Text-Critical Question Begging in Nahum 1,2–8: Re-evaluating the Evidence and Arguments
Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft
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Ross, W. (2015). Text-Critical Question Begging in Nahum 1,2–8: Re-evaluating the Evidence and Arguments. Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 127 459-474. https://doi.org/10.1515/zaw-2015-0025
The idea that Nahum 1 contains an acrostic poem is held by many scholars, even while there is still contention as to the poem’s precise nature and extent. Moreover, as the dālet, zayin, and yôd lines each begin with the “wrong” letter, a host of biblical scholars support emending the text in some way to “restore” the acrostic. This paper reinvestigates the proposals for emending Nahum 1:2–8 in light of the Septuagint (LXX) as a text-critical witness. Often scholars who propose emendations cite the versions, particularly the LXX, to give credence to the claim that the Masoretic Text (MT) is corrupted. While other scholars have pointed to versional evidence in support of the MT and therefore against emendation, none have examined the validity of citing the Greek version as a text-critical witness in light of its translational character. LXX scholarship has long noted that the translation technique employed in a given unit, book, or corpus is essential to discerning properly whether and how Greek renderings function text-critically for the MT. In light of an analysis of the translation technique of Nahum 1:2–8, then, this paper outlines the manner in which arguments for textual emendation of the Hebrew on the basis of the LXX beg the question. Moreover, the character of the Greek version is such that it cannot reliably be used as a witness in support of textual emendation of the MT, and significantly undermines the idea that an acrostic was ever present in the text at all.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaw-2015-0025
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248093