Category Archives: LXX

Septuaginta. Band 11,2 Ecclesiastes

Die Herausgabe der großen kritischen Edition des ältesten erreichbaren Septuaginta-Textes ist Ziel des 1908 gegründeten Septuaginta-Unternehmens der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. Anspruch und Aufgabe einer solchen Edition ist die auf möglichste Vollständigkeit angelegte Erfassung und transmissionsgeschichtliche Auswertung der handschriftlichen überlieferung, angefangen mit den griechischen vorchristlichen Papyri (3./2. Jh. v.Chr.) bis hin zu den Minuskelhandschriften des 16. Jh. n.Chr., sodann der lateinischen, koptischen, syrischen, äthiopischen und armenischen Tochterübersetzungen, ferner der Septuaginta-Zitate bei den griechischen und lateinischen Kirchenschriftstellern unter Einschluss der sog. Catenenüberlieferung und schließlich aller Druckausgaben der Septuaginta vom 16. bis zum 20. Jh. Erstmals erscheint mit Peter Gentrys Arbeit eine vollständige kritische Edition des Buches »Ecclesiastes«. Der vorliegende Band XI bildet den 2. Band der Gesamtreihe »Septuaginta« und setzt so die Göttinger Editio critica maior fort.

The chief concern for those potentially interested in the acquisition of new editions of biblical texts is ‘how is it different from or an improvement upon earlier editions already in my possession?’ This is especially important to those working with a limited budget or who are trying to make the wisest choices for their personal purchases.

And that is the question that many will wish answered concerning this new edition of Ecclesiastes in the extraordinary Göttingen Septuagint. How is it an improvement upon the edition already at hand in Rahlfs/ Hanhart or BHQ?

The answer to this very basic and yet very central question is fairly simple: yes, it is an improvement on Rahlfs and yes it does offer differences substantial enough to justify its acquisition even for those in possession of BHQ (for those interested in the textual history of Ecclesiastes and working in textual criticism in particular).

The numerous differences between the text of Rahlfs and Göttingen which will be detailed by the author in a separate volume (according to Will Ross). There is, unfortunately, no list provided of such differences in the Introduction to Gentry’s edition herein reviewed. This is something of a shame, as users of the volume are now forced to wait for the list of variations or hunt them down and discover them for themselves.

In the above cited interview the editor also remarks

The Greek Translation has only a dozen places where it differs from MT, and most of these are not serious issues. The differences between MT and LXX were exaggerated by the editor of the BHQ volume on Ecclesiastes.

Curious about this, I posed the question to Adrian Schenker, the Editor in Chief of BHQ, and he replied that the editor of Ecclesiastes for BHQ was not inclined to exaggerations.

To be sure, editors will often see things differently.  Yet there is no evidence within the edition of BHQ itself that its findings have been exaggerated.

A fairly brisk comparison of Rahlfs and Gentry yields the following samplings:


  • Rahlfs- Ῥήματα Ἐκκλησιαστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυιδ βασιλέως Ισραηλ ἐν Ιερουσαλημ.
  • Gentry- Ῥήματα Ἐκκλησιαστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυὶδ βασιλέως Ἰσραὴλ ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ.


  • Rahlfs- Εἶπον ἐγὼ ἐν καρδίᾳ μου Δεῦρο δὴ πειράσω σε ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ, καὶ ἰδὲ ἐν ἀγαθῷ, καὶ ἰδοὺ καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης.
  • Gentry- Εἶπον ἐγὼ ἐν καρδίᾳ μου Δεῦρο δὴ πειράσω σε ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ, καὶ ἰδὲ ἐν ἀγαθῷ· καὶ ἰδοὺ καί γε τοῦτο ματαιότης.


  • Rahlfs- Οὐκ ἔστιν ἀγαθὸν ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ, ὃ φάγεται καὶ πίεται καὶ δείξει τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτοῦ, ἀγαθὸν ἐν μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ.
  • Gentry- Οὐκ ἔστιν ἀγαθὸν ἐν ἀνθρώπῳ· ὃ φάγεται καὶ πίεται, καὶ δείξει τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτοῦ ἀγαθὸν ἐν μόχθῳ αὐτοῦ.


  • Rahlfs- Καὶ περισσὸν ὅτι ἐγένετο Ἐκκλησιαστὴς σοφός, ἔτι ἐδίδαξεν γνῶσιν σὺν τὸν λαόν, καὶ οὖς ἐξιχνιάσεται κόσμιον παραβολῶν.
  • Gentry- Καὶ περισσὸν ὅτι ἐγένετο Ἐκκλησιαστὴς σοφός, ἔτι ἐδίδαξεν γνῶσιν σὺν τὸν ἄνθρωπον, καὶ οὖς ἐξιχνιάσεται κόσμιον παραβολῶν.

Our third sampling (2:24a) and our fourth (12:9) show slight differences between Rahlfs and Gentry.  Text critics wanting to know the reason for these differences will find amazingly full textual notes and here we arrive at the chief difference between these two editions:  the incredibly thorough textual material brought to bear in witness to the readings provided in the Göttingen Septuagint when compared to the scant and slight materials of the critical apparatus of Rahlfs is astonishing.

The volume’s introduction comprises half of its entire contents and the text of Ecclesiastes barely occupies a fifth of the page whereas the textual notes and other materials take up 4’5ths of each page.

This is a remarkable work which students of Ecclesiastes will absolutely find indispensable (and I do not use that word lightly or carelessly).  Textual critics will make use of it for centuries to come (and I do not say that lightly either).  And finally, students of the Greek text of the Old Testament will need to consult if if they intend to do any serious work on the text of Ecclesiastes.

Gentry may be wrong about the viewpoint of the editor of the BHQ volume on Ecclesiastes, and he may be forgiven for holding off his list of variations between Rahlfs and his own work, but he is to be congratulated for producing an amazingly meticulous text critical masterpiece.


Very Happy News From IOSCS

Via Marieke Dhont-

Trinity Western and the John William Wevers Institute for LXX Studies is organizing a modular course on LXX Genesis this Fall, taught by Dr. Robert Hiebert! For all details, see the attached flyer. Videostreaming available!

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Posted by on 21 Jul 2019 in Biblical Studies Resources, LXX


A Septuagint Snippet on International Septuagint Day

1 1 Και ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ κρίνειν τοὺς κριτὰς καὶ ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἐν τῇ γῇ·, καὶ ἐπορεύθη ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ Βαιθλέεμ τῆς Ἰούδα τοῦ παροικῆσαι ἐν ἀγρῷ Μωάβ, αὐτὸς καὶ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ ὄνομα τῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἀβιμέλεχ, καὶ ὄνομα τοῖς δυσὶν υἱοῖς αὐτοῦ Μααλὼν καὶ Χελαιών, Ἐφραθαῖοι ἐκ Βαιθλέεμ τῆς Ἰούδα· καὶ ἤλθοσαν εἰς ἀγρὸν Μωὰβ καὶ ἦσαν ἐκεῖ. 3 καὶ ἀπέθανεν Ἀβιμέλεχ ὁ ἀνὴρ τῆς Νωεμίν, καὶ κατελείφθη αὐτὴ καὶ οἱ δύο υἱοὶ αὐτῆς. 4 καὶ ἐλάβοσαν ἑαυτοῖς γυναῖκας Μωαβίτιδας, ὄνομα τῇ μιᾷ Ὀρφά, καὶ ὄνομα τῇ δευτέρᾳ Ῥούθ· καὶ κατῴκησαν ἐκεῖ ὡς δέκα ἔτη. 5 καὶ ἀπέθανον καί γε ἀμφότεροι Μααλὼν καὶ Χελαιών, καὶ κατελείφθη ἡ γυνὴ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς αὐτῆς καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν δύο υἱῶν αὐτῆς. 1 1 Και ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ κρίνειν τοὺς κριτὰς καὶ ἐγένετο λιμὸς ἐν τῇ γῇ·, καὶ ἐπορεύθη ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ Βαιθλέεμ τῆς Ἰούδα τοῦ παροικῆσαι ἐν ἀγρῷ Μωάβ, αὐτὸς καὶ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ ὄνομα τῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἀβιμέλεχ, καὶ ὄνομα τοῖς δυσὶν υἱοῖς αὐτοῦ Μααλὼν καὶ Χελαιών, Ἐφραθαῖοι ἐκ Βαιθλέεμ τῆς Ἰούδα· καὶ ἤλθοσαν εἰς ἀγρὸν Μωὰβ καὶ ἦσαν ἐκεῖ. 3 καὶ ἀπέθανεν Ἀβιμέλεχ ὁ ἀνὴρ τῆς Νωεμίν, καὶ κατελείφθη αὐτὴ καὶ οἱ δύο υἱοὶ αὐτῆς. 4 καὶ ἐλάβοσαν ἑαυτοῖς γυναῖκας Μωαβίτιδας, ὄνομα τῇ μιᾷ Ὀρφά, καὶ ὄνομα τῇ δευτέρᾳ Ῥούθ· καὶ κατῴκησαν ἐκεῖ ὡς δέκα ἔτη. 5 καὶ ἀπέθανον καί γε ἀμφότεροι Μααλὼν καὶ Χελαιών, καὶ κατελείφθη ἡ γυνὴ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς αὐτῆς καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν δύο υἱῶν αὐτῆς.*

*Quast, U. (Ed.). (2006). Ruth (Vol. IV, 3, Ru 1). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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Posted by on 8 Feb 2019 in LXX


The Septuagint Song On this Septuagint Day

#ICYMI last year – this year on LXX Day, sing the song from the IOSCS facebook page:

We now have our very own anthem! On the occasion of the 2017 International Septuagint Day, Brent Niedergall composed the Septuagint Song. For those interested, I have attached the sheet music. — Marieke Dhont




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Posted by on 8 Feb 2019 in LXX


International Septuagint Day: February 8

A few years ago Jim Aitken wrote

February 8th is “International Septuagint Day.” Bloggers will be reminding us why it is important to study the LXX, including its text-critical value, its witness to early biblical exegesis, and its place as the first Bible of the Church. Let me offer some other rarely cited reasons:

• It is the largest extant piece of Ptolemaic Greek.
• It is one of the major works of Egyptian Greek literature.
• It is one of the first works of Hellenistic Judaism, though mostly ignored in books on the subject.
• It is (possibly) the largest work of translation literature from antiquity, offering valuable insight for translation studies on both bilingual interference and translation technique.
• It is a work of sub-literary Greek that demonstrates the complexities of Greek register.
• It is a major lexical resource for lesser-known koine words. (not only illustrated by papyri, but illuminating for papyri).
• It testifies to a distinct Jewish-Greek (even Egyptian?) identity.
• It tells us much about educational levels in Egypt and among Jews.

(To understand its theology, we must place it in its context first).

I’ll be taking part again and providing citations from the highly esteemed Göttingen Septuagint.

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Posted by on 8 Feb 2019 in LXX


Happy International Septuagint Day

William Ross has an interview.  And Tavis has a post about the Vatican and its celebration of the LXX.  Look for more posts about the LXX throughout the day.  And get your Septuagint out and give it a read.


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Posted by on 8 Feb 2019 in LXX


Septuagint News

Marieke Dhont writes on facebook

Jim ‘James’ Aitken and I are organising a panel at the IOSCS meeting in Aberdeen (4-9 August 2019) on “The Septuagint in its Bilingual Context.” Taking into account recent studies in bilingualism and the multilingual context of the Hellenistic East, this panel wishes to think about the consequences of bilingualism for the study of the Septuagint. We are interested in papers that deal with the Septuagint translation as a text facing two ways, to the source text as well as to the target language environment; the question of the linguistic competency of the translators; and the evidence for bilingualism from the wider ancient world. If anyone wants to join this panel, or has submitted a paper directly to the organisers of the IOSCS but think their paper would fit well here, please contact us on and with a title and abstract by International Septuagint Day, 8 February 2019.

Take part if you wish.

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Posted by on 29 Jan 2019 in LXX


Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition

Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition offers the complete text of the Greek Old Testament as it appears in the Rahlfs-Hanhart revised Septuaginta, laid out in a clear and readable format. All deuterocanonical books are included, as well as all double-texts, which are presented on facing pages for easy textual comparison. In order to facilitate natural and seamless reading of the text, every word occurring 100 times or fewer in the Rahlfs-Hanhart text (excluding proper names)—as well as every word that occurs more than 100 times in the Rahlfs-Hanhart text but fewer than 30 times in the Greek New Testament—is accompanied by a footnote that provides a contextual gloss for the word and (for verbs only) full parsing. Additionally, an appendix provides a complete alphabetized list of common vocabulary (namely, all the words that are not accompanied by a footnote), with glosses and (as applicable) comparison of a word’s usage in the Septuagint to its usage in the New Testament.

All of these combined features will make Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition an indispensable resource for biblical scholars and an excellent tool for improving one’s comprehension of the Greek language. In addition, each volume will include two ribbon markers.

Hendrickson has sent along a review exemplar.  I first heard of the project from William Ross at SBL a few years ago (in San Antonio over breakfast with my best friend Jim Aitken)(Jim will judiciously deny that little friend fact of course but it’s true) and was so excited then that I hounded the poor boy mercilessly about it.  I’m so pleased to see all their hard work come to fruition.

The opening sections of each volume (there are two) include the same information:

  1. About Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition
  2. How to Use this Edition
  3. Advanced Information on Septuagint Studies
  4. Select Bibliography
  5. Acknowledgments

The most extensive description is reserved for the second section.  In it, the editors discuss the text they have chosen to utilize, the chapter and verse system used, The vocabulary apparatus, headings, text divisions, and poetic formatting, and the glossary.

Aesthetically, the volumes are really quite lovely.  The edition in hand is the blue hardcover whose feel is very akin to the Septuagint of Rahlfs (the blue lovely thing that came out decades ago with a cloth feel).  The font is sharp and the binding is sturdy.  Each volume also offers two ribbon bookmarks sewn into the binding.  Unlike other DBG volumes there is no pull-out card including textual data.

The choice of Rahlfs-Hanhart as the base text was a good decision by the editors and I suppose the most practical since, although a reader’s edition based on the Göttingen Septuagint would be brilliant the fact that that edition is not yet complete makes it, as base-text, impossible.  Perhaps one day…

The difficulty with any reader’s edition of the biblical text always comes down to the choice of words used to define the Greek (or Hebrew) text being read.  Words, after all, have usage, not meaning; and how a word is used here or there is thoroughly determined by the context in which it finds itself.  So, for instance, σιωπαω may well suggest ‘keep silence’ at Deut 27:9 it can suggest ‘stop speaking’ (as an interruption of the act of speaking as it occurs) elsewhere.

Every translation, accordingly, is also an interpretation and every translational gloss is an interpretational move.  To be sure, sense and context go hand in hand and most translators have the sense to realize this.  A nonsensical rendering will immediately provoke offense in the mind of the intelligent reader.  Nonetheless, the very choice of gloss is itself a decision of interpretation.  And it’s worth reminding ourselves, and readers of this excellent volume, that this is the case.

The second thing that we need to remind readers of, and the editors do a great job of this, but it bears repeating, is that the glosses provided are merely a rough indicator of the possible range of usages for any word provided.  Taking with absolute seriousness the ‘Reader’s’ part in the title of the volumes, these volumes have as their singular purpose the provision of bare bones lexical data for those who are reading through the Septuagint.  Reading is the aim here, not in depth lexical study.  That task must still be pursued in the lexica and grammars and textual studies.

The volumes at hand, then, are intended to be books that are read.  Read with haste.  Read with vigor.  Read with the purpose of reading and reading along and reading alone and gaining first hand familiarity with the biblical text of the Old Testament in its Greek incarnation.  And they accomplish that aim admirably.

Were I to quibble (and I’m not really given to quibbling) I would have preferred to see fewer repetitions of the same glosses on the same page.  It seems that the same gloss could easily be indicated by the same number.  I.e., every occurrence of βλεπω needn’t have a separate gloss number when 1 or 4 or whatever would achieve the same goal.  And, allow me to hasten to add, I realize that there are computational restraints about which I know nothing.  I’m just mentioning my preferences.

Last century a wise theologian remarked to his students:  “Gentlemen, have you a Septuagint? If not, sell all you have, and buy a Septuagint.” ~Ferdinand Hitzig

You won’t need to sell everything you have to buy this edition of the Septuagint, you’ll just have to skip your daily trip to Starbucks for a few weeks.  Do it.

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Posted by on 13 Nov 2018 in Book Review, Books, LXX


The Greek of the Pentateuch

Described here

The nature of the Greek of the Septuagint has long been debated. Interference from the original Hebrew is present but scholars continue to disagree on its extent and significance. The Greek of the Pentateuch builds on John A. L. Lee’s previous work on the vocabulary of the Pentateuch and its links with documentary texts, while offering a fresh perspective on the field.

This timely and authoritative contribution argues that the language the translators used was fundamentally the Greek of their time and that they had full competence in it.

The volume is divided into seven chapters which proceed through several topics: use of evidence, language variation, educated language, the presence of Greek idiom, the translators’ collaboration, and freedom of choice in dealing with the Hebrew. A final chapter draws conclusions not only about the Pentateuch translators’ knowledge of Greek, but about the translators themselves, their achievement, and their audience. The book presents a wide range of examples, comprising both vocabulary and syntax, from the Septuagint itself, Greek papyri of the period found in Egypt, and Classical and Koine Greek literature.

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Posted by on 7 Nov 2018 in Books, LXX


IOSOT Call For Papers

The International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament has posted its call for papers for the meeting to be hosted by the University of Aberdeen on August 4–9 2019. Of course, the meetings for IOSCS, IOQS, IOMS, and ISLP happen concurrently as part of this larger meeting. For general information, see the main page here. To submit a paper proposal, click here.

And more, here.

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Posted by on 6 Oct 2018 in Conferences, LXX


Die Septuaginta- Geschichte, Wirkung, Relevanz

Newly published by Mohr Siebeck.

As the central biblical reference text for ancient Greek-speaking Judaism and Christianity alike, the Septuagint both aids and challenges expressions of Jewish and Christian identity. The diversity of its current debates are reflected in this volume, which brings aspects of textual criticism, textual history, philology, theology, reception history, and Jewish identity in the Second Temple period together to provide an up-to-date overview of the latest in international research.

The collection is massive.  Here are the contents:

Martin Meiser: Die Septuaginta innerhalb der Literatur des antiken Judentums: Theo-logische Termini, Motive, Themen – Michaela Geiger/Knut Usener/Martin Karrer: Hiobs anderes Ende – Michaela Geiger: Ambiguität und Ironie in Hi 40,26–32MT – Knut Usener: Hiob 40 LXXals theologische Interpretation der hebräischen Vorlage – Martin Karrer: Job, der Gerechte: Beobachtungen zum Hiobbuch der Septuaginta – Markus Witte: Gelebte und reflektierte Religion in der Sapientia Salomonis – Wolfgang Kraus: Zur Rezeption von Ps 40(39 LXX),7–9 in Hebr 10,5–10 – Siegfried Kreuzer: Zur Relevanz editorischer Prinzipien – Theo A.W. van der Louw: The Evolution of the Genesis Translator – Eberhard Bons: »The Lord is the One Who Crushes Wars.« A Fresh Look at the Septuagint Translation of Exod 15:3 – Christian Lustig: Moses eigenes Zelt. Zur Unterscheidung zweier Zeltkonzeptionen im griechischen Exodusbuch – Emanuel Tov: The Septuagint of Numbers as a Harmonizing Text – Hans Ausloos: One to three … Some Aspects of the Numeruswechsel within the LXX of Deuteronomy – Kristin De Troyer: Commands and Executions. Cases from Joshua 1–6 – Kristin De Troyer: »Man nahm die Leiche von dem Baum ab und warf sie vor das Tor der Stadt« (Jos 8,29): kleine Probleme, große Textgeschichte! – José Manuel Cañas Reíllo: LXX-Judges: The Value of Secondary Translations for Its Textual History – Andrés Piquer Otero: The Secondary Versions of Kings. Variants and Renderings Between Vorlagen and Ideology – Bonifatia Gesche: The Versions of the Vetus Latina and their Relation to the Versions of the Septuagint in 1 Kings – Andrés Piquer Otero: The ‘Miscellanies’ of 3 Kgdms 2 – Frank Ueberschaer: 1Kön 11,26–40: Die verschiedenen Septuagintatraditionen im Zusammenspiel mit weiteren Textüberlieferungen in einem nicht-kaige Abschnitt – Jan Joosten: New Light on Proto-Theodotion. The Psalms of Solomon and the Milieu of the Kaige Recension – Folker Siegert: Die Koinē als gesprochene Sprache. Akustisches zur Septuaginta

Christian Eberhart: Opferterminologie im Sirachbuch – Cameron Boyd-Taylor: Faithful Scribes and Phantom Texts: Jewish Transmission of the Septuagint Prior to the Amoraic Period – William A. Ross:The Septuagint as a Catalyst for Language Change in the Koine: A Usage-Based Approach – Maria Jurovitskaya: The Meaning of ἀνατολή in the Septuagint and the Papyri – Antonella Bellantuono:Does the Word Group ἀπιστ- Have a Religious Connotation in Non-Jewish Greek Literature? – Mikhail G. Seleznev: Anti-anthropomorphisms in the Septuagint: Statistical Testing of a Hypothesis – Michaël N. van der Meer: The Reception History of Joshua in the Septuagint and Contemporary Documents – Gert Jacobus Steyn: Psalm Quotations by Philo of Alexandria. Some Observations – Felix Albrecht:Zur Wirkungsgeschichte des Septuagintapsalters im ägyptischen Christentum: Die griechisch-koptischen Bilinguen – Nathalie Siffer: La citation de Habaquq 1,5 en Actes 13,41 – Elena Belenkaja:βραχύ τι – qualitative, temporale und räumliche Aspekte. Zur Rezeption von Ps 8,5–7LXX in Hebr 2,5–9 – Marcus Sigismund: ἀρχὴ καὶ τέλος. Textform und Funktion der Pentateuchzitate in der Apokalypseauslegung des Arethas von Caesarea

Ekaterina Matusova: The Origins of Translation Theory: The LXX among Jewish Greek Writers – Matthieu Richelle: The Relevance of the Septuagint for Reconstructing the History of Ancient Israel – Alma Brodersen: The Septuagint’s Relevance for the End of the Psalter – Johann Cook: Theological Perspectives in LXX Proverbs – Marieke Dhont: The Cultural Outlook of Old Greek Job: A Reassessment of the Notion of Hellenization – Christoph Kugelmeier: Ἰσοδυναμία und »Authentizität«. Reflexe der Auseinandersetzung um die »Worttreue« in den antiken Versionen des Buches Sirach – Zoltan Oláh: »…werden sie bezahlen« (Jes LXX9,4). Erfahrungen von Fremdherrschaft als Aktualisierung – Arie van der Kooij: The Old Greek of Isaiah and Book III of the Sibylline Oracles: Related Pieces of Jewish Literature in Ptolemaic Egypt – Johanna Erzberger: Nebuchadnezzar, Judah, and the Nations: Shifting Frames of Reference in Jer 25 – Anna Angelini: Demonic agents in the Greek Bible. Evaluating the Role of the Septuagint in Creating a Hellenistic Demonology – Barbara Schmitz: Concepts of Kingship in Aristeas, Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and Isocrates’ Speeches – Mogens Müller: Die Bedeutung der Septuaginta für die Entfaltung neutestamentlicher Theologie – Ralph Brucker: Berauscht von Gott. Ps 22,5LXX im Licht von Eph 5,18 und verwandten Texten – Riemer Roukema: Philological Observations, Syntax, and Delimitation in the Septuagint Version of Micah According to Patristic Commentaries – Barbara Villani: Bibelzitate in Cyrill von Alexandriens Werken zum Alten Testament. Einige Beobachtungen zu den Unterschieden zwischen dem Dialog De adoratione et cultu in spiritu et veritate und den Kommentaren – Christoph Schubert: Form und Funktion der Bibelzitate bei Tertullian, Adversus Iudaeos – Stefan Freund: Librum legerunt in Hebraicis litteris scriptum. Bewusstsein und Reflexion der Originalsprachlichkeit alttestamentlicher Zitate bei den frühchristlichen lateinischen Autoren – Hedwig Schmalzgruber: Beobachtungen zu Form und Funktion alttestamentlicher Bibelzitate in Ambrosius’ Exaemeron – Victoria Zimmerl-Panagl: … ad Libanum … ad boream …? Zu Numeri 10,1–10 in Ambrosius, De excessu fratris Satyri 2,107 – Dorothea Weber: Überlegungen zu Wortlaut und Autorität von Zitaten am Beispiel der Auseinandersetzung zwischen Augustinus und Julian von Aeclanum – Bruno Bureau: Biblical Quotations and Allusions in Two Latin Epics, Sedulius’ Carmen Paschale and Arator’s Historia Apostolica.

The tripartite division programmatically divulges the central purpose of the collection: to examine the Septuagint from three points of view- its history, its effects, and its abiding relevance.

The essays collected under the first heading invite specialists (this is a book for specialists) to consider important historical issues related to the texts of the LXX, their translation, and their interpretation.

The second section of the book is the shortest and, from the perspective of the present reviewer, the most interesting.  Worthy of particular mention are

  • Christian Eberhart: Opferterminologie im Sirachbuch
  • William A. Ross: The Septuagint as a Catalyst for Language Change in the Koine: A Usage-Based Approach
  • Felix Albrecht: Zur Wirkungsgeschichte des Septuagintapsalters im ägyptischen Christentum: Die griechisch-koptischen Bilinguen

Each of these makes what I believe are important and substantial contributions to our understanding of the materials they treat.  Ross especially shows how important the LXX is for our understanding of the Greek language and, consequently, our understanding of the texts central to Christianity.  His essay, I suggest, is the most important work on the topic in many years and should be consulted, surely, by biblical scholars from all areas.

From the third section, the essays of which urge readers towards an appreciation for the abiding relevance of the LXX to its users in the early history of Christianity, the following are especially good:

  • Mogens Müller: Die Bedeutung der Septuaginta für die Entfaltung neutestamentlicher Theologie
  • Ralph Brucker: Berauscht von Gott. Ps 22,5LXX im Licht von Eph 5,18 und verwandten Texten

There is a lot to absorb here.  Perhaps there is too much.  Indeed, if the volume has a weakness it isn’t the highly specialized nature of its contents nor is it the expertise necessary for its contents to be appreciated.  Rather, it is that the volume does too much, presents too much, offers too much, overwhelms.

This is an overwhelming collection.  Readers are deluged by a sea of details, many of which take considerable effort to assimilate.  Perhaps if the work had been divided into three volumes- one for each section- it would be less mentally taxing.  Or, perhaps reading it straight through is a bad idea.  Perhaps readers should chop it into smaller bites and take a longer period of time than 5 weeks to work through it.

And that, in sum, is my suggestion to readers of this important work: take it rather slowly.  Read an essay a week.  Or perhaps two.  And allow them to ferment in your mind a bit before moving on to the next.  Take a year to read the collection.  You’ll be well rewarded, intellectually stimulated, and academically challenged.

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Posted by on 27 Sep 2018 in Book Review, Books, LXX


News from IOSCS

The IOSCS is pleased to announce the 2018 John W. Wevers prize for an outstanding paper in LXX studies goes to Daniel Olariu for his paper “THE MECHANICS OF THE RECENSIONAL PROCESS: THEODOTION’S TREATMENT OF FIRST-FOUND EQUIVALENTS IN OLD GREEK DANIEL.” Daniel is a PhD student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research project is “An Analysis of the Revisional Process in Theodotion’s Greek Text of Daniel,” being carried out under the supervision of Profs. Emanuel Tov and Michael Segal. –  Karen Jobes

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Posted by on 21 Sep 2018 in LXX


Will Ross Talks About the ‘Septuagint Reader’s Edition’

Over at our blog Septuaginta, I put together some information about what vocabulary we provided in the apparatus of our reader’s edition. Plus if you stick with it you’ll find a sample text from Exodus at the bottom of the post.


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Posted by on 11 Jun 2018 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Books, LXX


The Septuagint within the History of Greek

A one-day seminar on 20th April 2018. Room 7, Faculty of Divinity, at the University of Cambridge.  All welcome; Lunch provided for those who register by 12 April (Email:

There’s more info here.

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Posted by on 3 Apr 2018 in Bible, LXX


Logos on the LXX, and a Discount on some LXX Stuff


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Posted by on 8 Feb 2018 in LXX


The Brannan/ Penner Interview: #ICYMI

It’s on LXX stuff, so you have to read it today or you’ll be punished.

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Posted by on 8 Feb 2018 in LXX, Modern Culture


Quote of the Day (From the LXX, of Course)

ἀναστήσαι τὸ δέρμα μου τὸ ἀναντλοῦν ταῦτα·
παρὰ γὰρ κυρίου ταῦτά μοι συνετελέσθη,
ἃ ἐγὼ ἐμαυτῷ συνεπίσταμαι,
ἃ ὁ ὀφθαλμός μου ἑόρακεν καὶ οὐκ ἄλλος·
πάντα δέ μοι συντετέλεσται ἐν κόλπῳ.

“After my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:26-27)

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Posted by on 8 Feb 2018 in LXX


Jonah 4 in the Göttingen LXX

4 1 Καὶ ἐλυπήθη Ιωνας λύπην μεγάλην καὶ συνεχύθη. 2 καὶ προσηύξατο πρὸς κύριον καὶ εἶπεν Ὦ κύριε, οὐχ οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι μου ἔτι ὄντος μου ἐν τῇ γῇ μου; διὰ τοῦτο προέφθασα τοῦ φυγεῖν εἰς Θαρσις, διότι ἔγνων ὅτι σὺ ἐλεήμων καὶ οἰκτίρμων, μακρόθυμος καὶ πολυέλεος καὶ μετανοῶν ἐπὶ ταῖς κακίαις. 3 καὶ νῦν, δέσποτα κύριε, λάβε τὴν ψυχήν μου ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ, ὅτι καλὸν τὸ ἀποθανεῖν με ἢ ζῆν με. 4 καὶ εἶπε κύριος πρὸς Ιωναν Εἰ σφόδρα λελύπησαι σύ; 5 καὶ ἐξῆλθεν Ιωνας ἐκ τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἀπέναντι τῆς πόλεως· καὶ ἐποίησεν ἑαυτῷ ἐκεῖ σκηνὴν καὶ ἐκάθητο ὑποκάτω αὐτῆς ἐν σκιᾷ, ἕως οὗ ἀπίδῃ τί ἔσται τῇ πόλει. 6 καὶ προσέταξε κύριος ὁ θεὸς κολοκύνθῃ, καὶ ἀνέβη ὑπὲρ κεφαλῆς τοῦ Ιωνα τοῦ εἶναι σκιὰν ὑπεράνω τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ τοῦ σκιάζειν αὐτῷ ἀπὸ τῶν κακῶν αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἐχάρη Ιωνας ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ χαρὰν μεγάλην. 7 καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς σκώληκι ἑωθινῇ τῇ ἐπαύριον, καὶ ἐπάταξε τὴν κολόκυνθαν, καὶ ἀπεξηράνθη. 8 καὶ ἐγένετο ἅμα τῷ ἀνατεῖλαι τὸν ἥλιον καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ θεὸς πνεύματι καύσωνος συγκαίοντι, καὶ ἐπάταξεν ὁ ἥλιος ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν Ιωνα· καὶ ὠλιγοψύχησε καὶ ἀπελέγετο τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπε Καλόν ἀπο θανεῖν με ἢ ζῆν. 9 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεὸς πρὸς Ιωναν Εἰ σφόδρα λελύπησαι σὺ ἐπὶ τῇ κολοκύνθῃ; καὶ εἶπε Σφόδρα λελύπημαι ἐγὼ ἕως θανάτου. 10 καὶ εἶπε κύριος Σὺ ἐφείσω ὑπὲρ τῆς κολοκύνθης, ὑπὲρ ἧς οὐκ ἐκακοπάθησας ἐπʼ αὐτὴν καὶ οὐκ ἐξέθρεψας αὐτήν, ἣ ὑπὸ νύκτα ἐγενήθη καὶ ὑπὸ νύκτα ἀπώλετο. 11 ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ φείσομαι ὑπὲρ Νινευη τῆς πόλεως τῆς μεγάλης, ἐν ᾗ κατοικοῦσι πλείους ἢ δώδεκα μυριάδες ἀνθρώπων, οἵτινες οὐκ ἔγνωσαν δεξιὰν αὐτῶν ἢ ἀριστερὰν αὐτῶν, καὶ κτήνη πολλά;


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Posted by on 8 Feb 2018 in LXX


Jonah 3 in the Göttingen LXX

3 1 Καὶ ἐγένετο λόγος κυρίου πρὸς Ιωναν ἐκ δευτέρου λέγων 2 Ἀνάστηθι πορεύθητι εἰς Νινευη τὴν πόλιν τὴν μεγάλην καὶ κήρυξον ἐν αὐτῇ κατὰ τὸ κήρυγμα τὸ ἔμπροσθεν, ὃ ἐγὼ ἐλάλησα πρὸς σὲ. 3 καὶ ἀνέστη Ιωνας καὶ ἐπορεύθη εἰς Νινευη, καθὼς ἐλάλησε κύριος· ἡ δὲ Νινευη ἦν πόλις μεγάλη τῷ θεῷ ὡσεὶ πορείας ὁδοῦ ἡμερῶν τριῶν. 4 καὶ ἤρξατο Ιωνας τοῦ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ὡσεὶ πορείαν ἡμέρας μιᾶς καὶ ἐκήρυξε καὶ εἶπεν Ἔτι τρεῖς ἡμέραι καὶ Νινευη καταστραφήσεται. 5 καὶ ἐνεπίστευσαν οἱ ἄνδρες Νινευη τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐκήρυξαν νηστείαν καὶ ἐνεδύσαντο σάκκους ἀπὸ μεγάλου αὐτῶν ἕως μικροῦ αὐτῶν. 6 καὶ ἤγγισεν ὁ λόγος πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα τῆς Νινευη, καὶ ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ καὶ περιείλατο τὴν στολὴν αὐτοῦ ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ περιεβάλετο σάκκον καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ σποδοῦ. 7 καὶ ἐκηρύχθη καὶ ἐρρέθη ἐν τῇ Νινευη παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ παρὰ τῶν μεγιστάνων αὐτοῦ λέγων Οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὰ κτήνη καὶ οἱ βόες καὶ τὰ πρόβατα μὴ γευσάσθωσαν μηδὲν μηδὲ νεμέσθωσαν μηδὲ ὕδωρ πιέτωσαν. 8 καὶ περιεβάλοντο σάκκους οἱ ἄνθρωποι καὶ τὰ κτήνη, καὶ ἀνεβόησαν πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ἐκτενῶς· καὶ ἀπέστρεψαν ἕκαστος ἀπὸ τῆς ὁδοῦ αὐτοῦ τῆς πονηρᾶς καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς ἀδικίας τῆς ἐν χερσὶν αὐτῶν λέγοντες 9 Τίς οἶδεν εἰ μετανοήσει ὁ θεὸς καὶ ἀποστρέψει ἐξ ὀργῆς θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπολώμεθα; 10 καὶ εἶδεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἀπέστρεψαν ἀπὸ τῶν ὁδῶν αὐτῶν τῶν πονηρῶν, καὶ μετενόησεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ τῇ κακίᾳ, ᾗ ἐλάλησε τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοῖς, καὶ οὐκ ἐποίησεν.


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Posted by on 8 Feb 2018 in LXX


Jonah 2 In the Göttingen LXX

2 1 Καὶ προσέταξε κύριος κήτει μεγάλῳ καταπιεῖν τὸν Ιωναν· καὶ ἦν Ιωνας ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ τοῦ κήτους τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας. 2 καὶ προσηύξατο Ιωνας πρὸς κύριον τὸν θεὸν αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας τοῦ κήτους 3 καὶ εἶπεν
Ἐβόησα ἐν θλίψει μου πρὸς κύριον τὸν θεόν μου, καὶ εἰσήκουσέ μου·
ἐκ κοιλίας ᾅδου κραυγῆς μου ἤκουσας φωνῆς μου.
4 ἀπέρριψάς με εἰς βάθη καρδίας θαλάσσης, καὶ ποταμοί με ἐκύκλωσαν·
πάντες οἱ μετεωρισμοί σου καὶ τὰ κύματά σου ἐπʼ ἐμὲ διῆλθον.
5 καὶ ἐγώ εἶπα Ἀπῶσμαι ἐξ ὀφθαλμῶν σου·
ἆρα προσθήσω τοῦ ἐπιβλέψαι πρὸς τὸν ναὸν τὸν ἅγιόν σου;
6 περιεχύθη μοι ὕδωρ ἕως ψυχῆς,
ἄβυσσος ἐκύκλωσέ με ἐσχάτη,
ἔδυ ἡ κεφαλή μου εἰς σχισμὰς ὀρέων.
7 κατέβην εἰς γῆν, ἧς οἱ μοχλοὶ αὐτῆς κάτοχοι αἰώνιοι,
καὶ ἀναβήτω φθορὰ ζωῆς μου, κύριε ὁ θεός μου.
8 ἐν τῷ ἐκλείπειν ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ τὴν ψυχήν μου τοῦ κυρίου ἐμνήσθην,
καὶ ἔλθοι πρὸς σὲ ἡ προσευχή μου εἰς ναὸν ἅγιόν σου.
9 φυλασσόμενοι μάταια καὶ ψευδῆ ἔλεος αὐτῶν ἐγκατέλιπον.
10 ἐγὼ δὲ μετὰ φωνῆς αἰνέσεως καὶ ἐξομολογήσεως θύσω σοι·
ὅσα ηὐξάμην, ἀποδώσω εἰς σωτηρίαν μου τῷ κυρίῳ.
11 καὶ προσετάγη τῷ κήτει, καὶ ἐξέβαλε τὸν Ιωναν ἐπὶ τὴν ξηράν.


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Posted by on 8 Feb 2018 in LXX