Master of Arts (MA)
Septuagint, origin, language, quotations, Acts 13
The Greek Old Testament has been a focus of speculation and study since its entrance into the religious culture of the Diasporic Jews. Legends and myths surround the creation of the Septuagint, and its use by the New Testament authors only added to the questions surrounding this ancient text. The questions this thesis will seek to address are three-fold. First, what does historical evidence prove regarding the origin of the Septuagint? The dating, the location, and the nature of the Septuagint’s creation are each open debates within biblical scholarship. While this thesis will not attempt to prove conclusively the answers to each of these foundational issues, it will describe the prominent opinions of Septuagint experts and analyze their findings. The second question this thesis will address is the nature of the Septuagint’s language. Much debate surrounds the linguistic nature of the Septuagint: Does the syntax of the Septuagint represent Hebrew or Greek syntax more aptly? Is there any truth to the hypothesis of the Septuagint being a Hebraic Greek piece of literature? The thesis will provide a brief survey of these issues of linguistics and style in order to explore more aptly the third and focal question. The foundational question will discuss the usage of Septuagint quotations in Acts 13, Paul’s first missionary speech at Pisidian Antioch. This thesis will explore each quotation found in Acts 13 and show that the speech, as recorded by Luke, represents a normative use of Septuagint in its quotations. In addition, there will be a brief survey concerning the understanding of the Septuagint by two key persons, Paul and Luke, in the New Testament. Paul’s speech in Acts chapter 13, as recorded by Luke, and its many Old Testament quotations and allusions will provide an in-depth look into the use of the Septuagint by these two men, or at least how Luke records Paul’s use of the LXX. This portion of the thesis will specifically examine Paul’s employment of the Septuagint quotations rather than the Masoretic Text quotations in the Acts of the Apostles according to Luke.