Monday, July 10, 2017

[BTT030] Mat 8:16-17 / Isaiah 53:1-6

Previous: [BTT029] Matt 4:12-16 / Isaiah 9:1-7

Mat 8:16-17 / Isaiah 53:1-6


When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”


Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Here we have another example of Matthew quoting from a different version of Isaiah.


“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.”
"Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;"
Why do English versions of the Bible translate the two passages differently? We may be tempted to say they don't match because Matthew is quoting from the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint) instead of the Hebrew original. Unfortunately, the Greek of Matthew doesn't match the Septuagint of Isaiah. So what gives?

Maybe Matthew used a Greek translation other than the Septuagint – perhaps this is his own personal Greek translation. This would explain why some of the other "quotations" don't match up (see #4 for another example).
But regardless, the simplest interpretation may be that Matthew doesn't care that much about the exact wording. He clearly cannot view the Septuagint as perfect, or else he would have used it. He also cannot view translations as invalid, or else he would have quoted the Hebrew original. The only possible explanation is that he viewed translations as valid but not authoritative. The Septuagint was not perfect, but it was perfectly usable.

I'm going to add a provisional point to our list:

Point One: Prophecies may have multiple fulfillments

Re-Revised Point Two: The context may be misleading in prophecy

Point Three: Past, Present, and Future do not matter in prophecy

Provisional Point Four: The original text matters more than translations (but translations are fine to use)

Again, this is reflected in how the New Testament is written. Translations were, apparently, good enough for the Holy Spirit.

Next: [BTT031] Mat 12:14-21 / Isaiah 42:1–4

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