Category Archives: Septuagint/LXX

Recent ETS and SBL Presentations

Several days ago I attended the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), held this year in Denver. For those who are unfamiliar with these conferences, they (along with a few others that meet at the same time, such as AAR and IBR) are essentially the Comic-Con of the biblical studies world, only without the costumes. I don’t know the numbers for this year, but in years past the ETS meeting has had ~3,000 attendees and SBL ~10,000.

When I was a postgraduate student, these two conferences were primarily a means of networking, which brought with it the scholarly insecurity related to finding a job. But this year, now that I’m happily employed at RTS, the conferences were much more about catching up with old friends and learning a few things along the way (the same was true last year, but this year proved to be even more personally enriching).

Amid various events, lunches, dinners, and long conversations with old pals, I also made three presentations (2 at ETS, 1 at SBL), each of which—consistent with a theme of my research over the past several years—related to the Septuagint, or Greek Old Testament. The run-down of each is below, for those who are interested.

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Q&A with Hendrickson on our Septuagint book

Will and I discuss further details about our Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition in this interview over at the Hendrickson blog.

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

As the publication date for the Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition and the academic shows approach, we’re excited to reveal to you this exclusive Q&A with the editors: Will Ross and Greg Lanier. The pair has exciting background information on the LXX to share, along with helpful advice for those of us who are intimidated by the idea of reading the Old Testament in Greek. Enjoy!

1. What made you decide to create Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition?

Greg: We were both early in our PhD work and had benefited from other similar “reader’s editions” (for the Hebrew Bible and Greek NT), which helped us develop our abilities in the languages and our familiarity with the Scriptures. After SBL in 2014, we exchanged emails that amounted to, “Why hasn’t anyone done this for the Septuagint? Why not us?” We reached out to a few people to start the process, and we…

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Early Feedback on the LXX Reader’s Edition

Many thanks to the scholars who have provided early comments on the LXXRE

Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition

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As early-career scholars, we have been influenced and inspired by a variety of senior scholars whose work has shaped ours in many ways. We were excited to reach out to many of them with a request to look at a sample of Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition and share their thoughts. The volume itself will ship with the endorsements from Dr. Jobes and Dr. Aitken. But we’ve received several others in the meantime, which we’ve provided below. The full list can be found on the Endorsements page.

Many thanks to you all for your kind words!

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For Our Septuagint Project, How Did We Handle the So-Called “Double Texts”?

In this post, we elaborate on how we handled the few books of the Greek OT (and apocrypha) that apparently circulated in two somewhat distinct textual forms.

Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition

EstherTobitS

As is well known in the field of Septuagint studies, certain books developed over time into distinct textual forms. That is, in some cases there are what look like two different Greek versions of the same book in the Septuagint corpus. In such cases, the manuscript evidence preserves two textual traditions that are substantially different enough that Rahlfs decided to differentiate them in his edition of the Septuagint.* Since we decided to use Rahlfs-Hanhart as a base text, when it came to producing the Reader’s Edition we had to ask ourselves how we would handle these “double texts,” as they are often called.

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A Note on How We Devised the Vocab Aids for our Septuagint Reader’s Edition

Will Ross on how we went about constructing the vocabulary apparatus for our LXX Reader’s Edition. Including a fancy chart that I no longer know how to explain even though I did it, as well as a short sample from Exodus.

Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition

Probably the most obvious question to ask about a reader’s edition is “What vocabulary do you provide?” After all, that is the basic function of this kind of book—to supply the reader with guidance on the form and meaning of difficult vocabulary.

So obviously that’s what we did.

But how did we define “difficult vocabulary” for Septuaginta? It was actually a pretty tricky issue to address. Let me explain.

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Why Did We Choose Rahlfs-Hanhart as the Basis for this Reader’s Edition?

The latest from our Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition blog, where we explain how we went about choosing the textual basis for our edition.

Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition

books

One of the first decisions we faced in scoping out this project was this: which Greek text should we use?

There were essentially four options on the table:

  1. H. B. Swete’s ‘smaller’ Cambridge edition from the late 1800s–early 1900s
  2. Brooke/McLean/Thackeray’s ‘larger’ Cambridge critical edition
  3. The semi-critical Septuaginta edited by Alfred Rahlfs and revised by Robert Hanhart (a.k.a. Rahlfs-Hanhart)
  4. The Göttingen critical edition

The first option is in the public domain and available electronically (e.g., here), which was a plus, but all agree it has been supplanted by others. The second option is also publically available (e.g., here) but unfortunately the original project was never completed.

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On the Strange Order(s) of the Murder-Adultery-Steal Commandments


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See discussion of this further over at Evangelical Textual Criticismhttp://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2018/04/greg-lanier-locating-inspired-original.html


During the Spring 2017 term at RTS-O, I taught an elective called “Septuagint Readings.” Each week ~14 students gathered to read various portions of the Greek OT. During one of the classes, I was struck with something I had seen before but not really internalized: the variations in the ordering of the 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments in Greek Exodus 20, Greek Deuteronomy 5, and the Hebrew behind the ESV/NIV/etc. None of them matched. I began to probe this…and one thing led to another, and this inquiry turned into an article that was recently published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (61.1).

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ETS2017 Paper on Inspired Use of Diverse Sources

This morning I presented as part of the New Testament Canon, Textual Criticism, and Apocryphal Literature Section of this years meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. The section is chaired by Dr. Michael Kruger (RTS-Charlotte) and Dr. Stan Porter (McMaster). It was a privilege to be a part of the session along with my other NT colleague, Dr. Charles Hill.

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Reading the Psalms with Jesus

Tonight I got to spend part of the evening with a group of students at Reformation Bible College, as part of their biweekly Abide fellowship. Lots of familiar faces from my church were there.

I did a short talk on how to read (at least some of) the psalms in the way Jesus (and other NT writers) guide us to read them. Not merely as anticipating him, but as giving voice to his own words and in many ways shaping his identity.

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