All posts by Greg Lanier

An Entry-Level Guide to the Septuagint

In a few weeks my partner-in-crime (Will Ross) and I have a book coming out on the Greek Old Testament (Crossway). It is slated to be available for purchase in early November, though it can be pre-ordered now.

Will and I have worked together on a handful of projects over the past few years, both during our time overseas and now as colleagues at RTS. This latest book aims to be an entrypoint to the fascinating and important world of the so-called Septuagint, pitched at educated laypersons, ministry leaders, and Bible college or seminary-level students.

On the heels of our work on Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition (2018) and A Book-By-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary (2019), we were approached by Justin Taylor with an idea of producing a more accessible guide to the Septuagint. Interest level has grown in the past decade largely due to (a) extensive academic research that has trickled down and (b) regular appeals to “the Septuagint” or “the LXX” in the field of OT-in-the-NT. On paper a book like this is a bit out of the ordinary for Crossway, but with their recent work on the Tyndale House edition of the Greek NT as well as the companion introduction by Dirk Jongkind, it started to make sense.

Will has provided a more comprehensive overview of the book over at his blog, so check it out over his way.

In many respects the most important chapter of the book is its final one, which deals with how we should think about the authority of the Greek Old Testament. We will be presenting on this very topic at the November meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society–so stay tuned for more on that.

Side note about the cover

Astute observers might notice that the background image on the blue band of the cover is from a fairly well-known manuscript of the Greek OT known as Codex Marchalianus. Originally the draft cover design just had a plain blue bar, but we pitched the idea of layering in this manuscript. It’s a portion of Ezekiel, and down the left-hand side you can see asterisks in the margin. These are “hexaplaric” markings that entered the manuscript tradition due to the work of the famous church father Origen. What are those markings, and who is Origen?

You’ll have to buy the book to find that out 🙂

The Making of Corpus Christologicum

A few weeks ago I announced the release of Corpus Christologicum: Texts and Translations for the Study of Jewish Messianism and Early Christology (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2021).

The project was unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on in terms of complexity and workflow (the closest is Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition). As a way of reflecting on the process on my own, and perhaps as a benefit to others who might be interested in things like this, I thought I’d jot down a summary of how the sausage was made, as they say. I won’t cover all the steps, but here is a basic summary of how it came together.

1. Developing the Idea

As I delved into the topic of early Christology for my doctoral thesis, one thing I kept noticing was how scholars like Dunn, Hurtado, Bauckham, and others paid (what I then thought was) an extraordinary amount of attention to non-biblical sources–many of which were unfamiliar to me (as a recent seminary graduate). Even though I was working in an amazingly well-stocked library (the Tyndale House), I struggled with figuring out how to track down all these cross-references, from 1 Enoch to Life of Adam and Eve to Philo to various Dead Sea scrolls. It was hard enough in English, but it was even harder to know where to look for the original languages.

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New Book on Jewish Messianism and Early Christology

Though technically released in April–and then delayed due to some printing/inventory issues–my newest project is finally out: Corpus Christologicum: Texts and Translations for the Study of Jewish Messianism and Early Christology. Weighing in at over 730 pages, it’s certainly the most technical project I’ve done. It has been in the works since roughly 2014.

What is it? In a nutshell, this volume attempts to bring together all the primary sources from the Jewish world (broadly defined) that are of relevance in the study of messianic ideas leading into and following shortly after the era of the apostolic church. It aims to be the go-to resource for anyone who wants to study the background of the development of early Christian ideas about Jesus Christ from the perspective of primary sources themselves, not just what so-and-so scholars say about them. As such, it includes ~300 passages that are regularly cited in the study of “Messiah” terminology, messianic metaphors, “wisdom” and “logos” speculation, and so on.

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Catching Up on 2020 Projects

Given that it has been quite some time since my last post (COVID, etc.), I thought I’d do a quick synopsis of the various things I’ve had the privilege of working on over the past 12 or so months (rather than doing individual posts for everything).

New Book

In the latter part of 2020, my most recent book came out, entitled Is Jesus Truly God? How the Bible Teaches the Divinity of Christ. This was my first full-length project with Crossway, and it was a joy to work with Justin Taylor, David Barshinger, and several others on their team.

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New Book: A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary

Today, Will Ross and I announced our forthcoming book, A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary, which hits the shelves in a few weeks. This book is aimed at students who have learned some beginning Greek (typically for NT studies) and want to branch into the Greek OT (commonly called the Septuagint).

You can find out more about what the book entails by visiting the post below!

Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition

We are pleased to announce that our new book, A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary (Hendrickson), is releasing in the coming weeks. It is currently on pre-order sale for 50% off as well!

What Is It?

LXXVocabThis book fills an important gap in the market by providing a tool to help those reading the Septuagint “get up the learning curve” with Septuagint vocabulary. Surprisingly, there’s no comparable resource out there in an accessible form.

The book consists of 28 chapters that present vocabulary lists for specific sections of the Septuagint corpus. Within each chapter, vocabulary is arranged according to frequency for that section of the Septuagint, which allows users to focus on the most important words (by frequency) within sections of most importance to them. Each list consists of twenty words, which we deemed to be an ideal size for memorization. And each chapter includes enough lists (typically over a…

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So-called “Exalted Patriarchs” and Early Christology

What comes to mind when you think of Job?

Probably his innumerable sufferings, his insufferable friends, his desire to speak to God, and his dust-and-ashes when God speaks back.

But what probably does not come to mind is this:

Job said to his friends, “Be silent! Now I will show you my throne and the glory and the majesty that is among the holy ones. My throne is in the upper-cosmos, and its glory and majesty is from the right hand of the Father. The whole world will perish and its glory will be destroyed, and those who cling to it will partake in its overthrow. But my throne exists in the holy land, and its glory is in the era of the unchanging. … My kingdom is forever and ever, and its glory and majesty exists in the chariots of the Father.”

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Review of Mounce’s Greek Grammar (4th Edition)

A few months ago I saw an advertisement for the fourth edition of Bill Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek. I had learned Greek during seminary on the third edition of Mounce (with the “Professor” clippy thing and other foibles), and it is the edition from which I have taught for a few years at RTS-Orlando. With syllabi due for my summer courses, I knew I had to develop a perspective on the new edition as quickly as possible in order to decide whether to upgrade (and assign it to my incoming class).

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Reflecting on Mother’s Day

Over at our church website, I have written a reflection on the significance of Mother’s Day (coming up this weekend!) for the entire body of Christ.

As a “life-stage” holiday, Mother’s Day is often a difficult time for many women (and men) in the church. But wherever someone is in life (a bereaved mother, a single mom, a single woman, an adoptive mother, etc.), Scripture has a clear voice that bestows enormous dignity on wherever God has you right now. Mother’s Day, by the logic of the kingdom of God, is for all women: for all ultimately become spiritual mothers within the church body.

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A Brief Video on the Divinity of Jesus

Among scholars and laypersons alike, it is often though that Jesus was simply a human prophet or even failed apocalypticist. Maybe the Messiah of Israel, too. The idea that he is fully divine came into the picture later, as numerous Greek or other pagan influences infiltrated the church. Such is the thesis behind, say, Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God. The culmination of this process, so the theory goes, is the Council of Nicaea (325AD), which produced the Nicene Creed affirming the full deity of Jesus.

But are there reasons to question this paradigm? I would argue quite strongly “YES!” The idea that the full divinity of Jesus didn’t just evolve at Nicaea but is found throughout the NT documents (and the OT as well) was central to my doctoral work and other research/teaching. In this short video that is part of RTS’s #WisdomWednesday series, I articulate a few of the reasons why.

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