Rabbi Tovia Singer: Is the Septuagint A Theological Crime Scene?

tovia-singer

In the spirit of Chanukah, the holiday that marks the cleansing of Greek influence that was imposed on the Jewish people, I will clear up a widespread falsehood.

Despite strong objections from conservative Christian apologists, no evidence exists that a pre-Christian Greek translation of Isaiah 7:14 contained the Greek word παρθένος (parthenos); and, as the argument goes, Matthew innocently took this pre-Christian Greek translation of Isaiah to mean virgin.

Even liberal Christians stake this claim as fact rather than a theological conjecture. A pre-Christian translation of this passage likely rendered the word alma as γυνή (gune). Subsequently, Christians produced a Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures with the word παρθένος (parthenos) instead of γυνή (gune) in order to comport with and bolster Matthew’s mistranslation of Isaiah 7:14.

The noun γυνή (gune) is used hundreds of times for a woman or young woman in the LXX (Septuagint) and NT. This Greek word conveys no implications of virginity. How can we be confident that the doctors of the church were capable of manipulating translations for theological reasons? Because Christian translators continue to engage in this nefarious practice to this day! In short, Bible tampering was a national pastime in the Church! Christian scribes did not limit this practice to the Jewish Scriptures. Many passages in the NT were deliberately interpolated into the Christian Bible as well.

Happy Chanukah!

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