This volume presents selected studies by Robert Hanhart, Professor Emeritus and former director of the Septuaginta-Unternehmen der Göttinger Akademie der Wissenschaft. These studies deal with the origin, history and the translation technique of the Septuagint in the context of Hellenistic Judaism. Robert Hanhart finds in the Greek translation of the Hebrew text an interpretation and updating of the Scriptures, which is at the same time an act of Jewish self-definition in the Hellenistic Age. Other essays focus on the history of research, especially on the Göttinger Septuaginta-Unternehmen and P. de Lagarde.
It was published in 1999, but I’m drawing your attention to it now because it’s the anniversary of Robert Hanhart’s birth (born 6 July, 1925) and sometimes the stuff that’s older is the stuff that’s better.
The volume, in fact, appeared about the same time that a conference of Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls scholars was taking place at the University of Pennsylvania:
[back row] 1=Bruce Metzger 2=Neville Birdsall 3=David Talshir 4=Robert Hanhart 5=Emanuel Tov
[middle row] 1=David Stec 2=?m 3=Eugene Ulrich 4=Nina Collins
[front row] 1=Bilhah Nitzan 2=Richard Doidge 3=Anthony Hanson 4=Barnabas Lindars
Robert Kraft took that photo. You can see Robert Hanhart on the back row, second from our right, next to Tov. That was some incredible assemblage, you will doubtless agree. Top notch scholars produce top notch studies- and that’s what this volume contains: the product of a life of over 40 years of intensive scholarship by one of the best Septuagintalists to ever inhabit the planet.
The volume is divided into major segments each of which deals with a subtopic of that segment.
- The Origin and History of the Septuagint
- The Essence of the Septuagint
- The ‘Reception History’ of the Septuagint (as we would now call it) In Two Parts
- Bibliography of Robert Hanhart
The essays appeared previously in various publications, and the editor made only minor corrections and adjustments to them. The work is Hanhart’s. The complete table of contents is this:
If you have not had a chance to make use of this still important volume, do so. It is incredible. And what better day to do it than the author’s birthday?