This weekend is the beginning of a book blog tour highlighting and discussing T. Michael Law’s new book When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible.
I have selected seven bloggers whose interest seem to be aligned with the content of the book. Oxford University Press sent them copies with the understanding that they’d provide unbiased reviews. Joel Watts of the popular Unsettled Christianity will be the first person to comment beginning this Sunday. James McGrath of the equally popular Exploring Our Matrix will end it on August 2nd. In-between I have bloggers who are known for their interest in the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, and all things related.
Why is this book being given this sort of attention?
I think the Septuagint is overlooked by most Christians and many scholars. The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible was central to the formation of early Christianity. While most modern scholars, seminary students, and pastors give their attention to the Hebrew text when preparing articles, books, papers, and sermons, the basic fact of the matter is that it impossible to understand how Christianity became such a widely spread religion if you don’t acknowledge the role of the Septuagint. If you disagree with this claim I hope you’ll read Law’s book.
You’ll want to bookmark NearEmmaus.com as the hub. Our schedule for the blog tour is as follows:
JOEL WATTS (Sunday, July 21st, http://unsettledchristianity.com/)
1 Why this Book?
2 When the World Became Greek
ANDREW KING (Tuesday, July 23rd, http://blogofthetwelve.wordpress.com/)
3 Was There a Bible before the Bible?
4 The First Bible Translators
KRISTA DALTON (Thursday, July 25th, http://kristadalton.com/blog/)
5 Gog and his Not-so-Merry Grasshoppers
6 Bird Droppings, Stoned Elephants, and Exploding Dragons
ABRAM K-J (Saturday, July 27th, http://abramkj.com/)
7 E Pluribus Unum
8 The Septuagint behind the New Testament
JESSICA PARKS (Monday, July 29th, http://facingthejabberwock.wordpress.com/)
9 The Septuagint in the New Testament
10 The New Old Testament
AMANDA MacINNIS (Wednesday, July 31st, http://cheesewearingtheology.com/)
11 God’s Word for the Church
12 The Man of Steel and the Man who Worshipped the Sun
JAMES McGRATH (Friday, August 2nd, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/)
13 The Man with the Burning Hand vs. the Man with the Honeyed Sword
14 A Postscript
Brian wrote: “While most modern scholars, seminary students, and pastors give their attention to the Hebrew text when preparing articles, books, papers, and sermons, the basic fact of the matter is that it impossible to understand how Christianity became such a widely spread religion if you don’t acknowledge the role of the Septuagint.”
I confess, this was me. Initially, I was highly critical of the Septuagint because it was written in Greek and it was thought no underlying Hebrew for the text known.
My thinking has been reformed for two reasons:
1. The supposition that no Hebrew text for the Septuagint was available is incorrect. The dead sea scrolls show many reading closer to the Septuagint then the Mesoretic text. It appears (to James VanderKam at least) that the Dead Sea scrolls show three distinct traditions still being formulated and canonized, the Mesoretic stream, the Septuagint stream and a proto-Samaritan Pentateuch. Moreover, the dead sea scroll community wrote commentaries comparing and contrasting these traditions, so they were also aware of the differences. The proliferation of Septuagint readings in the DSS caused me to question my presupposition.
2. The Septuagint presents Hebrew scripture in Greek translation. This is an extremely useful lense in studying New Covenant scripture written by Israelites. It shows how Hebrew words/idioms were translated into Greek which is useful in exegesis for exposing how translators have embedded their own ideas in their translation of the Greek.
Accordingly, I’m thankful someone like Brian, exposed me to the merits of the Septuagint.
Reblogged this on Facing The Jabberwock and commented:
Be sure to check out this blog tour over the next couple of days. It’s sure to stimulate a lot of great conversation about the Septuagint!
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