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Coptic Orthodox Church
DIFFERENCE IN TRANSLATIONS?
edited August 2011
Coptic Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Study Bible uses the Septuagint Translation of the Old Testament. The Septuagint is the most accurate as I am told by my very knowledgeable priest. If you remember in the story of Simeon in the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus was a baby and St. Mary took Him to the temple and Simeon said "O Lord now you are letting your servant depart in peace..." , Simeon(according to tradition) was one of those 70 people who translated the Old Testament and he was promised by God that he would see Christ.
I hope i helped, or maybe I confused you more lol, forgive me if I wasn't clear.
please pray for me
hi, u were sitting reading the Bible together?
this is very good, everyone should do this with their family, Christian flat mate or work colleagues. the septuagaint (the greek version of the old testament version used in the orthodox study Bible) is the most accurate. i don't think it makes a difference if the 20 pieces werer silver or gold; it is clear Jesus was sold as if he was a slave and became like us to free us from the slavery of sin.
another good thing when reading the Bible together is to ask each one how it changes his or her life. eg. we are free from sin, is there anything we could do differently at work or at school because of this? eg. not join in with a fight, not laugh at someone who doesn't fit in etc.
also the more you read the Bible the more you understand the general picture and the less you get confused, so keep doing it
As Marenhos Epchois said, the OSB uses the septuagaint
The Greek(i.e. septuagint) says 20 pieces of Gold (
, however the Hebrew says 20 pieces of silver (
As for Ninevah, neither version explicitly says how long they fasted, but they do say in how long will God eradicate Ninevah. In the Hebrew it says 40(
), but in the Septuagint it says 3 days(
). This is also supported by Church tradition where the fast of Jonah is 3 days.
The reason we use the Septuagint is that its the version quoted by the Apostles, Christ, and the Apostolic Fathers. For more about the Septuagint there is a great article split in 4 parts by the Greek Orthodox Metropoliton of Boston
As for Simeon (sorry to go off topic, but his story is amazing) his story is here:
When he was translating the Bible he came across the verse in Isaiah where it says the Messiah would be born of a Virgin. He thought it was a mistake and went to scratch it out. Because of this an angel appeared to him, and told him he wouldn't depart until he saw the Messiah himself. So he lived 360 yrs. which puts what he said: "Now You are letting Your servant depart in peace" in a whole different light.
The Septuagint IS the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
The difference in texts in Jonah in this one small point was noticed long ago by the Fathers. Personally I don't see it matters at all. I think St Jerome writes about it.
I guess the short answer is that when texts are copied there is the possibility of variance being introduced. And at some point there became two textual strands in this passage of Jonah.
St Cyril in his commentary chooses not to mention this divergent textual tradition. His commentary is here...
The Septuagint clearly says three days, and it is the Hebrew manuscript tradition which uses forty. The Church uses the Septuagint. Protestants and others have chosen to use the Hebrew texts. These are not without problems since they are generally late, but the fact that Jerome and Theodoret mention this particular difference shows it was current in their time. We know that the Jews did excise many messianic ideas from their scriptures. It is not unreasonable to consider that the Jews had chosen to change the number three to forty. Or that their own textual tradition had become damaged.
Jerome was rather at fault for choosing to follow the Hebrew text under Jewish tutelage, and he considered his translation superior to that of the Septuagint. Protestants have tended to use the Hebrew rather than the Septuagint, and this is why so many show 'forty' rather than 'three'.
The Septuagint uses 'three' days. St Cyril uses 'three' days. Origen says 'three' days. Chrysostom says 'three' days. Caesarius of Arles says 'three' days. As far as I can see, and my Coptic is poor, the Coptic Old Testament says 'three' days.
So I would stick with three days as the correct text.
Also because otherwise the fast of Jonah would be 40 days instead of 3 lol
but how can we be sure that the mistakes made in the translation are limited to unimportant, small one's?
are there any other mistakes that where made in the translation of the Bible that maybe are of greater importance?
This is why we should use an Orthodox Bible, and not random ones that have been influenced by various other agendas. And I am not meaning to criticise the intentions of many translators. In fact there are not any great differences in any of the small textual variants. (It does not matter at all if the Bible says 'and Jesus said' or 'then Jesus said' or 'so Jesus said')
BUT... the translation of the Bible we should use is the Septuagint.
Actually I am presently working as a very small part of a team in producing an English translation of the Septuagint, and the Book I am working on is that of the prophet Jonah.
In terms of the general issue of translations. We are not a Bible Church. We do not start with the Bible and work out what we think we believe. We begin with the life of the Spirit in the Church, and the Bible belongs to the Church and is understood and interpreted properly only by the Church.
Therefore the Bible cannot be mistranslated within the Church. It is only those separated from the Orthodox community who can fall into error because they attempt to understand the Bible outside of and apart from the Orthodox community to whom the Bible belongs.