Resources for Septuagint Study

Yet another reason to love Sunday: it’s Septuagint Sunday at Words on the Word. (Settle down.) Here are some resources I’ve found helpful for the study of the Septuagint:

Resources Relating to the LXX. From the Codex biblical studies blog by Tyler Williams. This is up-to-date and probably the best place to start working your way through what’s out there in Septuagint land right now. Williams lists available English translations, introductions, Greek editions, language tools, topical studies, and electronic resources for the study of the Septuagint. He includes brief and helpful descriptions of each resource he links to. The page looks to have been last updated in 2009, but it’s still pretty current.

Rod Decker’s LXX Resources page. Decker is behind the ever-helpful Koine Greek Reader, which includes grammar review, vocabulary lists, and graded readings in the Greek of the New Testament, the Septuagint, the Apostolic Fathers, and a few early church creeds. His resources page has some very helpful Septuagint vocabulary lists. This one (PDF) has all words occurring more than 100 times in the Septuagint. And this one (PDF) has words that occur more than 100 times in the Septuagint but less than 25 times in the New Testament. The second list is ideal for those who know their NT Greek, but want to branch out into the much larger vocabulary pool of the Septuagint.

Septuagint Online. By Joel Kalvesmaki. He gives a great historical overview of the Septuagint, including clarifying some terminology (see here). And here is his link to other Septuagint resources.

The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS)The IOSCS is “a nonprofit, learned society formed to promote international research in and study of the Septuagint and related texts.” Yes, I’m a member, as of this last week (honey, sorry you had to hear about it on the blog, but it was only $15). The IOSCS puts out an annual journal, has published some Septuagint monographs, and even has a book-by-book commentary series on the Septuagint in the works.

Albert Pietersma’s page. Pietersma co-edited the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS, all online for free here). His page contains, among many other useful resources, a couple of .pdfs on various Psalms, where he does a verse-by-verse commentary that examines both the Greek and the Hebrew. He prints the Greek and the Hebrew before commenting on it, too, so it’s a great way to increase one’s language skills. This allows one to see the kinds of issues that Septuagint translators were working on.

You may also wish to bookmark this link, which gathers all my posts that have a “Septuagint” tag (including this one, previous ones, and future ones I post).

Can’t be perfect? Do what you can.

I’ve been reading the Didache lately, an important discipleship treatise in the early church. It was probably written in the late first century.

It quotes a good deal of Scripture, and speaks primarily to would-be disciples about choosing between “two ways, one of life and one of death.” The early church held it in high regard, considering it to be at least comparable to canonical Scripture and worthy of study. I’ll have a chance to post more about the Didache this summer.

Here’s some great advice from Didache 6:2: “For if you are able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect. But if you are not able, do what you can.”

That much I can do.