The Gentile Mission and the Septuagint (LXX)


The New Testament makes several “Gentile-inclusive” arguments that depend on the Greek of the Septuagint (LXX). The Hebrew Masoretic text does not lend itself to the arguments made by the Apostles in certain cases.

Compare Acts 15:16-17 to Amos 9:11-12
LXX: “that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name.”

MT: “that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name.”

In the LXX, we have “Adam” or “mankind” whereas the MT has “Edom“. Saint James’ argument in Acts 15 only works if you follow the Septuagint.

Compare Romans 11.26-27 to Isaiah 59.20-21
LXX: “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”

MT: “And he will come to Zion as Redeemer, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression.”

Saint Paul here follows the LXX to show that Christ’s reign will come from Jerusalem. This relates to the next quote.

Compare Romans 15.12 to Isaiah 11.10
LXX: “The root of Jesse shall come, he who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles hope.”

MT: “the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek.”

Saint Paul’s affirmation that the Christ will “rule the Gentiles” is omitted in the MT.

As one can see in these three examples, the Septuagint (LXX) must be the inspired text upon which Saint James and Saint Paul make their Christological arguments.

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