What was the Septuagint translated from? The original Hebrew.
Yes, but we don’t have any of that original Hebrew. The Masoretic standardization began hundreds of years after the start of Christianity. It represents the first recorded attempt to absolutely standardize the recording of Hebrew Scripture. The Septuagint, on the other hand, is much older than the Masoretic standardization, almost by 1000 years. That’s 1000 years of comparitively non-standardized recording of the Hebrew. When “revisors” prior to the Masoretic movement were checking the Septuagint against the Hebrew, they were checking it against non-standardized Hebrew versions. Of course they honored Hebrew above the Greek, because they were coming from the tradition of the Pharisees (notice that their dates are well after the rise of Christianity and the Council of Jamnia), which was more interested in cultural homogeny than strict standardization of Scripture copying. The standards developed over time, culminating in the Masoretic movement of guidelines and practices for copying Scripture.
Now none of this is to say that the Masoretic texts are way off; quite the contrary. The Masoretic texts and the Septuagint agree in almost every way. The point is that the Septuagint was the most standardized, authoritative edition of Old Testament Scripture prior to the Masoretic movement, and that’s not even saying much considering the Jews couldn’t, and still can’t, agree on what’s canon and what isn’t.
In another essay written by Jordan S. Penkower, pg 2078 of the JPS Tanakh, it is thus said, “Notwithstanding the multiplicity of texts (found in Qumran), it seems that within the Jerusalem Temple circles there was a clear preference for the one textual tradition that we call the proto-Masoretic text-type (because of its close affinities to the later Masoretic Bibles).”
I suggest you read other material like I have quoted here. There are extensive articles and essays and Rabbinical sources that are not in line with your sources.
This isn’t at all out of line with what I’ve said. The Pharisees, who were the majority of the Jerusalem crowd, had a preference for Hebrew copies over Greek ones. That doesn’t mean that they had a standardized, complete work of the Hebrew Scriptures. Their preference led to the Masoretic movement 700 years later, as I’ve stated.
What is definitely clear is that the standard Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) recognized by modern Jewish scholars (using the latest information available) consists of the Masoretic Text, not the LXX. How hard is that to understand? Their text is Hebrew, not Greek. The Jews use the Masoretic. Therefore, I use the Masoretic. I use the Tanakh. Salvation is of the Jews.
Yes, the modern Masoretic Jewish scholars prefer the Masoretic text and not the Septuagint. What’s your point? Your statement that “the Jews use the Masoretic” is both incorrect and misleading. As I’ve stated, the Ethiopian Jews use the LXX, and if you want to tell them that they aren’t Jews, be my guest. It’s misleading because it implies that the Septuagint is somehow “not Jewish”, despite the fact that when it was written it was well within Jewish orthodoxy, and was in fact used by the majority of Jews up until well after the Pharisees came to dominate Jewish dialogue. The fact that one ideological line of Jews, who later came to dominate Judaism, prefers the Hebrew is irrelevant to the Jewish nature of the Septuagint. That’s like arguing that the Greek texts of the New Testament are irrelevant since the Catholic Church officially uses the Latin. The fact is that the oldest, most consistant compilation of the Jewish Scriptures is the LXX.
The “Jews” you refer to are not the Jews of the time of Christ, but rather the ideologicaly descendants of a single faction of Palestinian Jews, the smallest of the Jewish populations, and they don’t even represent all faithful Jews today (again I point you in the direction of the Ethiopian Jews, who were removed from the Pharisiac tradition.) They prefer the Hebrew, as do I when it’s available, but their version is not indicative of the general Jewish attitude towards scripture at the time of Christ, or even for a few centuries after. For the best understanding of what the majority of Jews were using as Scripture at that time, we must turn to the LXX.