Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Role of the Septuagint in Redemptive Almsgiving

If we wish to understand the theology of the early Church, we need to be familiar with the Septuagint. This is particular true with respect to redemptive almsgiving.

The translation of Daniel 4:27 (MT 4:24) is significant for our discussion. The LXX version reads:

“O King, let my counsel please you. Redeem your sins by ‘almsgiving’ and your iniquities by compassion for the poor. It may be that God will be long-suffering of your trepasses.”

In the Septuagint, the form of righteousness that will provide a ransom for sins is almsgiving, the financial outpouring of compassion on the poor. The same association of a form of righteousness with almsgiving also appears in the Greek translation of Proverbs 15:27a and 20:28. Tobit and Sirach also make this association. The Greek translation of Daniel, Proverbs, Tobit and Sirach explicitly claim that almsgiving has the power to purge sin, to atone for and redeem iniquities.

A work in progress.

Copyrighted 2008


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