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Title: Theology and identity of the Egyptian Jewish diaspora in Septuagint of Isaiah
Author: Kim, Keunjoo
ISNI:       0000 0000 8036 2538
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
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The Old Greek version of the Book of Isaiah (hereafter LXX-Is) should be studied not only as a translation but also as an interpretation reflecting the theology of the translator or translator’s community in Egypt. ‘Free’ translation in LXX-Is usually appears not to originate from any misunderstanding of the probable Hebrew Vorlage or from a different Vorlage, but deliberately and consciously. Also it is important that these Greek renderings should be dealt with in a broader context, not merely verse by verse; because the Septuagint seems to have been regarded as a religious text in itself, circulating among Jews in Egypt. The most conspicuous theme in Septuagint Isaiah is a bold declaration concerning their identity. According to this, the Jewish diaspora in Egypt is the true remnant, and their residence in Egypt should be regarded as due to God’s initiative, thus “Eisodos” instead of “Exodus” is emphasized. Such ideas may be understood as displaying an apologetic concern of the Jewish diaspora to defend their continued residence in Egypt, whereas the Bible states firmly that Jews are not to go down there. Judgments against Egypt appear more strongly than MT, and this is another expression of their identity. LXX-Is supplies a bold translation in 19:18: a temple in Egypt, called the ‘city of righteousness’. The writings of Josephus testify to the existence of the Temple of Onias in Heliopolis under the reign of Ptolemy Philometor who apparently showed great favour towards the Jews. The temple’s significance should be considered as more than a temporary shrine for local Jewish mercenaries. Rather, it aimed to be a new Jerusalem under a lawful Zadokite priest. In addition to this, LXX-Is shares some interesting and distinctive ideas with Hellenistic Jewish literature, including views on priests and sacrifice, and an attitude towards foreign kings shared by Hellenistic Jewish literature of the period. To conclude, through comparing with MT and investigating LXX-Is as it stands, this work shows that LXX-Is is not just a translation but a Hellenistic Jewish document reflecting a particular theology of at least some Jews in Egypt. LXX-Is is shown to have its place within Jewish Hellenistic literature.
Supervisor: Salvesen, Alison G. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biblical studies ; Theology and Religion ; Isaiah ; Hellenistic Jewish literature ; Septuagint ; Temple of Onias ; Old Testament