Category Archives: Septuagint/LXX

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.

Continue reading The Making of Corpus Christologicum

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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New Book on OT/NT Canon and Text

In late 2018 (in the UK), Christian Focus released my short book entitled How We Got the Bible. It is part of their “Christian Pocket Guides” series of books that target an educated layperson / pastor / student audience with accessible but still academically-rich content.

In this short volume (~107 pages), I try to distill down to the essentials the vast landscape of issues pertaining to how Scripture came together and made it to the present day church.

Continue reading New Book on OT/NT Canon and Text

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.

Continue reading Recent ETS and SBL Presentations

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

library

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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