Invitation to the Septuagint, 2nd Edition

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This comprehensive yet user-friendly primer to the Septuagint (LXX) acquaints readers with the Greek versions of the Old Testament. It is accessible to students, assuming no prior knowledge about the Septuagint, yet is also informative for seasoned scholars. The authors, both prominent Septuagint scholars, explore the history of the LXX, the various versions of it available, and its importance for biblical studies. This new edition has been substantially revised, expanded, and updated to reflect major advances in Septuagint studies. Appendixes offer helpful reference resources for further study.

Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Map
Time Line
Introduction: Why Study the Septuagint?
Part 1: The History of the Septuagint
1. The Origin of the Septuagint and Other Greek Versions
2. The Transmission of the Septuagint
3. The Septuagint in Modern Times
4. The Septuagint as a Translation
Part 2: The Septuagint in Biblical Studies
5. The Language of the Septuagint
6. Establishing the Text of the Septuagint
7. Using the Septuagint for the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible
8. The Judean Desert Discoveries and Septuagint Studies
9. The Septuagint and the New Testament
10. Interpreting the Septuagint
Part 3: The Current State of Septuagint Studies
11. Our Predecessors: Septuagint Scholars of a Previous Generation
12. Current Studies in Language and Translation
13. Reconstructing the History of the Text
14. Theological Development in the Hellenistic Age
Appendixes
A. Major Organizations and Research Projects
B. Reference Works
C. Glossary
D. Differences in Versification between English Versions and the Septuagint
E. Symbols and Abbreviations of the Göttingen Critical Apparatus
Indexes


Endorsements

"Jobes and Silva's Invitation proposes a full tour of Septuagint studies. All aspects of the ancient Greek version are explored, with extensive examples and discussion of scholarly approaches. The first edition, whose excellent reputation is entirely deserved, will be superseded by this second edition. Completely reworked and admirably up to date, it relates constructively to some criticisms expressed about the first edition. This book merits a place in the library of anyone seriously interested in the study of the Bible."

Jan Joosten, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford

"Since the first edition of Jobes and Silva's groundbreaking introduction, research on and interest in the Septuagint has increased dramatically. This new edition has incorporated the most up-to-date scholarship in the same informed and accessible style as the first. Kudos to the authors for so lucidly guiding their readers through the most recent developments in Septuagint studies. This volume should be on the shelf of all who are interested in this corpus, whether they are general readers or specialists."

Benjamin G. Wright, University Distinguished Professor, Lehigh University

"Invitation is the best entry-level introduction to the burgeoning and complex field of Septuagint studies, bar none. In this second edition, the authors have clarified misunderstandings, responded to criticisms, thoroughly revised and updated the work, and added helpful material for using the Göttingen editions. It is a must for every student and scholar of the Septuagint."

Peter J. Gentry, Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Invitation to the Septuagint is a well-established standard work for students and specialists alike and one of the most valuable resources on Septuagint studies today. This second, expanded edition takes an already invaluable tool to its highest level as a comprehensive primer and a compendium of existing information. Marked by substantial revisions and valuable additions, it incorporates a large number of the most important developments since the first edition, making it not only an excellent tool for newcomers but also a prominent reference work for seasoned scholars on the history of Septuagint studies and on the current state of research in a rapidly expanding field of study."

Gert J. Steyn, University of Pretoria

"For years I have been using and recommending Invitation to the Septuagint as an excellent, reader-friendly introduction to an often complex field of study. It orients the novice and nonspecialist to the discipline by means of clear explanations of key terms and concepts, liberal use of examples and illustrations, and up-to-date discussions of the spectrum of issues and perspectives within the world of Septuagint scholarship. Its usefulness as a resource for the Septuagintalist should also not be underestimated. The second edition judiciously augments the content in light of the many developments in the world of Septuagint and cognate studies during the past fifteen years. Regardless of whether one agrees on every point with the authors' perspectives, in terms of its clarity, conciseness, and coverage of the field, Invitation to the Septuagint is an admirable achievement."

Robert J. V. Hiebert, Trinity Western University

"It is up-to-date with the most significant contributions in the field, offering the reader a good presentation and a fair analysis of the most crucial sources in Septuagint research. I think the authors have succeeded in doing justice to one of the most complex subjects in biblical studies."

Myrto Theocharous, Greek Bible College, Athens, Greece

Praise for the First Edition

"This is a very inviting book for anyone wanting to learn about the Septuagint, not only those for whom this is a first introduction but also those who know their way in this area."

Emanuel Tov, Hebrew University

"This book provides up-to-date information concerning the making, transmission, and significance of the Greek Septuagint, the first translation of the Hebrew Bible. Students and pastors alike will profit from the research of Jobes and Silva, presented in clear and understandable form."

Bruce M. Metzger, Princeton Theological Seminary

"This modern manual on the Greek Bible has three main qualities: (a) the exposition of every subject is very clear and can be followed by a wide spectrum of readers; (b) it is fluently written and is capable of raising the interest of readers with frequent references to the situations of our modern world; and (c) the authors are acquainted with modern linguistics. Consequently this book makes a very complex subject understandable and is very fitting for students of the Bible, theologians, philologists, and historians."

Natalio Fernández Marcos, CSIC, University of Madrid

"Invitation to the Septuagint answers the crying need for an up-to-date, well-informed introduction to the Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible. The authors have pitched the work just right for students tenderfooting their way into biblical scholarship. I dare say, though, that many a seasoned scholar who often uses the Septuagint will learn much to improve that use and prevent misuse. Here is a volume not to be missed, good for use as a textbook and good for continuing use as a reference."

Robert H. Gundry, Westmont College

"Jobes and Silva have produced the first genuine introduction to the Septuagint. The timing of its appearance is fortuitous, since at least half a dozen translations of the Greek into modern languages are currently in progress--a clear testimony to wide-spread interest. Step-by-step the reader is coached into the field, helped along by clear description, relatively simple language, and numerous apt illustrations. A map and brief chronology of the Hellenistic period further lend a helping hand. Each chapter begins with an anticipatory summary and ends with suggestions for further study. Several indices permit easy locating. The book is well organized, its scholarship is very informed and even handed. There is no doubt that the authors have discovered a need in biblical studies and have superbly filled it."

Albert Pietersma, University of Toronto


The Authors

  1. Karen H. Jobes
    © Les Barker

    Karen H. Jobes

    Karen H. Jobes (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis, Emerita at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She is the author of several books, including 1 Peter in the Baker...

    Continue reading about Karen H. Jobes

  2. Moisés Silva

    Moisés Silva

    Moisés Silva (PhD, University of Manchester) has taught biblical studies at Westmont College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He lives in Litchfield, Michigan.

    Continue reading about Moisés Silva

Reviews

"[The authors] offer a new edition of their comprehensive and useful introduction to the Septuagint. . . . Every chapter is now longer, with bibliography added and the text expanded. . . . This introduction to the Septuagint is certainly a great and useful guide not only for students but also for specialists for several reasons. First of all, the language is simple and clear, and there are many examples that make it possible for students to follow along and permit them to assimilate the most important concepts about the Greek version of the Bible. . . . Second, the parts and chapters are organized very well, and the figures help readers to comprehend the material. . . . Third, the bibliography is carefully updated, and at the end of every chapter the reader can find a section entitled 'To Continue Your Study.' This material enables students in particular to deepen their knowledge and research. . . . This book represents a very important tool for Septuagint studies, a rich introduction and a compendium, as well as a reference work for the current state of research on the Greek version of the Bible."

Andrea Ravasco,

Review of Biblical Literature

"The first edition of this book . . . was very well received and appears in the bibliography of most courses on the Septuagint or related topics, such as the use of the Old Testament in the New. The second edition has grown from 352 pages to 408, and the additions are most welcome. . . . Students and scholars will find much of value here."

Steve Moyise,

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"This is most welcome second edition of a valuable and well-established handbook to the LXX. . . . [It] represents the results of a remarkably careful and complete updating. The seamless integration both of the substantial fresh or rewritten material and of a great deal of new bibliography is masterly. The 15 years between the two editions have seen extraordinary growth and development in Septuagint studies. . . . The editors of the volume are at home in this new world, and there is very little of it that they have failed to do justice to. . . . New and important sections illuminate a succession of complex and still contested issues, without taking sides. . . . Scholars of this generation whose pathbreaking work has been brought to the fore and incorporated into the wider picture are too numerous to mention. . . . All this undoubtedly puts Jobes and Silva's second edition at the forefront of high quality introductions to the LXX."

Tessa Rajak,

Society for Old Testament Studies Book List

"In this updated and expanded edition . . . [the authors] incorporate significant contributions from the last fifteen years of research in the field of Septuagint and cognate studies. The authors expand each chapter with fuller discussion of previously treated topics, while also addressing new issues."

J. E. J.,

Old Testament Abstracts

Praise for the First Edition

"This book by academics Jobes and Silva admirably delivers what it promises: it is a clearly written and organized introduction to the Greek-language Hebrew Scriptures commonly called the Septuagint, or LXX. The authors address, with great effectiveness, the history of the Septuagint itself, its transmission over time, the establishment of its text, its interpretation, its relationship to Judaism and Christianity both ancient and modern, and the current state of scholarship on the subject. Sustaining interest in this text, still too little known to the non-specialist, is a fine achievement, especially when done with the grace and intelligence the authors display. Highly recommended."

Library Journal

"Both Jobes and Silva have experience as students, instructors, and researchers in the Septuagint. They have seamlessly combined their individual insights and interests to produce a pedagogically sound volume that is accessible to those with little prior knowledge of the Septuagint. . . . In the 2,300 or so years of its existence, the Septuagint has never before been the subject of such an attractive introduction. It is sincerely hoped that at least a few young scholars, accepting this invitation, will in due course join the ranks of Septuagint specialists."

Leonard J. Greenspoon,

Religious Studies Review

"This work is an excellent introduction to the LXX that is both theoretically sound and practically conceived. It will be of great use to students entering the world of LXX studies as well as to biblical scholars desiring a clear presentation of the status quaestionis."

Tyler F. Williams,

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

"This is a good all-round introduction to the Septuagint. . . . This volume provides a good entry point into Septuagint studies and would be a suitable text for a course on this subject."

John F. Brug,

Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly

"If you want a basic introduction to the Septuagint then look no further. This book is unique in seeking to introduce students to the maze of Septuagint studies without assuming prior knowledge of, or even (to begin with) acquaintance with Greek. Yet despite this its final chapters contain enough depth to allure scholars who have already traced the Septuagint's labyrinthine paths."

P. J. Williams,

Themelios

"This book is exactly what the authors claim it to be. It is a concise introduction to the history and scholarship associated with the Septuagint that allows the reader to probe those topics with increasing depth. Having recently completed a dissertation and monograph associated with the Septuagint, I can honestly say that these authors have left no stone unturned. All the key issues are noted and the tensions that exist within the study of this text are laid bare. The uninitiated readers who are seeking an introduction to the Septuagint will feel they have their money's worth by the close of Part One. The reader seeking a more advanced survey of Septuagint studies will be rewarded throughout. And the doctoral student seeking a dissertation topic within this area of research will find this the perfect starting place to survey the field of study. Given the up-to-date, clear and complete nature of this survey, it will quickly find its way to the desk of every thinker who is serious about the study of the Septuagint."

John A. Beck,

Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin

"What is given here is remarkably clear and evenhandedly presented, and all will appreciate the extensive bibliographical listings."

Lester L. Grabbe,

Expository Times

"This is a commendably accessible and well-conceived introduction to the LXX, especially useful for students gearing up for serious work in NT/Christian Origins."

Larry Hurtado,

blog (larryhurtado.wordpress.com)

"This volume supplies a long-felt need for a user-friendly introduction to the LXX for the student who has no prior knowledge of the field. . . . Even seasoned biblical scholars may find it worthwhile to consult this work, for they may learn a thing or two about the arcana of LXX studies."

Old Testament Abstracts

"The volume is attractively produced and was proofread with exceptional care. Beginner and specialist alike will find much of value in these pages."

Theological Studies

"Both advanced students and scholars who wish to refresh their understanding of the Septuagint will appreciate this carefully researched and well-written book."

The Bible Today

"Jobes and Silva write for people who have no previous knowledge of this famous Greek translation of the Old Testament, begun in the third century B.C.E. . . . . Four appendixes describe major scholarly organizations and research projects, reference works, a glossary of technical terms, and differences in versification between the LXX and English versions. I'll make it required reading."

Ralph W. Klein,

Currents

"A serviceable introduction to the academic discipline of Septuagint studies. . . . A useful framework for exploring some of the more difficult issues related to the text of the Old Testament."

TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism

"The volume by Jobes and Silva, representatives of two different generations of Septuagint scholars, has appeared at an opportune time. . . . The structure of the book is well-planned and organized, it is logical and makes for easy reading. . . . In the final analysis the authors must be thanked for this thorough, encompassing, and balanced venture; in Pietersma's words, 'the first genuine introduction to the Septuagint.' I am certain that it will constructively be used by newcomer and specialist and that it will become a standard work in the near future!"

Johann Cook,

Ephemerides Theologicae Lovaniensis

"Waiting for an up-to-date, accurate, and understandable guide for the study of he Greek Septuagint is over. . . . Invitation to the Septuagint undoubtedly will become the textbook of choice for any institution offering an introductory course in Septuagintal studies."

Master's Seminary Journal

"Jobes and Silva are to be congratulated and thanked for their excellent work. Invitation to the Septuagint will quickly become a dog-eared volume on the desk of many a student and scholar of the Bible. Though the book is intended especially to help beginners in the field find their way, even seasoned scholars will turn to Jobes and Silva, both for the convenience its well organized format affords and for its articulate treatment of advanced topics."

Jannes Smith,

Bulletin for the IOSCS

"We commend this authoritative and helpful guide, written as it has been by two seasoned practitioners in the delights, dangers, and pitfalls of establishing and using the text of the Greek Old Testament and of plotting its history and significance. . . . [The authors] have an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and an international perspective on current developments as well as a good pedagogical approach to the subject. We are in sure and experienced hands."

J. K. Elliott,

Novum Testamentum

"This well-organized book fills the need for an up-to-date and accessible introduction to the making, transmission, and significance of the Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible. It is very fitting as a textbook for students of the Bible and as a source of reference for theologians, philologists, and historians."

J. A. Naude,

Old Testament Essays

"Professors Jobes and Silva's expertise in Septuagintal studies . . . uniquely equips them to offer English-speaking readers a first-ever, major introduction to the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. . . . Despite the complexity of this field of study, the authors are to be commended for their very readable writing style, thus making the Invitation to the Septuagint even more inviting."

Southwestern Journal of Theology

"The approach taken by Karen Jobes and Moisés Silva is quite different than what is found in much of the literature currently available on the Septuagint. . . . 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. . . . 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. . . . 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."

Marcus P. Adams,

Ashland Theological Journal


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