Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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Secret Alias
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Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

Post by Secret Alias »

In Mos. 2:25–40 Philo gives a summary of the traditional account of the origin of the Greek translation. His version is in basic agreement with the story of the translation given in the Letter of Aristeas. There are also important differences, however.3 Philo connects his story about the translation of the Laws of Moses into Greek with the annual celebration of this event on the island of Pharos. He then probably recounts the traditional aetiological story which was part of this festival. Thus, Philo is hardly in a direct way dependent upon the Letter of Aristeas, but both of these versions may draw on Alexandrian traditions about the translation. To Philo, therefore, the Septuagint translation has a theological and ideological importance. When it was translated under king Ptolemy II Philadelphus, that is, more than two centuries before the time of Philo – it was the event in history at which the Laws of Moses revealed their beauty to the Greek half of the world (Mos. 2:26-27). This universal aim is also expressed in Philo's description of the work of the translators on the island of Pharos:

... taking the sacred books, [they] stretched them out towards heaven with the hands that held them, asking of God that they might not fail in their purpose. And He assented to their prayers, to the end that the greater part, or even the whole, of the human race might be profited and led to a better life by continuing to observe such wise and truly admirable ordinances (Mos. 2:36).

In their worship and in their work as translators they were priests and prophets and went hand in hand with the purest of spirits, the spirit of Moses. Thus the Greek words used correspond literally.
I am trying to get my head around this one. There was a festival. Gmirkin writes:
Philo, The Life of Moses 2.41—42. The common scholarly conception of a unique new Alexandrian festival celebrating the Septuagint (cf. Thackeray, The Letter of Aristeas, xiv-xv; Meecham, The Oldest Version of the Bible, 156) is probably incorrect. The solemn festival, accompanied by prayers and hymns (The Life of Moses 2.42), was likely Pentecost, although not named as such by Philo. At The Life of Moses 2.29-43, Philo made various comparisons between the Septuagint translation and the giving of the law by Moses. The books of Moses, starting with the creation account in Genesis, are categorized as "law" (2.31, 34, 37); the translators were said to have been inspired as prophets "in the spirit of Moses" (2.40). Pentecost celebrated the giving of the law at Sinai, and Philo appears to intimate that the Alexandrian observation of Pentecost celebrated the Septuagint as a second giving of the law. The Letter of Aristeas 310-11 described the first reading of the Septuagint translation in phraseology reminiscent of Exod 24:3-10, suggesting that in ca. 150 BCE Pseudo-Aristeas (Aristobulus) was already aware of the Alexandrian association of the Septuagint with Pentecost. Not too much should be read into the location of the festival at a deserted beach on the island of Pharos (Philo, The Life of Moses 2.34, 41). The Jews of Alexandria are also seen gathering on an isolated beach to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles at Philo, Flaccus 116. Since the war at Alexandria in 47 BCE, Pharos stood largely abandoned (Strabo, Geography 17.1.6), and Jewish gatherings on its beaches at festival times probably only began after that date (and possibly only during the disturbances of 39 CE).
But isn't this argument by assertion? I mean Philo makes clear the festival was a celebration of the translation of the text into Greek.
And there is a very evident proof of this; for if Chaldaeans were to learn the Greek language, and if Greeks were to learn Chaldaean, and if each were to meet with those scriptures in both languages, namely, the Chaldaic and the translated version, they would admire and reverence them both as sisters, or rather as one and the same both in their facts and in their language; considering these translators not mere interpreters but hierophants and prophets to whom it had been granted it their honest and guileless minds to go along with the most pure spirit of Moses. (41) On which account, even to this very day, there is every year a solemn assembly held and a festival celebrated in the island of Pharos, to which not only the Jews but a great number of persons of other nations sail across, reverencing the place in which the first light of interpretation shone forth, and thanking God for that ancient piece of beneficence which was always young and fresh. (42) And after the prayers and the giving of thanks some of them pitched their tents on the shore, and some of them lay down without any tents in the open air on the sand of the shore, and feasted with their relations and friends, thinking the shore at that time a more beautiful abode than the furniture of the king's palace. (43) In this way those admirable, and incomparable, and most desirable laws were made known to all people, whether private individuals or kings, and this too at a period when the nation had not been prosperous for a long time. And it is generally the case that a cloud is thrown over the affairs of those who are not flourishing, so that but little is known of them; (44) and then, if they make any fresh start and begin to improve, how great is the increase of their renown and glory? I think that in that case every nation, abandoning all their own individual customs, and utterly disregarding their national laws, would change and come over to the honour of such a people only; for their laws shining in connection with, and simultaneously with, the prosperity of the nation, will obscure all others, just as the rising sun obscures the stars.
So either there was a festival or there wasn't a festival. If the festival existed then clearly it was a celebration of the translation of the text into Greek. If it was a celebration of the writing of the Pentateuch at Pharos one would presume that knowledge would have been fairly widespread that the text wasn't older than Alexander. Am I missing something here?

In order for Philo's testimony to be dismissed he has to be DELIBERATELY lying about the existence of the festival and/or the purpose of the festival as a celebration of the TRANSLATION of the text into Greek.
Russell Gmirkin
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

Post by Russell Gmirkin »

Secret Alias wrote: Fri Dec 09, 2022 3:47 pm
In Mos. 2:25–40 Philo gives a summary of the traditional account of the origin of the Greek translation. His version is in basic agreement with the story of the translation given in the Letter of Aristeas. There are also important differences, however.3 Philo connects his story about the translation of the Laws of Moses into Greek with the annual celebration of this event on the island of Pharos. He then probably recounts the traditional aetiological story which was part of this festival. Thus, Philo is hardly in a direct way dependent upon the Letter of Aristeas, but both of these versions may draw on Alexandrian traditions about the translation. To Philo, therefore, the Septuagint translation has a theological and ideological importance. When it was translated under king Ptolemy II Philadelphus, that is, more than two centuries before the time of Philo – it was the event in history at which the Laws of Moses revealed their beauty to the Greek half of the world (Mos. 2:26-27). This universal aim is also expressed in Philo's description of the work of the translators on the island of Pharos:

... taking the sacred books, [they] stretched them out towards heaven with the hands that held them, asking of God that they might not fail in their purpose. And He assented to their prayers, to the end that the greater part, or even the whole, of the human race might be profited and led to a better life by continuing to observe such wise and truly admirable ordinances (Mos. 2:36).

In their worship and in their work as translators they were priests and prophets and went hand in hand with the purest of spirits, the spirit of Moses. Thus the Greek words used correspond literally.
I am trying to get my head around this one. There was a festival. Gmirkin writes:
Philo, The Life of Moses 2.41—42. The common scholarly conception of a unique new Alexandrian festival celebrating the Septuagint (cf. Thackeray, The Letter of Aristeas, xiv-xv; Meecham, The Oldest Version of the Bible, 156) is probably incorrect. The solemn festival, accompanied by prayers and hymns (The Life of Moses 2.42), was likely Pentecost, although not named as such by Philo. At The Life of Moses 2.29-43, Philo made various comparisons between the Septuagint translation and the giving of the law by Moses. The books of Moses, starting with the creation account in Genesis, are categorized as "law" (2.31, 34, 37); the translators were said to have been inspired as prophets "in the spirit of Moses" (2.40). Pentecost celebrated the giving of the law at Sinai, and Philo appears to intimate that the Alexandrian observation of Pentecost celebrated the Septuagint as a second giving of the law. The Letter of Aristeas 310-11 described the first reading of the Septuagint translation in phraseology reminiscent of Exod 24:3-10, suggesting that in ca. 150 BCE Pseudo-Aristeas (Aristobulus) was already aware of the Alexandrian association of the Septuagint with Pentecost. Not too much should be read into the location of the festival at a deserted beach on the island of Pharos (Philo, The Life of Moses 2.34, 41). The Jews of Alexandria are also seen gathering on an isolated beach to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles at Philo, Flaccus 116. Since the war at Alexandria in 47 BCE, Pharos stood largely abandoned (Strabo, Geography 17.1.6), and Jewish gatherings on its beaches at festival times probably only began after that date (and possibly only during the disturbances of 39 CE).
But isn't this argument by assertion? I mean Philo makes clear the festival was a celebration of the translation of the text into Greek.
And there is a very evident proof of this; for if Chaldaeans were to learn the Greek language, and if Greeks were to learn Chaldaean, and if each were to meet with those scriptures in both languages, namely, the Chaldaic and the translated version, they would admire and reverence them both as sisters, or rather as one and the same both in their facts and in their language; considering these translators not mere interpreters but hierophants and prophets to whom it had been granted it their honest and guileless minds to go along with the most pure spirit of Moses. (41) On which account, even to this very day, there is every year a solemn assembly held and a festival celebrated in the island of Pharos, to which not only the Jews but a great number of persons of other nations sail across, reverencing the place in which the first light of interpretation shone forth, and thanking God for that ancient piece of beneficence which was always young and fresh. (42) And after the prayers and the giving of thanks some of them pitched their tents on the shore, and some of them lay down without any tents in the open air on the sand of the shore, and feasted with their relations and friends, thinking the shore at that time a more beautiful abode than the furniture of the king's palace. (43) In this way those admirable, and incomparable, and most desirable laws were made known to all people, whether private individuals or kings, and this too at a period when the nation had not been prosperous for a long time. And it is generally the case that a cloud is thrown over the affairs of those who are not flourishing, so that but little is known of them; (44) and then, if they make any fresh start and begin to improve, how great is the increase of their renown and glory? I think that in that case every nation, abandoning all their own individual customs, and utterly disregarding their national laws, would change and come over to the honour of such a people only; for their laws shining in connection with, and simultaneously with, the prosperity of the nation, will obscure all others, just as the rising sun obscures the stars.
So either there was a festival or there wasn't a festival. If the festival existed then clearly it was a celebration of the translation of the text into Greek. If it was a celebration of the writing of the Pentateuch at Pharos one would presume that knowledge would have been fairly widespread that the text wasn't older than Alexander. Am I missing something here?

In order for Philo's testimony to be dismissed he has to be DELIBERATELY lying about the existence of the festival and/or the purpose of the festival as a celebration of the TRANSLATION of the text into Greek.
"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." Michael Corleone, Godfather III.

You misunderstand the point I was arguing. There was a festival. It existed. It was a local festival at Pharos at Alexandria, as Philo described it. The question is, was this a new festival invented at Alexandria. My argument is that it was actually a special aspect of the traditional Feast of Weeks as uniquely celebrated at Alexandria, not a new festival they invented that was held at some other date in the year. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) was traditionally associated with the giving of the Law at Sinai. My proposal was that at Alexandria they also celebrated the translation of the Law (the LXX) as a unique feature of their observance of Pentecost, given the language that Philo uses to describe the LXX as a second giving of the Law on a par with the original Sinai event, and the translators as inspired prophets exactly like the seventy elders in Exodus+Numbers who were also at Sinai.

However, you are missing something, in that the LXX team were celebrated as translators only, not authors of the Pentateuch. According to Plato, every possible measure must be taken to persuade the citizenry that the national laws were ancient and divine. Hence the authors were portrayed NOT as authors but mere translators: the official story promoted among both the Greeks and Jews was that Moses was the author of the Books of Moses and the Mosaic law code.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

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There was a festival. It existed. It was a local festival at Pharos at Alexandria, as Philo described it. The question is, was this a new festival invented at Alexandria. My argument is that it was actually a special aspect of the traditional Feast of Weeks as uniquely celebrated at Alexandria, not a new festival they invented that was held at some other date in the year. The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) was traditionally associated with the giving of the Law at Sinai. My proposal was that at Alexandria they also celebrated the translation of the Law (the LXX) as a unique feature of their observance of Pentecost, given the language that Philo uses to describe the LXX as a second giving of the Law on a par with the original Sinai event, and the translators as inspired prophets exactly like the seventy elders in Exodus+Numbers who were also at Sinai.
Ok. Maybe you're right. Maybe you're not. But let's go with it.
However, you are missing something,
Ok.
in that the LXX team were celebrated as translators only, not authors of the Pentateuch. According to Plato, every possible measure must be taken to persuade the citizenry that the national laws were ancient and divine. Hence the authors were portrayed NOT as authors but mere translators: the official story promoted among both the Greeks and Jews was that Moses was the author of the Books of Moses and the Mosaic law code.
Ok. So:

"The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) was traditionally associated with the giving of the Law"

but:

" the authors were portrayed NOT as authors but mere translators: the official story promoted among both the Greeks and Jews was that Moses was the author of the Books of Moses and the Mosaic law code"

So you are suggesting or intimating that the Pharos festival was (superficially) presented as a celebration of the Seventy as translators BUT REALLY it was (hidden) remembrance of the actual fact that the Seventy invented the Torah and were the real "Moseses" as it were, the true authors of the Pentateuch.

I get what you are saying. But I don't think it works. It can't work. The celebration of Pentecost for Samaritans, Saudducees, Karaites and Philo was principally an agricultural festival. Philo makes it the most important festival. This whole business you've made about the Pharos festival as a localized Pentecost doesn't work. I think you like it because there is this intimation that the community "secretly knew" or once knew that the Seventy wrote the Pentecost. This is why you have tried to present the Pharos festival as an Alexandrian Shavuot. But it's impossible. These were two separate festivals. Philo treats them as such. So there is no backdoor to the Seventy being the secret authors of the Pentateuch and the recognition public/explicit that the Seventy were mere translators.
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

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Secret Alias wrote: Sat Dec 10, 2022 3:11 pm
So you are suggesting or intimating that the Pharos festival was (superficially) presented as a celebration of the Seventy as translators BUT REALLY it was (hidden) remembrance of the actual fact that the Seventy invented the Torah and were the real "Moseses" as it were, the true authors of the Pentateuch.
I don't understand how you can interpret Russell Gmirkin's explanation that way. RG never said that "REALLY" the celebration was a "hidden remembrance" of the Seventy being the true authors of the Pentateuch.

The Seventy were celebrated as translators, translators by divine inspiration -- hence the "givers" of the law a second time, this time to the Greek readers -- but what they were translating they believed was written by Moses, the true author of the Pentateuch (in Hebrew).

The idea of the Seventy being "mere translators" misses the primary message of the legend that as translators they were miraculously inspired by God, as demonstrated by the details in the letter of Aristeas.
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

Post by StephenGoranson »

from
The Oxford handbook of the Septuagint
edited by Alison G Salvesen and Timothy Michael Law.
Oxford : Oxford University Press, [2021]
chapter by Sarah J.K. Pearce, page 414:

"..., Philo implies, world-wide reverence for the laws of Moses
is already anticipated in his own Alexandria, in an annual festival on the island of
Pharos, the location of the translation (though not explicitly stated in Ep. Aristeas),
where ‘not only Jews but multitudes of others cross the water, both to do honour to the
place in which the light of that version first shone out, and also to thank God for the
good gift so old yet ever young’ (Mos. 2.41). The story of the translation, and its commemoration in Alexandria, prove that the laws of Moses are ‘desirable and precious in
the eyes of all’, from kings to the ordinary person, Jew and non-Jew (Mos. 2.42–3).
Philo’s emphasis in Mos. 2.38–40 on the exact correspondence of the Greek translation with the Hebrew original is widely seen as proof that he did not know Hebrew, or at
least not enough of it to be able to see the clear differences between the words of the
Hebrew Torah (MT) and their LXX equivalents (Gooding and Nikiprowetzky 1983: 119;
Amir 1988: 444). The long-standing question of whether or not Philo knew Hebrew
remains unresolved, in the absence of clinching proof on either side of the argument.
The weight of evidence suggests but does not prove his ignorance of Hebrew
(Nikiprowetzky 1977: 50–96). It is not clear whether a gloss found only in the Old Latin
of QG 4.232, expressing amazement at differences between the Greek and Hebrew of
passages in Genesis and the Psalms, should be attributed to Philo himself or to his transmitters (Petit 1973: 92; Nikiprowetzky 1977: 80)."
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Secret Alias
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

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I don't understand how you can interpret Russell Gmirkin's explanation that way
Do you know what Pentecost was for ancient Jewry? It was for Philo, Samaritans, Sadducees, Karaites an agriculture festival. Philo treats it as an important festival that he knows very well which was a cornerstone of Alexandrian Jewish life. What would have led Gmirkin to the absurd suggestion that this agricultural celebration might have been replaced by the celebration described by Philo as occurring at Pharos memorializing the translation of the Septuagint? Clearly the underlying context of Shavuot as a memorial of the reception of the Torah. Clearly as Heschel notes the original memorial was only of the ten utterances. But eventually as part of the blurring of the fact that only the ten were from heaven (not the Pentecost which was man-made) the entire Pentateuch was read at Shavuot. But it is the memorialization of the reception of the Pentateuch which clearly attracted Gmirkin. Why else would he have thought the Pharos festival was connected with an agricultural festival?

It is worth noting that Philo connects the Pentecost (which always fell on a Sunday in antiquity) with the commandment to honor the Sabbath:
And the fourth commandment, the one about the seventh day, we must not look upon in any other light than as a summary of all the laws relating to festivals, and of all the purificatory rites enjoined to be observed on each of them. But the service appointed for them was one of holy ablutions, and prayers deserving to be heard, and perfect sacrifices. (159) And in speaking of the seventh here, I mean both that which is combined with the number six, the most generative of all numbers, and also that which, without being combined with the number six, is added to it, being made to resemble the unit, each of which numbers is reckoned among the festivals; for the lawgiver refers to the term, the sacred festival of the new moon, which the people give notice of with trumpets, and the day of fasting, on which abstinence from all meats and drinks is enjoined, which the Hebrews call, in their native language, pascha, on which the whole nation sacrifices, each individual among them, not waiting for the priests, since on this occasion the law has given, for one especial day in every year, a priesthood to the whole nation, so that each private individual slays his own victim on this day. (160) And also the day on which is offered the sheaf of corn, as an offering of gratitude for the fertility and productiveness of the plain, as exhibited in the fulness of the ears of corn. And the day of pentecost, which is numbered from this day by seven portions of seven days, in which it is the custom to offer up loaves, which are truly called the loaves of the first fruits, since, in fact, they are the first fruits of the productions and crops of eatable grain, which God has given to mankind, as the most tractable of all his creatures. (161) But to the seventh day of the week he has assigned the greatest festivals, those of the longest duration, at the periods of the equinox both vernal and autumnal in each year; appointing two festivals for these two epochs, each lasting seven days; the one which takes place in the spring being for the perfection of what is being sown, and the one which falls in autumn being a feast of thanksgiving for the bringing home of all the fruits which the trees have produced. And seven days have very appropriately been appointed to the seventh month of each equinox, so that each month might receive an especial honour of one sacred day of festival, for the purpose of refreshing and cheering the mind with its holiday. (162) There are also other laws brought forward, enacted with great wisdom and excellence, conducing to the production of gentleness and fellowship among men, and inviting them to simplicity and equality; of these some have reference to that which is called the sabbatical year, in which it is expressly commanded that the people shall leave the whole land uncultivated, neither sowing, nor ploughing, nor preserving the trees, nor doing any other of the works which relate to agriculture; (163) for God thought the land, both the champaign and the mountainous country, after it had been labouring for six years in the production of crops, and the yearly yielding of its expected fruits, worthy of some relaxation, for the sake of recovering its breath as it were, and that, becoming free again, if one may say so, it might exert the spontaneous riches of its own nature. (164) There are also other laws about the fiftieth year, in which what has been enumerated above is performed in the most complete manner; and, what is the most important thing of all, the restitution is made of the different portions of land to those families which originally received them, a transaction full of humanity and equity.
How could Philo have lived in a culture which honored the sanctity of Pentecost but then "swapped" out it's clearly stated function as an agricultural festival with something new - viz. the celebration of the translation of the LXX? Impossible. There is no evidence to suggest that the Pharos festival described in the Second Book of the Life of Moses was Pentecost. The only question is why does Gmirkin think it is so. I think it is because he wants to intimate that it was "really" a remembrance of the writing of the Pentecost by Greek scribes. The problem again is that while the Pentecost is or was read on Pentecost (a) the date was an agricultural festival and (b) it memorialized the giving of the Ten Commandments not the Pentateuch.

But let's get back to Philo's testimony. Since Philo just tells us that the TRANSLATION INTO GREEK was memorialized Aristeas can't be making up the idea that the LXX was a translation. It seems to have been the official story. Could the story have been a lie? Sure it's possible. But that can't be established. All we know is that EVERYONE understood the LXX to be a translation. Were there 'secret traditions' regarding the Seventy as the original authors of the text? I guess. But there is no evidence for that proposition and Philo's testimony makes clear that EVERYONE thought it was a translation. It wasn't just Aristeas.
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

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Secret Alias wrote: Mon Dec 12, 2022 7:43 am
I don't understand how you can interpret Russell Gmirkin's explanation that way
Do you know what Pentecost was for ancient Jewry? It was for Philo, Samaritans, Sadducees, Karaites an agriculture festival. Philo treats it as an important festival that he knows very well which was a cornerstone of Alexandrian Jewish life. What would have led Gmirkin to the absurd suggestion that this agricultural celebration might have been replaced by the celebration described by Philo as occurring at Pharos memorializing the translation of the Septuagint? Clearly the underlying context of Shavuot as a memorial of the reception of the Torah.
You seem to have this habit of ignoring the arguments that are presented and then responding by writing at great length why you disagree with the conclusions of the arguments instead of tackling point by point the arguments that led to conclusions you disagree with.

You ignore both what Gmirkin himself says in his explanation -- even imputing your own ideas of what you believe he "must" be saying -- and then respond with your own case. Same with my response. You ignore the argument and explanation itself and say it is "bullshit" because it leads to a conclusion you either do not understand or do not agree with.

Why not try to deal with the actual words and arguments that are written that lead to conclusions you don't like?
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Secret Alias
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

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But the explanation doesn't make sense. There's no way the Pharos festival could have been done in place of Pentecost. Philo tells us that Pentecost was an agricultural festival. He views it as a very important festival. How could you go from a celebration of first fruits to a veneration of the light from a light house? What's the basis for this understanding? A footnote in Gmirkin's book? So if an author actually argues on behalf of something - maybe he/she is right, maybe not. But how seriously should we take a footnote? Just because Gmirkin throws in a 'maybe' as an afterthought in his book now we have to take it as a 'fact' that it was so? And what he posted in this thread:
According to Plato, every possible measure must be taken to persuade the citizenry that the national laws were ancient and divine. Hence the authors were portrayed NOT as authors but mere translators: the official story promoted among both the Greeks and Jews was that Moses was the author of the Books of Moses and the Mosaic law code.
So he is saying that we should ignore what Aristeas and Philo and likely any Alexandrian Jew we would meet in ancient Alexandria (i.e. that the Seventy were translators) and we should 'know' that there was a deep subtext - a mystery? A secret explanation that they were authors merely because Plato says something about the 'need' to persuade citizens? But Philo says they were celebrated as translators. And everyone always took them to be translators until the 21st century.

But what is the purpose of doing historical research and finding ancient writers saying something quite explicitly - in this case the Seventy were celebrated by hundreds/thousands of people as translators for someone to come along and say "Plato said it was sanctioned to lie about the antiquity of something." Why can't we just take Philo's statement at face value? Especially when it backed up by Aristeas and any ancient who ever commented on the LXX?
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

Post by neilgodfrey »

Secret Alias wrote: Mon Dec 12, 2022 2:17 pm But what is the purpose of doing historical research and finding ancient writers saying something quite explicitly - in this case the Seventy were celebrated by hundreds/thousands of people as translators for someone to come along and say "Plato said it was sanctioned to lie about the antiquity of something." Why can't we just take Philo's statement at face value? Especially when it backed up by Aristeas and any ancient who ever commented on the LXX?
This point has been addressed repeatedly. You are simply ignoring the explanation as if no-one has addressed it.

I recall you saying that Persian loanwords in the Pentateuch were proof for a Persian era origin of the Pentateuch. It was pointed out time and again that there were no Persian loanwords in the Pentateuch and you simply ignored that point. And then you repeated that Persian loanwords in the Pentateuch were significant evidence!

It was only after much effort on my part to pull you back -- and it took several attempts -- to acknowledge the fact that there are no Persian loanwords in the Pentateuch for you finally to lose control and accuse me of all sorts of nonsense in response.

No-one has the patience to pull you up on every single thing you simply choose to ignore when it is not what you believe to be the case.

You simply ignore what others say and then attack them when they push you to register and deal with a particular point.

What is the point of attempting a repeat explanation to your comment when your track record indicates you will not read it but still say it is bullshit because it leads to a conclusion you don't want to accept?
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Secret Alias
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Re: Philo Wasn't Entirely Dependent on Aristeas for his Knowledge of the Translation of the LXX

Post by Secret Alias »

If Philo says that "the world" (or at least all the people that came to Alexandria to celebrate the festival or were at Alexandria as their home) acknowledged that the Seventy were acknowledged as translators (rather than authors) of the Pentateuch it would seem Gmirkin has a harder road to climb. If Philo had never mentioned the festival it could be argued that Aristeas is our only source and therefore not entirely reliable. It could be argued that all the users of the LXX in the second/first century BCE, first century CE, second century CE, third century CE, fourth century CE were misled by Aristeas regarding their assumptions regarding a pre-existent Hebrew Pentateuch. As it stands, it is difficult why the 'real' (Alexandrian) authors of the Pentateuch were celebrated as something other than what they were (i.e. authors rather than mere translators). Even Ezra is acknowledged by Jewish, Christian and pagan writers as THE AUTHOR of the Pentateuch. So traditions about the "author(s)-other-than-Moses" of the Pentateuch were capable of being spread even within "circles of believers." Irenaeus thinks Ezra took pen to paper and 'restored' Moses's Pentateuch (i.e. did the physical writing). Odd that there are no traditions of the Alexandrian authors survive even though it would have helped Christians in their war against Jewish exegetes if they took Gmirkin's position (i.e. Origen is forced to "demonstrate" his proficiency in Hebrew against Africanus because it was acknowledged that the Hebrew was original. If the Greek was original and it was acknowledged that the Seventy "wrote" the text in the way Irenaeus accepts Ezra to have "written" the Pentateuch the Christian exegesis of the Bible doesn't need to change. Origen doesn't have to blunder through Hebrew demonstrations. Philo's exegesis is authoritative doesn't need to be dismissed because of his unfamiliarity with Hebrew. What's the difference for a Christian believer if the Pentateuch was written in 500 BCE or 270 BCE? Pagans would still think of it as a pseudepigraphon.
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