Friday, October 30, 2009

Roman Catholicism and James White

It has been quite a while since I responded to one of James White's articles, but this one caught my eye and I felt I could not let it pass:

Why "Roman Catholic" is Accurate, and Merely "Catholic" is Not

10/25/2009 - James White

Frank Beckwith recently wrote:

One of my pet peeves is the intentional overuse of "Rome," "Roman," "Romanist," etc. by Protestant critics of Catholic theology. Here's why: the Catholic Church is a collection of many churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome. It's catechism--The Catechism of the Catholic Church--is that of all these churches that are in communion with one another and with the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. The theology found in that text, therefore, is not Roman Catholic theology. It is Catholic theology. That's the way the Church understands itself. Common courtesy suggests that those who are critical of that theology summon the respect to refer to it as such.
http://romereturn.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-its-catholic-church-and-not-roman.html (White did not provide the link)

Please note what was said: all these churches "in communion with" whom? "The Bishop of Rome." Not the bishop of Constantinople, Naples, London, or Milwaukee. Rome. A local church that did not even have a monarchical episcopate until the middle of the second century. A single local church that has been, through a long process of political development elevated to the point of claiming infallibility for her teachings. A church that claims for herself any number of grossly unbiblical titles, privileges and powers. It is the Roman Church that makes these claims.

What happens when you drop the delimiter "Roman"? You are left with exactly what Rome claims for herself: universal sovereignty. The "catholic" church is not centered in Rome. Its theology and beliefs are not defined by Rome. And in fact, she can never defect from the gospel truth, no matter how hard Rome may press her to do so (and she has surely done so in the past). This is the very goal Rome has, the acknowledgement (sic) of her as universal sovereign, the Mother of all Churches, the Catholic Church. But the fact is, Rome is none of these things, and she is surely not truly "catholic."


So may I suggest that "common courtesy" would restrain the Roman Pontiffs from making the wild, extravagant claims they have made for themselves and their man-made office? May I suggest it is the follower of Rome who should summon the respect to refrain from arrogantly claiming sovereignty for his church over those who refuse to bow the knee to the Roman see?


10/29/2009 - Scott Windsor
My response:
Well first off, while I do understand Dr. Beckwith's "pet peeve" here, for many non-Catholic apologists use and/or deliberately overuse the adjective of "Roman" when debating and dealing with those who belong to the Faith which they loath. Such apologists seem to be using it as an attack upon us and/or they cannot separate Roman Catholicism from the Roman Empire. However, there truly is nothing wrong with the use of "Roman" or "Rome" when dealing with us. The way I look at it is, if these non-Catholic apologists are trying to be insulting with the use of "Roman," then they are only exposing their ignorance and bigotry. That being said, White rightly points out that our communion is with the "Bishop of Rome." However, he wrongly states it is not with the bishop of Constantinople, Naples, London or Milwaukee - for as much as those bishops are in communion with the Bishop of Rome, we are also in communion with them! Our unity as His Church is demonstrated through communion with the Bishop of Rome - but it doesn't end there, it begins there!

White wrongly states: "A local church that did not even have a monarchical episcopate until the middle of the second century." However, it was to St. Peter, and to him alone to whom Jesus said in threefold command: "Tend My Lambs," "Shepherd My Sheep," "Tend My Sheep." (John 21:15-17 NASB) You may or may not have heard non-Catholic apologists rationalize their way around this by saying, "That was just Jesus reconciling Peter back into the fold after he denied Jesus three times the night of His crucifixion." Well, give them an "E" for "effort" - but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is clearly passing on the reins of Shepherd to Peter here. All bishops are shepherds, but Jesus singles out Peter here again (like He did in Matthew 16:18-19) and gives to him in singularity and primacy the authority to shepherd His Flock. Then there's: Luke 22:32 "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren." Unless Jesus' prayer is to be frustrated by the Father, this verse would imply that Peter's faith will NOT fail and is the necessary condition for the "confirm thy brethren." Also as our Early Church Fathers would so often point out - orthodoxy was tied to communion with the See of Peter, long after Peter himself was dead. To deny this "monarchical" hierarchy is truly just close-minded bigotry.

"Infallibility for her teachings" has, again, been with the One, True Church since the beginning of Christendom. Jesus Himself gave the Church the authority to bind or loose "whatsoever" she chooses - and "whatsoever" she bound on Earth was also bound in Heaven. So, infallible authority was given to our bishops in Matthew 18:18 and to our first pope in Matthew 16:18-19 because if something is bound in Heaven, it MUST be infallibly bound! White claims this authority was a later development, but clearly he is wrong (again) on this point. It may not have been exercised as much in the Early Church, but to deny the authority was there is again - close-minded bigotry. Why was it not used much in the Early Church? Well, typically this authority is utilized when heresy arises and a defined teaching from the authority of the Church needs to be put out to all churches for the sake of unity and orthodoxy. Why this doesn't make sense to non-Catholic apologists is beyond me - but I guess it wasn't always... I too used to oppose Catholicism, but I'll not digress into that at this point.

Next White attacks "grossly unbiblical titles." Well, I guess we'll have to chalk that one up to White's adherence to the "grossly unbiblical" concept of sola scriptura. In my past dealings with White, he would deny the extremist position of "if it's not in the Bible, it's not true" which some sola scripturists maintain - but it sure sounds like he's advocating that premise here, doesn't it?! Since when is it necessary for a "title" to be found in the Bible? Just because something is not found in the Bible does not mean it is not true. Perhaps White meant to say "anti-scriptural," as in opposed to Scripture? Well, he didn't - he said "unbiblical" which would simply mean it is not found in the Bible. If he meant "anti-scriptural" - then let him amend his words - and we can challenge then which titles he might claim oppose Scripture. If he insists on sticking to the extremist "grossly unbiblical" statement - then, well - I need to say it again - that's just truly close-minded bigotry.

White continues: "What happens when you drop the delimiter "Roman"? You are left with exactly what Rome claims for herself: universal sovereignty." I find it a bit ironic that he attacks the "Roman" Catholic Church for this - but then immediately identifies what the "catholic" church is. Hmmm, somehow it's NOT okay for the real and tangible Catholic Church to have this "sovereignty" - but some intangible "catholic" church would, by White's own statement, be "left with exactly what Rome claims for herself." The ramifications of White's assertion comes back to bite him.

And continuing, White says: "The "catholic" church is not centered in Rome. Its theology and beliefs are not defined by Rome. And in fact, she can never defect from the gospel truth, no matter how hard Rome may press her to do so (and she has surely done so in the past)." White's nebulous "catholic" church has no center, no unifying point of authority given it directly by Jesus Christ Himself through the bishops He Himself selected and they in turn pass down to others in valid succession. No, White would claim the "unifying" authority is sola scriptura. Again, a "grossly unbiblical" and I will say anti-scriptural concept. Scripture tells us that Jesus would indeed build His Church (singular, not multi-denominated plural) in Matthew 16:18-19. Scripture tells us that the Holy Ghost would be with His Church and guide it to all truth; that He would not leave them orphans and that the Holy Ghost would be with them "forever" (John 14:16-26). We know from Acts 1:20 that the Apostles held an "office" and that "office" is known as the "bishopric" - thus we know the Apostles are our first bishops. He breathed on those first bishops, and gave them the Holy Ghost and passed on to the the authority to forgive and retain sins (John 20:22-23). Just before doing that, He told them that as the Father had sent Him, He also sends them (John 20:21). So if Jesus was sent to pass on this authority to forgive sins - and in the exact same context He says as He was sent, He also sends them - then they too must pass on this authority! To do less would be to do less than as He was sent - and be anti-scriptural. Therefore we MUST have a valid succession of bishops, and this is a real and tangible office in the real and tangible Church which Jesus Christ built. Outside of the communion of those bishops - you do not have the Church which Jesus Christ built. You have impostors preaching "a different gospel" and as such should be avoided. They come as wolves in sheeps clothing, as to fool even the elect. White accuses the Catholic Church of defecting from the Gospel, when in reality - this defection is in cults like his own and uses his attacks to divert attention from the wolf underneath the sheep's clothing.

White closes his article/blog smugly saying:
So may I suggest that "common courtesy" would restrain the Roman Pontiffs from making the wild, extravagant claims they have made for themselves and their man-made office? May I suggest it is the follower of Rome who should summon the respect to refrain from arrogantly claiming sovereignty for his church over those who refuse to bow the knee to the Roman see?"
It is clearly shown, to the objective reader, that the "office" held by the "Roman Pontiffs" is not a man-made office. The office of the Roman pontiffs is that of bishop. The office of bishop was created by God when Jesus Himself called the first twelve bishops. To the Bishop of Rome a primacy is held, as passed down from St. Peter - the first Bishop of Rome. As St. Peter was called by Christ, so must successors of St. Peter be called and likewise empowered. Anything less would be anti-scriptural. All true Christians are subject to the Bishop of Rome. Some who call themselves "Christian" do not recognize the respect Jesus Himself gave to the first holder of that office - who was named to be the Petros - and the Shepherd of Jesus' Church/Flock.

Oh, and here's the last part of Dr. Beckwith's article, which White did not quote:
I am a member of a parish that is in the Latin Rite, and thus, I am, in that sense, "Roman" Catholic. But if, let's say, my wife and I moved to Austin and we became members of Our Lady's Maronite Church, we would still be Catholic, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, but not technically "Roman" Catholic. We would be Maronite Catholic.

For a nice summary and overview of the rites and churches of the Catholic Church, go here.
Let me just respectfully offer a minor correction to Dr. Beckwith's statement. Maronite Catholics are in communion with the Bishop of Rome who is the bishop holding the primacy. Yes, he is "first among equals" - but one cannot dismiss the "first" part and the fact that Eastern Rites and even Eastern Orthodoxy does not refuse the Bishop of Rome the title of "Coryphaeus" - or "head" as in the Head of the Choir of Apostles/Bishops. So while the Maronite Church may not ethnically be "Roman" or "Latin" in their rituals or rite - they are "technically" Roman Catholics too.

Being a "Roman" Catholic is nothing to be ashamed of! It truly identifies us with the one Jesus picked to be His vicar.

I hope you, the reader, has gained something from this article and I am interested in hearing/seeing your comments, so feel free to leave some. You may do so here, or join us in the Catholic Debate Forum.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<
http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Canon of Sacred Scripture

One thing Protestants SHOULD find easy to admit, but for
some reason do not - is the FACT that the Canon of Sacred
Scripture came to them via the Catholic Church, as guided
by the Holy Ghost. There is no "inspired Table of Contents,"
and not ONE of the Apostles, or other New Testament writers
of Scripture bothered to jot down for us precisely what the
Canon of Sacred Scripture should be - or would be. In fact,
it would be nearly 400 years before the Canon was solidified,
including the New Testament Canon, for the Christian Church,
which was, indeed, the Catholic Church.

During the first nearly 400 years of Catholicism there were
SEVERAL Canons of Sacred Scripture put out and accepted in
varying regions. In the late 4th Century three separate
non-ecumenical councils decreed the Canon. Then, St. Jerome
was commissioned by the Pope to translate the original Greek
and Hebrew into the common (or vulgar) tongue of that day,
which was Latin. The Canon of Sacred Scripture did not vary
after that point. Then, some 1100 years after St. Jerome,
along came Luther and Co. who started changing that which
the Christian/Catholic Church had been using for over a
millennia - and continues to use to this day. Due to the
German princes who were using Luther's propaganda to stir
up the Peasants Revolt, the popularity of Luther's canon
was rising. The Church then utilized the authority given
her in Matthew 18:18 and infallibly declared the Canon of
Sacred Scripture according to the same canon used by St.
Jerome's Latin Vulgate at the Council of Trent.

These are unbiased FACTS of HISTORY. Any objective
reader of history can surely attest to that. No one who
honestly and objectively reads history can deny these
facts.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

Posted to ACTS http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ACTS/message/1512

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ectopic Pregnancy Abortion Morality

Ectopic Pregnancy Abortion Morality

Recently in CDF we had a discussion regarding the morality of NFP v. Contraception and that led to a discussion on the morality of abortion, the participant, "Joe," stated he opposed abortion in all cases except in cases where the woman would die - like an ectopic pregnancy. Straying from the topic a bit, but bear with me for a moment... Joe stood in opposition to NFP because he feels (felt?) that it was inconsistent to oppose artificial birth control (ABC) methods of contraception, but Natural Family Planning (NFP) was somehow OK. Joe's stance was very black/white - no "gray" area." Well, then in the process of that debate Joe said he opposed all abortion except in cases where the woman would die. Oops! Joe's morality just allowed for a "gray" area! Well, sort of. In reality ANY "abortion" at ANY time is immoral. If Joe's morality were to be consistent between his stance on NFP and ectopic pregnancy - he would have to say that even in the case of ectopic pregnancy, let nature take its course. However, the Church has taught (see below) that if one is treating the "diseased tissue" (the fallopian tube) which if left alone will burst - killing both the mother and the baby - then a salpingectomy (see explanation below) is permissible. Why? Because the intent is not to abort the fetus, but to treat the diseased tissue which will end up killing both mother and baby if left in place. The intent is not abortion, rather it is to perform a medically necessary surgery to save the mother's life. In this case it is not an abortion and should not be referred to as one. Sometimes drugs are used to kill the wrongly placed fetus and an abortion then follows - this is immoral and not allowed under any circumstances.

Below is some research I did while in this discussion and I wanted to preserve it for future reference - hence this blog entry.

==================================================
From CUF:

Ectopic for Discussion: A Catholic Approach to Tubal Pregnancies

ISSUE: What is an ectopic, or “tubal,” pregnancy? What moral principles must be taken into account in treating a tubal pregnancy? What alternatives are available that respect both the mother’s life as well as the life of her unborn child?

RESPONSE: A woman’s egg or ovum descends from an ovary through the fallopian tube to the uterus. While on this path, the egg is fertilized and naturally continues this descent and implants in the uterus. Sometimes, however, the egg is impeded in its progress and instead implants somewhere along the way. This is called an ectopic pregnancy. “Ectopic” means “out of place.” Ectopic pregnancies are often called “tubal” pregnancies because over 95 percent occur in the fallopian tubes. (fertilized eggs can also implant in the abdomen, ovaries, or within the cervix).

A mother facing a tubal pregnancy risks imminent rupture of the fallopian tube. While the doctor would opt for the least risk and expense to the mother, all the options presented to her involve terminating the pregnancy. The mother, however, must respect both her life and that of her child.

There is no treatment available that can guarantee the life of both. The Church has moral principles that can be applied in ruling out some options, but she has not officially instructed the faithful as to which treatments are morally licit and which are illicit. Most reputable moral theologians, as discussed below, accept full or partial salpingectomy (removal of the fallopian tube), as a morally acceptable medical intervention in the case of a tubal pregnancy.

As is the case with all difficult moral decisions, the couple must become informed, actively seek divine guidance, and follow their well-formed conscience.

http://www.cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=57

==============================================

What If Both Lives Cannot Be Saved?

Q: If a woman has an untreated ectopic pregnancy, she and the baby will both die. That is inevitable. In this situation, is it permissible to have an abortion? The fetus cannot come to full term and will inevitably kill them both.

A: An ectopic pregnancy is one where a zygote implants out of place, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. By definition, an ectopic pregnancy is a pathological condition because a fetus cannot grow to full term there. Catholic moral theology has taught that the pathological section of a fallopian tube can be removed.

Catholic moral theologians speak of the principle of double effect. In this case, the primary goal is to remove the pathology that threatens a mother’s life. A growing fetus implanted in a fallopian tube will eventually rupture the tube, killing the mother and itself.

Removing that section of the tube has the secondary effect of ending the life of the fetus—a necessary but clearly regrettable action. This would not be a direct abortion, which is forbidden.

http://www.americancatholic.org/Messenger/Apr2008/Wiseman.asp#F3

====================================================

Does the Church approve of surgery for an ectopic pregnancy?

It is never permitted to directly kill an infant (or any other person for that matter, with the exception of self defense, just war and capital punishment), and so consequently, it is immoral to perform an abortion in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, even to save the life of the mother. This is immoral, whether it is done surgically or chemically. There are now available medications (such as methotrexate, or just recently RU-486) that are commonly used for tubular pregnancies, and that directly cause the living fetus to be aborted. This is always immoral.

However, if it can be established that the fetus is already dead (by ultrasound examination, for example), then clearly the surgical removal of the already dead fetus for the health of the mother is entirely permissible.

The difficulty arises when the fetus is still alive. The mother’s life is endangered through internal hemorrhage at that time. The moral theologians hold different opinions as to whether it is permissible to intervene surgically to remove the ectopic pregnancy before the death of the foetus. Some say that surgical intervention directly kills the foetus, which is immoral. Others say that it is not direct killing at all, but it is the removing of a mass of tissue (including the placenta) which has fixed itself in the wrong place (the fallopian tube instead of the uterus), in such a way as to cause a tumor invading the mother’s fallopian tube, rather like a malignant tumor. Just as it is possible to operate on a tumor of the mother, (e.g., in treatment of uterine cancer) even if as a consequence and indirectly the child will die, so also it is moral, they say, to surgically remove this abnormal mass of tissue, which contains the fetus. It is an indirect and unfortunate, though necessary, consequence that the fetus will die, but this is not willed in itself.

The principle used in this second opinion is the application of the principle of double effect, or the indirect voluntary. This is moral, provided that the bad effect, in this case the death of the unborn child is not directly willed in itself, and that there is a proportionate reason (such as saving the life of the mother), and that the good effect, namely saving the mother’s life does not directly come from the bad effect, the death of the child. The understanding of this solution depends upon the grasping of the gravity of the proportionate reason. The fetus that lodges in the fallopian tube cannot survive in any case, and if the mother is not treated she may very well hemorrhage to death, or be observed in hospital for several weeks, and her fallopian tubes can be so damaged by the ectopic pregnancy left untreated that she might never be able to conceive again.

Since there are opinions on both sides of this question, both can be safely followed in conscience. Consequently, it is permissible to have surgery, provided that it is not a direct abortion, but the removal of invasive tissue, but it is never permissible to take medications to kill the live fetus.
http://www.sspx.org/Catholic_FAQs/catholic_faqs__morality.htm

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PreChristian Greek Canon

Some discussion has come up regarding the Jews having both a Hebrew text of Scripture and a Greek text - which was different in content as well as language. Many non-Catholics side with the Jews of the Christian era, who decided their "canon" sometime after Christianity was already on the scene. In a discussion I was having on CDF I was challenged to demonstrate the pre-Christian existence of a Greek canon - I maintain(ed) that the LXX (or Septuagint) existed centuries before Christ and that Jews used both canons prior to the dawn of Christianity. Especially when the LXX pointed more precisely to the Messiah, and Jesus as the Messiah coupled with the fact that Christianity, primarily Greek speaking adopted it; the Jews then rejected the LXX in favor of the Hebrew text or "Palestinian Canon," as many refer to it today. Below are some articles which support what I have been saying all along.

Pre-Christian Greek Canon

F.F. Bruce writes in his classic The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? As follows:
“Indeed, so much did they make the Septuagint their own that, although it was originally a translation of the Hebrew into Greek for Greek-speaking Jews before the time of Christ, the Jews left the LXX to the Christians…” (pg. 26)
(Qtd. on:
http://www.nicenetruth.com/2008/01/more-facts-on-the-canon-of-scripture-and-tradition.html )

The Role of the Septuagint in the New Testament

The role of the LXX in the New Testament and the early Church is a crucial help in understanding what Paul might have meant by "all Scripture." As previously mentioned, this is the version most often quoted in the New Testament. And in some cases the claims of the New Testament theologically depend on the peculiarities of the LXX.
For instance, Hebrews 10:5 quotes Psalm 40:6 as a messianic prophecy:
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, but a body Thou hast prepared for Me."
The author has directly quoted from the LXX Psalter. A quick turn to our modern Bibles will confirm that the Hebrew text reads:
Sacrifice and meal offering Thou hast not desired; My ears Thou hast opened.
If we follow this latter reading, the author of Hebrews has not only misquoted the passage, but has made it an important plank of his argument. Only the rendering of the LXX justifies this as a Messianic passage. Did the author of Hebrews get it wrong? Was it an inspired mistake?
In Acts 7:14 St. Stephen relates the story of the Israelite nation and refers to 75 people who traveled from Canaan to Egypt in the emigration of Jacob's family. This is not what Genesis 46 states in our Bibles, where it catalogues 70 sojourners. But the LXX lists 75 people, confirming St. Stephen's account, with the differences accounted for by the grand- and great-grandchildren of Joseph (Gen 46:20-22).
Most importantly, it is only in the LXX that Isaiah's prophecy of the Virgin Birth makes its bold appearance (Is 7:14). The Hebrew text uses the word "woman" ("marah") instead of "virgin" ("parthenos"). In their earliest confrontations with Christians, the Jews objected most strongly to this verse being used to support of Jesus' Messiahship. The Jews claimed that Isaiah was prophesying of King Hezekiah and he knew nothing of a miraculous virgin birth. The Septuagint, they said, had been tampered with. The early Christians responded by claiming that it was not they, but the Jews who had cut passages out of the Hebrew text out of envy. (Justin Martyr, Trypho, 71-73)

(Qtd. on: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/otcanon.aspx )


Justin Martyr - Dialogue with Trypho

Chapter 71. The Jews reject the interpretation of the Septuagint, from which, moreover, they have taken away some passages

Justin: But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy [king] of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another. And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God, and man, and as being crucified, and as dying; but since I am aware that this is denied by all of your nation, I do not address myself to these points, but I proceed to carry on my discussions by means of those passages which are still admitted by you. For you assent to those which I have brought before your attention, except that you contradict the statement, 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive,' and say it ought to be read, 'Behold, the young woman shall conceive.' And I promised to prove that the prophecy referred, not, as you were taught, to Hezekiah, but to this Christ of mine: and now I shall go to the proof.


Chapter 72. Passages have been removed by the Jews from Esdras and Jeremiah

Justin: I shall do as you please. From the statements, then, which Esdras made in reference to the law of the passover, they have taken away the following: 'And Esdras said to the people, This passover is our Saviour and our refuge. And if you have understood, and your heart has taken it in, that we shall humble Him on a standard, and thereafter hope in Him, then this place shall not be forsaken for ever, says the God of hosts. But if you will not believe Him, and will not listen to His declaration, you shall be a laughing-stock to the nations.' And from the sayings of Jeremiah they have cut out the following: 'I [was] like a lamb that is brought to the slaughter: they devised a device against me, saying, Come, let us lay on wood on His bread, and let us blot Him out from the land of the living; and His name shall no more be remembered.' Jeremiah 11:19 And since this passage from the sayings of Jeremiah is still written in some copies [of the Scriptures] in the synagogues of the Jews (for it is only a short time since they were cut out), and since from these words it is demonstrated that the Jews deliberated about the Christ Himself, to crucify and put Him to death, He Himself is both declared to be led as a sheep to the slaughter, as was predicted by Isaiah, and is here represented as a harmless lamb; but being in a difficulty about them, they give themselves over to blasphemy. And again, from the sayings of the same Jeremiah these have been cut out: 'The Lord God remembered His dead people of Israel who lay in the graves; and He descended to preach to them His own salvation.'

(ibid.)

Chapter 73. [The words] From the wood have been cut out of Psalm 96

Justin: And from the ninety-fifth (ninety-sixth) Psalm they have taken away this short saying of the words of David: 'From the wood.' For when the passage said, 'Tell among the nations, the Lord has reigned from the wood,' they have left, 'Tell among the nations, the Lord has reigned.' Now no one of your people has ever been said to have reigned as God and Lord among the nations, with the exception of Him only who was crucified, of whom also the Holy Spirit affirms in the same Psalm that He was raised again, and freed from [the grave], declaring that there is none like Him among the gods of the nations: for they are idols of demons. But I shall repeat the whole Psalm to you, that you may perceive what has been said. It is thus: 'Sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all the gods. For all the gods of the nations are demons but the Lord made the heavens. Confession and beauty are in His presence; holiness and magnificence are in His sanctuary. Bring to the Lord, O you countries of the nations, bring to the Lord glory and honour, bring to the Lord glory in His name. Take sacrifices, and go into His courts; worship the Lord in His holy temple. Let the whole earth be moved before Him: tell among the nations, the Lord has reigned. For He has established the world, which shall not be moved; He shall judge the nations with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, and the earth be glad; let the sea and its fullness shake. Let the fields and all therein be joyful. Let all the trees of the wood be glad before the Lord: for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.'
Trypho: Whether [or not] the rulers of the people have erased any portion of the Scriptures, as you affirm, God knows; but it seems incredible.
Justin: Assuredly, it does seem incredible. For it is more horrible than the calf which they made, when satisfied with manna on the earth; or than the sacrifice of children to demons; or than the slaying of the prophets. But you appear to me not to have heard the Scriptures which I said they had stolen away. For such as have been quoted are more than enough to prove the points in dispute, besides those which are retained by us, and shall yet be brought forward.
(ibid.)

Allegro - The Dead Sea Scrolls

John Allegro in The Dead Sea Scrolls documents that when the LXX and Mt contradict, the LXX most often agrees with the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). (Allegro 59-83). He presents a long chart comparing readings from 1Sam. demonstrating that the text of books other than the first five existed long befroe the MT existed (about 1000 years before). Allegro also documents that most of the time when there is disagreement between LXX and MT the LXX most often agrees with the DSS and DSS with LXX over the MT. A latter article also demonstrates that this same agreement holds for Jeremiah. The DSS contain the longer reading for Jeremiah demonstrating significant support for the LXX.

He also documents (63) that Origen's work was that of a compulation of a text placing several existing Greek translations of the OT side by side, he used a pre-existing LXX, this is merely what any good translator does in preparing a new translation. A new one was needed because the Jews abandoned the LXX and commissioned their own (Aquilla's) because the Church had come to use the LXX as it's Bible, and they wanted to get away form the Christian's Messianic reading. Origen did not produce the translation of the LXX prophetic books, it already existed. Moreover, it can be shown to have existed in the first century. Clement of Rome (1 Clement) quotes Isaiah 53 in AD 95, and most of the quotations of the OT in the Gospels come from the LXX.

"That the LXX existed before the time of Christ is borne out not only by the fact of agreement with the DSS but in other works as well. A. Vander Heeren states "It is certain that the law, the prophets and at lest part of the other books...existed in Greek before 135 BC, as appears from the prologue of Ecclesiasticus which does not date latter than that year"
(Qtd. on: http://www.doxa.ws/Messiah/Lxx_mt.html )


What about the LXX during the time of Christ and the apostles?

Professor Howard explains:
"Since the (Tetragrammaton) was still written in the copies of the Greek Bible which
made up the Scriptures of the early church, it is reasonable to believe that the
N[ew] T[estament] writers, when quoting from Scripture, preserved the (Tetragrammaton)
within the biblical text. On the analogy of pre-Christian Jewish practice we can
imagine that the NT text incorporated the (Tetragrammaton) into its OT quotations."

"Thus somewhere around the beginning of the second century the use of surrogates
[substitutes for God's name] must have crowded out the (Tetragrammaton) in both
Testaments. Before long the divine name was lost to the Gentile church
altogether except insofar as it was reflected in the contracted surrogates or
occasionally remembered by scholars."

Here are the instances in Deuteronomy where the divine name occurs in the Fouad
266 papyri:
LXXP. Fouad Inv. 266 renders the divine name by the Tetragrammaton written in
square Hebrew characters (YHWH) in the following places: De 18:5, 5, 7, 15, 16;
De 19:8, 14; De 20:4, 13, 18; De 21:1, 8; De 23:5; De 24:4, 9; De 25:15, 16; De
26:2, 7, 8, 14; De 27:2, 3, 7, 10, 15; De 28:1, 1, 7, 8, 9, 13, 61, 62, 64, 65;
De 29:4, 10, 20, 29; De 30:9, 20; De 31:3, 26, 27, 29; De 32:3, 6, 19.
Therefore, in this collection the Tetragrammaton occurs 49 times in identified
places in Deuteronomy. In addition, in this collection the Tetragrammaton occurs
three times in unidentified fragments, namely, in fragments 116, 117 and 123.
This papyrus, found in Egypt, was dated to the first century B.C.E.
(Qtd. on: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/test-archives/html4/1996-03/12555.html )

Do the Hebrew Scriptures Say that a Virgin will Give Birth?

It appears from the early Jewish argument here that the question is
not whether the LXX had the term "parthenos" (virgin) but whether it
was an accurate translation. That is, the Jews were not accusing the
Christians of creating a corrupted text but rather the text already in
use by the Jews was inaccurate. The use of parthnos in Matthew 1:23 is
clearly a quote from this pre-Christian era LXX in which parthenos was
used.
(Qtd. on:
http://paracleteforum.org/archive/email/bible/virgin2/dialogue.html)




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Good Question