The Septuagint and the Major Recensions

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After the books of the Septuagint were translated and the so-called Old Greek text was born, several learned Jewish and Christian scholars were motivated to revise it. Different motivations influenced different people, but most notable was the need to make the Greek text conform with the Hebrew text, which was regarded as authoritative and differed to some extent from the source text of the translation. These activities resulted in the various recensions that are introduced in this article. The study of recensions is a fundamental research question of Septuagint studies, which cannot be bypassed if one wishes to use the Septuagint in critical research. After a brief introduction of the concept of recension, this article introduces the main views and debates related to the major recensions. First, the early Jewish kaige revision is introduced, followed by a consideration of the versions attributed to “the Three”: Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. Second, the two major Christian recensions—the Hexaplaric and the Lucianic recensions—are discussed together with the specific challenges related to their research. After the discussion of the Lucianic recension, the problem of the so-called proto-Lucianic text is considered, together with a text-critical example that reveals in practice why knowledge about the recensions is important. Finally, some current challenges and future implications are mapped out. Throughout the discussion, textual examples are presented and practical tools are introduced. Besides introducing key concepts of this area of Septuagint studies, the practical aim is to equip the readers to carry out their own critical research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationT&T Clark Handbook of Septuagint Research
EditorsWilliam A. Ross, W. Edward Glenny
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherT & T Clark
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9780567680259
ISBN (Electronic)9780567680273
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 614 Theology

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