Ezekiel 21:7 gets my vote for most “interesting” verse in the TNIV, although 7:17 comes a close second.
“And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee be wet with urine.’ It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
The only other translations, that I know of, to go with “urine” instead of “water” are the NET and NEB. The Hebrew is literally, “their knees will run with water” and the LXX took this to be urine (ὑγρᾰσία because where else would that water come from?). Ezekiel certainly has a way with words, I will say that!
HT New Epistles.
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.
A New English Translation of the Septuagint has been published and is now available for order on Amazon (0195289757 / 978-0195289756) although they are saying it will be 1-2 months for delivery. I am sure it will be available at SBL later this month so that will probably be the first chance for most people to pick it up. Happy reading!
Today my friend Chris Chiu emailed me to recommend that I mention Greek Bible Study on my blog. It’s a website designed to help students learning Greek. It includes a number of helps such as mouse over parsing. You can also use it with Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek which would be really helpful for anyone using that textbook for learning Greek. I have not used the site myself but it looks tempting and as I find time over the next month I plan on checking it out and letting you know if it is as good as advertised.
There has long been a debate over the influence of the Greek language and culture on the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew scriptures but little has been said about the influence the latter had on the former. The Greek language gradually changed after Alexander conquered ‘the world’ and Jews played a role in this change. The Hebrew Bible was the way of life for Jews and therefore its translation into Greek would have impacted their use of that language more than that language would have impacted them. Does anyone know of a study in which this impact is measured; ranging from little things like the use of “en” to translate the Hebrew to bigger things like the use of “kurios” for God?
Yesterday I mentioned the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS). This is hardly the first time the Septuagint has been translated into English but the most common translation in use today is by Lancelot C.L. Brenton and was published in 1851. The NETS is therefore a huge step forward for those who cannot read Greek but want to study the Greek Old Testament. There are many other ancient versions which have been translated into English. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible was published by Harper Collins and translated by Martin G. Abegg Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich (0060600640). This translation contains all of the Old Testament which is found in the various Dead Sea Scrolls. Not all of the books survived in their entirety so this translation is missing some parts. Also the book of Esther was not found at Qumran so it is absent. George Lamsa translated the Syriac Bible and it was published as Holy Bible: From the Ancient Eastern Text by Harper Collins (0060649232). There are some problems with his translation however so handle with care. The Latin Vulgate has also been translated into English, most notably as the Douay-Rheims version. Available online: http://www.drbo.org. This is of interest in recognising why there are some fundamental differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants.
The New English Translation of the Septuagint has been completed and is available for download: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition. These files were sent to press on March 23, 2007 and will presumably be published by Oxford University Press by the end of 2007. Get them now before they are gone and you have to buy the book. I am actually looking forward to NETS being available in book form and I hope it isn’t too expensive. I had to read through NETS Exodus for a class I took and found it to be quite valuable. Happy reading!