Full Text for The Pastor and the Septuagint (Text)

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Volume 51, Number 4 OCTOBER 1987 Professor Gerhard Aho, Ph.D.. .................................. -241 The Historical Context of the Smalcald Articles .................... Kenneth Hagen 245 A Review Article: The Roots of the Synoptic Gospels ..................... David P. Scaer 255 The Pastor and the Septuagint ............... Steven C. Brie1 261 Theological Observer.. .............................................. -275 Book Reviews ......................................................... .281 The Pastor and the Septuagint Steven C. Brie1 One Old Testament professor reportedly told his students years ago, "Gentlemen, have you a Septuagint? If not, selI all you have and buy one!"' Most pastors probably think this statement borders on fanaticism and is calculated only to make a busy pastor who is already overburdened with a myriad of responsibilities, feel more guilty than he already does. And yet we hope to show that regular study in the Septuagint can be one way in which a pastor can continue to grow theologically, keep himself from becoming stale in his public teaching and preaching, and stimulate himself intellectually and spiritually. There are more than enough reasons for the busy pastor to clear his cluttered desk and set aside a few minutes every week for some regular reading and study in the Sept~agint.~ One major reason at the very least that the church and pastor ought to give more serious attention to the Septuagint than is often done is the important status it enjoyed in the New Testament and early church. Ernst Wuerthwein is probably not saying too much when he claims that the Septuagint "is a book of such critical significance that apart from it both Christendom and the western culture would be inconceivable."' Quite simply, the Septuagint was the Bible for the ancient church. This we must never forget. No other translation was available. And few Christians (or pastors) were able to understand the Hebrew Scriptures. Consequently the apostles had no other recourse than to quote the Septuagint when referring to the Old Testament." This well-nigh exclusive use of the Septuagint by the evangelists and apostles has important implications for New Testament studies as one could probably guess. We know that many in the early church, in fact, believed that the Septuagint was inspired and actually considered it more authoritative than the Hebrew text itself, which few could even read or believed they could trust! Philo (first century A.D.), in describing the origin of the Septuagint, wrote that the translators "became. . .possessed, and under inspiration wrote, not each several scribes something different, but the same word for word, as though dictated to each by an invisible pr~mpter."~ Later as prominent a theologian as St. Augustine agreed claiming, "The Spirit which was in the prophets when they spoke, this very Spirit was in the seventy men when they tran~lated."~ And when St. Jerome in the late fourth 262 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY and early fifth centuries took up the task of making a fresh Latin translation of the Old Testament and used as his resource the Hebrew text rather than that of the Septuagint, some accused him of "judaizing." Initially St. Augustine himself was very upset with Jerome for using the Hebrew text and wrote in one of his epistles that there is "not the same authority for the words" in the Hebrew as for those in the Greek since the apostles themselves used the Septuagint. Jellicoe reminds us, "The LXX will fall into perspective only when it is recognized that for the. . .Christian Church from the time of its birth, this Jewish-Greek Bible. . .held its space as the inspired scripture^."^ This fact alone makes the Septuagint important. But besides its historical importance, the Septuagint merits regular study for more "practical" reasons. For example, regular reading in the Septuagint can help a pastor grow in his general knowledge of and facility with Koine Greek, the language of the Greek New Testament.3gain and again he will recognize familiar phrases, words, and grammatical constructions. One scholar comments that we should remember that "Paul is. . .writing the Greek of a man who has the LXX in his blood."9 And certainly for those pastors who, unfortunately, know little or no Hebrew, the Septuagint can at times bring them closer to the original than do our contemporary translations. For example, one could point to Genesis 3 where Adam, showing his understanding of and faith in the promise of a Savior who would restore life to humanity by crushing Satan (the protoevangelium), changes his wife's name from "woman" (isha) to "life-bearer" (chava). Those reading her name as "Eve" miss the significance of her new name. The Septuagint renders the English "Eve" with the Greek word me, not only a word which clearly means "life" (and so preserves beautifully the Hebrew), but a word with heavy theological implications. The word zoe links God's promise to Adam of restored life through the work of the Promised Seed with the fulfient of that promise in Jesus Christ, who proclaimed, "I am the. . .lifeH (me)! There are countless other fascinating little "gems" which are waiting to be mined from the Septuagint by anyone who takes the time to do so. While some must be dug out by careful research many others are lying right on the surface and are discovered quite easily. Some of the more familiar allusions would certainly include St. John's "en arche" in his first chapter; this is obviously reminiscent of Genesis 1 : 1, which also begins, "en arche. . ." As for the sded "I am" sayings of Jesus one thinks especially of Jesus' statement to the Jews Pastor and Septuagint in John 8, "Before Abraham was, I am" (qqo eh). The words qqo eimi sch-mingly had overtones considered blasphemous by the Jews, who, as the text goes on to report, tried to stone Jesus. And this attitude is understandable in the light of the Septugkt. For when God shared His name with Moses in the third chapter of Exodus, He said (in Greek), "Ego aimi ho on."'* And what Jew was not familiar with Moses' song in the thirty-semnd chapter of Deuten>nomy where God says, "See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides Me" (NIV; the Greek reads, "idete idete hoti ego eird'). And certainly when the Apostle John writes that, following Jesus' miracle at Cana, His disciples began to believe in Him for they saw His glory (doxa), it is, once again, the Septuagint which "loads" this word with rich theological significance (see especially Exodus 16:lO and W.17). And Paul's use of hihstenon in Romans 3:25 has obvious roots in Exodus 2221 where Moses is commanded to make a "mercy seat" on the Ark of the Covenant (a &%istenon). But besides these more familiar allusions permit us to mention a few additional examples to whet the appetite." Moses' words to Israel when the covenant ("testament" is better, for the Greek reads -eke) was ratified (see Ex. 24) are important for a proper understanding of Jesus' words when He ratified the new testament on the night He was betrayed, especially for those who would try to deny that Jesus intended to give His disciples His true body and His true blood in the Holy Supper. The sacred record reports how Moses took the blood @ah) of the sacrifice (and there should be no question that Moses was using real blood, howbeit the blood of an animal), poured some of it over the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant [testament] that the Lord has made with you." Who can miss the allusion to this event Jesus must have had in mind when He gave the cup to His disciples and said, ''This is My blood of the new testament. . ."? When the Greek text of the Septuagint and of Jesus' recorded words are compared, the allusion becomes too clear for mere coincidence to account for it (cf. Ex. 24:s with 1 Cor. 11:25). Real blood ratified the old testament and the people were given that real blood in testimony of the fact that the benefits of the sacrEce were theirs. Real blood ratified the new testament too, and God's people are still given that real blood of the true and final Lamb of God in testimony of the fact that the benefits of His samSce apply to them. It is unfortunate that the church-largely as a result of the influence of the %phmg& which traoslated God's personal name, "Yahweh," 264 CONCORDlA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY with the Greek Kuxios-no longer knows or uses that name which is loaded with so much deep theological significance.'2 On the other hand, even a casual reading of the Septuagint shows that Kurios certainly must have had much more meaning for the authors (and original readers) of the Greek New Testament than we often give it today, "master" or "sir." Undoubtedly Paul's statement that without the Holy Spirit no one can say, "Kurios Xesous" ("Jesus is Lord"), probably meant much more than, "Jesus is the master of my life." One could argue that Paul was really saying that apart from the work of the Spirit no one can believe in our Lord's full deity, no one can believe that Jesus of Nazareth is Yahweh! St. John's repeated references to "bowls" in his Apocalypse (chapters 15-16) is puzzling. Recognizing that the Apocalypse throbs with Old Testament allusions, one wonders what significance the "bowls of wrath" might have. There is no doubt, of course, that they are a symbol of God's eschatological wrath and judgment. But the severity of this eschatological wrath is even more pronounced when one notes that the Greek word used here, phiale, was used regularly in the Septuagint for an object which did not symbolize God's wrath but His grace and mercy. The phiale was used to contain the blood which was shed to atone for Israel's sin (see Exodus 27:3, et al.). In other words, in the eschatological judgment mercy is ended, for that item which once represented mercy and forgiveness to a sinful people is now filled no longer with the blood of a vicarious sacrifice but with death and eschatological destruction. There is no more atoning blood for those who have hardened their hearts to God's grace. The apostle's striking description of God in Romans 4:5 as being a God who "justifies the ungodly" ("ton dikaounta ton asebe'? becomes even more vivid when one notes the background for this statement in the Septuagint, the Bible with which his audience was familiar and which many among his readers had probably memorized. In three texts (Exodus 23:7, Deuteronomy 25:1, Isaiah 5:23) the Old Testament had emphatically stated that one must never "justify the ungodly." In all these texts the very words St. Paul uses in the Romans text appear-"justify" (dikaSoun) and "ungodly" (asebe)! To people familiar with the Septuagint Paul was saying something which must have sounded almost blasphemous when he claimed that God actually does that which the Old Testament had forbidden. C.H. Dodd remarks, "Paul [was] well aware that in using such an expression as 'djkaioun ton asebe' he was uttering a daring Pastor and Septuagint 265 paradox, since the Septuagint uses precisely that expression in censure of unjust judges."" Paul was not, of course, speaking heresy. The Gospel solves the problem; Christ has payed the world's legal debt to God with His own blood shed on the cross. For Christ's sake God can and does declare the ungodly righteous, for "God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). When John the Baptist saw Jesus walking towards him and declared, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29), he was perhaps saying more about Jesus than that He was merely carrying the sin of the world. The Greek verb used here for "takes away" (airo) was often used in the Septuagint to mean "forgive" as, for example, in this text from 1 Samuel 15:25, where Saul, having disobeyed God in the matter of Agag and the Amalekite, pleads with Samuel: "I have sinned. . .I beg you, forgive (aron) my sin." It is quite possible that John's statement about Jesus could be rendered, "Look, the Lamb of God, who forgives the world's sin!" This would certainly have interesting implications for the Lutheran doctrine of objective justification. But besides providing helpful insights into the significance of certain words and phrases in the Greek New Testament, the Septuagint often illustrates how texts were understood or applied by some Jewish believers. A helpful interpolation occurs in that familiar Advent text from Isaiah 40 where the prophet writes, "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. . ." The Septuagint inserts the word hiereis-"0 priests, speak to the heart of Jerusalem"-suggesting that this command to preach comfort to Jerusalem is the duty of the priests.'* On the other hand, the Septuagint often shows how texts were misunderstood or purposely altered to blunt their significance. It is puzzling to note that one of the clearest texts in the Old Testament for the deity of Christ, Isaiah 9:6 (5 in MT and LXX), is never directly quoted in the Greek New Testament. When one reads this text in the Septuagint, the reason quickly becomes apparent. The English reads, "To us a child is born. . .and He will be called. . .Mighty God" (El Gibor). This text clearly teaches the full deity of that Child who is the Promised Seed and the Virgin's Son (Isaiah 7: 14). The Septuagint, perhaps reflecting the unbelief of the translator, reads, "His name shall be called, 'Mesager of the Great Planner.' "" Such a translation, of course, for all practical purposes 266 CONCORDLA THEOUXiICAL QUARTERLY rendered the t& useless to the evangelists and apostles, who were writing to people familiar with the Greek Old Testament.16 But the Septuagint also proves itself invaluable in making a significant contribution towards a proper understanding of Paul's teaching on justification. Specifically it clarifies and enriches our understanding of Paul's use of the verb G5k-ai0un.~~ Sice the Reformation this important word has really been at the heart and center of the controversy between Rome and the Lutheran Church. What does it mean to say that a person is "justified"? Does the sinner become righteous by his own obedience (helped along, of course, by grace provided through the church) or is the sinner declared righteous by imputation of Christ's perfect righteousness? The question remains an issue to our own day.ls The dikaioun word-group occurs most frequently, as one might suspect, in the two epistles in which the doctrine of justification is dealt with most thoroughly and systematically-Romans and Galatians. The adjective dhim is used seventeen times in the Pauline corpus; almost half of these occurrences appear in Paul's letters to Rome and the Galatians. Out of fifty-seven ommences of the noun G5k-aime thirty-seven are found in these two epistles. But the most amazing statistic is this-of twenty-eight occurences of the verb diC-aioun in the Pauline letters twenty-three are found in these two epistles alone! This fact shows quite obviously that a proper understanding of Paul's teaching on justitication is closely related to a proper understanding of this important verb. While the papyri have without any doubt enriched our understanding of the Greek New Testament, in the case of dikaioun it is to the Septuagint we must go for a proper understanding of this important verb. In secular Greek (as far as this can be dehmid from extant sources) the verb appears to have been relatively unimportant. The classical lexicon of Liddell and Soott lists less than thirty citations for this verb (contrast this with its heavy use in two of Paul's epistles alone). Furthermore, whereas the verb for Paul clearly enjoys a forensic meaning, "declare someone legally the verb was used by the classical writers in a much more general way meaning merely "hold or deem something right (but not in a court of law)."20 In the Septuagint the verb dikaoun regularly translates forms of the Hebrew tsdk in texts where a forensic meaning is obvious; in instances where the forensic sense is weak or absent a different Greek Pastor and Septuagint 267 verb is used.2' A key text for Paul's understanding and use of dikilloun is Psalm 143:2, which is clearly forensic, "Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous Cyitsdak) before you." This verse appears to be a sades doctrinae for Paul's doctrine of justification and is quoted both in Romans and Galatians (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2: 16).22 The verb dikai'oun is used both in the Septuagint and in the Pauline passages mentioned; the verb forms and word order are too similar to be mere coincidence.23 The apostk's selection of this particular verse from the entire Greek Old Testament, the one enjoying the clearest forensic significance, indicates very strongly that it must have been cruciaI to Paul in establishing the sense he wanted this verb to have as he carefully explained the doctrine of jwtikation. It also seems more than coincidental that Paul uses dikaioun in the passive voice so often. Out of twenty-eight occurrences of the verb in Paul's epistles, twenty are passives. This fact also seems to reflect the Septuagint, which regularly uses the passive voice to translate the Hebrew "qal" form (which is not passive) of the verb t~dk.~' This passive form reinforces the forensic idea in the word, since one does not pronounce himself legally innocent but is decrlared innucat (passive) by the court. In Hebrew this idea could be expressed by the qal since the verb yitzd& is a stative verb, and stative verbs do not describe action, but express a state or quality independent of the will of the subject.25 The clearest way to express the state of having been declared legaIly righteous or innocent would be to use the Greek passive voice, which the Septuagint, once again, regularly uses and which St. Paul also adopts. That the Septuagint and not secular Greek influenced Paul's understanding and use of dikaioun is also evident from the contrast between the way in which the Septnagint uses dikaioun with a personal object and the way in which dar writers generally intended this construction to be understood. When a secular author wrote that someone "justified someone" the sense was always pejorative, meaning that someone chastised or punished the individ~al.~~ But when Paul writes that God ''jwtifk the sinner," he means that God acquits or pardons the sinner. Contrast Paul's statement, "God justifies the wicked," with a similar statement from the secular writer Pindar, who writes, "The law. . .justifies the violent" (the sense here is obviousIy pejorative, that the law gives the violent what they deserve-puni~hment).~' It seems quite clear that something besides secular Greek prepared this important verb 268 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY for Paul's use in teaching the doctrine of justification. This preparation must have been the Septuagint, for apart from the Greek New Testament only the Septuagint uses the verb dikaioun with a personal object in a positive sense, as we see, for example, in Exodus 23 :7, where God's people are commanded, "You shall not justify (acquit) the ungodly for a bribe."28 But the Septuagint not only helps clarify Paul's understanding of dikaoun as being clearly forensic; it enriches the word because of the Hebrew background. As mentioned above, dikaioun regularly translates the Hebrew root tsdk. This Hebrew background gives significant overtones to Paul's use of the word. The concept of justification is never neutral or abstract or static as though God's verdict of justification is only a verdict in which He takes no further active interest. Justification as it comes to us from the Old Testament through the Septuagint is a very "dynamic" concept in which the justified sinner not only can expect freedom from the law's demands and punishments, but can further expect God to act in his behalf to secure all the rights and privileges that are his by virtue of his justification. A Hebrew judge was not only supposed to declare someone's cause just, but was also expected to act in that person's behalf to see to it that the justified person received what he deserved according to his rights. Perhaps the most obvious example of this "Hebrew" conception of a judge is the Book of Judges itself, in which a Samson functions far differently in the role of "judge" than do our contemporary counterparts (if, indeed, there really is any contemporary counterpart). An Old Testament judge would, perhaps, better be viewed as a deliverer (as Samson clearly was for his people). That the verb dkaioun has such dynamic overtones is clear from many Old Testament texts, espxbBy from Psalm 82 where the unjust judges are exhorted to "justify mebrew, hitzdiku; Greek, dikiosate] the poor and needy"; they must "deliver [them] from the wicked" myad reshaim hatzilu). One scholar comments in this regard, "The antithesis which in dogmatics we are familiar with is a righteous or just God and yet a Savior. The Old Testament puts it differently-a righteous God and therefore a Savior."29 And so because of its background in the Old Testament, the verb dikaioun as used by St. Paul carries with it the idea that, since he is justified as the Gospel declares, the sinner can expect God to act in his behalf to secure for him his rights, to defend for him those rights, and to bestow on him all the blessings and benefits which are his by virtue of his justification. St. Paul rejoices in this fact when he writes, "If God Pastor and Sqrtuagint 269 is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all-how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. . .Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Romans 8: 31-34). The Christian must remernber that God does not remain far removed from the concerns, problems, and troubles of His people; God remains actively involved in His peoples' lives always eager, ready, wihg, and able to defend His people and deliver them from everything and everyone who would try to deprive them of their rights and bIessings as God's children. Indeed, Christ's continued gracious presence among His people in the Holy Supper is God's personal assurance to each believer that He is still living in His Church according to His promise, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:19). Is there reason for the busy pastor to fmd room on his cluttered desk for a Septuagint? We hope that one can see from the comments above how much practical value there really can be in regular study of the Septuagint. We have, of course, merely scratched the surface. Concluding his chapter on the "Use of the Septuagint," F. Danker remarks, "Specialists recognize its values, but enough suggestions have been offered to challenge a renewed search of its treasures also by students and pastors. As an aid to Bible study the LXX has few rivals."'O Rahlfs' edition of the Septuagint (Septuaginta) is now available in a handy "pocket" edition (for those with big pockets). This volume is, of course, a basic resource. Unfortunately, no modem lexicon exists specifically designed for Septuagintal studies. While LiddelI and Scott's voluminous Greek-Em Lexiwn can certainly be used, the average pastor probably does not have access to it. Most pastors, however, have Arndt-Gingrich's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Chn'&an Literature in their personal libraries. This volume can certainly be used in reading the Septuagint even though some words will not be listed.3' Work certainly needs to be done to produce an up-to-date lexicon for Septua.g&d studies. Recently Zondewan has republished F.C. Conybeare's grammar of Septuagint Greek under the title of A Grammar of Septuagint Greek (available in paperback). Hatch and Redpath's classic Concordance to the Septuagit has recently been republished by Baker Book House and is available at a reasonable cost. This resource is an invaluable 270 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY tool for both Old and New Testament studies, as anyone who has used it will agree. The more one reads in the Septuagint, by chapters and by books, the more he will probably find himself enjoying it. One will probably realize many benefits and rewards almost immediately. Perhaps a few minutes a day can be set aside to read several verses. Familiar words or constructions should be underlined and noted. Marginal references back to the Septuagint should be noted in appropriate places in one's working copy of the Greek New Testament. The narrative portions will probably generate the most immediate and obvious benefits. One should perhaps concentrate his reading in the Pentate~ch.~~ The book of Jonah is also excellent reading. Parts of Joshua and much of Samuel and Kings are helpful. One need not linger regularly over passages which demand detailed study unless, of course, he is researching a particular issue or problem. Rapid and regular reading will keep one's interest high and help him accumulate most quickly a good working vocabulary and "concordance." When preaching on an Old Testament text, one should be sure to read the pericope out of the Septuagint noting any words or consbudions which might be significant in the Greek New Testament (Moulton and Geden's Conordance to the Greek Testament is especially helpful here). And when preaching on a New Testament pericope, one should be sure to look up any sigdicant words in Hatch-Redpath to see how they were used in the Septuagint. There is no doubt that the Septuagint merits this kind of attention. And there is also no doubt that over the years those pastors who have set aside some time for study of the Septuagint will agree with F. Danker who remarks, "As an aid to Bible study the LXX has few rivals. Like a virtuous woman, her price is above rubies. Blessed is the preacher who has espoused her, for the congregation shall come to hear him regularly." " ENDNOTES 1. See F. Danker, Multipurpose To& for Bible Study (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1970), p. 63. 2. Se@uaghtal scholars continue to debate whether or not there ever really was a Greek version of the Old Testament which was known and accepted as the "Septuagint." After having carefully studied the question, Sidney Jellicoe, an eminent Septuagintal scholar, concludes, "The present writer's independent investigations have led him [to the Pastor and Septuagint 271 conclusion] that, from the time of Origen and backwards as far as can be traced there Bdsted a 'standard' tran&&on of the Old Testament in Greek styIed that of the 'Seveuty'. . .this 'standard' version. . .held its place as the authoritative version first of the Jewish Diaspora and later of the early Christian Church" (Sidney JeIlicoe, lllZe Sepsuagint and Mdem Study (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968; reprint, Ann Arbor, Michigan: J%enbraun, 1978), p. 341). See also Alfred Rahlfs' introductory comments to his edition of the Septuagint, -ta, where he adds, "There is no reason for us to doubt that the LXX tex& of the period b.e., second century B.C.] was in general agreement with our presentday LXX text" (p. LVI). In this essay we will be using Rahlfs' Sepmghta (Stuttgart: Wuerttanbergische Bibeland&, 1935) as our resource. 3. ErnstWuerthwein,lllZeTextoftbeOldT~ent,translatedbyErrdl F. Rhodes (Grand Rapids.. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., lw), p. 49. 4. A very helpful tool which categorizes the Old Testament quotations m the New Testament (printing m successive columns the Masoretic ~ofthepassage(s)~study,thetextofthe~,thereading in the Greek New Testament, and a brief commentary) has been pPepared by Gleason L. Archer and Gregory Chirichigno and is entitled Old Testament Quomom io the New Tment (Chicago: Moody Press, 1983). 5. Philo, B- Vlta Mais, trans. F.H. Colson @neb Classical Liirary; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press). 6. 'Spiritus enim, qui m prophetis erat, quando illa dixerunt, idem ipse erat etiam in mta uiris, quando iIla int- suut" (ae ChWe Dt5, 18, 43). 7. Jellicoe, p. 352. This veneration of the Septuagint caused some theological problems for the ancient church- e.g. the problem which developed when Arius tried to use the Greek text of Proverbs 8:22 (the Septuagint reads. "Kurh ektkn me archen hodon autou ais erga autou") to help prove that the Scriptures thanselves teach that Christ is a creature and that there must have been a "time when he was not." 8. In his essay, ''The of the New Testament" (Aufsb;eg und Niedergang da Ruenlam Wdt, II pf3-h: Walter de Gruyta, 14841, pp. 894-970), James Voelz quotes Metzger: "Most of the Semitic influence. . .was exerted indirectIy through the Bible which all the authors of the New Testament used. . .To the extent that the authors of the New Testament (including Luke, who almost certainly was not a Jew) had steeped themselves in the characteristic phraseology of the Septuagint, their Greek took on a Semitic cast. In this connection it is instructive to compare the influeme which the King James Version has exated upon the literary style of many an English author" (p. 927). 9. George Howard, The LXX: A Review of Recent Studies, p. 161. Some 272 CoNCoRDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY might argue that Howard overstates his case somewhat, for one would axtaidy not want to uncleredmate the value of the papyri in New Testament sturties. 10. The Apostle John writes of Jesus in his first chapter, "The only begotten God who is (60 on) in the bosom of the Father, that one has declared Him." 11. The examples which follow are drawn from the author's own study of the Septuagint. One may also wish to consult F. Danker, Mu&qmse Td for EBZk Study, &apm 5 5.81-95) for additional examples of the use of the Septuagint. 12. Scholars are generally agreed on this pronunciation of the "-on" 0, the pronunciation "Jehovah" now clearly seen as a mistaken and unfortunate reading of an impossibIe Hebrew form. The name "Yahweh" is rich in theological content. It is, first of all, a verb form suggating that God is dynamic; He is a God of activity. Secondly, it is a third person singular hiphil form; the Hebrew hiphil has a causative signifioutoe, meaning litdy in this instance, "He causes to be" (or, "to hapjm"). God in Himself is pure Vxhg" or existence and depends on or needs no outside force or reason for His e&tence (and so as God looks at Himself He tells Mom in Exodus 3, "1 am who I am"). But God's people view God in the third person, as the One outside themselves who must act in their behalf, the One without whose grace and power there can be no life. God's name, then, means this: "He makes it happen." It is also imperfect in aspect, implying constant activity. Thirdly, in the context of Exodus R6, a text in which God exp- the sigmticance of His name, the name takes on very strong Gospel overtones; Yahweh is not merely a God who makes things happen but a God who makes gcmd things happen, more pmisdy a God who makes ''gospel4hhgS" happen for His chosen people! Note also the element of grace in this form--God makes good things happen for us without our help or participation or merit. The name further suggests intimacy since it is God's pmonal name; the author often reminds parishiom that God's people are on such intimate terms with God that they are not only on a "first-name basis" with God but even med to call him by a nickname-Yah-as the church does regularly in the Divine Service when she sings, "Hallelu-Yah!" ("Praise Yah[weh]!"). 13. C. H. Dodd. 7k Bible awl the Greeks (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1954), p. 57. 14. This writer has often used this text for ordinations and installations, encouraging the candidate to be a Gospel preacher. The Septuagint catainly Lends support to such an application. 15. The Greek reads, ". . kai kalaatai to onoma autou Megales Bodes aggelos. " 16. See also Isaiah 42: 1, where the Greek version applies a Messianic text Pastor and Septuagint 273 to Israel, making Israel the anointed servant of God rather than Christ. 17. What follows is a synopsis of the author's thesis subnritted for the degree of Master of Sacred Thedogy at Comrdia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, m 1982. The thesis is entitled "The Septuagint's Contribution Towards a Clearer and Richer Undemtanding of the Pauline Use of Dikaw" and is on fk in the seminary h%m. 18. See an exdent essay on this point by Rolf Preus, "An Evaluation of Lutheran-Roman Catholic Conversations on Justification" (on file in the h%m of conconk Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana). Preus discusses recent Lutban-Roman Catholic dialogues and shows convincingly what has been sacrificed (especially by the Lutherans) to attain "consensus" and the tragic "cost of consensus" which is "nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ" (p. 71). 19. As Eduard Preuss remarks in his classic article, "The Justification of the Si before God," "The verb 'to justify' occurs thirty* times intheNewTestament,andhallthese~~~esitsignifies a forensic act. It means to regard as righteous, to declare righteous" (Gmcorrbia 7bmhgiical Mom%&, VIII: 2, p. 11.). 20. For example, Herodotus writes, "Since the gods have given me to be your slave, it is right (dikaio) that if I have any dearer sight of wrong I should declare it to you" (La21 Classical Library, I, p. 114). 21. See, for -le, Daniel 8:14, where the verb katharizo trmsks the Hebrew niphal, nitsdak. The context here is clearly not forensic. 22. While this important text is not italicized in Novum Testamenturn Grasoe (twenty-sixth edition), Pad's use of the verse was axtahdy very intentional and is significant in determining Paul's und- of alx-aioun. 23. This is clear when the texts are placed alongside each other - Sepm@t, "ou oYkziiM mopon sou pas mn"; Romans 3:B, "ou dika-o&seiai pasa sax mopon autou"; Galatians 2:16, "ou dikaidd pafa sax." Paul substitutes sux for the Sqrtuagint's zon to emphasize mankind's sinful condition. 24. In the Hebrew Old Testament out of eight oamrences of rsdk in the qal seven are rendered into Greek with the passive form (Gen. 38:26, Is. 43:9, 26; Is. 4525; Ps. 19:lO; 51:6; 143:2). 25. See, for example, Thomas Lambdin, InWudion to Biblical Hebrew (New York: Charles Scriimr's Sons, 1971), p. 93. 26. See Liddell and Scott, Graek-English Lexicon, p. 429, for references. 27. The papyri available today do not really add anything new to our undastandingofthewayinwhichtheverb~~~~l~usedm~- biblical litaature. See May's G +ik der Grim Papyri aus & ProhmaemGt, IZ (Bedin: Walter de Gruyter) where he cites twointerestingverbswhichoocurinthepapyriandwhichindicate strongly that dikaiouo was not undmbmd fwemk#y at all in Koine Greek. These two verbs are d&i- (p. 117) and dikaicdrrtao(p. 119). 274 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY 28. Arndt and Gingrich agree when they point out that apart from the New Testament only the Septuagint uses the verb dikiorm with a personal object to mean "aliquem iustum reddere." A Greek-Englhh LRVILRVlcon of the New Testament and other Early CIuistian Literatzm (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), p. 212. 29. A. B. Davidson, The Theology of the OM Testament (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1949), p. 144. 30. Danker, p. 95. 31. Iwouldnot~anyonefromlayinghis~veasion~ his Septuagint as he reads. The more material one can read, the more vocabulary he will accumulate and the less he will eventually fmd himself depedhg on his "pony." Everyone who has learned a foreign language will agree that a limited vocabulary usually causes the greatest fiustraton. 32. Scholars agree that the Pentateuch was undoubtedly the fust portion of the Hebrew Bible to be translated. It is also a very faithful translation and is chsitied by the famous Septuagintal &lar lkxkeray as being "good Koine Greek" (Gr;Mmar of the Old TcSm~ent in Greek, p. 13). S. JeIlicoe comments, "Opinion on the WM, of the Pentateuch has tended to favour the view that as a tramlation it remains, on the whole, close to its original and reflects a high degree of competence on the part of the tmdators" (p. 270). The pastor familiar with his Greek New Testament will recognizR many familiar words and g.Iamdcal constructions. 33. Danker, p. 95. The Rev. Steven C. Briel, S.T.M., is pastor of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Osseo, Minnesota.