Question on Tobit 2:12-18


#1

Does anyone know why today’s (6/4) reading from Tobit is so dramatically different in between the D-R and the NAB? According to Haydock, the D-R text for vs. 12-19 didn’t come from Hebrew or Greek, as I understood it; where did it come from, Chaldean? Both versions have text for these verses that is not in the other.


#2

There may be a bit or two which help to clear some of the differences in the Wiki on Tobit, but that would not explain all of it. I believe that Jerome used a different manuscript - one which was not available to the editors of the NAB, and/or they used some of the manuscripts found at Qumran, for example. And, since Qumran is suspected to have been an Essene community, they may have preserved different versions than other groups did.


#3

That’s because the Vulgate Tobit is an on-the-spot paraphrase made by St. Jerome from a Hebrew translation of an Aramaic version. (Jerome found a version of Tobit in Aramaic, or “Chaldean” as he calls it, but he wasn’t very good at the language, so he had someone read and translate it in Hebrew for him.)

The NAB Tobit meanwhile is primarily based on one of two Greek texts, the longer one known as Greek II or GII. (The shorter version, or Greek I, is the basis for the RSV Tobit.) The Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts of Tobit found in Qumran are close to GII, as well as to Latin translations made before Jerome (aka Vetus Latina), which is even closer to these texts, which is why most scholars today favor it. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, translators used GI, because it is the version found in most Greek manuscripts. (GII in its fullest form is found only in Codex Sinaiticus, and even it has a couple of huge lacunae or missing text.)

There you have it: at least three or four different versions of a single book! :stuck_out_tongue: I recommend you read this thread I built up a while ago.

P.S. Note that Haydock’s commentary was written before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found; when it speaks of the “Hebrew” it refers to late, medieval versions of Tobit in that language (there are four of them) - which was the only thing available to scholars at that time. (The number of versions just increased further! :D)


#4

Regarding the reference thread: can anyone propose another work that has had so much dedication, so much distribution; so much preservation, so much restoration and so much dedication - both BC and AD - if it was not a canonical book?


#5

Thanks guys. I appreciate the responses. It's not unusual to see additional information in a version sometimes, but both versions were distinct of each other this time, so it threw me a bit. Thanks for the thread link, Patrick; I'm always very interested in reading this type of information, at least until I get in so far and remember that I can't speak Hebrew.:o. Whether canonical or not, I personally have always thought Tobit is "very profitable" for learning and any bible missing it is just plain missing something. God Bless.


#6

[quote="sousley, post:5, topic:328722"]
Thanks guys. I appreciate the responses. It's not unusual to see additional information in a version sometimes, but both versions were distinct of each other this time, so it threw me a bit. Thanks for the thread link, Patrick; I'm always very interested in reading this type of information, at least until I get in so far and remember that I can't speak Hebrew.:o. Whether canonical or not, I personally have always thought Tobit is "very profitable" for learning and any bible missing it is just plain missing something. God Bless.

[/quote]

Tobit was declared canonical in 397 at a Council at Carthage. It was later reaffirmed, in response to heresy, by Trent in the 16th century.

The Council of Carthage, called the third by Denzinger,[4] on 28 August 397 issued a canon of the Bible quoted as, "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua son of Nun, Judges, Ruth, 4 books of Kingdoms, 2 books of Chronicles, Job, the Davidic Psalter, 5 books of Solomon, 12 books of Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, 2 books of Ezra,[5] 2 books of Maccabees, and in the New Testament: 4 books of Gospels, 1 book of Acts of the Apostles, 13 letters of the Apostle Paul, 1 letter of his to the Hebrews, 2 of Peter, 3 of John, 1 of James, 1 of Jude, and one book of the Apocalypse of John.

In matters of canonicity, as in all other times in which we doubt, let us remind ourselves of the master of doubt: the evil one. I defer to the Church at all such times.


#7

[quote="po18guy, post:6, topic:328722"]
Tobit was declared canonical in 397 at a Council at Carthage. It was later reaffirmed, in response to heresy, by Trent in the 16th century.

In matters of canonicity, as in all other times in which we doubt, let us remind ourselves of the master of doubt: the evil one. I defer to the Church at all such times.

[/quote]

Of course. I was referring to the fact that we Catholics consider it canonical, while the protestant community does not, though they are at least generally aware of it. I didn't mean to sound as though I had doubts.:)


#8

You’re welcome! BTW, for another link, this is a translation of Tobit (NETS - New English Translation of the Septuagint) which has the texts of Greek I and Greek II arranged side-by-side. (I forgot to mention that there is a third Greek version of Tobit - Greek III - found in two manuscripts and is described as being a sort of intermediate version between GI and GII, but basically related to the latter. Of this version only Tobit 6:19-12:22 survives.)

Also, when Haydock speaks of verses 12-19 being omitted from the Greek or Hebrew (i.e. the medieval versions), it refers to this narrative comment found only in Jerome’s paraphrase:

Now this trial the Lord, therefore, permitted to happen to him, that an example might be given to posterity of his patience, as also of holy Job. For, whereas, he had always feared God from his infancy, and kept his commandments; he repined not against God, because the evil of blindness had befallen him, but continued immoveable in the fear of God, giving thanks to God all the days of his life.

For as the kings insulted over holy Job, so his relations and kinsmen mocked at his life, saying: Where is thy hope, for which thou gavest alms, and buriedst the dead? But Tobias rebuked them, saying: Speak not so: for we are the children of saints, and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith from him.

The main difference between GI and GII, if I might add, is that GI is a more condensed, smoothed out version of the story: it basically ‘fixes’ the Semitic narrative form and language of GII into more streamlined Greek prose. An extreme example can be found in 5:10, where the writer of GI reduces the narrative and the dialogue of GII into eight words (in Greek):

Greek II (NETS): Then Tobias went out and called him and said to him, “Young man, your father is calling you.” So he went in to him, and Tobith greeted him first. And he said to him, “Many joyful greetings to you!” But in reply Tobith said to him, “What is there for me still to be joyful about? Now I am a man with no power in my eyes, and I do not see the light of heaven, but I lie in darkness like the dead who no longer look at the night. Living, I am among the dead. I hear the voice of people, but I do not see them.” So he said to him, “Take courage; the time is near for God to heal you; take courage.” Then Tobith said to him, “Tobias my son wishes to go into Media. Can you go along with him and lead him? And I will give you your wages, brother.” And he said to him, “I can go with him; indeed, I know all the roads. Also I went into Media many times, and I crossed all its plains, and I know its mountains and all its roads.”

(NAB) Tobiah went out to summon him, saying, “Young man, my father is calling for you.” When Raphael entered the house, Tobit greeted him first. He replied, “Joyful greetings to you!” Tobit answered, “What joy is left for me? Here I am, a blind man who cannot see the light of heaven, but must remain in darkness, like the dead who no longer see the light! Though alive, I am among the dead. I can hear people’s voices, but I do not see them.” The young man said, “Take courage! God’s healing is near; so take courage!” Tobit then said: “My son Tobiah wants to go to Media. Can you go with him to show him the way? I will pay you your wages, brother.” He answered: “Yes, I will go with him, and I know all the routes. I have often traveled to Media and crossed all its plains so I know well the mountains and all its roads.”

Greek I (NETS): Then he called him, and he went in, and they greeted each other.

(RSV-CE) So Tobi′as invited him in; he entered and they greeted each other.


#9

Ok, just checking… :smiley: And, let us not forget the Eastern Orthodox Christians (all 300 million of them) who have likewise always held it canonical. Many of the common attacks on the Catholic Church are also attacks on our Orthodox brothers and sisters.


#10

So which version of Tobit does the Catholic Church declare to be the canonical one?


#11

[quote="Dave_Noonan, post:10, topic:328722"]
So which version of Tobit does the Catholic Church declare to be the canonical one?

[/quote]

The truth expressed in the book - its moral content is canonical, no matter which text is used. Due to the human element contained within hand copying, there are variants of every example, not only of scripture, but also of the apocrypha and the pseudographia. For all we know, the original authors themselves may have reproduced some of their own works for wider distribution, thus introducing variations into the text. Most certainly the succeeding generations of copyists did so. Since not a single original document exists, and since all bibles are based on copies of copies of copies, textual variation is the norm with scripture, rather than the exception. For this reason, and others, the Church must examine the moral and doctrinal content of each text before accepting it. And, to declare one version as approved to the exclusion of others is man's work, not God's. That is a blind alley which the Church has never ventured into.


#12

But doesn’t the Catholic Church make that distinction in the case of Daniel and Esther? Or is that an unofficial distinction?


#13

I don’t think that any declaration has been made on the subject. The book is canonical, but which version is isn’t specified. I should point out though that the Nova Vulgata Tobit seems to use GII as its base text, like many modern versions.


#14

By which you mean?


#15

There are five manuscripts of Tobit (4Q196-200), dating from the period between 100 BC to AD 25, found in Cave 4 in Qumran in 1952, but it was not until 1956 that the first report on the finds was published. The late J.T. Milik reported about the discovery of what was then fragments three manuscripts of Tobit in the report. More fragments were eventually found (which was also announced by Milik) until five texts were found in total. However, while Milik worked on piecing the fragments from a period spanning from 1953 to 1960, he never got around to actually publishing them (one of the main criticisms levelled against him, in fact, is how he contributed to the long delay of getting the Dead Sea Scrolls into public view by not completing all the work on his portion - and quite an amount of the discovered fragments were under his lot). It was Fr. Joseph Fitzmyer who would complete the work and publish them in 1995 (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, volume 19).

All in all, these manuscripts (four in Aramaic, one in Hebrew) generally agree with the text of GII, but sometimes they also exhibit agreement with GI. (For example, in Tobit 14:2, 4Q196 (Aramaic) and 4Q200 (Hebrew) both agree with GI in stating that Tobit was fifty-eight when he became blind, as opposed to GII’s sixty-two.) In some instances, the text provided could be shorter or longer, or at times agree more with the Vetus Latina versions over against GII. All in all, there are sixty-nine fragments or groups of fragments in these five texts: out of these sixty-nine, thirty-four tiny fragments are unidentified, giving us thirty-five identified fragments in total.

http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/bibel/PB01_TOB.gif
4QTob ar[sup]a[/sup] (4Q196)

4QTob[sup]a[/sup] ar (4Q196, Aramaic, ca. 50-25 BC)

Fragments 1 (Tobit 1:17), 2 (1:19-2:2), 3 (2:3), 4 (2:10-11), 5 (3:5), 6 (3:9-15), 7 (3:17), 8 (4:2), 9 (4:5), 10 (4:7), 11 (4:21-5:1), 12 (5:9), 13 (6:6-8), 14 i (6:13-18), 14 ii (6:18-7:6), 15 (7:13), 16 (12:1), 17 i (12:18-13:6), 17 ii (13:6-12), 18 (13:12-14:3), 19 (14:7), 20-49 (??)

4QTob[sup]b[/sup] ar (4Q197, Aramaic, ca. 25 BC-AD 25)

Fragments 1 (Tobit 3:6-8), 2 (4:21-5:1), 3 (5:12-14), 4 i (5:19-6:12), 4 ii (6:12-18), 4 iii (6:18-7:10), 5 (8:17-9:4), 6-7 (??)

4QTob[sup]c[/sup] ar (4Q198, Aramaic, ca. 50 BC)

Fragments 1 (Tobit 14:2-6), 2 (14:10)

4QTob[sup]d[/sup] ar (4Q199, Aramaic, ca. 100 BC)

Fragments 1 (Tobit 7:11), 2 (14:10)

4QTob[sup]e[/sup] (4Q200, Hebrew, ca. 30 BC-AD 20)

Fragments 1 i (Tobit 3:6), 1 ii (3:10-11), 2 (4:3-9), 3 (5:2), 4 (10:7-9), 5 (11:10-14), 6 (12:20-13:4), 7 i (13:13-14), 7 ii (13:18-14:2), 8 (?), 9 (3:3-4?)

These fragments also exhibit some degree of minor variance with each other, which shows us that there was not really a fixed text of Tobit during the 1st century BC or the 1st century AD.


#16

A few more notes on the Nova Vulgata Tobit. The protagonist here is named Thobis and his son, Thobias, which agrees with the Vetus Latina versions. Contrast this with Jerome, who normally employed T(h)obias as the name of both father and son, with a few exceptions.

GII gives the father's name either as Τωβίθ (Tōbith) and - rarely - Τωβίς (Tōbis); the more familiar Τωβίτ (Tōbit) comes from GI. Both texts however agree in spelling the son's name as Τωβίας (Tōbias). The Qumran fragments, meanwhile, give the father's name as טובי (Tobi 'my good') and that of the son as טוביה (Tobiyah 'Yah is my good').

In fact, the style is somewhat evocative of a particular Vetus Latina translation (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, fonds lat. 93, aka MS Regius 3564), although the translation mainly agrees with GII. For instance:

1:1-2

(Greek II, NETS) The book of the words of Tobith son of Tobiel son of Hananiel son of Adouel son of Gabael son of Raphael son of Ragouel of the descendants of Asiel, of the tribe of Nephtaleim, who in the days of Enemessaros, the king of the Assyrians, was taken into captivity from Thisbe which is to the right of Kydios Nephthaleim in Upper Galilee, above Asser to the west, left of Phogor.

(Nova Vulgata) Liber sermonum Thobis filii Thobiel filii Ananiel filii Aduel filii Gabael filii Raphael filii Raguel ex semine Asiel, ex tribu Nephthali, qui captivus ductus est in diebus Salmanasar regis Assyriorum ex Thisbe, quae est a dextera parte Cades Nephthali in superiori Galilaea supra Asor post occidentem solem a sinistra parte Phogor.

(Pierre Sabatier = MS Regius 3564) Liber sermonum Thobi, filii Thobiel, filii Ananihel, filii Gabahel, filii Asihel, filii Gadalel, filii Arabei, ex tribu Nepthalim; qui captiuus abductus est in diebus Salmannassar regis Assyriorum, ex Bihel ciuitate, quae est in dextera parte Edisse ciuitatis Nephtalim, in superioribus Galilaeae, contra Naasson, post uiam quae ducit in occidentem, ex sinistra parte Raphain.

(The book of the words of Thobis, son of Thobiel, son of Ananihel, son of Gabahel, son of Asihel, son of Gadalel, son of Arabei, of the tribe of Nepthalim; who was abducted into captivity in the days of Salmanassar king of the Assyrians from the city of Bihel which is to the right of Edisse, a city of Nephthalim in Upper Galilee over against Naason, beyond the road which leads to the west on the left of Raphain.)

1:21

(GII) But forty days did not pass before two of his sons killed him, and they fled into the mountains of Ararat. Then Sacherdonos his son became king after him. And he appointed Achicharos son of Hanael my brother over all the accounts of his kingdom, and he had authority over all the administration.

(NV) Et non transierunt **dies quadraginta, quousque occiderent illum duo filii ipsius et fugerunt in montes Ararat; et regnavit Asarhaddon filius eius pro illo et constituit Achicarum filium fratris mei Anael super omnem exactionem regni eius, et ipse habebat potestatem super omnem regionem.

(Sabatier) Et contigit dum laterem, post **dies quadraginta quinque* occiderunt regem illum duo filii sui, et fugerunt in montem Ararath. et regnauit post eum Archedonassar filius eius pro illo, et constituit Achicarum filium fratris mei Annanihel, super omnem curam regni; et ipse habebat potestatem super omnem regionem.*

(And it happened while I was in hiding, after forty-five days the king was killed by his two sons, and they fled into the mountain of Ararath. Then Archedonassar his son reigned after him in his stead, and he appointed Achicharus, son of my brother Annanihel, over all the administration of the kingdom; and he was having power over all the regions.)


#17

14:2

(GII) Now he was sixty-two years old when he became maimed in his eyes, and after he saw again he lived in prosperity and gave alms. And he still continued to bless God and to acknowledge the majesty of God.

(NV) **Sexaginta autem et duorum annorum erat, cum invalidus oculis factus est; et, postquam lucem recepit, vixit in bonis et fecit eleemosynas et proposuit benedicere Deum et confiteri magnitudini Dei.

(Sabatier) **Quinquaginta autem et octo annorum erat,* cum oculis captus est: et quinquaginta quatuor* (R: quadraginta quatuor) annis, postquam lucem recepit, uixit, in omnibus faciens eleemosynas. Et proposuit magis Deum colere, et confiteri magnitudinem eius.

(He was fifty-eight years old when his eyes were taken; and he lived for fifty-four (R: forty-four) years after he recovered light, in all (of them) giving alms. And he continued to honor God greatly and to acknowledge His majesty.)

(Cf. 4Q196, frg. 18 "[He was] fifty-eight years [old, when (...) the sight of] his [e]yes. He lived in goodness, and in al[l he gave alms (...) to bless] the Lord and to acknowledge [his] majes[ty.]"; 4Q198, frg. 1 "(...) and gave alms, and he continued to fear God and ack[nowledge his majesty.]"; 4Q200, frg. 7 "[H]e was fif[ty]-eight years old [when (...) his s]ight, [and] afterwards [he lived fifty-]fo[ur years.]")


#18

[quote="Dave_Noonan, post:12, topic:328722"]
But doesn't the Catholic Church make that distinction in the case of Daniel and Esther? Or is that an unofficial distinction?

[/quote]

I think that what has been allowed for is the future discovery of varying forms of the manuscripts, whereas (I may be wrong here) other books were examined in all available variations at that time. Does that make sense?


#19

[quote="patrick457, post:17, topic:328722"]
14:2

(GII) Now he was sixty-two years old when he became maimed in his eyes, and after he saw again he lived in prosperity and gave alms. And he still continued to bless God and to acknowledge the majesty of God.

(NV) Sexaginta autem et duorum annorum erat, cum invalidus oculis factus est; et, postquam lucem recepit, vixit in bonis et fecit eleemosynas et proposuit benedicere Deum et confiteri magnitudini Dei.

(Sabatier) Quinquaginta autem et octo annorum erat, cum oculis captus est: et quinquaginta quatuor (R: quadraginta quatuor) annis, postquam lucem recepit, uixit, in omnibus faciens eleemosynas. Et proposuit magis Deum colere, et confiteri magnitudinem eius.

(He was fifty-eight years old when his eyes were taken; and he lived for fifty-four (R: forty-four) years after he recovered light, in all (of them) giving alms. And he continued to honor God greatly and to acknowledge His majesty.)

(Cf. 4Q196, frg. 18 "[He was] fifty-eight years [old, when (...) the sight of] his [e]yes. He lived in goodness, and in al[l he gave alms (...) to bless] the Lord and to acknowledge [his] majes[ty.]"; 4Q198, frg. 1 "(...) and gave alms, and he continued to fear God and ack[nowledge his majesty.]"; 4Q200, frg. 7 "[H]e was fif[ty]-eight years old [when (...) his s]ight, [and] afterwards [he lived fifty-]fo[ur years.]")

[/quote]

Recent scholarship points to the "late date" Daniel (175 BC +/-), making it a Deuterocanonical period writing. As well, it is considered apocalyptic rather than prophetic writing - said apocalyptic style prominent in the 3-4 centuries immediately preceding Christ's Incarnation. This is based on Daniel's details about Antiochus IV Epiphanes of 1 & 2 Maccabees infamy. And, since prophecy is generally principle rather than precision, this would tend to demonstrate the later date of composition. In fact, it might have been composed so as to feign an exilic time frame and thus be less offensive to the Seleucids, if that were possible.

Rhetorical: Based on this, do adherents of the recent doctrine of the "inter-testamental period" now have to ponder discarding Daniel? Conversely, do those who recognize Daniel now have to re-consider the Deuterocanon?


#20

Kind of answering my own question :D, but I assume that you’re talking about why the Church deems the longer Greek versions of Daniel and Esther to be canonical instead of the shorter Hebrew versions.

There are actually three biblical books which had a longer form in Greek: 1 Kings (aka 3 Kingdoms), Esther and Daniel. (The Greek 1 Kings basically contains sections, which usually serve an exegetical or chronological purpose, not found in any extant Hebrew text - some are interpolations from Chronicles, while others have no known counterpart - and extensively rearranges texts found within the section.) Most of these interpolations can probably be traced to Semitic versions which basically edited and expanded the source text of these three books (compare these with the ‘reworkings’ of various Scriptural books found in Qumran, such as the Genesis Apocryphon or the Reworked Pentateuch).

(A couple of other examples of books which exist in a different form in the Greek compared to the Hebrew include Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The Greek 1 Esdras, meanwhile, is basically the book of Ezra with bits of 2 Chronicles, Nehemiah and original material mixed in the main body of text; in other words, this composite book is included alongside a very literal translation of Ezra-Nehemiah, designated 2 Esdras.)

While these three ‘reworked’ versions would have been once accepted as legit in ancient Judaism/s alongside the earlier, shorter versions (it could also be possible that these rewritten versions were originally meant to replace the older ones), in due course the Jews eventually rejected them in favor of the latter, while among Christians they remained authoritative in different ways. At least two of them (Esther, Daniel) AFAIK are still accepted by the Catholic Church in some way - because St. Jerome included the expanded sections in his translation.

P.S. Of course, in the case of Daniel, Christians generally came to accept the Greek version of Theodotion as opposed to the earlier, Old Greek (OG) version, which the former had supplanted by the 1st-2nd century.


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