With differences like these, how can one honestly trust the bible?

Oftentimes the LXX reflects a Hebrew text different from the standard, Masoretic text (MT) of the 9th c. CE. A number of books feature striking differences between the LXX and MT. For instance:

LXX Jeremiah is shorter than MT Jeremiah by roughly one-eighth, and the order of its chapters is quite different.
LXX Job is about one-sixth smaller than MT Job, and includes an ending not extant in the Hebrew.
Almost half of the verses in LXX Esther are not found in MT Esther.
LXX Exodus and MT Exodus differ in many places according to order of verses, and inclusion or exclusion of words and material

kalvesmaki.com/lxx/

The existence of Bible variants is nothing new. This is why the church commissioned Jerome in c.400AD to prepare a standard version of the Bible to be used by the universal church; the latin vulgate.

My left arm is a little longer than my right arm, but … Never really put too much worry thoughts into it. :stuck_out_tongue:

At least seven separate Churchs with diosese encircling the entire Meditarranean Sea, some being serviced on the common road, yet even then most people walked.

No one set of canonized Scriptures, no internet. No formal system of mail delivery or addresses. Paper a bit difficult to find and buy. Governments still pounding out signage using stone.

And you complain about verse order, different wording and smaller text.

:rotfl:

variants exist in all sorts of manuscripts and texts from the ancient world (or even modern world). Even Tolkien’s LOTR has some minor variants in the text. And there are variants in Plato, arisototle, herodotus, and all sorts of ancient texts. Yet, scholars still find them to be reliable sources in spite of that. The same principle applies here.

If you are looking for reasons to doubt, the world is full of them. Christ told Thomas “Do not persist in your unbelief, but believe!”

As Catholics, we have the great and life-long comfort of knowing that the Church long ago solved any such dilemma for us. Any and all questions, uncertainty and disputes are argued and solved by the Church. Amen.

With all respect dave this is more than a few variants,

LXX Jeremiah is shorter than MT Jeremiah by roughly one-eighth, and the order of its chapters is quite different.

LXX Job is about **one-sixth **smaller than MT Job, and includes an ending not extant in the Hebrew.

Almost half of the verses in LXX Esther are not found in MT Esther.

LXX Exodus and MT Exodus differ in many places according to order of verses, and **inclusion or exclusion of words and material **

It is more than verse order,

LXX Jeremiah is shorter than MT Jeremiah by roughly one-eighth, and the order of its chapters is quite different.
LXX Job is about one-sixth smaller than MT Job, and includes an ending not extant in the Hebrew.
Almost half of the verses in LXX Esther are not found in MT Esther.
LXX Exodus and MT Exodus differ in many places according to order of verses, and inclusion or exclusion of words and material

Solutions based on ignorance of the problem is not really a solution.

I, for one, would not so casually condemn as “ignorance”, the study testing and argumentation of the various Church councils over the past two millennia, any single member of which was more qualified for the task than you or I combined will ever be. They most carefully, over the centuries, examined all of the works you mention, and many others to arrive at what is known as the Catholic Canon of scripture.

Do you somehow believe that you are superior in intellect, investigative skill, or theological enlightenment to the collected minds of all Christendom since its inception?

there is a process by which one can settle the issue you bring up. Keeping in mind, one can’t truly settle anything without a true authority that is already in place

I think It goes without saying, The importance of having one truly authorized authority, is to
[LIST]
*]put one’s mind at ease on important matters, and end constant speculation and arguing over matters that are meant to be settled.
[/LIST]Jesus has the authority to establish an ongoing authority on earth to fill that position. And He did by establishing the Catholic Church with Peter as the head
[LIST]
*]the Catholic Church accepts the Greek LXX. And as an aside, when OT events are referenced in the NT, it’s from the LXX.
[/LIST]as another aside, before the middle ages, there was no punctuation, case sensitivity of letters, paragraphs, chapter and verse, ordering of manuscripts etc etc? That was all done by Catholic monks.

  1. Since there are many fake letters purporting to be penned by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, do we then doubt all of them?

No. We preserve those that were examined, tested and approved by authoritative experts.

  1. There are spurious copies of all major documents in recorded human history. Do we then disregard all?

No. We preserve those that have been examined, tested and approved by authoritative experts.

  1. Much writing was submitted as “scripture”. Since some is obviously false, do we then disregard all of it?

No. We preserve those that have been examined, tested and approved by authoritative experts.

When you seek to doubt, you will never have an answer.

It is true ignorance that disregards the authority of the Catholic Church to canonize scripture.

What specifically are you questioning?

Textual issues are really a minor problem. However, many Christians get hung up on them because they seem more obvious than the “higher critical” issues. These are much more challenging, in my opinion, but easier to dismiss as the speculation of nasty skeptics.

In other words, the question of what the “original manuscript” of the Torah looked like becomes irrelevant in light of the debates over how and when the Torah was written and what relationship it has to the events it describes.

Textual issues are more important for the Gospels, because there are a lot better reasons to say that the Gospels do rest on original manuscripts fairly close to eyewitness accounts. But even there, I don’t really see textual issues as a major cause for doubt.

I guess that for someone who hasn’t been exposed to “higher” criticism or who finds it too speculative, textual variants point toward the disturbing possibility that the critical approach to the Bible may have some merit. That is what seems to have happened to Bart Ehrman back in his conservative evangelical days, and that would explain his rather odd focus on textual criticism as a problem for traditional views of Scripture.

I suppose that happened to me to some extent as well–I read KJV-only stuff as a teenager that denied the validity of textual criticism, and I suppose my skepticism about that material translated to some extent into similar skepticism about conservative responses to the “higher critical” questions (though I remain moderately conservative on these issues).

Edwin

Contarini,

Are nasty skeptics ones that refuse to address the so called higher critical issues?

Does this boil down to navel gazing?

Eh, so what? Some copies of Mark omit the longer ending. Some early versions of John do not have John 8:1-12. A few manuscripts of Matthew have a version of John 19:34 interpolated between verses 49 and 50 of chapter 27. The version of Acts of the Apostles preserved in Western text-type manuscripts contains about 10% more content than the Alexandrian version of Acts. At least four copies omit “in Ephesus” from Ephesians 1:1. The Septuagint, the Masoretic Text, and the Samaritan Torah each contain respective differences from each other (most likely to be traced from their ancestral sources). So what seems to be the problem?

Yes and you missed by far the biggest one of all: The LXX contains seven entire books which are totally omittted by the MT.
You are perfectly correct, one cannot simply “trust the Bible” as if it stood on its own, as some people urge us to do. But from the very beginning the Church has taught that Sacred Scripture must be held and interpreted together with the Church’s Sacred Tradition and the Divinely instituted teaching authority of the Church.

Even if every single text we had of the Bible was exactly identical, there would still be countless disputes over its interpretation if we did not have sacred Tradition and the Magisterium. Look at the thousands of mutually contradictory protestant sects all claiming to rely only on the same King James version of the Bible.

Here’s the OP’s self-imposed conundrum: Since hand-scribed parchments, in different languages, by different scribes, in different cultures and nations, and in different times do not agree - they must be questioned, and what we have today must also be questioned. However, if they all agreed, sometimes even as much as the synoptics do, their legitimacy must also be questioned.

The OP’s problem may just be that he divorces reason from faith, then equates faith with ignorance.

For those who simply doubt, there is no solution. For those who simply believe, there is no problem.

Jesus never asked anyone to write the bible, his Father only asked for the Ten Commandments to be written in stone.

Neiter God the Father or Jesus expected, instructed or asked anyone to believe in “the bible” alone.

You are chipping away at the very foundation of protestantism…

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