OTTC GENESIS 21:16: WAS IT “THE CHILD CRIED ALOUD AND WEPT” OR “SHE LIFTED UP HER VOICE AND WEPT”?

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS
Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 120 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Major Critical Texts and Manuscript Abbreviations of the Old Testament

AC: Aleppo Codex
AT: Aramaic Targum(s)
B.C.E.
: Before Common Era
BHS
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Edited by Karl Elliger and Wilhelm Rudolph. Stuttgart, 1984.
B 19A: Codex Leningrad
c.: Circa, about, approximately
LXX: The Greek Septuagint (Greek Jewish OT Scriptures in general and specifically used during of Jesus and the apostles)
     OGOriginal Greek (Oldest recoverable form of the Greek OT (280-150 B.C.E.)
SOPHERIM: Copyists of the Hebrew OT text from the time of Era to the time of Jesus.
CTConsonantal Text is the OT Hebrew manuscripts that became fixed in form between the first and second centuries C.E., even though manuscripts with variant readings continued to circulate for some time. Alterations of the previous period by the Sopherim were no longer made. Very similar to the MT.
MT: The Masoretic Text encompasses the Hebrew OT manuscripts from the second half of the first millennium C.E.
QT: Qumran Texts (Dead Sea Scrolls)
SP: Samaritan Pentateuch
SYR: Syriac Peshitta
TH: Greek translation of Hebrew Scriptures by Theodotion, second cent. C.E.
VG: Latin Vulgate

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity The Reading Culture of Early Christianity The Reading Culture of Early Christianity The Reading Culture of Early Christianity

NOTE: Hebrew reads right to left not left to right. So, start at the right and read back to the left, which might seem strange to the Western mind.

Genesis 21:16 The Westminster Leningrad Codex (WLC)

16 וַתֵּבְךְּ   אֶת־קֹלָהּ   וַתִּשָּׂאand wept       her voice        she lifted up 

Genesis 21:16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.

Genesis 21:16 The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Interlinear

16 καὶ ἐκάθητο ἀπέναντιand she sat opposite αὐτοῦ μακρόθεν· ἀναβοῆσαν δὲ τὸ παιδίον ἔκλαυσενhim at a distance after shouting and the child wept 

Genesis 21:16 The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation

16 And she departed and sat down opposite him at a distance, as it were a bow-shot, for she said, Surely I cannot see the death of my child: and she sat opposite him, and the child cried aloud and wept.

400,000 Textual Variants 02 400,000 Textual Variants 02 400,000 Textual Variants 02 400,000 Textual Variants 02

The Hebrew has the reading “she lifted up her voice and wept” in verse 16 of chapter 21. On the other hand, the Greek Septuagint (LXX) has “and the child cried aloud and wept” (referring to Ishmael) in verse 16 of chapter 21. The next verse says, “And God heard the voice of the boy, and God’s angel called to Hagar from the heavens and said to her: “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy there where he is.” Thus, it seems that the Septuagint (LXX) was taking liberties with the text, embellishing it to harmonize it,  to specify that it was the boy’s cries that were being heard.

The Septuagint continues to be very much important today and is used by textual scholars to help uncover copyists’ errors that might have crept into the Hebrew manuscripts either intentionally or unintentionally. However, it cannot do it alone without the support of other sources. While the Septuagint is the second most important tool after the original language texts for ascertaining the original words of the original Hebrew text, it is also true that the LXX translators took liberties at times, embellishing the text, deliberate changes, harmonizations, and completing of details.

From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts

The primary weight of external evidence generally goes to the original language manuscripts. The Codex Leningrad B 19A and the Aleppo Codex are almost always preferred. In the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS; critical edition of the Hebrew Bible), 90 percent is without a significant variation. Of the 10 percent that does exist, a very small percentage of that has any impact on its meaning, and in almost all of these very limited textual variants, we can ascertain the original wording of the original text with certainty. Yes, it is rare to find a substantive variant among manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible. The Codex Leningrad B 19A dating to about (1008 C.E.) and the Aleppo Codex from about (930 C.E.) were produced by the Masoretes, who are the most by far extremely disciplined copyists of all time, whose scribal practices date back to about the year 500 C.E. In fact, by the second century C.E., a particular text entire Hebrew Bible became the generally accepted standard text, which is often referred to as the Proto-Masoretic text, as it preceded the work of the Masoretes and, it already had the basic form of the Masoretic text that was to come. These subtle differences in the Masoretic manuscripts are almost exclusively spelling differences, which also included vocalization, as well as the presence or absence of the conjunction wāw, in addition to other features that in no way impacts the meaning of the text. In Old Testament Textual Criticism, the Masoretic text is our starting point and should only be abandoned as a last resort. While it is true that the Masoretic text is not perfect, there needs to be a heavy burden of proof in we are to go with an alternative reading. All of the evidence needs to be examined before we conclude that a reading in the Masoretic Text is a corruption.

See Why Do the Many New Testament Quotations and References to the Greek Old Testament Instead of the Hebrew Not Mean the NT or OT Authors Made a Mistake?

APOSTOLIC FATHERS APOSTOLIC FATHERS APOSTOLIC FATHERS

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