Discovering the Septuagint: A Guided Reader, Edited by Karen Jobes
This new guide to the Greek Old Testament is a great boon to anyone studying the Scriptures in their original languages. This new work is aimed at those students who have a good grasp of Greek already but need help in discerning unusual and necessary vocabulary. Karen Jobes, author of commentaries on 1 Peter, Esther and a book already on the Septuagint has given us a rich work here. Combining the work of various contributors, Discovering the Septuagint allows the reader to mine the depths of the LXX while seeking aid when words are used 25x or less in the text. The authors give us the parsing of each word and offer some explanatory definitions when things remain unclear.
Jesse Arlen and Kimberly Carlton point out a fascinating feature in their discussion of the superscriptions the psalms. They write, “…the superscription found above the psalms would have had liturgical use, and may be original to the OG translation…Pietersma sees them a series of notes added over a long period of time. (175) Although we cannot be sure if the superscriptions were original to the LXX in their original composition, they served a liturgical and wider use in the aiding of God’s people in worship. Some scholars understand these notes before the psalms as exegetical points, rather than some later peripheral addition.
One feature of the book that aids in our understanding in the notes the editors provide with certain words and phrases. In Psalm 21:11,with regard to the word metras, the editor states, “Probably a temporal reference meaning “from birth.” The temporal nature of the word gives us a greater clarity in the understanding of the entire phrase, rather than interpreting the word without regard for the entire meaning of the phrase.
I know this book will help many students in their study of the LXX.
Thanks to Kregel Academic for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.