Wisdom of the Two Jesuses (or, Adapting to the LXX)

I’m still getting used to using a Septuagint-based Old Testament.

It is one thing to deal with a different book order. It is another thing when the verses have been re-arranged. Of courser even saying “re-arranged” implies that it was one way and then changed to another. I have to remember to avoid an Masoretic-centric view.

Proverbs seems to be one book where there are quite a lot of arrangement differences. I was trying to see how Proverbs 16:18 in the Masoretic Text was translated from the Septuagint. However, clearly “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall,” is not the same as, “A man wise in his deeds is a discoverer of good things, but he who trusts in the Lord is most blessed.” Since I don’t have an concordance or electronic version of the OSB, I can’t find the verse for which I’m looking without reading the whole book.

It’s not that I’m opposed to reading Proverbs, but right now I’ve really enjoying Sirach. Speaking of which, this is an oddly named book. It contains the wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach as translated by his grandson. So really it should be called the Wisdom of Jesus, not the Wisdom of Sirach. Of course I could see where that might lead to some confusion.

Since it could be said that the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach is the wisdom of Jesus ben God, it could be called he Wisdom of the Two Jesuses. Admittedly, that would be even more confusing.

Anyhow. . . Before using the OSB to quote any Old Testament text, I will need to have my NKJV at hand (or Bible Gateway in a browser tab) so I don’t make a reference where all my faithful readers grab at Masoretic-based translation and collectively go, “Huh?”

Catching Up and Starting Over

Today is my grandmother’s 114th birthday. It is also the anniversary (31st or 32nd – I can’t be sure) of the first time I began reading the Bible cover to cover. Today I’m going to start again.

I got my Orthodox Study Bible today on the way home from work. A friend picked it up at Church for me on Sunday and we made the exchange at the petrol garage in the town through which we both travel on our way to our respective schools. Despite having been briefed ahead of time as to it’s shortcomings (with thanks to Michael) I am looking forward to reading all of the Bible for the first time.

It will take some time to get used to the differences. It’s not just that I’ve not read all the books excised by Luther or the bits edited out of others. I didn’t realise until today that in the Septuagint, Job comes after the Psalms and the major prophets come after the minor ones. Not that it really matters . It’s not like Job is where it is in Protestant Bibles for a particular reason. The only thing that makes prophets “major” or “minor” in popular nomenclature is the length of their writings. There’s no reason they have to be in a particular order. Neither collection is based on chronology, nor do they need to be. The only important chronological fact is that they come before the Incarnation.

While I intend to do the Genesis to Revelation thing, I am also going to catch up on what I’ve missed in the meantime.

Reading the Rest of the Bible

I had almost given up hope of seeing the full Orthodox Study Bible. I had almost forgotten about it until I was over at Energetic Procession and it was mentioned in the comments of a post about Deacon Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Reading Fr Pat Reardon’s article on Susannah on the Conciliar Press OSB site reminded me once again of how much of the Bible I haven’t read. When students ask me whether I’ve read the Bible all the way through (as if this is some sort of insurmountable challenge in the face of the ultimate boredom), I always tell them that I have. (The only time was from March 20 to November 29 of either 1976 or 1977.) I don’t tell them I’ve read a bad paraphrase (the Living Bible)  with an Old Testament eleven books short of the Scriptures used by Jesus and the Apostles.

I have so much catching up to do.