ΙΑΩ in the Septuagint

I’m sitting in a workshop conducted by Emanuel Tov regarding the Greek texts from the Judaean Desert, and he’s introduced a fascinating theory. 4QLXXLevb shows a number of peculiar lexical patterns that overlap with uncial versions of Greek Leviticus. This has led scholars to focus on the relationship of the two. Some have argued they are two independent translations, which makes little sense in light of the lexical overlap. More likely is the theory that one is a revision of another. Tov has argued in chapter 23 of his new edition of The Greek and Hebrew Bible that 4QLXXLevb should be seen as earlier.

This has particularly interesting implications vis-à-vis the use of κυριος for the Tetragrammaton in the Septuagint. 4QLXXLevb exclusively uses ΙΑΩ (יו, Yaw). If the uncials are indeed revisions of the version preserved in cave 4, they have uniformly changed ΙΑΩ to κυριος. Tov believes the Old Greek originally used ΙΑΩ throughout the Pentateuch. He stated that his impression was that Christian revision is responsible for κυριος, but a student from Durham objected to this interpretation, arguing it is more likely of Jewish origin. After about 15 minutes Tov agreed that that sounded more logical.


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