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Using the LXX


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#1 AdamR

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 09:09 PM

Hello all,

I'm a non-scholar (i.e. pastor) and would like to know how you all use the LXX in your own studies. I'd love to hear from scholars and non-scholars alike, though I'm particularly interested in hearing from the latter. As a pastor, do you make use of the LXX at all in your studies? If so, how so? How have you found studying the LXX beneficial for studying the NT? Etc.

Also, I'd love to see Accordance screenshots of how you're using the LXX if possible.

#2 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:43 PM

Hi Adam,

As a little background, I am a pastor and scholar (I wrote a paper on translation technique of LXX Ecclesiastes), and I use the LXX differently depending on what I am trying to accomplish. For preaching, I find the LXX helpful for NT word studies. I often find the background information the LXX provides about a word can helpfully color the NT understanding. For example, in John 12:25, Jesus uses the word apollumi to describe what happens to the person who loves his life. That word is used in the Pentateuch to describe what happens to those who offer child sacrifices and those who willfully break the covenant. While I would be hard-pressed to say Jesus had that full background in His mind, I think the violent nature of what the Pentateuch describes helps give a semantic range to that word. I also think caution should be exercised because different translators translated different books of the LXX, so it's dangerous to say how a word is being used unless you go back and compare the Hebrew background and understand a little of how the translator of a particular book handled the Hebrew original.

I also use the LXX to help get context for NT quotes of the OT. Sometimes what the NT writer quotes varies from the Hebrew text we have, and going back and examining the LXX is a good idea in those situations. Psalm 8 in Hebrew 2 is a good example.

The LXX can be used (very carefully) for text criticism as well, especially parts of the LXX quoted by the NT writers.

I hope some of this is helpful to you.

Grace,
Robb

Edited by Robb Brunansky, 23 April 2011 - 11:43 PM.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

#3 AdamR

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 11:15 AM

Robb,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, it was helpful.

I'd love to hear from others as well!

#4 AdamR

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 05:58 PM

Another question: Does one need a lexicon specifically for LXX studies or will BDAG et al. usually fit the bill?

#5 Steve Lo Vullo

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 06:09 PM

Another question: Does one need a lexicon specifically for LXX studies or will BDAG et al. usually fit the bill?


Hi Adam:

No, BDAG won't cover the extensive vocabulary of the LXX. You will have the glosses in Instant Details, but those will not be sufficient. I recommend getting the LEH-2 module, a lexicon prepared specifically for the LXX. It doesn't have the kind of expanded definitions that one would like, but it will at least cover all the vocabulary and give you a sufficient number of glosses to be helpful. I also recommend getting the NETS module, a translation of the LXX with helpful introductions and footnotes.

HTH
Steve Lo Vullo

#6 Bob Kuo

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 07:21 PM

Hello Adam,

I'm an M. Div student finishing up this Spring/Summer. I've done some research on the translation style of Amos and Habakkuk in the LXX. I've used the MT-LXX Parallel which was prepared by Emanuel Tov as well as the BHS-W4 module for my Hebrew OT. I also use the NETS module to get a good translation of the LXX - it is more modern than Brenton and seeks to be more like the NRSV in translation. If I had the money, I would definitely pick up some more of the LXX apparatuses and maybe even the newer Göttingen Septuagint. I would have to echo the earlier comments that the LXX is useful for examining how the NT uses the OT and also for examining the possible range of meanings for words used in the NT. Remember, the LXX was the NT writer's Bible and their vocabulary will be largely shaped by that thought. That'd being said, a good commentary or dictionary will have some of that information.

Hope this helps,

Bob

#7 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:34 PM

I think Liddell-Scott is better than LEH if you have to choose. Get both if you can afford it. Unfortunately, Accordance only has the abridged Liddell-Scott at this time, but that is generally sufficient for a quick definition.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

#8 CapnKirk

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:58 AM

(I wrote a paper on translation technique of LXX Ecclesiastes)


Robb,

"Translation technique" suggests that an important use of the LXX (or of the Targums or any other of the ancient versions) is for exegesis. Any translation, no matter how literal, is an interpretation of the original text. In the case of the LXX, it represents one strand of Second Temple Jewish interpretation. As with text criticism, the LXX needs to be used carefully with reference to exegesis.

Question: what sources would you recommend that one should consult to find out as much as we can about the translators and their theological and exegetical context?

Kirk
Kirk Lowery, PhD
President & Senior Research Fellow
J. Alan Groves Center
for Advanced Biblical Research
http://www.GrovesCenter.org

#9 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:46 AM

Kirk,

Two good resources to start with are On the Trail of the Septuagint Translators by Anneli Aejmelaeus and God Is My Rock: A Study of Translation Technique and Theological Exegesis in the Septuagint by Staffan Olofsson.

Grace,
Robb
Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

#10 CapnKirk

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:55 PM

Kirk,

Two good resources to start with are On the Trail of the Septuagint Translators by Anneli Aejmelaeus and God Is My Rock: A Study of Translation Technique and Theological Exegesis in the Septuagint by Staffan Olofsson.

Grace,
Robb


Thanks!
Kirk Lowery, PhD
President & Senior Research Fellow
J. Alan Groves Center
for Advanced Biblical Research
http://www.GrovesCenter.org

#11 AdamR

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:08 PM

Thanks, all, for the responses.

Steve – I appreciate the recommendation of the NETS module. That looks like a great place for me to start.

#12 AdamR

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:10 PM

Hello Adam,

I'm an M. Div student finishing up this Spring/Summer. I've done some research on the translation style of Amos and Habakkuk in the LXX. I've used the MT-LXX Parallel which was prepared by Emanuel Tov as well as the BHS-W4 module for my Hebrew OT. I also use the NETS module to get a good translation of the LXX - it is more modern than Brenton and seeks to be more like the NRSV in translation. If I had the money, I would definitely pick up some more of the LXX apparatuses and maybe even the newer Göttingen Septuagint. I would have to echo the earlier comments that the LXX is useful for examining how the NT uses the OT and also for examining the possible range of meanings for words used in the NT. Remember, the LXX was the NT writer's Bible and their vocabulary will be largely shaped by that thought. That'd being said, a good commentary or dictionary will have some of that information.

Hope this helps,

Bob


Bob,

I've become interested in getting the LXX module because I've been running into it quite frequently in commentaries and dictionaries. To a certain extent, I'd like to "check for myself" to see if such and such a reference comes from the LXX where they say it does. It's not that I don't believe the commentator or what-not, but it's sometimes nice to see it for yourself. :)

#13 RobM

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 08:39 PM

Bob,

I've become interested in getting the LXX module because I've been running into it quite frequently in commentaries and dictionaries. To a certain extent, I'd like to "check for myself" to see if such and such a reference comes from the LXX where they say it does. It's not that I don't believe the commentator or what-not, but it's sometimes nice to see it for yourself. :)


Absolutely!

Ad Fontes!

#14 AdamR

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 07:55 AM

Ok. Thanks again, everyone, for the many responses.

From what I'm hearing, it sounds like I should get the following if I really want to dig into the Septuagint.

1. LXX [Rahlfs] ($80)
2. NETS ($40)
3. Liddell & Scott lexicon ($60)
4. LEH lexicon ($70)

Do I need both #3 and #4? Which lexicon do you find yourself using most often when translating / reading the Septuagint in Greek?

Thanks again for all the help so far!

#15 Steve Lo Vullo

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:21 AM

Ok. Thanks again, everyone, for the many responses.

From what I'm hearing, it sounds like I should get the following if I really want to dig into the Septuagint.

1. LXX [Rahlfs] ($80)
2. NETS ($40)
3. Liddell & Scott lexicon ($60)
4. LEH lexicon ($70)

Do I need both #3 and #4? Which lexicon do you find yourself using most often when translating / reading the Septuagint in Greek?

Thanks again for all the help so far!


I would go with LEH, since it is prepared specifically for the LXX. Liddell & Scott is a Classical Greek lexicon. Accordance offers what some call the Middle Liddell, which is a condensed version of what has been called the Great Scott, the unabridged edition. It is the Great Scott that has a Septuagint supplement. This edition is planned by Accordance but not yet available. It will be vastly more expensive than either the LEH or the Middle Liddell. So I suggest for now LEH.
Steve Lo Vullo

#16 Robb Brunansky

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

I would go with LEH, since it is prepared specifically for the LXX. Liddell & Scott is a Classical Greek lexicon. Accordance offers what some call the Middle Liddell, which is a condensed version of what has been called the Great Scott, the unabridged edition. It is the Great Scott that has a Septuagint supplement. This edition is planned by Accordance but not yet available. It will be vastly more expensive than either the LEH or the Middle Liddell. So I suggest for now LEH.


You'll be fine whichever you choose, but I would probably go with Liddell-Scott for two reasons. One, it is going to have more words and broader usage for your overall studies than LEH. Two, it will give you a broader range of meanings for words since it is not specific to a certain corpus. LEH, due to its specificity, sometimes has artificial meanings that would be contested by Greek scholars. Ideally, you could purchase both and check what LEH says against LS, but the more useful lexicon overall, and, in my opinion, the more accurate lexicon, is LS.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Robb Brunansky

#17 mikes

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:38 AM

Ok. Thanks again, everyone, for the many responses.

From what I'm hearing, it sounds like I should get the following if I really want to dig into the Septuagint.

1. LXX [Rahlfs] ($80)
2. NETS ($40)
3. Liddell & Scott lexicon ($60)
4. LEH lexicon ($70)

Do I need both #3 and #4? Which lexicon do you find yourself using most often when translating / reading the Septuagint in Greek?

Thanks again for all the help so far!

Instead of #1, I'd go with the MT-LXX add-on. I regret not doing that myself and it includes Rahlfs LXX! Another option to #1 that I actually have found useful is the LXX Apparatus Add-on that includes Swete's Tagged LXX, his apparatus, and cambridge apparatus. See here to understand the differences between LXX editions

Based on the description of your usage, I would hold off on #3 and #4 until you run into a very specific need - you can purchase and download modules in a matter of minutes now.

Another great resource to check out: Dr. Decker's page on LXX. He is an accordance user and frequents the forums as well (surprised he hasn't chimed in).

Edited by mikes, 26 April 2011 - 09:41 AM.


#18 AdamR

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 12:42 PM

It sounds like opinions are split between Liddell/Scott and LEH, so I think I'll take the advice to hold off on both of those for a while. I'd love to hear more advice regarding these two lexicons, though.

The MT-LXX parallel looks great, but I have no facility in biblical Hebrew (yet), so it seems like it'd be overkill for me for the time being. (That said, maybe it'd be more help than I realize; see below.)

Here's the scenario I ran into this morning where it made sense to me to try a search in the LXX. I'm going to recount it here so that you all can chime in with whether or not I'm on the right track for using this resource.

I was reading in 1 John this morning in the Greek NT and ran across παράκλητον in 2:1. I then became curious about it since παράκλητον seems to refer to Jesus in this context. I did a search in the Greek NT and found παράκλητος four other times in the Gospel of John. There, of course, it seems to be referring to the Spirit. BDAG wasn't much help (I was already fairly certain that the "courtroom setting" many so often imagine in this passage was incorrect), so my instinct was to see if παράκλητος occurs in the LXX or if it's unique to the Johannine literature. I'm not sure what I would find there (since I don't have the LXX yet!), but it seemed to make sense at the time. Does any of that make sense? I'd be particularly interested to see if παράκλητος is ever used for rûaḥ.

Is what I'm intuiting a good way of utilizing the Septuagint or am I way off? Feel free to comment with other thoughts and/or experiences you've had, too. I'd love to hear how the LXX has enhanced your own studies. Thanks again!

#19 mikes

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 02:51 PM

I I'd be particularly interested to see if παράκλητος is ever used for rûaḥ.

MT LXX Parallel would have shown you this in 2 seconds.

#20 AdamR

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:02 PM

MT LXX Parallel would have shown you this in 2 seconds.


So you're saying it could be helpful. :)




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