Good question—Was there a textual corruption cover-up over Daniel 8.14?
Date: April 12/2004
I got this question, and tried to help (Their remarks in BOLD/BLACK, mine in [Other/Red-emphasis]):
I am doing an in-depth studies on Daniel 7-8-9 when recently in email commuication I became aware of the following problems.
It is claimed that the LXX has 2400 instead of a 2300 figure in Daniel 8:14. My search has led me to a misprint in only one version of the LXX namely the Vatican Manuscript. However the objection is now tending toward a 2200 figure.
[Not sure where this objection/claim might be coming from:
[The critical LXX text is that of Rahlf's. For Daniel, it gives the text for both the Critical LXX and Theodotian's version. In my copy of Rahlf's, the Greek says "two thousand 300", in BOTH the LXX and Theodotion's sections of the page. NO VARIANTS are even mentioned in the footnotes for the version, and any significant ones WOULD HAVE BEEN--that's why it's a critical text. I have an older version (pre-critical, 1851 AD) of the LXX that DOES have the 2,400 number in the text, with a footnote to the more reliable Alexandian version of 2300, but this reading has been abandoned wholesale in the subsequent 150 years.
[None of my books on textual criticism, by Jewish and/or Christian scholars indicate ANY PROBLEM with 8.14...there are no entries for that verse in the indices of textcrit books on the Hebrew Bible or on the Sept.
[If there IS a misprint somewhere, it didn't make it into the MODERN critical text versions of the LXX used by scholars...
It is claimed that missionary Joseph Wolf, Jerome and Thomas Newton confirmed manuscripts with the figure 2200.
[This wouldnt carry any weight anyway...scholars of all persuasions bank on the 2300 figure--it's just so well attested in our MSS...a copyist error here or there is to be EXPECTED...what you would need to find in the archelogical record would be a FAMILY of mss, preserving any aberrant reading (e.g., 2200, 2400) before one could have some non-vacuous warrant for believing a copyist error was the REAL reading, or had been accepted by a sub-group of the church as the original reading...
It is also claimed that the Dead Sea Scrolls of Daniel 8 were intentionally spoiled by scholars for none of them has any references to 8:14 number.
[Not sure, again, where this might come from...my copy of "The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" by DSS scholars of multiple-persuasions (Abegg, Flint, Ulrich) give 2300 as the DSS rendering of the passage. They likewise don't mention any variants (like they do for other passages WITH variants). I don't have access to the mss here, but THEY DID, and I have ZERO warrant to invoke some 'conspiracy theory' about these scholars... There's just no data there to support anything OTHER THAN the 2300 number...
[The Catalog of Biblical Passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Washburn, lists only one mss containing Dan 8.14 (4QDan-b//4Q113), published by Ulrich in BASOR 274:3-26. The marginal comment is "fragmentary, follows MT"... that is, probably has 2300...(but you could check the BASOR article to be sure)
[If someone is crying 'coverup', ask them for data...The scholars working in that field dont evidence 'conspiratorial' behavior at all...so the burden of proof is upon THEM to support some 'suppression' of the truth or whatnot...
I don't know where to turn to get the answers. Please help me as best you can.
[All my Hebrew bibles and Jewish translations all have 2300--again, with no mention of variants...]
[If someone is making counter-claims, then ask for scholarly citations and references--otherwise, their position is speculative, while ALL of the scholarly data I have indicates that:
[1. the scholarly community--of all persuasions--is convinced that 2300 is the number in the original text
[2. the scholarly community doesnt consider any POSSIBLE variants of enough weight/significance to even MENTION, let alone discuss
[3. EVERY early critical version we have supports 2300 (BHS, LXX, Theodotian, DSS)
[4. An occasional variant might be expected, but without evidence that it (a) stuck; (b) was believed by the Hebrew community; or (c) competed with the mainstream 2300, then it is not really a challenge to the tradtional and well-attested reading..
[does this help any? did I understand the issue correctly? warmly, glenn miller
They replied with this email, to which I appended the bibliographical data:
“Hi, Thank you very much. Indeed, without shade of doubt, you did HELP me. I will share the data with XYX, ABC, and others who are proclaiming the 2200 days theory. Indeed thank you very much. Where can I get the DSS version of Daniel, if you don't mind, please?
Thank you very much.
In His Service, ZZZ
“The DSS text should be found in the BASOR article I mentioned...in my earlier email i pointed you to Ulrich's article in BASOR 274:3-26. Here is what BASOR stands for:
“Title: Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research : BASOR
Publisher: American Schools of Oriental Research, Boston (MA), US
Distributor: Boston University, Boston (MA), US
Country (Server): United States of America
Format of data: text/html
“Description: The BASOR is the scholarly journal of the American Schools of Oriental Research. The broad areas of research and and scholarship supported by the Society include the art, archaeology, history, anthropology, literature, philology, and epigraphy of the Near East and eastern Mediterranean world from the Palaeolithic period through early Islamic times. The web site of the Bulletin offers general information and the tables of contents of the current and back issues. Of some articles you can read abstracts, entire articles are very few.
It should also be in Discoveries in the Judean Desert, volume XVI:
(also, i also checked my copy of The Dead Sea Scrolls & Modern Translations of the OT by Scanlin to see if HE mentioned/discussed some non-2300 variant for the passage (he does so for SCORES of variant passages), and there was not even a hint of an issue with Dan 8.14.
hope this helps,
The Christian ThinkTank...[http://www.Christian-thinktank.com] (Reference Abbreviations)