Sinaiticus Tobit - examination for Latin vorlage, Donaldson-style Latinisms, Mt. Athos ms source (ms 319 - Vatopedi 513)

Steven Avery

(The Characterization of Tobit in the Light of Tobit 1:1-2 by Emmanuel Nshimbi)

addresses your point. It dismisses the omission as accidental, but suggests that the missing verses contain unorthodox Jewish practises, which were deliberately left out (for which see p.34 onwards).

Here is the crux:

"The omission of Tob 4:7-18 in GII renders the text cohesive, because the
narrative does not need to deal with other themes, such as giving food to the
dead, which the Hebrew religion may also consider unorthodox.77 Moore
observed in his commentary on GII Tobit 4, that, “to be sure, vv 7-18 actually
impede the movement of the plot (i.e., Tobit’s telling Tobiah about the money at
Ráges [vv 1, 20].”78 These factors shed light on “why S neglected to copy this
section.”79 They lead me to suggest that scribal scissors performed their task for
verses 7-18 of Tobit 4, because they undermine GII’s religious practice, besides
impeding the flow of the plot.80

Above all, the omission of Tob 4:7-18 in GII characterizes Tobit as an
adherent of orthodox Jewish practices, which do not recommend giving food to
the dead. It reflects traces of GII’s conversations with its audiences, which the
narrative addresses.81 GI’s witness to these verses prompts the hearer or reader
of the narrative to ponder on Tobit’s character, without sturdy answers.

NB: this author seems to have little answer to the generally accepted proposition that GII is the more original Greek version because it otherwise (i.e. apart from the omission) replicates The Hebrew and Aramaic.

Steven Avery


It seems you are not qualified to ask the right questions, so why should we give you the right answers? Although many have speculated on the relations between the Greek and the Old Latin texts, your question phrased in terms of "Latin influences" is so perverse that it is scarcely worth debating.

"The differing Aramaic versions in Qumran show that there was not an established text of Tobit in the first century BCE or first century CE." p. xxiii
"Vetus Latina (Old Latin) is a translation of the long version, Codex Sinaiticus or a very closely related Greek original. 20 Because of its great similarity, the Vetus Latina often can be used to understand and to correct the text of Sinaiticus by comparison of the two." p. xxiv
"The Book of Tobit in Codex Sinaiticus," Robert J. Littman. 2008

20 N Hanhart (1984: 11-14); Fitzmyer (1995a: 662-63). The way names are translated of names into Latin is a strong indication a Greek original. See Moore (1996:61).

Steven Avery

As for the book of Judith, either originally written in Hebrew (of which no extant copy exists) or else in Greek due to a large number of parallelisms in phraseology between the LXX and the Greek text, one recent author, JEREMY CORLEY in "Septuagintalisms, Semitic Interference, and the Original Language of the Book of Judith," at p.65 in "Essays in Honor of Francis T. Gignac, S.J.," reckons that Sinaiticus preserves some of the earliest Greek readings. E.g.

"Third, Moore mentions the description of Judith fixing her hair (10:3). In my view, Sinaiticus probably preserves the earliest reading: “She combed (διέξανε GS) the hairs of her head” (10:3 Rahlfs), while Vaticanus and Alexandrinus replace the Septuagintal hapax legomenon διαξαίνω (“comb”) with the better known verb διατάσσω (“arrange”):

“she arranged (διέταξεν GBA) the hairs of her head” (10:3 Hanhart). The general sense of either Greek reading is clear, and an inner-Greek
change from the hapax διέξανε to the more common διέταξεν is easily comprehensible. To explain this change it is unnecessary to resort
to Zimmermann’s conjectural three-stage corruption, mentioned by Moore:
“Hebrew ### ‘she anointed,’ > ###, ‘she arranged,’ > ###, ‘she combed.’” p.76

As for the Latin, in 1860, the reformed scholar Gustav Volkmar noted that Jerome's preface to Judith presents a problem for Catholic theologians. Volkmar held the Vulgate text of Judith to be historically worthless (p.1 of "The Ancient Versions of Judith and the Place of the Septuagint in the Catholic Church" in "A Pious Seductress: Studies in the Book of Judith," Edited by Geza G. Xeravits 2012.

"The Vetus Latina, may have been composed in North Africa in the 3rd century AD, and is based on a Greek text similar to that used as the source for the Peshitta translation of Judith." Ibid., p.3.

The Judith of Sinaiticus contains a few omissions, but the reason for this is unclear.
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Steven Avery

Judith - Aramaic or Hebrew, LXX Vetus Latina, Vulgate Latin

If Sinaiticus Judith builds principally on Latin and/or Syriac recension, as stated by Tischendorf, it can surely have Greek readings that are earlier than the Greek of Vaticanus, Alexandrinus and Venetus.

Judith (2013)
Deborah Levine Gera


Hanhart then suggests that the original language was Hebrew (or Aramaic) and consequently is particularly interested in the Vulgate tradition, because it is the only translation specifically said to be made from a Semitic source; sec below. - p. 11 ...

Jerome also states that an Aramaic text underlies his translation of Judith, a translation he allegedly finished in the course of a brief night’s work by the lamp (unam lucubratiunculam). .... an Aramaic version would presumably have been translated for him on the spot into Hebrew, with Jerome then translating the Hebrew into Latin. This, at any rate, is the method he uses for his translation of Tobit.35 p. 14

35 Preface to Tobit (p. 676 Weber).

Consideration is also given to a Greek LXX text to the Vetus Latina.

My point is simple. Your earlier objection to Aramaic or Hebrew being translated into Latin is basically of no value. Such translations did occur.
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