Septuagint Studies Soirée #1


As soon as I announced the first-ever Septuagint Studies Soirée (and here it is!), J.K. Gayle responded with “Breast God: women in the male literary imagination of Genesis 49.” Find his post here. In it he writes about how the Greek translators of Genesis 49 rendered God’s Hebrew title Shaddai… or, rather, didn’t:

Then I recall what the Septuagint translators did with Shaddai in Genesis 49. They were men, weren’t they? Yes, breasts are mentioned, and womb. These motherly wifely womanly female images are in the Hebraic Hellene. And absence, margin, lack is there.

James Dowden offered further lexical analysis (I loved the detail) with a response here. These two gents are fine thinkers. And they are, indeed, gents. Gayle makes a point to recognize this in his WOMBman’s Bible blog, with a post in which he asks whether the Septuagint itself might not be some sort of soirée. I always need to spend some time with Gayle to really plumb the depths of his insights, but it’s time well spent. A sampling:

In many fascinating ways, this act of translating into Hellene opens up the text. It opens the text up into the debates over how Greek males (such as Alexander’s teacher Aristotle) may control the Greek language for elite educated men of the Academy. The language control was to exclude not only women but also sophists, rhetoricians, ancient epic poets, more contemporary poets, colonists such as those in Soli who committed “solecisms” in writing, and BarBarians who spoke in foreign barbarisms.

Read more Gayle here.

Along similar lexical lines, Suzanne McCarthy (Gayle blogs with her at BLT) tackled “another pesky Hebrew gender question” via Hebrew, Latin, English, and, of course, Greek. McCarthy also wrote about Adam’s nose (rendered “face,” but should it be?) here.

LXX Leviticus. Source: The Schøyen Collection

Jim West complained about Septuagint-o-mania (has he read the New Testament? has he read BLT blog???) but then posted a bunch of LXX-related links not long after (phew–he has read his NT, at least).

In two of the more substantive Septuagint posts this month, Nijay Gupta (who has impeccable taste in seminaries) wrote about the importance of the Septuagint (with an eye to pastors, among others). Part 1 is here. His Part 2 looks more closely at the Apocrypha. (“There is ample evidence to show that Jesus, Paul, James, and others certainly were acquainted with the Apocrypha and probably positively influenced by texts like Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach.”) His part 2 concludes with the promise of more to come.

Speaking of which, Jessica Parks was posting some great stuff on LXX Susanna earlier in the summer, so keep an eye out for anything LXX-related she may post in the future. She is now posting on Cataclysmic blog.

Brian LePort posted a good bit on the Septuagint in August (and before). He wrote about exegeting the Septuagint (with attention to its literary context) and even theologizing from it!

James McGrath looked to the Septuagint of Isaiah while reading Philippians 2.

This pre-dates August, but Blog of the Twelve posted a few LXX-related resources for consideration. And while we’re still dipping (but only briefly) back into July, Brian Davidson wrote about Matthew as a new Genesis.


TML bookT. Michael Law’s When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible went on tour. A multi-stop tour. Find all the posts gathered here at Near Emmaus. Oxford University Press, First Things, and Near Emmaus interviewed him.

Larry Hurtado mentioned that a book he co-edited with Paul L. Owen is now in (affordable) paperback. It’s called “Who Is This Son of Man?” The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus, found here.


The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies held its International Congress in Munich in early August. Here are all the paper abstracts (pdf); here is the program (pdf).


These are not blogs proper, and not terribly active of late, but still worth checking out are this B-Greek forum (link malfunctioning at time of posting) and this Yahoo! group for LXX. The IOSCS (mentioned above) has a great page with some news and announcements here.

Feel free to leave more August 2013 LXX links of interest in the comments.

13 thoughts on “Septuagint Studies Soirée #1

  1. Thanks for the Soirée! You, Abram, are such a careful reader and are clearly a wonderful blogger. Thanks for bringing so many of us to this, the first LXX LoLLapoLuza!

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