I’m confused about the chronologies of the Septuagint, masoretic text, and the Samaritan Pentateuch

All 3 of these ancient biblical texts are similar, but there chronologies can vary. The catholic bible looks like uses the masoretic chronology. But the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint are older. The ancient church also used the Septuagint. But the Catholics don’t really seem to use it except the orthodox church’s.

“Their chronologies can vary?” I am not sure what you mean. The chronology of Israel’s history? The chronology of the writing of the Hebrew Scriptures?

The Septuagint was used in the Diaspora, among the Jews who lived with Gentiles and spoke Greek. The Masoretic text was assembled to keep the Hebrew text in Hebrew, part of an effort to reassert the Israeli culture at a time when institutions were being destroyed.

Christians lived primarily in the Greek world as a result of their acceptance of Gentiles as members, so they used the Septuagint mostly. We can still see the effects of this; Catholic bibles have several books that are not in Protestant bibles which are based on the Masoretic texts.

As early as the 3rd century, the different texts were assembled and assessed to find the best translation and understanding of the texts. Origen’s Hexapla brought the Hebrew text, the Septuagint and a couple other translations together. This influenced St Jerome who oversaw translation into Latin. The Latin Vulgate became the standard for 1000 years.

Modern bibles all try to get the best versions of the original texts. Usually they pay attention to translations to understand better how the text has been understood. The quest has been to find the best version of thee original text, the Hebrew version of most of the OT. The Septuagint is not used as the original text, though translators refer to it while translating. The Septuagint is still used to determine what books are included.

Is that what you were asking about?

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No, the age of shems descendants when they conceived their offspring are different. The masoretic says that arphaxad was 30 years old when he conceived his child, but the Septuagint said he was 100 years older so 130. In genesis 5, the age of Adam of conceiving his set were different. The masoretic says 130 but the Septuagint says 230. The orthodox bible uses the whole Septuagint because I read the orthodox study Bible. It also uses the Septuagint as it’s basis. The masoretic text is faulty. Made by masorenes to distort Christian messages. Why do Catholics now use the masoretic text to make the Bible? The Protestants accepted it 500 years to get away from the Catholics but the Catholics use the masoretic to make the Old Testament. The masoretic text was made in 600-1000 AD, while the Septuagint was made in 300-50BC.

I’m Jewish, but have been part of the official Christian-Jewish dialogue (especially with the Roman Catholic Church) for over a decade.

While it has been a popular belief of the past that the Masoretes, the scribal scholars who preserved and codified the Jewish Bible between the 6th and 10th centuries CE/AD, changed the Scripture text to disfavor readings that support Jesus as the Messiah, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran proved that wrong.

The reason for that popular belief was that Jews in general tend to disfavor the Septuagint while Christians favor it. Arguments and teachings such as “the Jews changed the Bibles in the Masoretic text in their hatred and rejection of Jesus” was one of those arguments that fomented the flames of Holocaust propaganda. With both the end of the Nazi regime and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christianity had reason to look back at its own history, especially since the Shoah arose in Christendom’s very own backyard.

The Catholic Church took the very first steps of opening official dialogue with Judaism after the Shoah (the Holocaust). Along with that, the Church took to the front of the line in the field of critical studies, developing new guidelines for the production of Bible translations for the faithful. The discovery of the scrolls at Qumran were 1000 years older than anything the Church had on hand and more than 100 years older than the time of Christ. They favored the Masoretic readings, and where they differed, they differed mostly in spelling.

After that, the discovery of more ancient texts far older than the Septuagint proved the same, favoring the Masoretic tradition. Therefore scholars, including the Church as a whole, declared the Masoretic texts as the standard.

In some instances, however, the Septuagint reading is to be followed and accepted over the Masoretic reading for Catholics because the Septuagint reading was the one originally canonized. However, the Church has remained firm on scholarly and academic readings, generally embracing Septuagint readings for liturgical differences only, but noting the Masoretic text as the original for study.

As of late, some liturgical readings that don’t affect Church teaching have been adjusted to read according to follow the Masoretic text as far as the vernacular of languages might allow. As far as I know this has not happened in English in any major areas.


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