It is doubtful a translator who sought to best convey a passage would agree with rule #1.
- One should determine all the legitimate grammatical possibilities from the syntax of the original language before selecting one of them in a particular context. It is necessary to decide what the grammar can say before one decides what it means. Allowing ones view of the "context" to overturn the grammar is eisegesis.
For example, consider this passage in Amos:
11 “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, 12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,” declares the LORD who does this. (Amos 9 ESV)
James draws upon Amos in making a decision regarding Gentile Christians:
13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written, 16 “‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, 17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’ 19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God (Acts 15 ESV)
It is obvious James has the LXX-Amos, not the MT in mind:
11 On that day I will raise up the tent of Dauid that is fallen and rebuild its ruins and raise up its destruction and rebuild it as the days of old 12 in order that those remaining of humans and all the nations upon whom my name has been called might seek out me says the Lord who does these things. (LXX - NETS)
Of the difference between the MT and the LXX, Karen H. Jobes and Moisés Silva say:
Since the Hebrew preserved in the MT is not particularly difficult, we may consider the possibility that the LXX translator - whether or not he made a mistake in reading the Hebrew characters - was primarily motivated by hermeneutical concerns. Elsewhere in the Minor Prophets (Hos. 9:6, Amos 2:10; Ob. 17, 19, 20; Mic. 1:15; Hab. 1:6; Zech 9:4) the Hebrew word ירש is represented with κληρονομέω ("to inherit") or one of its cognates, but such a rendering here may have appeared to the translator less appropriate here.
Rule #1 would rule out this passage which was a product of hermeneutics!
Similarly at the end of LXX-Amos:
I will plant them on their land,
and they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land that I have given them,”
says the LORD your God. (Amos 9:15 ESV)
וּנְטַעְתִּים עַל־אַדְמָתָם וְלֹא יִנָּתְשׁוּ עֹוד מֵעַל אַדְמָתָם אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָהֶם אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ
And I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be plucked from their land I have given them, says the Lord God the Almighty. (LXX NETS)
καὶ καταφυτεύσω αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς αὐτῶν καὶ οὐ μὴ ἐκσπασθῶσιν οὐκέτι ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς αὐτῶν ἧς ἔδωκα αὐτοῗς λέγει κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ
It is context which explains rendering יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ, the LORD your God, as κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ, the Lord God the Almighty. Regardless of the explanation for this change, it cannot be dismissed as eisegesis. It is a statement of fact (cf. Revelation 4:8, 11:17, 15:3, 16:7, 21:22).
As W. Edward Glenny states, the issue is the translator's view on the Gentiles:
...MT's "the Lord your God"(יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ) becomes in the LXX "the Lord, the God, the Almighty One" (κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ). This rendering of LXX-Amos 9:15, which describes God as a universal God (παντοκράτωρ) instead of "your [Israel's] God," as in the MT, is consistent with the changes in the translation of LXX-Amos 9:12, which describes the God of Israel as a universal God to whom the Gentiles, who can be called by his name may come. In 9:15 the translator omits the only reference in Amos to the Lord as "your God," referring to him as the God of Israel, and instead uses a divine name that is common in LXX-Minor Prophets and emphasizes the Lord's omnipotence. The fact that his designation of God in 9:15 concludes the book of Amos makes it especially emphatic and memorable. The Lord God (κύριος ὁ θεὸς) is not "your [Israel's]" God in the LXX, but instead ὁ παντοκράτωρ, the creator God who is sovereign overall. The perspective of the LXX concerning Gentiles would be much more attractive than that of the MT to Jews in the Diaspora who sought to fit into their culture and show the attractiveness of their religion to the Gentiles among whom they lived.
For Christian exegesis, the Greek is a more accurate understanding of the passage then the Hebrew. The God of Israel is sovereign over all the nations; He is the Lord God the Almighty. In other words, when one reads יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ which is translated as κύριος ὁ θεός σου, the explanation given to a Gentile would be κύριος ὁ θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ.
Not only is the passage more accurate theologically, Glenny's point of a text which is better suited to convert Gentiles to Judaism is exactly the type of change one would expect in making a translation into the Greek language. It is not "eisegesis." It is an application of hermeneutics which the first Church leaders accepted and continued.
- Karen H. Jobes, Moisés Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint, Baker Academic, 2000, p. 195
- W. Edward Glenny, Finding Meaning in the Text: Translation Technique and Theology in the Septuagint of Amos, Brill, 2009, p. 248