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A Study on the Transmission of the Fourth Servant Song in the Earliest Translations and Jewish Literature: Focused on the Vicarious Suffering of the Messiah

  • Korean Journal of Old Testament Studies
  • Abbr : KJOTS
  • 2020, 26(2), pp.68-114
  • DOI : 10.24333/jkots.2020.26.2.68
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Old Testament Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology
  • Received : April 6, 2020
  • Accepted : May 4, 2020

Oh, Abraham Sung-Ho 1

1총신대학교 신학대학원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper studies how the Fourth Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53:12; FSS hearafter) has been understood and transmitted in the pre-Christian Judaism. This issue may give light on the understanding of the role of the pre-Christian Jewish view that takes in the continuum of the understanding of the FSS between the OT and the NT. Our purpose is to review whether the suffering servant of the FSS has been read as the Messiah being in charge of vicarious atonement in the pre-Christian Judaism. To this end, we examine the Jewish literature such as Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha as well as the first three translations of the Hebrew text, that is, LXX, Targums, and Peshitta. There has so far been no pre-Christian Jewish literature that had understanding with certainty of the Servant of the FSS as the vicarious Messiah. In LXX, the suffering servant has vicarious atonement ministry, but it is uncertain whether the servant is an individual Messiah. Although the servant of the Targum is a Messiah, he is a victorious rather than vicarious Messiah, and the suffering, death, and atoning ministry of the Servant in the MT are completely transferred to other subjects. In Peshiṭta, the vicarious ministry of the Messiah is preserved, but it is not certain whether it is pre-Christian and of Jewish perspective. In conclusion, pre-Christian Jewish literature as well as the LXX, Targum, or Peshiṭta did not display clear evidence that pre-Christian Judaism had understood the Servant of the FSS as the vicarious Messiah.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.