than bringing the LXX 21 Op. cit Op. cit. 5-6.
7 91 quantitatively into line with the Hebrew is perhaps further suggested by 28:64 where o9 qeo/j has no counterpart in MT. In any case, the tetragram in 31:27 is clearly secondary, and if secondary here it would be difficult to count it as original LXX elsewhere in 848. When one thus considers the various items of information which 848 supplies, its status, in general, as a typical exemplar of the LXX is not beyond doubt, and its tetragram, in particular, as a remnant of the Old Greek is hardly to be taken seriously. 23 Of the pre-christian texts which give positive proof of the tetragram there remains 4QLXXLev b (Rahlfs 802). It was written in a hand very similar to 848, and P. W. Skehan has dated this text to the first century BC. 24 4QLXXLev b has not yet been published; hence a detailed discussion of its textual character must wait. This much can be said, however: there is no doubt that the very fragmentary 42 verses of 802 give us a genuine LXX text with at most two corrections to the Hebrew, while evidencing as many as 21 extant and videtur agreements with the LXX against MT. 25 Yet, in spite of its apparent excellence as a representative of the LXX, it contains the Hebrew tetragram in the form of the Greek trigram iaw, leading Skehan to comment, This new evidence strongly suggests that the usage in question [i.e. of some form of the tetragram] goes back for some books at least to the beginnings of the Septuagint rendering, and antedates such devices as that in the Fuad papyrus or the special scripts in the more recent Hebrew manuscripts of Qumran and in later Greek witnesses. 26 Certainly, to the extent that its fragmentary condition enables us to determine, the genuinely Septuagintal credentials of 4QLXXLev b are well-nigh impeccable. The last text we need to mention is P. Ryl. Gk. 458 (Rahlfs 957), not because it is relevant to our discussion but because it has been forcibly introduced into the discussion, in part, one surmises, because it is the oldest extant LXX MS. As is well known, Paul Kahle That 942, like 848, read the tetragram as Koenen infers (p.3) on the basis of the close similarity in handwriting should be taken cum grano salis. Though the hands are similar and perhaps even identical, the two MSS are hardly at one in every respect. Thus, Hebrew names are surrounded by blanks in 942 but not in 848 (cf. p. 5), and the columns in 942 are wider than in 848 (cf. p. 8). Cf. a similar inference re 847 (p. 13). 24 The Qumran Manuscripts and Textual Criticism, Volume du congrès, Strasbourg 1956 (VTSup 4; Leiden, 1957) For access to Skehan s reconstruction of this text I am indebted to Professor Wevers. 26 Op. cit Problems in the Septuagint, Studia Patristica (TU 63; Berlin, 1957)
8 92 managed to persuade the editor of P. Ryl. Gk. 458, C. H. Roberts, 28 that at Deut 26:18, in a lacuna too large for the ubiquitous contraction kj8, this MS did not read the full form ku/rioj as Roberts had suggested, but the Hebrew tetragram as (some) other early witnesses do. That P. Ryl. Gk. 458 did not read kj8 is, of course, to be expected since the contractions of the nomina sacra are of Christian origin, 29 but the full ku/rioj would seem to be perfectly acceptable from every perspective. Kahle wished to insert the tetragram because he thought he knew what the original LXX must have read. One hopes that this text will henceforth be banned from further discussion regarding the tetragram, since it has nothing to say about it. What we have tried to do thus far in our survey is to emphasize that of the four early texts that have been cited in support of an original tetragram, one gives no evidence at all, a second is non- Septuagintal, and a third contains hebraizing revisions (including at least one instance of the tetragram). Only one text, 4QLXXLev b, would seem to have good credentials as a typical exemplar of the LXX. When we put aside the biblical MSS and look for literary sources which may enlighten us on whether kyrios was a surrogate for the tetragram, we might possibly appeal to such books as Wisdom of Solomon, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, et al., 30 all of which use kyrios as a divine epithet (or name?) extensively. But since there is no sure proof that kyrios in these works is a substitute for the tetragram, we had better not draw on them. Similarly, we might appeal to Aristeas 155 which contains a near quotation of Deut 7:18, and Aristobulus who seems to make reference to Exod 9:3; 31 but since these authors were transmitted by Christians, kyrios could be secondary. Philo of Alexandria, however, has to be faced. Of course, he too was transmitted by Christians, as Howard emphasizes, 32 and Peter Katz 33 has made us all a little cautious in making use of biblical quotations in Philo. Yet, extreme caution sometimes makes one ignore valuable 28 Two Biblical Papyri in the John Rylands Library Manchester (Manchester, 1936) and Catalogue of the Greek and Latin Papyri in the John Rylands Library Manchester (Manchester, 1938), Unfortunately no complete facsimile appears with either edition. 29 See now C. H. Roberts, Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt (London, 1979) ch Cf. Baudissin, op. cit. 3, A. -M. Denis, Fragmenta Pseudepigraphorum quae supersunt Graecae (Leiden, 1970) Op. cit Philo s Bible (Cambridge, 1950).
9 93 evidence. To deal with kyrios throughout the Philonic corpus would be superfluous and might in any case prove little more than that Philo employed kyrios in reference to God. Attention may be called simply to two passages in which Philo gives an exposition on the meaning of the divine appellations qeo/j and ku/rioj, namely De Abrahamo 121 and De Plantatione Especially the latter is instructive because it includes comments on Gen 21:33 (to\ o1noma kuri/ou qeo\j ai0w&nioj) and 28:21 (kai\ e1stai ku/rioj e0moi\ ei0j qeo/n). In light of his exposition there can be no doubt as to how Philo read his biblical text and what he read. Consequently, Dahl and Segal have stated quite correctly, While preserved Jewish fragments of the Greek version havesome form of transliteration for the tetragrammaton, Philo must have read kyrios in his texts (emphasis added). 35 There is only one way to negate the force of Philo s evidence on the equation of kyrios and the tetragram, and that is by making a distinction between what Philo saw in his Bible and what he understood and read, but that issue we will turn to at a later point. 36 Against this background we now finally turn to the LXX itself, or rather the Greek Pentateuch. That throughout the first five books of the Greek Bible kyrios is employed as a proper noun was shown long ago by Huber, 37 Debrunner, 38 and Baudissin 39 and has been reiterated since. As a proper noun, a divine name, and in complete conformity with other personal names in these books, it is more often unarticulated than articulated. This basic fact holds true for all five books. Articulation, however, is well attested in all but Deuteronomy, especially in some of the oblique cases, a fact which demonstrates that, if perchance the original text read the tetragram, this was construed in every respect as a Greek personal name and was not treated as a foreign element. Furthermore, a basic rule in the Pentateuch is that kyrios is unarticulated in the nominative case, the genitive, as object of a preposition and as subject of an infinitive. Kyrios is articulated most often in the dative when rendering Hebrew le- prefixed to the tetragram. It is in this construction that differences among the five books are most noticeable. Thus, tw~ kuri/w 34 See further, for example, Quis rerum divinarum heres 6, N. A. Dahl and Alan F. Segal, Philo and the Rabbis on the Names of God, JSJ 9 (1978) For a brief survey of Josephus see Fitzmyer op. cit Karl Huber, Untersuchungen über den Sprachcharakter des griechischen Leviticus (Halle, 1916). 38 Albert Debrunner, Zur Uebersetzungstechnik der Septuaginta. Der Gebrauch des Artikels bei ku/rioj, BZAW 41 (1925) Op. cit.
10 94 appears twice in Genesis as against five unarticulated instances, in Exodus twelve times against twenty-three without articulation, in Leviticus seventy-two versus twenty-one, in Numbers four as against fifty-four, and not at all in Deuteronomy. Since most often kyrios is unarticulated, the articulated instances naturally attract special attention. Why, for instance, the translator of Leviticus chose to render hwhyl approximately three times out of four by tw~ kuri/w, while the Numbers translator did so in a mere four occurrences out of fifty-four, is an interesting question. Debrunner believed that the Leviticus translator sought to represent each detail of his Vorlage, 40 but this cannot be the full explanation since Hebrew le- is by no means consistently represented in his Greek text. Baudissin, 41 though recognizing some influence exercised by the Hebrew text, places more emphasis on the distinction between kyrios as name and kyrios as appellative, but this too can hardly be the complete story since the appellative use of kyrios would hardly be so one-sidedly linked to the dative. 42 Yet, as Baudissin discusses at length, in view of the primary meaning of kyrios, its use as an appellative in the LXX deserves attention. He speaks with qualified approval of the procedure employed in the Cambridge Septuagint in which unarticulated and articulated kyrios are distinguished by means of an upper and lower case kappa. But rather than attempting to draw an absolute distinction between kyrios as divine name and kyrios as appellative, Baudissin prefers to speak of appellativartige Färbung. 43 Also the Pentateuch contains many instances where kyrios may well have this appellative colouring. 44 A particularly instructive example for our investigation as a whole is Exod 8:22 (MT 8:18): i3na ei0dh= j o3ti e0gw& ei0mi ku/rioj o9 ku/rioj pa/shj th=j gh=j for MT s Cr)h brqb hwhy yn) yk (dt N(ml Presumably for exegetical reasons the translator deviates from his Vorlage and his appellative o9 ku/rioj as an interpretation of the preceding word is especially apt on the assumption that he wrote (or at the very least read!) kyrios instead of the tetragram. In the final analysis, however, it must be admitted that, with the exception of Exod 8:22, no list of passages in which kyrios seems to have appellative force can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the 40 Op. cit Op. cit. 1, Though not consistent, the translator seems to have fallen into a kind of rut. Cf. his consistent rendering of h#m-t) (hwhy hwc) by tw~ Mwush= without making any attempt elsewhere to represent in Greek every occurrence of t). 43 Op. cit. 1, 24. Cf. Debrunner op. cit Some further possible examples are Gen 4:3, 13; 12:8; 18:17; 28:13; Exod 5:2; 9:27; 14:25, 31; 16:29; Deut 2:7; 8:7; 10:17; 17:16.
11 95 original LXX read kyrios. At best we obtain a glimpse. Certainly more than a glimpse of what the LXX must have read can be obtained by examining translational consistency. The almost universal Greek equivalent of hwhyl in the Pentateuch is kyrios in the dative case, often articulated but also frequently without articulation. The translator of Exodus in approximately 23 instances chose not to articulate, and in 14 of these MS evidence shows that the genitive case is a viable alternative. The same is true in Numbers where the incidence of non-articulation is much higher (over 90%) than in Exodus, and where in approximately 25% of the cases the genitive is read by some witnesses, though the original text is nowhere seriously in doubt. Now if we posit that the original LXX did not have kyrios but the indeclinable tetragram instead, we would have to believe that the kyrios surrogator, without any help whatsoever from his Greek text, hit upon such a remarkably high degree of correspondence between hwhyl and kuri/w. Impossible it is perhaps not, but certainly improbable. Proof that, of the translators of the Pentateuch, at least the translator of Exodus understood both adon and the tetragram as being equivalent to kyrios can be ascertained from two passages in which they occur together in the Hebrew. Both solutions which the translator forged are well known in the LXX outside of the Pentateuch, as we will see presently. The first passage is Exod 23:17: hwhy Nd)h ynp-l) Krwkz-lk h)ry hn#b Mym(p #l# trei=j kairou\j tou= e0niautou= o0fqh/setai pa=n a0rseniko/n sou e0nw&pion kuri/ou tou= qeou= sou What we see immediately is that the translator rather than repeating kyrios, has opted for the so-called Palestinian qere, which was apparently known in Egypt as early as the third century BC. The second passage which posed the same problem, however, called for a different solution. Exod 34:23 reads in our two texts: l)r#y yhl) hwhy Nd)h ynp-t) Krwkz-lk h)ry hn#b Mym(p #l# trei=j kairou\j tou= e0niautou= o0fqh/setai pa=n a0rseniko/n sou e0nw&pion kuri/ou tou= qeou= Israh/l In this case, due to the concluding phrase the God of Israel, the writing of the qere, though not an impossibility had the translator focused myopically on a one-to-one correspondence, was scarcely a live option. Hence he resorts here to a second solution, also well attested elsewhere in the Greek Bible, namely the omission of one kyrios. That in the two passages above, the LXX rests on a Vorlage which differed from MT has, to the best of my knowledge, not been proposed, and would seem in any case most unlikely. The translator of Genesis was twice faced with the same problem
12 96 as the Exodus translator but his solution was strikingly different. In fact his solution, or rather solutions since they are not wholly identical, are rare in the Greek Bible. They show beyond a shadow of a doubt not only that adonai and the tetragram were taken to be equivalent to kyrios but also that this equivalency was expressed in written form. The first reference is Gen 15:2: yryr( Klwh ykn)w yl-ntt hm hwhy ynd) Mrb) rm)yw le/gei de\ Abra/m: De/spota, ti/ moi dw&seij, e0gw_ de\ a0polu/omai a1teknoj Though there is some textual evidence supporting a plus of kyrie, Wevers appears to be correct in choosing despota as the original text, though in the second passage both are evidently the work of the translator. Gen 15:8: hn#ry) yk (d) hmb hwhy ynd) rm)yw ei]pen de/: De/spota ku/rie, kata\ ti/ gnw&somai o3ti klhronomh/sw au0th/n; Like the Exodus translator, the translator of Genesis wants to avoid repeating kyrios, even though it be in the form of direct address, the vocative, the only case in which a double kyrios was to become usual in the LXX, 45 but it seems as though no generally accepted manner of dealing with adonai Yhwh had as yet evolved when the translator of Genesis presumably began a process that was to last for several centuries. He himself, as the inconsistency in our two passages suggests, was just feeling his way. 46 What is of paramount importance for our discussion is that nowhere else does this translator translate either the tetragram or adon, whether the referent be human or divine, by despotes, a word unique in Genesis to the two passages under discussion. Both are consistently rendered by kyrios. The reason for his unique rendering is obvious: he wished to avoid writing kyrie kyrie. 47 However, by the time we reach the translation of Deuteronomy, the usual Septuagintal solution to adonai Yhwh in the vocative has been arrived at. Deut 3:24: Kldg-t) Kdb(-t) tw)rhl twlxh ht) hwhy ynd) Ku/rie ku/rie, su\ h1rcw dei=cai tw~ sw~ qera/ponti th\n i0sxu/n sou kai\ th\n du/nami/n sou. And again in Deut 9:26: Km( tx#-l) hwhy ynd) rm)w hwhy-l) llpt)w kai\ hu0ca/mhn pro\j to\n qeo\n kai\ ei]pa: Ku/rie ku/rie 45 For examples in non-translation Greek see 2 Macc 1:24; 3 Macc 2:2; Add Esth C2 (LXX). 46 Cf. Baudissin op. cit. 1, 497 where he asserts, with some justification, that Gen 15:8 shows a particularly close linkage between kyrios and the tetragram. 47 Other LXX instances of despota kyrie are Jer 1:6; 4:10; Jonah 4:3; Dan(LXX) 9:15; cf. Jdt 5:20; 11:10 (both re Holophernes).
13 97 basileu= tw~n qew~n, mh\ e0coleqreu/sh j to\n lao/n sou. The latter passage includes an interpretive gloss on kyrios of which Philo, with his understanding of this name as indicating God s royal or ruling power, would have been proud. For confirmation of what we have found in the Pentateuch we might briefly appeal to an important article written recently by the late Patrick Skehan. 48 Skehan surveys the evidence for the tetragram at Qumran, Masada, and in early Greek MSS. There is no need here to repeat in detail what he has written. In his final section, Greek Texts of the Prophets, the author calls the reader s attention to the fact that in LXX Ezekiel adonai Yhwh is represented by a single kyrios, a rendering also encountered in other prophetic books, notably Isaiah and the Minor Prophets. In 15 instances, however, Pap. 967 reads kyrios ho theos, which is equivalent to the qere, adonai elohim. This same translation is found in 9 out of 23 occurrences of adonai Yhwh in the Minor Prophets. Whether kyrios ho theos in 967 is original or secondary as Ziegler judged it to be, 49 is not crucial for its Septuagintal nature. Be it sufficient to note that for Hebrew adonai Yhwh single kyrios and kyrios ho theos as well as the vocative kyrie kyrie, are amply attested in the prophetic corpus as original LXX precisely what we already know from the Pentateuch. But Skehan, while emphasizing that both major equivalents must hail from a Jewish setting, seemingly cannot bring himself to call them genuine LXX. He concludes, A large part of the LXX prophetic corpus... comes to hand with its earliest attainable stage showing leanings toward Kurioj o qeoj as an equivalent for hwhy ynd) in accordance with the Palestinian qerê. Also, as far back as it is possible to go, the Kyrios term is employed in these books for both hwhy and ynd), on the basis of the spoken Adonay that stood for either separately; and there is a wide acceptance of one single Kyrios to stand in the place of the combined names. This cannot have come about as exclusively the work of Christian scribes. Whatever earlier incidence of IAW or hwhy there may have been in these prophetic books... the option of translating only the qerê...would seem to have been selected by sources familiar with Hebrew and not connected with the work of Origen. 50 In the Pentateuch kyrios as a surrogate for the tetragram is original 48 The Divine Name at Qumran, in the Masada Scroll and in the Septuagint, BIOSCS 13 (1980) J. Ziegler, Die Bedeutung des Chester Beatty-Scheide Papyrus 967 für die Textüberlieferung des Ezechiel-Septuaginta, ZAW 6l (1945/48) Divine Name, 38.
14 98 LXX, and one more than suspects that its originality is not confined to the first five books; yet, might it not be objected that the translators wrote one thing but pronounced another? No less a scholar than Elias Bickerman wrote more than thirty years ago, Although the ineffable Name was transliterated in the Greek Bible it was pronounced as Kyrios, the Lord. 51 That both adonai and the tetragram were equated with kyrios already in pre-christian times is beyond doubt, but could this possibly have applied only to the qere? Internal evidence of the LXX itself, in our view, disproves this. Surely, the singly written kyrios not only in the Prophetic Books but also in the Pentateuch argues otherwise. If the LXX translators are thought to have written the tetragram is there any reason to suppose that they would not have written kyrios Yhwh where the Hebrew had adonai Yhwh? And this kyrios Yhwh could then have been read as kyrios ho theos which is in fact the way in which it was at times written, both within and without the Pentateuch. Likewise, does not kyrios ho theos, again attested in written form within and without the Pentateuch, indicate equally strongly that the translators wanted to avoid a nonsensical repetition of kyrios and hence wrote the qere? 52 Is it possible to explain despota and despota kyrie in Gen on the ketib/qere hypothesis? Surely, the translator could have written kyrie Yhwh. That he resorts instead to a word which he otherwise never uses for adon not only proves, it would seem, that both adonai and Yhwh meant kyrios to him, but that he wished to avoid writing kyrie kyrie. Moreover, had he written a combinaton of kyrie plus the tetragram, would not this have been changed at some later stage to a double kyrie (which is in fact usual in the LXX) by the supposed kyrios surrogators? The same argument might be applied to the two instances of despota kyrie for adonai Yhwh in Jer (1:6; 4:10), and the three occurrences of ho despotes kyrios sabaoth for ha-adon Yhwh sebaot in Isa (1:24; 3:1; 10:33), since neither translator otherwise ever translates adon by despotes, and also neither ever writes a double kyrios in any form, including the vocative. When the Pentateuch was translated, kyrios was incorporated in the Greek text as the written surrogate for the tetragram, a surrogate which would also serve to safeguard the ineffable nature of the divine name, if indeed ineffability was a concern at so early a date. The translators felt no more bound to retain the tetragram in written form 51 From Ezra to the Last of the Maccabees (New York, 1962) The only truly Septuagintal instance of this barbarism is tou= kuri/ou kuri/ou in Ps 67:21.
15 99 than they felt compelled to render distinctively Hebrew el, elohim or shaddai Nor were they more unfaithful to the original than the Masada scribe of Ben Sira who everywhere wrote adonai. 53 Their procedure was certainly far less radical than that of their Hebrew predecessors who on no fewer than 30 occasions in Genesis alone eliminated the tetragram from the Vorlage of the LXX and replaced it with (one assumes) elohim (Greek theos). Since, then, as we have tried to show, our early texts do not give us convincing proof of an original tetragram in the LXX, and since, more importantly, a number of passages in the Greek Pentateuch, in direct contradiction to these early witnesses, demonstrate the written originality of kyrios we might well ask what kind of historical perspective on the Hebrew tetragram and its Greek surrogate emerges. Skehan s article, to which reference has already been made, provides us with the key. In delineating the development of the divine names (principally the tetragram) in the Hebrew MSS from Qumran, Skehan distinguishes three stages: 1) names in normal (i.e. square) script, 2) substitution of paleohebrew, 3) spread of the substitution process. And at each stage the author gives appropriate evidence. What the headings indicate and what Skehan makes clear in comment on the evidence is that at Qumran we encounter what may be called an archaizing process in the writing of the divine name, and not, in so far as our present knowledge indicates, a gradual replacement of an older paleohebrew tetragram by a younger one in the square script. Similarly in his survey of Greek evidence Skehan discerns several stages: 1) iao, 2) tetragram in square script, 3) tetragram in paleohebrew script, 4) kyrios. Naturally we would not agree with iao in first place and kyrios in last, but apart from that there is evidence of archaizing similar to that in the Hebrew MSS. The paleohebrew tetragram in Greek witnesses is not the oldest but apparently the youngest. Both in the Hebrew MSS from Qumran and in our earliest Greek MSS there is clear evidence that the divine name was the object of revisionary activity. It is this archaizing tendency or process to which Skehan has called attention that was responsible for introducing the various forms of the tetragram into the Greek traditions. Its original home was not Egypt but Palestine, whence it was exported to the Diaspora. As Hanhart noted quite correctly in connection with P. Fouad 266, the tetragram in Greek MSS is evidence of a secondary stage. When this 53 Cf. Skehan, Divine Name,
16 100 secondary stage began to be introduced is not certain. It may be that some sporadic, unconscious, 54 hebraizing is as old as the LXX itself, though we have very little evidence to support such a view, but what in any case distinguishes the introduction of some form of the tetragram from other (non-recensional) instances of Hebrew influence is its systematic, recension-like, nature. We would venture to suggest that the hebraizing corrective process began in earnest during the second century BC when Egypt became once again a place of refuge from troubled Palestine. It is likely to have been the influx of Palestinian Jews into Egypt that created the occasion for Aristeas defense of the venerated LXX against its detractors. That the book of Aristeas is, in part at least, an attack on Palestinian Jews has been recognized by Tcherikover 55 and Howard 56 and with greater focus on the text of the LXX by Klijn, 57 Jellicoe 58 and Brock 59 the last named of whom calls specific attention to the poignant manner in which the author of the book cuts the legs from under his Palestinian opponents: 1) the translation into Greek had been sponsored by the high priest in Jerusalem and was carried out by Palestinian translators; 2) the translation which was produced had achieved such a high level of accuracy that all subsequent revision was not only uncalled for but in fact proscribed; 3) the LXX had been based directly on the Jerusalem text. Hence, any attack on or belittling of the LXX would be not only ridiculous but aimed directly at the high priest himself and the Jerusalem text. Aristeas meant to take the wind out of his opponents sails and at the same time give them a powerful disincentive against denigrating the Bible of Egyptian Jewry and tampering with its text. That Aristeas defense of the LXX presupposes a rival Greek text as has been argued by Klijn and carried a step further by Jellicoe, is, in our view, unwarranted. Not a scrap of such a text has survived. Aristeas point is clear: the accuracy of the LXX makes all revision both unnecessary and illegal. Nothing is either said or implied about the scope of such revision. The kind of systematic replacing of the familiar and hallowed ku/rioj with the parochial Hebrew tetragram which reduced the LXX to an inferior status vis-à-vis the Hebrew, 54 See Wevers, The Earliest Witness to the LXX Deuteronomy, CBQ 39 (1977) V. Tcherikover, The Ideology of the Letter of Aristeas, HTR 51 (1958) Howard, The Letter of Aristeas and Diaspora Judaism, JTS 22 (1971) A. F. J. Klijn, The Letter of Aristeas and the Greek Translation of the Pentateuch in Egypt, NTS 11 (1965) S. Jellicoe, The Occasion and Purpose of the Letter of Aristeas: a Reexamination, NTS 12 (1965/6) P. Brock, The Phenomenon of the Septuagint, OTS 17 (1972)
17 101 thereby creating what seems to have been a new notion in Egyptian Jewry, viz. that of the hebraica veritas, would seem to be perfectly capable of having provided an occasion for Aristeas to launch his counter attack. That criticism of the LXX by immigrants from Palestine is more than a text-critical inference, is evident from the Prologue of Ben Sira s grandson, whose negative reflection on the Greek Bible has often been pointed out by modern scholars. Our evidence for the substitution of kyrios by the tetragram does not, at present, take us beyond the first century BC. We must therefore frankly admit that there is no sure way to link the beginnings of this process with Aristeas floruit. But unlike previously proposed theories, the present suggestion rests on concrete textual evidence which is traceable to well within a century of Aristeas day.
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Society of Biblical Literature, 2005 Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA Hebrews Consultation Hebrews and Hermeneutics: The State of the Question by Kenneth Schenck (firstname.lastname@example.org) 2006 Kenneth L.