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To: kosta50; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; magisterium; markomalley; Rutles4Ever; XeniaSt; Salvation
That Jesus gave Peter the name “rock” is not in dispute on the research project. But Peter was not unique in being a mortal called “rock” – the term was also applied to Abraham. I have emphasized the similarity:

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock [whence] ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [whence] ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah [that] bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. – Isaiah 51:1-2

However - a big however - the proper name “The Rock” was specially announced in the Song of Moses which was to be sung by the generations of Israel and will be sung in heaven (emphasis mine):

Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. – Deu 31:19

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. – Deu 32:1-4

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. – Rev 15:3

I assert that when one binds himself with the Lord’s Prayer and turns around and discredits a Name of God – he is asking for trouble because here also He has put this "song" in our Christian mouths and our own words will witness against us just as much as "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors":

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name….

The Rock in Judaism is a common name for God. But the Jews are particularly careful to never erase a Name of God even in casual correspondence, that is why they often use “G-d” when writing in English: The Name of God (Jewish Virtual Library)

Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God's Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as "in vain" literally means "for falsehood").

Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.

The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.

Jesus Christ affirms the holiness of the Torah (emphasis mine):

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. – Matt 5:18

Now for those who question whether “The Rock” (tzur) was in the original Hebrew from which the Septuagint was translated – from the research project thread:

Background on the Masoretic Text:


The basic Hebrew text is called the Masoretic Text (MT), which is named after a group of scribes in the ninth century that preserved the text and added vowels and punctuation marks. The original Hebrew just had consonants, but a few consonants functioned as vowels. No one would know how to pronounce the Hebrew words unless vowels marks were added. This is a great help in understanding the text. (Hebrew Bible)

There were three different tasks of copying the OT. The Sopherim wrote the consonantal text. The Nakdanim added the vowel points and accents. The Masoretes added the marginal notes. An example is the Kethib (what is written) and Qere (what should be read). There are over 1,300 of these. The vowels of the Qere were written in the text of the Kethib. There are three different systems of vowel pointing, the Babylonian, Palestinian and Tiberian which the Masoretes created. The marginal notes called Masora were mainly written in Aramaic and were like a concordance.

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nash Papyrus was the oldest known witness to the OT which dated to the first or second century AD. It contained the decalogue. The second oldest were the Cairo Geniza fragments (about 200,000) which date to the fifth century AD (See Princeton Geniza Project). Most of these are in the Cambridge University Library and the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Today the oldest known text of the OT was discovered in 1979 in tombs across the Hinnom valley from Jerusalem. The text is the benediction of Aaron (Numbers 6:24-26) written on a silver amulet from the 7th century BC (Hoerth 1998, 386).

The oldest surviving manuscript of the complete Bible is the Codex Leningradensis which dates to 1008 AD. A Facsimile edition of this great codex is now available (Leningrad Codex 1998, Eerdmans for $225). The BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) follows this codex. The most comprehensive collection of old Hebrew manuscripts is in the Russian Public Library in St. Petersburg formerly called Leningrad. Another important text is the Aleppo Codex which is now in Jerusalem. The HUB (Hebrew University Bible) follows the Aleppo Codex. The Isaiah and Jeremiah editions are now available. For a more detailed study see The Text of the Old Testament by Ernst Wurthwein and Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of the Hebrew Bible by P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.

The Nash Papyrus dating has been pushed back to approximately 200 BC (Hebrew manuscript collection - University of Cambridge Cambridge University Library) Like the Dead Sea Scrolls it contains fragments of Deuteronomy, but not the one we are seeking here.

As to antiquity, Deuteronomy is the second most copied book at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) – 33 copies, second only to Psalms. Some are copied in fragments like literature, poems or hymns. However, generally speaking, carbon dating of manuscripts at Qumran establish true antiquity of copies at several centuries B.C.

The Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies does not mention any change to the Masoretic Text needed with reference to Deuteronomy 32:1-4. However, although we do have a non-MT Hebrew version of Deutoronomy 32 from cave 4, 4QDt(q) – it only contains lines 37-43. So we cannot read anything into an omission here in comparing the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Septuagint (LXX.)

To see the history of the Hebrew Alphabet, the signs and the care in forming letters in Holy Scriptures: Hebrew Alphabet

To understand the methods of translating Ancient Hebrew - poetic v mechanical v literal.

Extra-Biblical ancient manuscripts in the pseudepigraphra have a few things to say as well.

1 Enoch 96:2 refers to the righteous rising into the cleft of the rock. Fragments of this book were found at Qumran and carbon date to about 200 BC. The scholars suggest these passages were added though in about 100 B.C. The scholars believe the original language was Hebrew and/or Aramaic.

Testament of Moses which is supposed to be a summary of Deutoronomy, but is very fragmented and the parts which would address the name, the Rock, may be missing. The scholars dispute the age of the manuscript but put it somewhere between 168 BC and 135 AD. The bearing it may have (if any) to this discussion is that Moses instructs and assures Joshua to protect the Scriptures (last part of chapter 1) in a manner that suggests there will be another find like the Dead Sea Scrolls as we get closer to Christ’s coming again:

… I am going to sleep with my fathers. But (you) take this writing so that later you will remember how to preserve the books which I shall entrust to you. You shall arrange them, anoint them with cedar, and deposit them in earthenware jars in the place which (God) has chosen from the beginning of the creation of the world, (a place) where his name may be called upon until the day of recompense when the Lord will surely have regard for his people.

27 posted on 03/19/2007 8:50:36 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
The difference is, the word "rock" as applied to God is being supplied by the authors of Scripture. In the case of Peter, it is being directly and vocally supplied by God, Himself. When God "speaks", Creation occurs. The Word is God's utterance of His own Divinity, incarnated in Jesus, so named by the Word, Himself. When Christ speaks the name "Peter", Simon Bar-Jonah became a new creation in Jesus' name.

The gravity of this Divine utterance of "Peter" is commensurate with the Divine utterance unto Jacob of his new name, "Israel". Therefore, to assert that Jesus' re-naming of Simon bar-Jonah to "Peter" is somehow lessened in significance to the applied name of "the Rock" to God Himself the authors of Scripture, ignores the power of God's utterance in Creation. By His utterance unto Jacob, Israel was created. By His utterance unto Simon bar-Jonah, the New Israel has been created.

28 posted on 03/19/2007 9:01:16 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna)
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To: Alamo-Girl
That is an impressive piece of research.

Your notation, 1 Enoch 96:2 refers to the righteous rising into the cleft of the rock, is particularly interesting to me in light of Thayer's discrimination between the Greek words petra and petros.

1 Enoch 95:2 In the day of the sufferings of sinners your offspring shall be elevated, and lifted up like eagles. Your nest shall be more exalted than that of the avest; you shall ascend, and enter into the cavities of the earth, and into the clefts of the rocks for ever, like conies, from the sight of the ungodly;

Having said that, I do not believe that the quote from Isaiah refers to Abraham as "rock," rather, I believe that it refers to God as being that Rock:

Isa 51:1 "Hearken to me, you who pursue deliverance, you who seek the LORD; look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were digged. Isa 51:2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him and made him many. Isa 51:3 For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Isa 51:4 "Listen to me, my people, and give ear to me, my nation; for a law will go forth from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.

It's pretty clear that this section is a call for His people to return to Him and cast their gaze upon Him.

Having said that, it DOES appear that there is an allusion to Abraham being hewn out of the Rock; but it is but an allusion, not an actual renaming of Abraham.

31 posted on 03/19/2007 10:03:48 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra ecclesiam nulla salus CINO-RINO GRAZIE NO)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Again, thank you for you exhaustive post and the effort that went into it.

This is not a doctoral dissertation forum but a public opinion forum. We could monopolize the entire bandwidth with available data and still disagree.

You seem to imply that LXX somehow insults God. The LXX verse 4 in Deu 32 is nothing short of absolute praise for God.

When you say "Jesus Christ affirms the holiness of the Torah" you are neglecting the fact that the Gospels attribute Christ's quotes from LXX Torah and not the Palestinian version, as you are neglecting the fact that it is now firmly established that at the time of Jesus walking on earth there were very distinct (four, possibly more) versions of Judaism and Jewish scriptures, the single surviving sect being the Pharisaical/rabbinical one which the Protestants maintain is the only version.

Again, I am reminding you without overwhelming these pages with endless references which can be found by anyone interested enough even on the Internet and certainly in well-equipped libraries, that the Septuagint was a translation by the Jews for the Jews who, escaping Babylonian occupation, found themselves in Greek-speaking lands and acquired languages other than Hebrew (the way American Jews, at least most of them, speak English and very little if any Hebrew), virtually forgetting it.

It would be much more realistic to assume that their version of Deut 32:4 is simply a true translation of the version of Torah they had (obviously different from the palestinian version) in Hebrew then to assume it was deliberately mistranslated or even decptively altered to demean God's name.

If, on the other hand, you are one of those LXX-deniers a la the 19th century Lutheran charlatan Paul Kahle, then of course Deu 32:4 would be a "Christian" alteration. However, it does not explain why would any Christian scribe try to diminish any of God's names.

The Rock in Judaism is a common name for God

One more time, the Rock is used 2 times in the MT as applied to God. It is used 65 times to mean just the rock. It it obvious it is used a lot more commonly to mean rock than than to represent God.

I assert that when one binds himself with the Lord’s Prayer and turns around and discredits a Name of God – he is asking for trouble because here also He has put this "song" in our Christian mouths and our own words will witness against us just as much as "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"

How is this connected to the Rock? How is this discrediting the name of God? Where are you pulling this stuff from?

Now for those who question whether “The Rock” (tzur) was in the original Hebrew from which the Septuagint was translated – from the research project thread

You have no proof whatsoever that the LXX was translated from the "original" MT! In fact, given the differences, it is highly unlikely unless the translator was drunk or on some kind of mushroom diet.

Asserting that LXX is a translation of MT is a highly misleading statement lacking any proof. It is an assumption on your part without any evidence whatsoever.

32 posted on 03/19/2007 10:37:33 AM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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