Epistles of Thomas

February 8, 2008

International Septuagint Day

Filed under: Septuagint — Thomas @ 23:23

The IOSCS declared February 8 International Septuagint Day in 2006 “to promote the discipline on our various campuses and communities.” In honour of this, Drs. Larry Perkins and Rob Hiebert gave a LXX lecture at ACTS yesterday. Hiebert is the translator of Genesis in NETS and Perkins of Exodus. Both are currently at work on commentaries on their respective books.

Hiebert began the lecture with a slide show and summary of the Letter of Aristeas version of the creation of the LXX. He then gave some examples of variation between the Hebrew and Greek texts of Genesis. For example, Genesis 37:28 records in the Hebrew that Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver. The LXX (probably) adjusts for inflation and records that he was sold for 20 pieces of gold. He also demonstrated that the New Testament authors quoted from the LXX rather than the Hebrew. Examples are Genesis 5:22 / Hebrews 11:5 and Genesis 47:31 / Hebrews 11:21.

Perkins gave an overview of similar differences appearing in Exodus. The translator of Exodus wanted to preserve the transcendence of God and subtly changed some wordings. For example, Exodus 24:10-11 records that the elders “saw” the God of Israel and “beheld” him. The LXX changes this to say that they saw the place where God was and beheld that spot.

Perkins also included a valuable section dealing with the use of kyrios in the LXX and in quotation in the NT. For example, Romans 10:9-13 quotes Joel 2:32 but Jesus is the referent rather than YHWH. Both Jesus and Yahweh are called kyrios / Lord. Similar use is made in 1 Peter 3:14 from Isaiah 8:12-13 and Mark1:1-3 from Isaiah 40:3.

Both gentlemen spoke with authority and dedication and the NETS translation is well worth getting. Go buy it now. 0195289757. 9780195289756.

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