Just a quick note about the Bible of the early Church. Just some background information. What is today known as the Hebrew Masoretic Text, which was formalized nearly 1000 years after the birth of Christ, existed, clearly, as one of a few Hebrew textual traditions in Jesus’ day. There were Aramaic glosses of the Tanakh (TNK = Torah (Law), Neviim (Prophets), Ketuvim (Writings)) as well. And then you had the Greek translation of the Tanakh, known today as the Septuagint. Since the church very quickly spread in areas outside of Israel, and outside of where either Hebrew or Aramaic would be spoken, the Septuagint (LXX=70, based upon a tradition that it was translated by 70 scholars) became quite literally the Bible of the early church.

The writers of the New Testament often used the LXX. Surely, some citations we cannot know if they were taken from the Hebrew or the Greek since both say pretty much the same thing. But when we can tell, the NT writers drew from the LXX, and this makes perfect sense. If you are writing to a Greek audience (and koine Greek was the lingua franca of the day in the Roman Empire) it makes sense to quote from the standard Greek version available to people (mainly in the synagogues of non-Hebrew speaking Jews around the Empire), and that is what we see in the New Testament.

We should be aware that there are a few times where the NT writers quote from the LXX when it actually differs from the later Hebrew Masoretic Text. These are important texts and this is a highly technical and challenging area. But ignoring these issues “because they make people uncomfortable” is not an option for the faith that claims to be based upon the worship and revelation of the one who is the way, the TRUTH, and the life.

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