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Invitation to the Septuagint Hardcover – 1 Jan 2009


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Hardcover, 1 Jan 2009
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (1 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801022355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801022357
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,740,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Karen H. Jobes (Ph.D., Westminster Theological Seminary) is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College. Moisés Silva (Ph.D., University of Manchester) has taught biblical studies at Westmont College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TRA on 18 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those seeking an introduction to the Septuagint and Septuagint studies will find that this fits the bill wonderfully. Its writing style makes it easily accessible to the non-specialist reader, but it will also be appreciated by those who are studying theology at university level.

To understand fully the import of some of the discussions, a knowledge of Koiné Greek at intermediate level, at least, is recommended, although quotations are translated into English and explained clearly. Likewise, a knowledge of Hebrew will help readers to appreciate some of the arguments. Nevertheless, those who have no Hebrew and perhaps little Greek should not be put off, as they will gain a great deal of background knowledge concerning the Septuagint by reading this book.

It must be clear that this is not a commentary on the Septuagint (although a few sample passages are commented on in detail); it explains what is known of the history of the production and transmission of the Septuagint, defines terms and clarifies the various Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures that have come down to us. It describes the areas of work in Septuagint studies and introduces the reader to the key people involved in Septuagint research over the past 150 years.

Among the useful appendices there is a very helpful glossary of technical terms, and the reader would be encouraged to explore this before embarking on the reading of the book itself. Another extremely helpful appendix explains and lists the principal differences of versification between the Septuagint and English translations of the Bible. This will also be helpful to those using Russian and Greek Bibles, which follow the Septuagint numbering.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Petar Antunovic on 9 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book describes the way the first script of herbrejske Bible have got since its inception to the present. This path have had a myriad of obstacles and today's reader often asked himself what is genuine and true, and what was added and invented. In this sense, Septuagint can provide the key and many answers. Septuagint is again the Greek translation of the Old Testament and the reader meets similar dilemmas, but the authors of the book were able to convince us that we are in safe hands and that we can rely on the book. It is very exciting book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
115 of 120 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Beginner's Guide 9 Dec. 2000
By A. D. Riddle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The two most impressive aspects of this work are 1) its organization and 2) it assumes no prior education in Septuagint studies on the part of the reader. The authors are careful to explain for the beginner such things as linguistic concepts and text-critical methods as they relate to biblical studies as a whole, and specifically to the Septuagint. It is not even assumed, for example, that the reader is aware the Septuagint and the LXX are one and the same. Throughout the book, Jobes and Silva clearly describe the numerous difficulties involved in this field, giving several examples along the way. As the book progresses, the level of difficulty increases, and the reader is made keenly aware of the problems involved in working with the Septuagint.
The book contains an outstanding glossary of terms, a subject index, a Scripture index, an index of authors, and a chart giving the corresponding English references for Septuagint references (as they do not always harmonize). It is organized into three parts, each part successively more involved and advanced than the previous. Total contents: Introduction, 14 chapters, 4 appendices, and 3 indices.
Introduction Part 1: The History of the Septuagint--Introduces the subject, including how "Septuagint" is pronounced and its relevance to biblical studies; describes its origin, how it was edited and copied over time, and introduces the reader to modern published editions of the Septuagint; explains translation methods of the Septuagint's translators. No Greek or Hebrew is required and any Greek or Hebrew terms used are transliterated.
Part 2: The Septuagint in Biblical Studies--Covers textual criticism; linguistic issues relating to Koine Greek in the New Testament and the Septuagint; importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls; the New Testament's use and quotation of the Septuagint; and the Septuagint translators' hermeneutical methods. Unlike Part 1 of the book, the reader will benefit more from this section by having at least an elementary knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. Terms are no longer transliterated.
Part 3: The Current State of Septuagint Studies--Introduces the reader to significant scholars in the field; current lexical and grammatical work; progress and theories related to textual criticism of the Septuagint; and theological factors during the Hellenistic period which may have affected interpretation and translation.
Overall, an excellent introduction. I myself have never before been exposed to the many issues related to Septuagint studies. I was impressed with the book's organization, clarity, and comprehensiveness in introducing the beginner to the difficulties and many related fields of study which are involved in working with the Septuagint.
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
The anti-Sepuagint scholar's guide to the Septuagint 3 Mar. 2007
By J. Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I must heartily second Shawn Gillogly's review. While this is actually a very erudite and valuable work, one can't help being befuddled by the authors' frequent disparagement of the Septuagint (LXX) in favor of the Masoretic text (MT) as a more reliable transmission of the sense of the lost original Hebrew "Vorlage." In addition to the question as to why the authors would devote their careers to a text they disparage as some unreliable flight of fancy, I still do not understand why a manuscript dating from the 10th century AD, which the authors acknowledge to differ heavily from even the revised and standardized Hebrew text of the 2nd century AD-which itself differed heavily from earlier variants- should be considered a more "reliable" text than the Greek translation from the 3rd century BC. The authors make snide remarks about the use of the Septuagint by the Early Church and the modern Greek Orthodox and declare that translations should "rightly" be made from the MT. They also make declarative statements about the so-called deuterocanonicals having never been included in the Hebrew canon. That's a true statement, on the surface, but since a Hebrew canon wasn't officially established until at least a century after Christ, that doesn't say much about the legitimacy of the Early Church having chosen the LXX, with its "deuterocanonicals", as its Old Testament text. Are the authors' preferences an example of philosemitism or Protestant bias? I don't know, but I don't think they make the case for the superiority of the MT over the LXX, and anyone reading this book would be hard pressed to explain why there is any value in studying the LXX at all, except as Mr. Gillogly mused, as an exercise to polish one's ancient Greek language skills. The authors' frequent summary dismissal of rival academics' theories also grates on the nerves. (The theory of so-and-so has been "refuted" or is "not persuasive") They should have left such catty editorializing for their next Bible scholars conference in Las Vegas.

However, apart from that main concern, this book does provide an excellent overview of the various LXX manuscripts, revisions, recensions, editions and controversies. Readers without an intermediate knowledge of ancient Greek and Hebrew might find large parts of the book hard slogging from page 103 onward, but it would still be comprehensible to a monolingual reader. To me, this book is an excellent technical introduction to the Septuagint, but its authors' opinions are misguided I think and inappropriate for a book purporting to be a reference work of impartial scholarship.
65 of 74 people found the following review helpful
A good, but flawed, introduction 29 May 2005
By Shawn W. Gillogly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
James Barr's review of this work hits the flaw of Dobes and Silva's work accurately, if with too much emphasis. Whenever the LXX is compared to the MT in the work, the MT is presupposed to be the more accurate, even when good grounds exist for seeing the LXX as at least equally probably, J&S leave the reader convinced the LXX is the inferior reading.

They overuse the appeal to the "more difficult reading" since one does not know what that the LXX Vorlage would have actually 'been' easier. One of the goals of a translator is to make the text understandable in the language it is translated into. By appealing to the more difficult reading rule in a case of translation, they are assuming that the text is a woodenly literal translation when it may not have been.

The result is when the LXX is clearly a complicated reading, the LXX must have 'garbled' the text. When the LXX is simpler, it must have been a later reading in the Hebew. One is left without a clear idea as to why one 'should' study the LXX, other than as a course of study or to work on one's Greek.

Much of the work is excellent. The biographies, the background of the LXX and the history of its translation, and other matters are very well done. But the work is significantly flawed in the area of Hebrew/Greek text comparison, and one should perhaps compare this with a work that is less presupposed to MT dominance when doing text comparisons and side-by-side translations of the MT and the LXX.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
A Must for Septuagint Study 10 July 2002
By Patrick Walsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an outstanding resource, both for beginners and seasoned amateurs. I can not comment for the professional, since this is not my profession. LXX study is very complicated, and has many interlocking issues including biblical scholarship, textual criticism, and historical analysis. Much of the material published in LXX Studies is highly specialized, and assumes a great deal of knowledge not easily accessible to the amateur or the beginner. This book is a brief survey of the many fields of research into the LXX and it also serves as an annotated bibliography. It assumes no a priori knowledge of LXX Studies, and presents the many different specialties in a broad overview. And at the end of each topic is a section "To Continue Your Study" giving an annotated bibliography on that particular specialty.
It has helped me to understand what the LXX is, how it was put together, and the relationship of the many different texts which are used to generate the critical modern editions of the LXX, such as Rahlfs "Septuaginta." It has also helped me to understand the relationship between the various specialties in LXX Studies.
The only drawback to this book is the sequence of the topics covered, since I had a hard time locating the excellent analysis of the modern critical editions. But this is a highly personal objection, and a small one at that.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Outstanding Introductory Text! 1 Dec. 2008
By bibliophile - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The approach taken by Karen Jobes and Moises Silva in Invitation to the Septuagint is quite different than what is found in much of the literature currently available on the Septuagint. Since Septuagintal studies are, as a whole, exceptionally specialized in both methodology and terminology, beginners to the process are easily intimidated. Starting from the premise that the reader may not be aware of the importance of the Septuagint, this book seeks to provide an introduction to the complex world of Septuagint studies. The audience of this book is students in the field of biblical studies, but scholars in the field will also benefit through a reading.

Jobes and Silva have organized the book into three major sections: the History of the Septuagint, the Septuagint in Biblical Studies, and the Current State of Septuagint Studies. The authors have included appendixes which list the organizations currently involved in Septuagint research, a glossary of terms, and a chart listing verse differences between Septuagint and English versions. Illustrations which display various manuscripts and current Septuagint versions are also provided throughout the book. The reader will find the "To Continue Your Study" section in each chapter of the first two major sections especially helpful. These provide bibliographic information for the most up to date Septuagint resources.

The first section of the book discusses the origin of the Septuagint and traces its transmission. Newcomers to the Septuagint will find this section invaluable, since most material available on the subject presupposes this background knowledge. The detailed breakdown provided by the authors on the numerous recensions of the Septuagint will be of special value to those interested in further research in this area. Since the authors assume the reader is unfamiliar with the Septuagint, Hebrew or Greek terms are transliterated and where necessary an explanation is provided.

Whereas the first section is designed to gently ease the beginner into Septuagint studies, the section that follows is intended for the more advanced reader. Knowledge of Hebrew and Greek is necessary to fully appreciate the discussion provided. The strength of this section is that it, although highly specialized at times, provides numerous examples of the difficulty and complexity of research in the Septuagint. Other helpful features include a key for the critical notes of current Septuagint editions and a detailed discussion of methodology for text-criticism of the Septuagint. Although it is designed as an introduction, the authors regularly converse with the most current and respected works in Septuagint studies throughout the book.

The final section is intended to bring the reader up to date on the current status of Septuagint studies. Beginning with a synopsis of 19th century Septuagint scholarship, Jobes and Silva trace major contributions to the field up to present day. The authors also provide a detailed overview of the theoretical aspects involved in attempting to reconstruct the original text of the Septuagint. The influence of the Hellenistic culture in which the Septuagint was translated is highlighted in this section as well.

Overall Jobes and Silva provide a sound introduction to the Septuagint. This book offers the beginning student a wealth of resources to help him or her dive into Septuagint studies. This text supplies a solid foundation from which further investigation can be undertaken. The authors hope this book will "inspire future generations to take up this fascinating field of research" (p. 10). While their goal may not be realized in every reader, this book does provide an appropriate foundation in the Septuagint for anyone engaging in biblical studies.
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