HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
STEYN, Gert J. Trajectories of scripture transmission: The case of Amos 5:25-27 in Acts 7:42-43. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2013, vol.69, n.1, pp. 1-7. ISSN 2072-8050.
It is the intention of this study to explore the trajectory of the transmission and reception of three elements from Amos 5:25-27 through the stages of its history in ancient religious literature. Four stages in its trajectory are explored, namely in the Amos Masoretic Text (MT), the quotations from the Jewish Damascus Scroll sect, the Jewish-Hellenistic context of the Septuagint (LXX) Amos, and the Early Christian context of Stephen's speech by Luke in Acts 7:42-43. The astral Mesopotamian deities of Amos MT changed to symbols which now stood for the law, the congregation, the prophets and the interpreter of the law in the sectarian context of the Damascus scroll. The LXX, in turn, understood these to be 'the tent of Moloch' and the 'star of your god Raiphan'. This version is used in Acts 7, but whereas the LXX shows traces of a connection with the Heaven-and-Sun god, particularly with the planet Saturn, Luke now places the same elements within the context of the exodus narrative in Stephen's speech. The investigation shows how the mutation of scripture becomes clear in the trajectory of its transmission and how it is constantly being reinterpreted to be relevant within the context of its time.