Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT)
Most translations of the Old Testament into English, even as early as the KJV, have relied on the MT (Masoretic Text) Hebrew manuscripts to produce their English Old Testaments. The mere fact that the MT was completed 900 years after Christ undermines its credibility. Additionally, the motivations of the project included the following, publicly declared:
- Restore the oral tradition to the written tradition (translate this as meaning that they wanted to alter the text to fit what they tell each other should really be there)
- Change the prophecies being used by Christians to prove Jesus is the Messiah
Even Bible translations today that claim to rely on the Septuagint (LXX) admit that they incorporate parts of the MT or may even validate the LXX by ultimately referring to the MT.
These are excellent reasons not to read the Old Testament in modern English translations.
Greek Septuagint (LXX)
The Rooted Word Old Testament is translated from the LXX (Septuagint) Greek manuscripts. The LXX was the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek about 230 years before Christ. It is believed that it was commissioned that 70 translators be locked into separate cells and produce an entire translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. When they had finished and the translations were compared they were all identical and it was considered a miracle. The reason for the translation being commissioned was that many Jews were being born around the Mediterranean world and Greek was their primary language.
The reasons for our decision to use the LXX are as follows:
- anti-christian motivations of the Jews behind the MT
- LXX was made 1130 years prior to the MT
- Quotes of the Old Testament in the New Testament by Jesus, the Apostles, and writers of the New Testament most often align with the passage in the LXX rather than the MT
Since we have very different resources for translating the LXX than we do for translating the NT, our translation work on the Old Testament is slower than the New Testament.
Significance of the Septuagint
Here is what the German Bible Society has to say about the Septuagint (LXX):
For the New Testament, the Septuagint – as the collection of Holy Scriptures – holds at least as much significance as the Hebrew text: For the first Greek-speaking Christians, the Septuagint was the Holy Scripture. The authors of the New Testament founded their citations from the Old Testament more on the Septuagint than on the Hebrew (and the Aramaic) text, even when they – for example Paul or John – were presumably familiar with the Hebrew text. The Greek Old Testament text thus plays a crucial role in the interpretation of passages from the New Testament.
In the course of the parting of the ways of Christianity and Jewry, the Septuagint became more and more established as the Holy Scripture of the church. In fact some translators (Aquila, Theodotion) endeavored once more to create a Greek translation for Jewry in the second century. However, in the course of time, the Jewish rabbis fundamentally rejected to an increasing extent a Greek translation of the Torah. In the church, on the other hand, only a small number of scholars (Origenes, Hieronymus) were still familiar with the Hebrew text from their own reading; it no longer played a role in the practice of the (Western) churches. It was only the humanists of the early 16th century who rediscovered it for Western Christianity – above all for the churches of the Reformation. For Oriental and Byzantine Christianity, the Septuagint remains the definitive text of the Old Testament. (original here)
What Version Should I Read?
You should always check to see if TRW version of your passage has been translated. If not, then you should use Brenton’s English translation of the Codex Vaticanus manuscript of the LXX (PDF copy here). or if you prefer to read it online you can find it here.
From an Answer to a Comment on YouTube
The preceding text gives a starting place on the issue so people understand why we have chosen to translate the LXX Septuagint into English rather than the Masoretic Text. We cannot honestly call the MT the Old Testament at all. However, the LXX is the oldest most complete text of the books that have historically been included in the OT. In fact, a clear distinction is that the MT omits the Deuterocanonical books that are included in the LXX. So, the Jews who established the MT Old Testament 900 years after Christ are guilty of omitting tens of thousands of God’s words from His Testimony, not to mention what they have omitted in the books that are in common with the LXX or the words added! This is enough to know that the MT is not our text to work from for honestly presenting God’s Testimony referred to as the Old Testament.
Now, consider what Justin Martyr argued, an early Church father. The LXX was created by the Jews themselves before there was competition from Christianity or the challenge against them that they had missed the Messiah they were waiting for and indeed consciously crucified him. But the MT was started in 600AD with 550 years of history of that guilt of Christ’s blood on their hands, having murdered the actual Messiah sent by God! On top of that the Christian Church had taken over the Mediterranean world as they knew it. The message was far more compelling than the Jewish message and the Christian message marginalized the Jewish religious goals. They had a lot to lose when writing the MT if they did not do it. That was his argument in my own words. So, in short, the LXX was objectively written. The MT was under a clear bias with an existential threat upon their people. Which one had more reason to be corrupted?
We haven’t even gotten to the issue of what they called “restoring the oral tradition to the written tradition”. The Jews openly admitted and discussed the fact that they knew the manuscripts passed down to them had been grossly corrupted. This was one of their arguments for changing them, but not their only reason. They openly admitted that they had to “correct” many of the Messianic prophecies, because they had to be wrong if they pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. This was their reasoning. I will see if I can locate that. It is hard because it was in their writings, which are a bit tough to Google. But it doesn’t matter. When you look at the entire situation you know that the MT was a last ditch effort to kill of Jesus as the Messiah, since crucifying him only intensified the proof that he was indeed. For so many elements beyond anyone’s control happened during the Passion of Christ that fulfilled prophecy, that there was no way around them other than to try changing the text they were based on.
Here are the numbers in word count in the KJV (which included the “Apocrypha”, aka Deuterocanonical)
|Groups of Books of the Bible||# of Words|
It means that the Jews of the MT omitted the equivalent in English of roughly 16% of the entire Bible!!! Or 1 out of 6 words!!!It was due to the MT that most Protestants following the Reformation have rejected the Apocrypha. So the sins of the school of Jews who crucified Jesus continue to this day to shut people out of God’s Testimony.