Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Did they know Torah better than us 2000 years ago?

One of the common misconceptions about the Torah is that we do not understand it as well as Pharisaic sages did or people who lived during the 2nd Temple Period when all 3 witnesses of the Torah we have today were written.

For example, one argument that I have heard is that Septuagint should be considered valuable because people who wrote it knew Hebrew much better than we did.

This is of'course not true and here is why...

When the 2nd Temple was destroyed and Jews were completely and finally exiled from Canaan for good, it was the LOWEST point in the history of the Jewish people. This is because of the exile. Had they actually knew Torah and the language, they wouldn't have been exiled from the land. But as we know, they were exiled exactly because of their ignorance of the Torah and because they lost the knowledge of the language of the Torah.

For example, you can check out my Corner Boards article to see what the word תאמים (taamim - coupled) really means in Exodus 26:24. However, in Septuagint, the word is being translated as ἴσου (equal), which is not correct translation of this Hebrew word. So as you can see, it is most certainly clear that they knew Hebrew worse 2000 years ago than we do now. Not to mention that 2000 years ago they did not have computers that greatly help with understanding of the correct meaning of the Torah words through comparative analysis.

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