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Apostles Peter & Paul prefer a different version of [Isaiah 8:14] based on their revision of the Greek LXX.

Referencing the Isaiah 8:14 as documented in Septuagint, we read : “καὶ ἐὰν ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ πεποιθὼς ᾖς ἔσται σοι εἰς ἁγίασμα καὶ οὐχ ὡς λίθου προσκόμματι συναντήσεσθε αὐτῷ οὐδὲ ὡς πέτρας πτώματι ὁ δὲ οἶκος Ιακωβ ἐν παγίδι καὶ ἐν κοιλάσματι ἐγκαθήμενοι ἐν Ιερουσαλημ”

We see the apostles share possibly a revised reference to the Greek LXX version of Isaiah 8:14 in [1 Peter 2:8 | Romans 9:33] - “λίθος προσκόμματος καὶ πέτρα σκανδάλου”.

Why do [1 Peter 2:8 | Romans 9:33] misquote the Greek LXX version of Isaiah 8:14?

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  • This sort of thing is VERY common. NT writers rarely quoted verbatim. In any case, there was likely several versions of the LXX around at the time as well.
    – Dottard
    Nov 22, 2021 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

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Isaiah 28:16
ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐμβαλῶ εἰς τὰ θεμέλια Σιὼν λίθον πολυτελῆ ἐκλεκτὸν ἀκρογωνιαῖον, ἔντιμον,
εἰς τὰ θεμέλια αὐτῆς,
καὶ ὁ πιστεύων ἐπ’ αὐτῷ οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ.

Isaiah 8:14
καὶ ἐὰν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ πεποιθὼς ἦς, ἔσται σοι εἰς ἁγίασμα καὶ οὐχ ὡς λίθου προσκόμματι συναντήσεσθε αὐτῷ, οὐδὲ ὡς πέτρας πτώματι· οἱ δὲ οἶκοι Ἰακὼβ ἐν παγίδι, καὶ ἐν κοιλάσματι ἐγκαθήμενοι ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ.


1 Peter 2:6
Ἰδοὺ τίθημι ἐν Σιὼν λίθον ἀκρογωνιαῖον, ἐκλεκτόν, ἔντιμον
καὶ ὁ πιστεύων ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ.

1 Peter 2:8
καὶ λίθος προσκόμματος καὶ πέτρα σκανδάλου· οἳ προσκόπτουσιν τῷ λόγῳ ἀπειθοῦντες εἰς ὃ καὶ ἐτέθησαν.


Romans 9:33
καθὼς γέγραπται, Ἰδοὺ τίθημι ἐν Σιὼν λίθον προσκόμματος καὶ πέτραν σκανδάλου,
καὶ ὁ πιστεύων ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ οὐ καταισχυνθήσεται.


  • Peter quotes Isaiah almost exactly in both instances, with minor variations.
  • Paul does almost the same as Peter, but replaces the expression containing stone from the first paragraph, with the one containing the same term from the second, instead of keeping them distinct and apart, as both Peter and Isaiah do.

So far, nothing particularly remarkable or out of the ordinary; what's striking, however, is that both apostles employ the same two terms, τίθημι and σκανδάλου, instead of the two original ones, which seems like too much of a coincidence, suggesting a possible interdependence between the two, either directly (Peter being dependent on Paul), or indirectly (both being dependent on a common source, or susceptible to a common influence).

One possible approach of settling the matter would be to survey the way in which these passages of Isaiah are quoted or referenced by other contemporary Hellenistic authors, such Philo or Josephus; unfortunately, however, the relevant Google searches do not seem to reveal anything of peculiar importance:

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  • Philo's opinion of the earliest LXX would be more accurate than Josephus. (Correct?) Nov 22, 2021 at 14:15

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