I found a claim that in the Codex Vaticanus,  “Messiah the Prince” is instead ” anointed place.” Also a Dead Sea Scroll states that Messiah is to come after the seven weeks instead of 62 sevens. Can these be proven wrong or is our translation incorrect?


I did a bit of research and I may even have stumbled across the same web site you did.   Apparently the Codex Vaticanus has a textual variant in Daniel 9:26 in which in place of “the Anointed One, the ruler” it has “the Anointed place.”   I assume that this is correct information.   You should be aware that virtually no one uses the Old Testament of the Codex Vaticanus as an authority.  The Codex Vaticanus is used for its New Testament, not for its Old Testament, because its New Testament is one of the oldest complete or nearly complete Greek texts.   The Codex Vaticanus Old Testament is not very authoritative because it is a Greek, not a Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament.  The Greek translation which is most significant to helping to reconstruct the Hebrew text of the Old Testament is the Septuagint, not the Codex Vaticanus.  This is because the Septuagint translation was made around 250-220 BC, but the Codex Vaticanus is a single manuscript from the fourth century AD.  This is not a particularly important Greek manuscript.  Therefore, I believe that nearly all scholars will assume that the original in Hebrew was not “Anointed place” but rather that it was “Anointed One, the ruler” which most Christians assume is a messianic prophecy.   Probably a copyist made an error which led to the different text of the Codex Vaticanus.  By the way, the version of Daniel 9:26 you are using has “Messiah the Prince.”  rather than Anointed One, the ruler (NIV).  These two translations are from the same original Hebrew text, as “anointed one” can be transliterated as Messiah and “ruler” can be translated as Prince.

I am guessing (but I do not know the particular information you found) that there is also a textual variant in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  This is not unusual.  There are many manuscripts of the Greek and, more importantly, of the Hebrew Old Testament, and there are quite a few textual variants in these various copies.  It is the job of textual critics to look at all the manuscripts and try to use common sense, the weight of the evidence, and a few well-know rules to reconstruct the most accurate possible Hebrew text.  You can assume that the textual variant found in one of the Dead Sea Scrolls (assuming that is what it is) is not the original of Daniel 9.  The opinion of the scholars is the one used to make the standard translations.  In this case, the consensus of scholars is that the text of Daniel 9:26 in Hebrew translates to seven ‘sevens’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’

If you will send me a URL or if you can copy and paste the information you found which caused you to send this question, please send it to me, because it is difficult to respond to a claim when I cannot see it in its original context.  Can you send me the link or the original thing you read so I can give you a more definite response?  I am somewhat shooting in the dark here, especially on the second claim.

If I am right, there is literally nothing to “prove wrong.”  Presumably the information you came across is true, but there is nothing to prove wrong, as scholars, by consensus, have concluded that these textual variants do not reflect the original.

John Oakes

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