SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Question on translation in Hebrews

Print Thread (PDF)


Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797

 Question on translation in Hebrews

There are many threads on this forum on Bible translations. [b]I do not want to open the discussion again[/b]. They go off course. I know little about the intricate particulars of translations.


I recently heard that [u]some[/u] Bible translations of Hebrews, where Hebrews is quoting the Old Testament, give a translation that is not similar to the translation of that very OT quote that is in that very Bible.

Question #1: Is this true? Have others noticed this in their Bible translations.

The speaker was preaching through Hebrews and was not, did not in the series, speak about translations. It was a aside to help congregation members understand why what he read from the pulpit might not be identical to what they might see in their Bible.

The reason given was that, the writer of Hebrews, was using the Septuagint. That was the writer's text for the Old Testament. Thus if the translation you are using is based on the Septuagint there will be no difference, and if not there will be differences. I am talking about differences in OT quotes in Hebrews compared to the passage itself in the OT of that particular Bible.

Question #2: It it true that Hebrews uses the Septuagint?

If these are true, it could have a bearing on all the debate regarding translations: Hebrews is part of the Bible (met criteria). The writer used a specific OT source document (Septuagint). The thought came to me this could be a reason, [u]coming up out of the Bible[/u], to do likewise.

Maybe the preacher was wrong in this information. The expository sermons were on target.

 2009/9/24 14:14Profile

 Re: Question on translation in Hebrews

Thats is a good question... and I do not have the answer for it.

Most Bible version debates (the real debates, not the silly personal attack type) center around to NT, and the differences between the Textus Receptus and the Alexandrian Text.


 2009/9/24 15:01


It is possible. Because the Greek was the most exact language Ever, it is said that that was 'part' of why Jesus came when it was the international language - coming "in the fulness of time."

I like to listen to sermons on-line with the e-sword open. If you download the KJV+ [the "+" means the Strong's numbers are with each word] and you can get the GR-TR+ - etc, and have Torrey's "Treasury of Scirptural Knowledge" open at the same time in the Commentary section, which does a Good Job at cross-referencing the verse you're on - it sure does add depth to a good sermon or study.

Oh, Thank GOD for computers. [sometimes :-) ]

 2009/9/24 15:36

Joined: 2008/4/7
Posts: 797

 Re: Question on translation in Hebrews

Thank you Brothers

Someone pointed out the introduction in Brenton's [i]The Septuagint and Apocrypha[/i]. I read it. It seemed he was careful in what he wrote. It was worth reading.

Here is how it helped. I will pay particular attention to places where Paul quotes the Old Testament because sometimes it is different. Sometimes it is not. Maybe others have noticed that their reference Bibles do not list the references to some OT quotes that you recognize as being in the OT. Paul asked for scripture (Isaiah?) to be brought to him. There were many Septuagint OTs in Rome so I think he was asking for the Hebrew perhaps finding something lacking in the Greek translation so widely available.

I like the idea of having Paul's translation of some Hebrew OT verses. :D

Thanking God for His Holy Spirit that what Jesus said is brought to our minds. I mean even directly as I have seen Him do with children who have not read the Bible much but simply express clear Biblical Truth adults can locate in the Bible.

 2009/9/26 14:55Profile


Quote: I mean even directly as I have seen Him do with children who have not read the Bible much but simply express clear Biblical Truth adults can locate in the Bible.

Yes! Praise GOD - this made me smile really big.
How blessedly true. It may not be verbatim, but it's Biblically correct.

Thank you for this blessed reminder of 'children'.

 2009/9/26 23:02

Joined: 2009/9/13
Posts: 26

 Re: Question on translation in Hebrews

~ If you really want to see some differences:

I suggest
"The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" from Hebrew.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible is 1,000 years earlier than any other known copies ever had.

 2009/10/2 10:19Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Question on translation in Hebrews

The book of Hebrews, like all New Testament books, heavily relies on the LXX (Septuigint) for citations of the Old Testament. Most Jews in the times of Christ did not read Hebrew. Hebrew was even scarcely used by the Jewish Scribes at the time. Greek was the universally known language of the Roman empire, and Aramaic was also heavily used in the middle east. From what I understanding, finding a Hebrew copy of the Scriptures would have been very difficult to do in those days, especially if you lived outside of Jerusalem.

And with the NT using the Greek version of the OT, then you can only expect differences in citations. Translation is just as much of an art as it is science. So, consider that the LXX citations of the NT, when they are rendered into English, are now twice removed from the original Hebrew. For they were written in Hebrew, translated into Greek, and now translated into English.

The reason the English citations differ from the actual reading of the Old Testament in the same translation is because the translation of the Old Testament is done from Hebrew/Aramaic to English directly. Furthermore, the LXX as great as it is, is ultimately just a translation. And I was taught that while the LXX is a good translation of the Hebrew texts, it is like any translation: flawed and with errors. And that doesn't even touch on the issues of textual criticism underlying the Hebrew/Greek texts to explain differences. Sometimes there can be discrepencies between the Hebrew and Greek texts, as these things were all copies by hand, and thus, sometimes creating omissions or additions, both accidental and deliberate.

For better understanding, you'd probably be better off consulting some of the more "critical" commentaries, such as the Word Biblical Commentary series (WBC), or the New International Commentaries on the New Testament (NICNT). It would be helpful if you knew Greek and Hebrew as well :-)

Jimmy H

 2009/10/2 12:09Profile

Joined: 2009/9/13
Posts: 26


~ The Old Testiment being translated
from The Hebrew to Aramic?

Aramic was the language
Israel brought back with them
from Babylon, to Jerusalem. ~

 2009/10/2 13:24Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy