The Septuagint vs the Masoretic Text: Which is More Authentic?

For decades now, I’ve been fascinated by the Septuagint, the Old Testament as it was written in excellent Attic Greek. The story goes that King Ptolemy II Philadelphos had gathered seventy Jewish sages and gave them all the resources they needed to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into ancient Greek.

One reason of course was because Hebrew was essentially a liturgical language mostly unintelligible to the majority of Jews. That and the fact that those Jews who lived in Egypt and northern Africa spoke only Greek.

The results were far-ranging, affecting not only the Jews but the Christian Church as well. Indeed, the LXX thereby became the foundational text –the Bible so to speak–for both Jews and Christians for well over one thousand years. Even in Judea it’s clear that people quoted from it.

This view changed however during the Reformation. Martin Luther for one, decided that certain doctrines found therein were objectionable. In order to get around this problem, he and others within the Reformist camp chose to believe that the Masoretic text (MT, masorah: Hebrew for “tradition”) was more authentic.

The problem was that the earliest known MT –the Codex Leningradensis–was several centuries younger than the LXX (ca AD 1100).

That being said, one would be inclined to believe that any Hebraic text would be more authentic than any Greek translation, no matter how good that translation was. That would be the first inclination. However in the case of the LXX vs the MT,that would be the wrong inclination.

Believe it or not, the LXX, hearkens back to a more authentic Hebrew text, one which the authors of the MT disdained. Even worse, the rabbis and scribes began “editing” the LXX from the very inception of the Church, primarily in order to debunk the claims of Christ and His followers. This claim is nothing less than astounding and its implications are far-reaching. If nothing else, it bolsters the case for the authenticity of the Gospel; if for no other reason that the Rabbinate took that which they found objectionable out of their Scriptures.

I realize that this sounds astonishing and rather than go into detail myself, I would ask you instead to look at the following video for a better, more precise explanation. It’s quite entertaining and easy to follow.

Comments

  1. “The problem was that the earliest known MT –the Codex Leningradensis–was several centuries younger than the LXX (ca AD 1100).”

    George,

    You need to rephrase this. The Septuagint predates the earliest Masoretic text by centuries. The earliest Masoretic manuscripts are from the 9th or 10th centuries AD. The earliest Septuagint manuscripts are from the 2nd century BC. The oldest more or less complete Septuagint manuscripts are Codex Vaticanus (4th century AD) and Codex Alexandrinus (5th century AD).

    Below is an article from orthdoxinfo written by an evangelical who became persuaded of the greater reliability of the Septuagint. It hits the major points.

    There is some indication that versions of the Septuagint were corrected by the Church to reflect then extant Hebrew versions. But this was much earlier than the Masoretic revision which was intended to standardize rabbinic Judaism as a faith with a uniform sacred text.

    But we are not rabbinic Jews, who have decisively rejected Christ and for whom the Septuagint presented insuperable spiritual difficulties.

    http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/otcanon.aspx

    • George Michalopulos says:

      True Misha. The oldest extant copy of the LXX is post-3rd century but it’s clear that it is faithful in itself to an earlier text than is the MT which bears the unmistakable hallmarks of anti-Christian bowdlerization.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        Also, both extant LXXs agree with each other as well as the Samaritan LXX. The MT is the odd man out.

        • George, I’m coming to this thread late but, if you are looking for a good book to read on the topic, “When God Spoke Greek,” by Timothy Law, is a fascinating book regarding the authority of the Septuagint. It’s an academic study but it provides a number of interesting claims, even if in places the author seems to miss the point. Well worth the read —

          • George Michalopulos says:

            Patrick, thank you! I’ve actually heard of it. A fellow-parishioner told me about it. It’s on my to-do list.

  2. Curiosity SUpremist says:

    You have to see this in this context: The Maccabees and the Hellenists, Hanukkah as Jewish civil war. By James Ponet Slate.Com DEC. 22 2005

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2005/12/the_maccabees_and_the_hellenists.html

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Indeed, the Maccabean revolt was a civil war between hellenistically-inclined Jews (led by Greco-Syrian officers) and fundamentalist-inclined Jews led by the Maccabees. The irony is that once the Maccabees won, the Hellenism proceeded apace; even their own regnal names were Greek.

  3. Veras Coltroupis says:

    The arguments on Aramaic are the same thing: Hebrews disdained Aramaic, so there is no chance they preferred it over Greek, and there are no complete, guaranteed scripture in Aramaic no matter what Demacopoulos says.

    • Monk James says:

      Aramaic/Syric texts — including the Peshitta (which has been available in an English translation for some time) — are largely unhelpful, especially since their New Testament books were translated from the Greek, which is as close as we’ve ever come to an Urtext.

      • George Michalopulos says:

        MJ, indeed. In my own research, I’ve come to the conclusion that not only are the canonical Koine Greek texts upon which the Synoptic Gospels based (i.e. “Q” + proto-Mark); that is to say that they are the “urtext” but that internal clues within them prove that their provenance was pre-AD 70. It’s possible that even the Gospel of John is much earlier than its traditional date of AD 90.

        • Exactly, George.

          The work of papyrologists Jose O’Callaghan (Jesuit) and Carsten Peter Thiede (Protestant) in examining and identifying the Qumran Cave 7 fragments is essential. This places the majority of the NT pre-68AD. Of course, they have been shunned and their research findings blacklisted because it goes against the grain of the ‘higher critics.’ It blows the Q theory out of the water.

          A British evangelical, Bill Cooper, has released a number of short booklets on this subject and argues solidly in favor of Thiede and O’Callaghan. I would recommend reading them if anyone is interested in this subject.

          Unfortunately, the few Orthodox scholars who are involved in this kind of work tend to side with the critics. Sad!

          • George Michalopulos says:

            I’m familiar with O’Callaghan and have read and highlighted Thiede’s book. Fascinating. Both men completely blow the Higher Critics out of the water.

          • Monk James says:

            Of COURSE the NT was largely — if not entirely — written prior to AD 68, as suggested by the absence from the text of two glaringly important historical events. The first is the martyrdom of both Sts Peter and Paul at Rome in that very year, and the second is the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple by the Romans in AD 70.

            These were watershed episodes in he life of The Church in the first Christian century, and their omission should make it clear that they had not yet taken place before the gospels and apostolic letters were written.

            Granted, this is an argumentum a silentio, but it’s overwhelmingly common-sensical.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says:

              The logic of that is pretty strong, as has often been said, but in my own amateur opinion it does not apply to John, or the Revelation. John is a special case in a lot of ways, and I don’t see any obstacle to his having composed his Gospel as a very old man in Ephesus. Entirely possibly without knowledge of the synoptics or Paul’s letters. One of the several things that to me adds to its power.

  4. r j klancko says:

    our challenge is this — we have not created nor published the definitive eastern orthodox bible — an accurate textural translation along with the accurate number of books and psalms — so, because of this we are subject to inferior texts — also, it seems that unlike our other christian brothers, having an accurate bible has never been a priority — we are always tweeking the liturgy — just look at the plethora of liturgical texts – every ethnic jurisdiction – canonical and non canonical have their own — in fact canonicals use those of non canonicals and vice versa however we rely on protestants and roman catholics for our bible — yes even the orthodox study bible does not truly meet muster — to me this is all bass-ackwards – shouldn’t the accuracy of our, yes our bible, come before anything else????

    also, where – oh where are our biblical scholars — i never see any of our people quoted in the biblical scholarship litertature

    if these observations are correct, then we are truly in deep do do and that is tragic

    we are loosing our niche and market share every minute

  5. Dear RJK: Check out the Holy Apostles Convent translation with Patristic footnotes. (There are text only versions of the New Testament and Psalms in hardback and the New Testament in Kindle, but the footnotes are essential for me.). It is fascinating to see and understand how translation distortions in the Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles lead to heresies which plague both and these are clearly seen here. The King James version is NOT exempt! My Greek priest with a special interest in Patristics recommends it as the best translation we have in English. Please treat yourself to the truth and beauty of our Faith found here.

    • Monk James says:

      With no disrespect for ‘Nicole’ and her priest, I beg to disagree.

      While the patristic commentaries in the Holy Apostles Convent (what is a ‘convent’ other than a RC nuns’ house?) edition of the New Testament are very helpful, the translation itself is dreadful, and whoever is responsible for it ought to be stopped before he does any more damage.

      The main problem seems to be an advanced case of hellenitis, reproducing Greek grammatical forms with lethally exact literalness in English while destroying the actual meaning of the text.

      As an example, I adduce MT 6:9, which would have us pray to ‘Our Father Who (art) in the heavens.’ The translator here misses the distinction in meaning between the singular and plural forms of ouranos, as we can see when we compare this verse to the one just following it.

      In English, ‘the heavens’ means ‘the sky’ — but we’re not praying to ‘our Father in the sky’, are we?

      This sort of ridiculousness, plus a forced and unsuccessful archaic style, make this ‘translation’ almost unusable.

      But, as I say, the notes are of value.

    • r j klancko says:

      so, so sorry — but it also does not meet muster — the notes are super but the translation is not scholarly – the new covenant translation is much more critical — but the challenge remains — we do not have an accurate eastern orthodox new and old testament translation, with an accurate number of books — our scholarship and focus in this area is marginal at best

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says:

        Michael Asser’s English translation of the Septuagint is on the Orthodox England website, and CTOS is currently editing and preparing Michael Asser’s English translation of the Septuagint for publication.

        In the meantime The “Revised Brenton Translation of the Septuagint” is available. However, this is only a temporary fix as Michael’s English translation is by far the best. Even better than mine of The Holy Orthodox Bible.

        Peter A Papoutsis

        • M. Stankovich says:

          I completely agree with Peter, Asser then Revised Brenton – though I withhold judgment on the 2nd choice until I have examined the Papoutsis version in print; a version, I might add, I look forward to with great anticipation.

          • George Michalopulos says:

            As do we all.

            • r j klancko says:

              but we talk around the issue, we do not have an eastern orthodox bible, i cannot go to barnes and noble and get one off the shelf!

              we do not have bible scholars who travel in the circles of and have the recognition of knowledge that roman catholic and protestant scholars have

              and lastly, which is the most tragic – our people including most clergy are very weak in their knowledge of the bible

              we also need a study bible and one that can be used in bible study such as the rainbow bible

              yet there are a plethora of publications out there on the liturgies and we have yet to have one authorative english translation of them also

              • Peter A. Papoiutsis says:

                We do have an Eastern Orthodox Bible but its in Greek. You can buy that from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Greek-K-Michael-Tsiappoutas/dp/1494779714/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1514582313&sr=8-2&keywords=Greek+Bible

                After that just use your smart phone to translate. Its actually quite easy to do as there are a plethora of translation engines and Greek LXX and Greek NT interlinears on the internet. Just Google them. they are extremely easy to use.

                Finally, this Bible in Greek is official. An English translation is just a help. So help yourself.

                Peter

                • r j klancko says:

                  please re read this response and ask yourself whether it passes the sanity test — who will take such a convoluted route to access information that should have been readily available to everyone years ago — also how does one monitor the accuracy of such a translation as posed — this is our problem we talk and create byzantine solutions but never take grasp and make the positive happen — we should be ashamed of ourselves — a tragic and sad situation — harram, schoda

  6. Constaninos says:

    Dear George,
    May I ask you a question? Do you believe that Moses wrote the Torah? In the footnotes of the Bible I am reading in Genesis, they refer to a Yahwist source and Elohist source along with a priestly source. I also read that the ancient Hebrews were not monotheists. They believed in monolatrism. Their god El was the highest god in the pantheon of gods. Would you care to comment about this topic?

    • George Michalopulos says:

      El and Elohim are “God” and “Gods”. I think there are four sources to the Pentateuch and that the Israelites were monolatrists (as you state) but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, came to monotheism.

      • Constaninos says:

        Dear George,
        Thank you for your answer. You really are a man of impeccable honesty and integrity. Happy New Year 2018!

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Constantino, my earlier answer was rushed . Permit me to expand: the four supposed sources for the Torah are 1) E (for Elohist), 2) J (for Yahwist), 3) P (for Priestly) and 4) D (for Deuteronomist).

      Personally, I believe that Moses wrote all or part of Genesis and a priestly scribe associated with him wrote Leviticus. Exodus is a complex issue and I have to believe that another priest “tidied it up”. I’ve always wondered why Aaron was allowed to go on being High Priest of Israel even though he led the apostasy of the Israelite camp while Moses was on Mt Sinai. (It was Aaron who came up with the idea of the golden calf.)

      But I could be wrong about all of this. One thing I’m quite sure of is that the entire Scriptural corpus was guided by the Holy Spirit. I believe that in order to read the historical accounts of OT Scripture one must read them with a Pneumatological understanding. A “God’s-eye view” so to speak.

  7. M. Stankovich says:

    I would stress here that “assessing” the accuracy, fluency, and reliability of the modern translations must be measured against the Sacred Canon of the Liturgical Texts – and I refer specifically to the Reserrection Octoechos, the Lenten Triodion, the Pentecostarion, and the Festal Menaion. These texts rely – line after line, verse after verse – on quotations drawn directly from the Holy Scriptures, in the only version acceptable to the Fathers and Hymnographers, and then sanctified by time and Tradition as declaring both the Truth of the Scripture and our Sacred Theology. Fr. Alexander Schmemann taught very directly and very succinctly: “If we believe it, we sing it. If we do not sing it, we do not believe it.” If one were to keep the strict liturgical cycle of the Church, one could hear the reading of nearly the entire Holy Scriptures – save the Book of Revelation & Psalm 150 – read aloud in one year. Astonishing. The Church has always has an essential reason to demand accuracy in both domains and neglect in either is intolerable.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Absolutely! Very well stated. I especially like your recitation of Schmemann’s insight.

    • Agreed. Extremely well stated.

      I would even go so far as to say that prayerful participation in the Church’s liturgical cycle is what overcomes the linguistic poverty of virtually all translations in that language by itself cannot capture all the nuances, shades of meaning, and associations of words as the Church understands them. There is something about praying the words, as opposed to merely studying them, in the manner that the Church weaves them together and teaches us to pray in the whole liturgical cycle that speaks in a meditative sense to the heart in a way that cannot be grasped merely by accurate translation, however laudable the effort(s) may be.

      This is why the poverty of many of our translations has never really troubled me. We do not follow texts as such. We live and pray in and with the Church that wrote them, and only by sharing in her life can we hope to understand them.

    • Peter A. Papoiutsis says:

      Agreed. Very well stated.

    • The problem (in English, at least) is that liturgical texts have often been translated without reference to the scriptures, and mistranslations become lodged in memory and are very difficult to undo. We’ve discussed ;Our Father’ here.

      A concordance of the services in Greek would be a most helpful tool alongside a concordance of the Greek 70 to aid in translation into any other language. Such databases would help to assure that words and their meanings are consistent with each other and with the theology of the Fathers, whose vocabulary is already pretty much digitized.

      Psalm 150 is recited each evening during Lord, I cry to You. Perhaps Michael Stankovich meant Psalm 151?

      • M. Stankovich says:

        There is no “Psalm 151” in the numbering of the Septuagint, so I indeed meant Psalm 150.

        I would concur with Brian that the sanctification of the text of the Holy Scripture, as reflected in the Liturgical Canon, is a matter of prayer, which in turn is the realm of the Holy Spirit, which, over time, is revealed to us as within our Holy Tradition. Further, this same Scripture is then expressed on the very lips of the Holy Fathers within the context of the highest authority of the Church, the Great Councils. All of this, then, is expressed in our Theology, which we unequivocally understand at every level, from the “Pillars of Orthodoxy” and “Defenders of the Faith” to the walking simpletons such as myself. And so, with power and hearts filled with joy on the Sunday of Orthodoxy we proclaim, “This is the Faith of the Fathers! This is the Orthodox Faith!”

        As to your point of “mistranslation,” I would argue that if you truly subscribe in your heart to the substance of the concept above – and I believe your “issues” with the Lord’s Prayer have been more than dismissed on this site previously – do I need to consult with 75 Protestant biblical scholars as to whether God breathed “wind” or “breath” – in consideration of the “proper translation – into the face of Adam? We know our Theology from “corroborating” sources. So, if I may again quote Fr. Alexander Schmemann, “Pardon me, but who cares?”

        Finally, I caution, and with the greatest of concern, that there is a significant difference in suggesting there is error in translation of the sacred Liturgical Texts and quite another in suggesting there is error in the Liturgical Texts – the Liturgical Canon itself, within our Holy Tradition.

        • Monk James says:

          Michael Stankovich did indeed mean to write that ‘one could hear the reading of nearly the entire Holy Scriptures – save the Book of Revelation & Psalm 150 – read aloud in one year. ‘, and I was mistaken. I actually had Psalm 116 in mind, and I apologize for my error.

          But now he writes to say that ‘There is no “Psalm 151” in the numbering of the Septuagint….’ He is definitely mistaken here, since the 8th edition of the `1928 Synod of Greece’s hE hagia graphE (‘The Holy Scripture’), just over my shoulder where I can reach it with my right hand, does indeed include Psalm 151, as do the ‘Brookline’ psalter and the OCA Archdiocese of Canada’s ‘The Psalter According to the Seventy (both in a sort of English), and even Brenton, for Heaven’s sake! Psalm 151 (so numbered) also appears in the 1904 Moscow Synodal Church Slavonic edition, which I’m blessed to have handy here, and also in Rahlfs’s 1935 critical edition of the Greek 70, on the same shelf as the CS version. St Jerome omits it from his Latin translations of both Iuxta LXX (‘compared to the 70) and Iuxta Hebraeum, (compared to the Hebrew) but that’s another story. In any event, MS is wrong on this point.

          I complete agree with MS that we must make a distinction between the intrinsic correctness of the Greek Urtext of the scriptures at the same time as we must challenge the accuracy of translations from it,

          I do not at all admit that issues of mistranslation of the ‘Our Father ‘…have been more than dismissed on this site previously….’ In fact . ‘trespasses’ is alive and well in translation while opheilEmata clearly continues to mean ‘debts”, and the distinction between singular and plural ouranos remains unexplained — although it could be understood with an easy reference to parallel usage in the Symbol of the Faith.

          I would not pretend to be MS’s equal in medicine or social work. I wish that he’d return the favor when it comes to philology, semantics, and translation.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says:

            We Presbyterians (I was one for 66 years) were always “debtors”, in contrast to most of the churches who were “trespasses”. There was never much doubt in our minds that “debtors” was correct.

          • M. Stankovich. says:

            As already proffered by Prof. Papoutsis, I will simply rely on the text of Assar as found on the Orthodox England site,; as I sit here, Vladyka Archbishop Benjamin holds in his hands the translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton; and next to me sits the volume, Psalms of the Septuagint, by the same L.C.L. Brenton – for Heaven’s sake! – all of which contain 150 Psalms. In this singular addition of simply the Psalms, he likewise includes what he refers to as Psalm 151

            “A genuine [psalm] of David, though superfluous, composed when he fought in single combat with Goliad”: 1 I was small among my brethren, and youngest in my father’s house: I tended my father’s sheep. 2 My hands formed a musical instrument, and my fingers tuned a psaltery. 3 And who shall tell my Lord? the Lord himself, he himself hears. 5 He sent forth his angel, and took me from my father’s sheep, and he anointed me with the oil of his anointing. 5 My brothers were handsome and tall; but the Lord did not take pleasure in them. 6 I went forth to meet the Philistine; and he cursed me by his idols. 7 But I drew his own sword, and beheaded him, and removed reproach from the children of Israel.

            He also includes Psalm 152 in what the Orthodox refer to as the Prayer of Manasses. Neither of these “psalms” were ever accepted into the Canon of the Holy Scripture, though the Prayer of Manasses is read liturgically in the Service of Great Compline. Argument beyond this, in my estimation, is hoo-ha. Likewise, give three cheers, and give one more to the the captain of H.M.S. Mortiss. Are we not over this, T.R. Mortiss, after 66 years (for Heaven’s sake)?

            Finally, you would not pretend to be my equal in medicine? Madonna Mia! Your memory and refusal to apologize is short. And for the record, I studied in the advanced Greek course at SVS with Fr. John Meyendorff purposely to translate the Holy Fathers. I will gladly return the “favour” on the day I am wrong. Go and do likewise.

            • Monk James says:

              May the Lord forgive you, Michael Stankovich, even more than do I.

              • I do not understand for the life of me why you two can’t converse without goading each other and/or making condescending remarks. State your case. It doesn’t need to be personal, and nothing about our faith is ever be about being “right” since none of us is, even when we are.

                • Monk James says:

                  I take ‘Brian’ at his word when he writes ‘I do not understand….’

                  Michael Stankovich’s animus toward me goes back a long time and to other contexts, accusing me of ‘drive-by’ posting, of never responding to his challenges, etc. He was mistaken on that point but refused to accept correction. Still, I forgave him several times, as I have here on Monomakhos.

                  But that hasn’t stopped him from calling me names (‘Tartuffe’ is his favorite) and denigrating my scholarship, which is clearly beyond him — not only because he largely rejects my conclusions — but because he dislikes me personally.

                  I tried to relieve this friction recently here, but MS turned my words around and venomously spat them back at me.

                  Perhaps this negativity has nothing to do with me personally, but instead symbolizes something else of which I’m unaware, and might be unknown even to him at this point.

                  I, on the other hand, have no personal feelings about MS at all. I merely regret that he takes such an unyielding adversarial stance toward me, personally, rather than deal objectively with the documented expression of my opinions.

                  But, once again, I forgive him without reservation and I ask his forgiveness as well as yours, and may the Lord forgive us all.

                  So, ‘Brian’, that’s what it looks like from my angle. I hope that this helps you to understand at least a little of the unpleasant dynamic at work here.

                  Sometime you’ll have to tell us what you mean when you write that ‘nothing about our faith is ever be about being “right” since none of us is, even when we are.’

                • M. Stankovich says:

                  Brain,

                  It seems to me you cannot appreciate the words of David in Psalm 50: “Behold, You love Truth [ἀλήθειαν]; the secret and hidden things of Your Widom [τῆς σοφίας σου] You have revealed to me [ἐδήλωσάς μοι].” And apparently, David thought this important enough to declare, “The king shall rejoice in God, and all who swear by Him shall glory.” (Ps. 62:11) This to say that David is declaring the fact that in our God there is objective Truth, and, in fact, our Lord declares, “I am the way and the Truth and the life.” (Jn. 14:6) In this context, your statement, “none of us is [right] even when we are,” is nonsense. If not, how to explain in the same verse of Ps. 62, David declares, “for the mouths of liars will be stopped?” I certainly agree there is no “personal” gain in ascribing to the Truth we are called to believe and rejoice in receiving. So I ask you, how can you, in effect, scold for a passion for the Truth? Bad enough the insinuation that I am in need of forgiveness for presenting what is simply and quickly substantiated in the Tradition of the Church, but you would suggest I cannot be “right” even even when I am “right.” We are painted into a corner, no?

                  I can assure you, however, that this is my first & last inane exchange with monks for 2018. “What is truth?” (Jn. 18:38)

                  • Goodness! An argument over the numbering of some Psalms? Or perhaps it is the vast damage inflicted by the unbridgeable chasm of meaning between trespasses and debts. These are what strike at the very heart of fidelity to truth?

                    Perhaps standing before our Lord together and allowing him to settle all your ongoing disputes would help you both to understand the meaning of “nothing about our faith is ever be about being ‘right’ since none of us is, even when we are.”

                    Lord have mercy.

                    • Monk James says:

                      I suggest that ‘Brian’ not trivialize efforts to correct mistranslations of our sacred texts.

                      People’s faith and spiritual understanding are at stake in the faithful representation of these holy words, and those of us who can tell the difference between accuracy and inadequacy in our scriptures and prayers are morally and ethically obligated to do something about it, since we will answer to Christ for our stewardship of the talents with which He graced us for His glory.

                      On the other hand, I do not expect our Lord Jesus Christ to explain what ‘Brian’ wrote here about being ‘right’. That obligation devolves solely upon the author of those words.

                    • M. Stankovich says:

                      Brian,

                      I have, unfortunately, been “nurtured” in the atmosphere of a very contentious, very competitive academic department among world-class scholars (virtually next to “Nobel Drive,” for a reason), of which I am not one. Such is the cumulative effect of pridefulness, of which I am not proud. Likewise, my attempt to agree with you by invoking Fr. Alexander’s famous quote, “Pardon me, but who cares?” was a failed attempt to use sarcasm to suggest exactly what you said: “the poverty has never really troubled me.” And so it it goes… When it falls flat, it falls flat.

                      I will say this, that the irony of my former academic department was that, for as intense as the arguments and occasional intense personal disagreements became – and I was ordered “silenced” on a few occasions by the aforementioned world-class scholars – it never continued beyond the auditorium door. This is to say that suggestions of my existing “ill-will” are unfounded, plain & simple.

                      While it is essentially important to maintain the integrity of the Truth of the Faith we hold, it seems to me it has, and will, all work out in spite of me.

                    • Thank you for your replies. You are both passionate about the truth, as am I; and I respect you both for it. I also appreciate most all your comments, as I’m sure others do as well.

                      I’ll be praying those Psalms with you both regardless of their number , along with Prayer of Manasseh. And believe or not, I do care about translation. It’s just that until my bishop instructs otherwise I’ll be speaking the same words as my brethren while knowing our translations could do with some improvement.