An Increasing Awareness of Resurrection Theology in the LXX

For Jews and Christians, resurrection is a wonderful doctrine. Not only does it promise that we will be reunited with our loved ones when God breathes new life into their bodies, but it also give assurance that the unrighteous will not escape the day of judgment. Although one may be able to glimpse hints of resurrection theology in the Hebrew Bible, no passage is more explicit than Dan. 12:2, “Many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to the life of the age to come, and others to shame and everlasting contempt.”

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I wanted to draw attention to a few passages in the Septuagint which actually alter the Hebrew text into a more ‘resurrection themed’ theology. Consider the following examples:

If a man dies, will he live again? (Job 14:14)

If a man dies, he will live (Job 14:14 LXX)

 

Even after my skin is destroyed… (Job 19:26a)

[God] will resurrect my skin (Job 19:26a LXX)

 

And Job died, an old man and full of days. (Job 42:17)

And Job died, an old man and full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord resurrects. (Job 42:17 LXX)

 

Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? (Hosea 13:14)

I will deliver them out of the power of Hades, and will redeem them from death: (Hosea 13:14 LXX)

 

One can only wonder if/how these texts influenced Jesus or even (especially in the case with the LXX) Paul.

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5 thoughts on “An Increasing Awareness of Resurrection Theology in the LXX

  1. I thought the book of Daniel “is an apocalyptic work [with] more ethical function than an informative one”? Thus, the whole “resurrection” motif is to be understood as a figurative example for the communities of that time to find comfort?

  2. Dustin,

    I am fascinated by the way the LXX translates some of the verses from Job. A couple questions. Is the “LXX” the Septuagint? And are words (phrases) from the LXX that you have used as examples a ‘word for word’ translation from the Greek? I ask because I have a copy of the Septuagint w/ the Apocrypha from my early college days. It has the text written in Greek, (which I can’t read) then next to it is the English translation, but the Job passages in my English translation are not the same as you have stated. Unfortunately, there is no copyright date written in my copy (made in Great Britain).

    Dale Swartz

    1. Hey Dale.

      Yes, LXX is the Septuagint. Those are my own translations of the passages, as literal as I can render the Greek.

      Different books in the LXX were translated (from the Hebrew to the Greek) with varying degrees of literalness.

      Hope that helps. Thanks for reading!

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