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The Greek of the Septuagint: A Supplemental Lexicon
|by Gary Alan Chamberlain|
Size: 7 x 9.25 inches
Pub Date: 2011
Item Number: 37410
Categories: General Reference Works; Language and Reference
An Essential Addition to any Greek New Testament Lexicon
For New Testament students and scholars who want to fully exegete the Septuagint, this lexicon will be a welcome addition to their libraries. Used in conjunction with the New Testament (NT) lexicon they already possess, The Greek of the Septuagint: A Supplemental Lexicon will bridge the gap with additional information that’s needed to translate the Septuagint.
While those who have learned the Greek of the New Testament possess the grammatical skills necessary to read Septuagint Greek, the vocabulary found in the Septuagint differs sufficiently from both that found in the NT and that found in Classical Greek, so that a specialized lexicon is not just of great help, but essential.
"Chamberlain has written several scholarly articles on Septuagint lexicography, and here provides a supplement to the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG), the standard New Testament lexicon. He developed it by poring through and comparing several standard editions of the Greek Septuagint, and finding variations that are not accounted for in the standard lexicon. He does not include the most common words, for which the range of meanings is essentially no different than in BDAG. When the word is not in the New Testament lexicon at all, or is different enough to be considered a totally separate word, he constructs a whole new lexical entry."
This book is conceived as an essential supplement to Bauer-Danker, Greek-English
Lexicon of the New Testament, 3d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000),
henceforth BDAG. The treatment in BDAG is supplemented when the LXX has
meanings. New lexical articles are composed when the LXX word is not
in BDAG at all. However, there is no treatment of the most common words, the
range of meanings of which does not differ from that in BDAG. It is assumed that
the reader has sufficient command of ancient Greek. An underlying thesis of the
work is that the LXX is no special “Jewish-Greek.” The author states the distinctive
contribution of this lexicon as follows: it is “the first systematic attempt to acknowledge
every word or use that conforms to ordinary expectations for fundamental/
classical or KoinÓ Greek on the one hand and, on the other hand, to account for all
the instances in which ‘in manifold and diverse ways’ the LXX vocabulary confronts
us with unprecedented challenges” (p. xii)."
"This lexicon of the Septuagint is intended as a supplement to BDAG (w. Bauer/F. W. Danker, A
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament), the standard NT lexicon, much as the standard
patristic lexicon (Lampe) is constructed as a supplement to Liddell/Scott/Jones (LSJ), the
standard lexicon of classical Greek. Chamberlain prepared it by reading through the Septuagint,
comparing the various editions, assessing the variant readings, and working through the standard
LXX concordance. After a four-page preface, he presents a nineteen-page introduction in which
he treats the character of Septuagint vocabulary, with reference to precise parallels,
transliterations, hapax legomena, and so on. Then on pp. 1-185 he provides the lexicon itself, in
double-column pages with the Greek word for each entry, a translation, references to its
occurrences in the LXX, and other information (occurrences elsewhere, grammatical analysis,
etc.). There are three appendixes: word lists; a comparative index of words in this lexicon and
BDAG; and Septuagint-English Bible parallels."
C.'s Lexicon aims to assist readers of the LXX with its (ca. 5000) Greek words and distinct meanings of 1000 additional words that lack an equivalent in the NT and so are not treated in the lexica of NT Greek. The lexicon proper with its definitions for the words in question and indications concerning the occurrences in the LXX (and Greek literature more generally) is preceded by an extensive introduction. In this introduction, C. categorizes the terms and meanings featured in the lexicon under the following headings: precise parallels (LXX usages which have exact counterparts elsewhere in extrabiblical Greek), transliterations, hapax legomena, words first found in the LXX (as far as currently available evidence goes), words with no parallel meaning attested in secular Greek, stereotypical translations, mistranslations (i.e., from the underlying Hebrew), textual variants, and words involving multiple factors. Lists of LXX words and meanings pertaining to each of these categories are provided in a first appendix at the end of the volume. Two further appendixes offer, respectively, a "comparative index of words in this lexicon and BDAG" and " Septuagint English Bible Parallels" (this noting differences between the two versions in their names for the various books as well as in their chapter and verse divisions).”
“In order to understand and develop all appreciation of sacred texts, the reader must go beyond the words on a page. Former pastor and seminary professor, Gary Alan Chamberlain, addresses this challenge in The Greek of the Septuagint: A Supplemental Lexicon, a resource that provides essential information for students to realize the dual nature of studying scripture (i. e., the content and original language). Most lexicons typically list words and definitions enabling the reader to translate text from the original language: however, Chamberlain also includes introductory sections that explain his comprehensive research of the Septuagint (LXX), and his mission of providing the first systematic attempt to identify every word in the LXX as used by the Greeks of the time period. The LXX, the most ancient translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, is traditionally attributed to 70 Jewish scholars brought to Alexandria, Egypt between 300-200 B.C.E. for the sole purpose of translating these scriptures for Hellenistic Jews no longer conversant in the Hebrew language.
“Using his knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, Chamberlain has classified all words of the LXX into nine groups based on their origins and relationship to the Greek language as used in contemporary nonsecular literature: precise parallels, transliterations, words found only in the LXX, first known use, no parallels, stereotypical translations, mistranslations textual variants, and textual conjectures. Each bold entry term includes the definition, citations both scriptural and nonsecular, as well as an abbreviation for one of the nine classifications. Three appendixes conclude this resource: the first lists all words under the nine classifications; the second contains a comparative index to other standard New Testament Greek lexicons, and the third provides Septuagintr-English Bible parallel tables.
“Chamberlain's work illustrates his continued dedication to scripture study and to supporting advance readers who know the value of understanding the original language of sacred texts. This ground-breaking resource, a bridge spanning languages and time periods, is essential for scholars and studentsand should be on the shelf of all libraries that support religious studies programs.”
“This volume is a lexicon of words from the LXX, utilizing the Rahlfs (though not the more recent Rahlfs-Hanhart) and Gottingen editions, as well as Hatch and Redpath's concordance. It is billed as "supplemental" in that it treats terms not found in the NT / BDAG (5,000 words) and some words that are found in BDAG, but that have distinct LXX usages (1,000 words).
“Throughout his preface and introduction, Chamberlain exhibits concern that the reader recognizes the commonality of LXX vocabulary throughout the ancient world. He also repeatedly voices his interest in the meaning of words "to a non-Jewish Hellenistic reader" (viii, xii-xv), a distinction that may be helpful if it were more fully explained. He also claims an "indisputable" conclusion that the LXX "offers no evidence for any Jewish-Greek dialect in Biblical times" (xvii). This statement appears to broach an old debate, but does little to clarify and seems out of place in a lexicon. More appropriate for a lexicon is a clear statement on lexicographical methodology, as one finds in, e.g., Muraoka, but which is absent here. Most of Chamberlain's definitions are translational equivalents or glosses rather than true definitions that are explanatory in nature.
“The lexicon itself is helpfully concise. It provides an English gloss with various notations regarding overlap with Classical usages, the occasional parsing helps, and various other features addressed more fully in the appendices. The first appendix is a set of nine word lists of: (1) "precise parallels"—words in "extrabiblical texts" closely comparable to LXX usages cited in the lexicon; (2) transliterated words; words either (3) unique to the LXX or (4) first occurring in the LXX; (5) words with LXX meanings that have no parallel meaning in "secular" Greek; (6) "stereotypical" terms-words used consistently for a single Hebrew term regardless of semantic range; (7) "mistranslations"; (8) textual variants (based on Rahlfs); and (9) "textual conjectures" —words that suggest an "emendation of MT for the underlying Hebrew" (presumably a different Vorlage).
“The second appendix is a "Comparative Index of Words in This Lexicon and BDAG." Here Chamberlain distinguishes between words covered in BDAG but excluded in his lexicon, words unique to his lexicon not found in BDAG, words treated in BDAG but bearing unique usages in the LXX (and therefore covered in the present lexicon). The third appendix gives a comparison of LXX books with English Bible books with respect to their titles, but also provides a handy chart for where referencing discrepancies exist between the English translations (based on the MT) and LXX.
Chamberlain himself suggests that the chief value of this volume with regard to LXX lexicography is its positing of a taxonomy of categories (xii). This is indeed a helpful step, though his nomenclature and points of delineation require more substantial engagement with current Septuagintal lexicographical discussion. The appendices are welcome reference tools. Yet it remains unclear why one would not simply use a LXX lexicon, such as J. Lust (J. Lust, E. Eynikel, K. Hauspie, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, rev. ed. [Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2003]) or T. Muraoka (A Greek English Lexicon of the Septuagint [Lueven: Peeters, 2009]). These remain the indispensable lexicons for the LXX.”
Gary Alan Chamberlain (PhD, Boston University) has worked as a pastor, seminary professor, and private scholar, as well as having extensive experience in the world of business and finance. He is the author of The Psalms: A New Translation for Prayer and Worship (Upper Room, 1984) and of several scholarly articles on Septuagint lexicography.
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