Scholars You Should Know: James ‘Jim’ Aitken

James is on the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University.  Besides being a genuinely nice person, he’s a very, very fine scholar, making regular and significant contributions to the field of Septuagint studies among others.  Take a look at his not inconsiderable list of publications-  and it’s just a partial listing:


  • The Semantics of Blessing and Cursing in Ancient Hebrew (Louvain: Peeters, 2007).
  • G.I. Davies, assisted by J.K. Aitken, D.R. de Lacey, P.A. Smith & J. Squirrel, Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions: Corpus and Concordance, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Edited books

  • The Continuum Companion to the Septuagint (London: T&T Clark/Continuum, forthcoming 2012).
  • On Stone and Scroll: Essays in Honour of Graham Ivor Davies (ed. with K.J. Dell and B.A. Mastin) (BZAW 420; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011).
  • Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Rulers (edited with T. Rajak, S. Pearce & J. Dines) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).
  • Challenges in Jewish-Christian Relations (edited with E. Kessler) (New York: Paulist Press, 2006).

Recent papers

  • ‘Fat Eglon’, in G. Khan & D. Lipton (eds), Studies on the Text and Versions of the Hebrew Bible in honour of Robert Gordon (VTS 149; Leiden: Brill, 2012), 141-54..
  • ‘Text Criticism: Apocrypha,’ in M.D. Coogan, ed., The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Books of the Bible (New York: Oxford University Press), forthcoming.
  • ‘The Significance of Rhetoric in the Greek Pentateuch,’ in J.K. Aitken, K.J. Dell, and B.A. Mastin (eds), On Stone and Scroll (BZAW 420; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011), 507–22.
  • barak, etc.’, in H.-J. Fabry and Ulrich Dahmen (eds), Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Qumrantexten, Band 1 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2011), 521–28.
  • za‘am, etc.’, in H. Fabry (ed.), H.-J. Fabry and Ulrich Dahmen (eds), Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Qumrantexten, Band 1 (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 2011), 861-62.
  • ‘The Literary Attainment of the Translator of Greek Sirach’, in J.-S. Rey & J. Joosten (eds), The Texts and Versions of the Book of Ben Sira: Transmission and Interpretation(JSJSup 150; Leiden: Brill, 2011), 95–126.
  • ‘Judaic National Identity’, in L.L. Grabbe & O. Lipschits (eds), Judah Between East and West: The Transition Period from Pesian to Greek Rule (ca. 400-200 BCE) (LSTS 75; London T&T Clark, 2011), 31-48.
  • ‘Job’s diet: comfort, food and suffering’, in Piotr Mitzner and Anna Szczepan-Wojnarska (ed.), Hiob Biblijny, Hiob Obecny w Kuluturze (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Kardynala Stefana Warszawa, 2010), 47–68.
  • ‘Jewish Use of Greek Proverbs’, in N. de Lange et al. (eds), Jewish Reception of Greek Bible Versions (Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 53-77.
  • ‘The Septuagint Translation Legend in a Byzantine Prognosticon‘, Bulletin of Judaeo-Greek Studies 43 (Winter 2008-09), 32-35.
  • ‘Context of Situation in Biblical Lexica’, in J. Dyk and W. van Peursen (eds), Foundations for Syriac Lexicography III (ISLP; Gorgias Press, 2009), 181-201.
  • ‘Other Hebrew Lexica: Zorell and Alonso Schoekel’, in J. Dyk and W. van Peursen (eds), Foundations for Syriac Lexicography III (ISLP; Gorgias Press, 2009), 251-64.
  • ‘Phonological Phenomena in Greek Papyri and Inscriptions and their Significance for the Septuagint’, in J. Corley and V. Skemp, Studies in the Greek Bible: Essays in honor of Francis T. Gignac, S.J. (CBQMS, 44; Washington DC: CBA, 2008), 256-77.
  • ‘The God of the pre-Maccabees: Designations of the divine in the early Hellenistic period’, in R.P. Gordon (ed.), The God of Israel (University of Cambridge Oriental publications, 64; Cambridge University Press, 2007), 246-66.
  • ‘Poet and Critic: Royal Ideology and the Greek Translator of Proverbs’, in Jewish Perspectives on Hellenistic Rulers, edited by T. Rajak, S. Pearce, J. Aitken & J. Dines) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).
  • ‘Rhetoric and Poetry in Greek Ecclesiastes’, Bulletin of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies 38 (2006), 55-78.
  • ‘What does Christianity in Jewish terms mean?’, in J.K. Aitken & E.D. Kessler (eds), Challenges in Jewish-Christian Relations (New York: Paulist Press, 2006), 203-17.
  • ‘Sanctus Matthaeus, magister sapientiae, summa cum laude’, in Jeremy Corley & Vincent Skemp (eds), Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit (CBQMS, 38; Washington, DC: The Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2005), 264-79.
  • ‘Hengel’s, Judentum und Hellenismus‘, Journal of Biblical Literature 123 (2004), 331-41.
  • ‘Introducing the Septuagint’, Bulletin of Judaeo-Greek Studies 34 (2004), 20-26.

Jim is a scholar with whose work you should become familiar. And if you have the chance to meet him, do so. He’s a delight.