The Memory of Moses in Biographical and Autobiographical Narratives in Ancient Judaism and 4th-Century Christianity
2. The Greek Moses: The Biblical figure of Moses in the Septuagint 2.1. Introduction The Biblical narratives about Moses as they appear scattered throughout the narrative parts of the Masoretic text of the Pentateuch from the birth of Moses in Exod 2:1 to his death in Deut 34:12 are too well known for me to repeat their content here. Less known, however, is the way these narratives were trans- lated in the 3rd-century BC translation, the Septuagint (LXX), which was the Biblical text for the majority of Jewish and Christian writers under considera- tion in this study.75 Accordingly, in this introductory chapter I shall present the characteristics of the Septuagint portrait of Moses by examining how this portrait differs from the one given in the Masoretic text (MT).76 By analysing the Septuagint Moses narratives as a translation, i.e. in close comparison with the Masoretic text, I aim to give the reader a better understanding of the particular narratives that were used and rewritten in the writings that will be discussed in the following chapters. As has often been pointed out, to speak of the Septuagint as a unity is an illusion.77 The Biblical books were translated into Greek over a long period by different people unknown to us. In addition, the history of transmission is extremely complex, with the result that we seldom know the precise wording of what was read by the various ancient interpreters although we may, of course, infer some details from their own...
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