The Septuagint in Context: Introduction to the Greek Version of the Bible

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This translation of the second - revised and expanded - Spanish edition deals fully with the origins of the Septuagint. It discusses its linguistic and cultural frame, its relation to the Hebrew text and to the Qumran documents, the transmission of the Septuagint and its reception by Jews and Christians. It includes the early revisions, Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, the Christian recensions and particularly Origen's Hexapla, Biblical commentaries and catenae, as well as other issues such as the relation of the Septuagint to Hellenism, to the New Testament and to Early Christian Literature.
It is a comprehensive introduction to the Septuagint, the first translation and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and to other Greek versions of the Bible.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.

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Editorial Reviews

This close translation of the Spanish (incorporating Marcos's style rather than moving to idiomatic English) provides English readers with a substantial text on the Septuagint. Marcos explores the origins of the text, its linguistic and cultural frame<-->incorporating into this second edition the latest studies on post-classical Greek; describes its relation to the Hebrew text and the Qumran documents, and explores its transmission and early reception. The early revisions are taken into consideration, especially Origen's, and issues such as the relation of the text to Hellenism, the New Testament, and early Christian literature are considered. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
'This is a very valuable book for scholars and graduate students working in the field of patristics, Greek Bible versions, textual criticism of the Bible and Hellenistic Judaism.
A. Salvesen, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 2002.
'...Fernández Marcos has put scholars and students alike around the world in his debt for such an authoritative and comprehensive introduction to the Septuagint.'
Peter J. Gentry, The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, 2004.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004115743
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Series: Biblical Studies and Religious Studies
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Natalio Fernández Marcos is a Research Professor at the Institute of Philology, where he served as Director from 1988 to 1992.
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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Acknowledgements xv
Part 1 The Linguistic and Cultural Setting
1 Biblical Greek and its Position within koine 3
a. History of Research 3
b. Comparison with the Papyri 6
c. The New Approach of Bilingualism 9
d. The Technical Language of Hellenistic Prose 12
e. Conclusions 13
Select Bibliography 16
2 The Septuagint as a Translation 18
a. An Unprecedented Event 18
b. A Range of Translation Techniques 22
c. Modern Linguistics and the Translation Process 26
Select Bibliography 30
Part 2 The Origins of the Septuagint
3 The Letter of Pseudo-Aristeas and Other Ancient Sources 35
a. The Jews of Alexandria 35
b. Description and Contents of the Letter 36
c. Historicity 39
d. Date of Composition and Sources 41
e. Purpose of the Letter 43
f. The Letter in Jewish Tradition 44
g. Later Legend concerning the Origin of the Septuagint 47
h. The Completion of the Septuagint 50
Select Bibliography 51
4 Modern Interpretations of the Origins of the Septuagint 53
a. The Septuagint as a Greek Targum (P. Kahle) 53
b. An Alexandrian Origin but in the Maccabean Period (c. 146 BCE) 57
c. A Palestinian Origin 58
d. A Liturgical Origin 59
e. The Transcription Theory 61
f. Other Theories 62
g. The Proto-Septuagint 64
Select Bibliography 66
5 The Septuagint and the Hebrew Text 67
a. Two Texts Face to Face 67
b. Qumran and the Septuagint 70
c. The Use of the Septuagint in Hebrew Textual Criticism 76
d. Textual Criticism and Literary Criticism 79
Select Bibliography 83
6 The Double Texts of the Greek Bible and Targumism 85
a. Introduction 85
b. Double Texts in the Septuagint 88
c. Targumism 101
Select Bibliography 103
Part 3 The Septuagint in Jewish Tradition
7 Aquila and his Predecessors 109
a. Ancient Witnesses 111
b. The Sources of this Version 113
c. Characteristics 115
d. Current Research and Future Prospects 119
Select Bibliography 121
8 Symmachus the Translator 123
a. Ancient Witnesses 123
b. Sources for Symmachus 127
c. Characteristics 128
d. Current Research and Future Prospects 133
Select Bibliography 140
9 Theodotion and the [characters not reproducible] Revision 142
a. Ancient Witnesses 142
b. Sources 145
c. Characteristics 146
d. Current Research and Future Prospects 148
Select Bibliography 153
10 Other Ancient Versions 155
a. The Quinta (E') 155
b. The Sexta (Z') 159
c. The Septima 160
d. The Hebrew 161
e. The Syrian 164
f. The Samariticon 167
g. Josephus the Translator 169
Select Bibliography 172
11 Jewish Versions into Mediaeval and Modern Greek 174
a. Witnesses 175
b. Relationship to Earlier Jewish Versions 183
Select Bibliography 186
Part 4 The Septuagint in Christian Tradition
12 Transmission and Textual History 191
a. Introduction 191
b. External Transmission 194
c. Internal Transmission 199
d. Textual Restoration 200
Select Bibliography 202
13 Origen's Hexapla 204
a. Origen and his Knowledge of Hebrew 204
b. The Hexapla 206
c. The Fifth Column of the Hexapla and the secunda 213
Select Bibliography 220
14 The Lucianic Recension 223
a. Ancient Witnesses 223
b. History of Research 226
c. Characteristics 230
d. Current Research and Future Prospects: The Proto-Lucianic Text 232
Select Bibliography 236
15 Hesychian Recension or Alexandrian Group of Manuscripts? 239
a. Ancient Witnesses 239
b. The History of Research 241
c. Hesychian Recension or Alexandrian Revision? 242
Select Bibliography 246
16 Other Revisions 247
a. Pre-Hexaplaric Revisions 247
b. Para-Hexaplaric Revisions 252
Select Bibliography 256
17 Indirect Transmission: Biblical Quotations 258
a. The Septuagint in Hellenistic Jewish Historians 260
b. The Septuagint in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha 262
c. The Septuagint in Philo and Josephus 264
d. The Septuagint in the New Testament, Apostolic Fathers and Apologists 265
e. The Septuagint in Inscriptions and Papyri 267
f. Quotations from the Fathers and the Septuagint 269
Select Bibliography 271
18 Aporiai and Biblical Commentaries 274
a. Aporiai 275
b. Commentaries 280
Select Bibliography 285
19 The Literature of the Catenae 287
a. Formation of the Literary Genre 287
b. Formal Aspects of Catenary Manuscripts 290
c. Textual Contents of the Catenae 293
d. Methodology for Studying the Catenae 298
e. Catenary Manuscripts in Spanish Libraries 299
Select Bibliography 300
Part 5 The Septuagint and Christian Origins
20 The Religion of the Septuagint and Hellenism 305
a. Introduction 305
b. The Hellenisation of the Jews 306
c. The Hellenisation of the Septuagint 311
d. The Formal Hellenisation of the Wisdom Writings 314
Select Bibliography 318
21 The Septuagint and the New Testament 320
a. Introduction 320
b. Quotations of the Old Testament in the New 323
c. Other Areas of Influence 332
Select Bibliography 335
22 The Septuagint and Early Christian Literature 338
a. The Bible of the Fathers 338
b. The Septuagint and Christian Greek 343
c. The Septuagint Translated 346
Select Bibliography 361
Glossary of Technical Terms 363
Index of Modern Authors 369
Index of Biblical Quotations 382
Abbreviations 389
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    I made a huge mistake buying this book. When I opened the packag

    I made a huge mistake buying this book. When I opened the package, I was very frustrated to see that it was not quite what I ordered. The photo of the book they have on the website is from the edition that has stitched
    pages (I used one at a library). The one that they sent me has a different cover (which is not a problem) and GLUED pages which will fall out after reading the book a few times. The book's binding is very week. Because I live oversees and had a friend bring it to me, I missed 14 day return period and Barnes &amp; Noble would NOT accept the return even though they sent me the wrong edition. I will never buy from B&amp;N again. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK.

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