Essays on the Function of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity
Edited By Jan Dochhorn
Authorization and Canonization Processes of the Greek Versions of the Jewish Bible Natalio Fernández Marcos
1. The point of arrival: The Christian Bible What we now call the Septuagint is the result of a translation process and new accretion of other books in Greek. This took place over a period of rough- ly four centuries, followed by a debate on the authority of some of these books which lasted a further three centuries. These processes were not neatly di- vided in terms of periods or intentions, and the establishment of the canon was interactive. In this essay it is my intention to analyse and describe the historical process of the birth and development of the Greek Bible, starting with the final product as it appears in the documents of the 4th century CE and going back to the origins in order to trace the main steps of the process. In this description, I shall try to distinguish carefully betwen the factual evi- dence and the diverse interpretations or scholarly reflections – included my own – on such evidence. I will take as an example of the Christian Bible from the middle of the fourth century, the codex Vaticanus (Vatican Library, Gr. 1209), the first com- plete Bible documented in a single volume or codex. As is well known, this Bible differs from the Hebrew Bible in several respects: the content and num- ber of the books, the titles of many of the books, as well as their order and disposition.1 In contrast with the classical distribution of the Hebrew Bible in the three corpora of Torah, Nebi’im...
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