Book Announcement: A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary

I am very excited to announce a new book that I’ve produced with my partner in crime, Greg Lanier: A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary (Hendrickson 2019). The volume is set to release in December, but it is currently available for pre-order (click on the image).

As many readers will know, while we were both involved in our doctoral research at Cambridge, Greg and I teamed up to produce Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition (Hendrickson 2018). That project has seen a lot of success now that it’s in the hands of Greek-lovers everywhere. But it wasn’t too long after the manuscript was finished for the Reader’s Edition that Greg and I got to work on this new project, the Book-by-Book Guide. The basic idea is pretty simple, but (we hope) very powerful.

Here’s the blurb from the back that explains the book:

This book-by-book vocabulary guide provides an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in more effective reading and study of the Old Testament in Greek, commonly called the Septuagint. Aside from two full-scale specialist lexicons for the Septuagint, no other printed resource exists that provides concise and strategic guidance to the language of this important ancient corpus. With word lists organized by frequency of appearance in a given book or section of the Septuagint, this guide allows users to focus their study efforts and thus more efficiently improve their breadth of knowledge of Koine vocabulary. Furthermore, the vocabulary incorporated into the lists in this guide integrates lower-frequency New Testament vocabulary in a manner that enables the user to easily include or exclude such words from their study. Other key features of this vocabulary guide include carefully crafted lists that allow users to refresh higher-frequency New Testament vocabulary, to strategically study higher-frequency vocabulary that appears across the Septuagint corpus, and to familiarize themselves with the most common proper nouns in the Septuagint. Moreover, each chapter in this guide has been statistically tailored to provide the word lists necessary to familiarize the user with 90 percent of the full range of vocabulary in each book or section of the Septuagint.

Endorsements

“Another indispensable resource for reading the LXX. Greg Lanier and Will Ross are the ‘dynamic duo’ of Septuagint study for a new generation.”

—Robert L. Plummer, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and founder of Daily Dose of Greek

“I am delighted to see an increasing interest in Septuagint studies, as well as the increase of relevant reference books. The broader the student’s understanding of Greek, the deeper their handling will be of both the LXX and Greek New Testament texts. This vocabulary guide is an essential part in gaining a familiarity with the Greek, and in turn will make reading the LXX more satisfying. The authors wisely divide the Greek words into three categories: those that are common in the New Testament, common words in the LXX (including names), and then the words specific to books of the LXX. By starting with a core vocabulary, the task of learning the vocabulary of specific books becomes less daunting. I highly recommend this guide, both for those engaged in Septuagint studies and for students who want to expand their understanding of the language of the Greek New Testament.”

—Bill Mounce, President, BiblicalTraining.org

“The authors of Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition, Greg Lanier and Will Ross, have done it again. A Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary is an excellent tool that gathers the vocabulary by frequency according to each Septuagint book separately, helping anyone unfamiliar with the many rare words in the corpus. It is ideal for learners or teachers who wish to expand their Greek vocabulary by starting with a biblical book of their choice. This helpful resource is clearly laid out and a pleasure to read. My only question is, Why has no one done this before?”

—James K. Aitken, Reader in Hebrew and Early Jewish Studies, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

“Once again Ross and Lanier have provided a well-developed and useful resource for those wishing to read the Septuagint. Their NT refresher and high-frequency LXX vocabulary lists provide a solid foundation for general reading, and their collection of terms for each biblical book grouped by number of occurrences allows for specialization and focused study. This will be valuable tool for students and scholars alike.”

—Sean A. Adams, Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Ancient Culture, University of Glasgow

“Gregory Lanier and William Ross have performed another outstanding service to the guild of biblical studies and to the church, facilitating yet further our engagement with the early church’s ‘other’ Old Testament, the form in which most Greek-speaking Christians engaged (and continue to engage!) this body of sacred literature. In this volume, they have offered for the Septuagint what Bruce Metzger provided for the New Testament so many decades ago in his Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek. The manner of presentation here has been very thoughtfully conceived, aiming to equip a person to read over 90 percent of the text of a given book without recourse to dictionaries. This is an ideal resource for the person who wants to build up his or her vocabulary through bite-sized frequency lists in order to engage any particular Septuagint book as a close reader.”

—David A. deSilva, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek, Ashland Theological Seminary

One Other Thing

Personally, I would recommend purchasing this book from Christian Book Distributors rather than Amazon. Why?

For one thing, Amazon seriously messed up the shipment of the Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition volumes. But for another thing, not long ago I was looking at the listing on Amazon for our Book-by-Book Guide and saw the following products that are supposedly “related” to it.

Clearly Amazon’s algorithms went boink when they saw this book. No surprise, I suppose. In any case, however you pick up a copy, we hope this tool proves to be very useful to those wishing to dive deeper into their study of postclassical Greek outside the New Testament corpus.

 

Trismegistos: Support an Invaluable Digital Resource

Septuagint scholarship has many facets to it. It touches on a great many aspects of biblical studies, such as textual criticism, diaspora Judaism, reception history, early Christianity, κτλ. But it also overlaps with other disciplines focused on the ancient world, such as classics, egyptology, epigraphy, and papyrology. In terms of its overlap with the latter, Septuagint scholarship has much to gain from interdisciplinary study of language and social context.

When it comes to original research conducted with the primary texts, there are few resources more valuable than Trismegistos. Many of my readers — even those who don’t consider themselves newcomers to the Septuagint — will have never heard of this website. That’s why I am posting about it, particularly since it is now at risk of running out of money and human resources to keep going. (more…)

An Initial Review of Baylor’s Introduction to the Septuagint

It’s great to see the appearance of a new volume for the field of Septuagint studies, this time from Baylor University Press. This coming November the new Introduction to the Septuagint, edited by Siegfried Kreuzer, will become available to students and professors alike. Dr. Kreuzer is Professor of Old Testament at Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel in Wuppertal, Germany, where the bi-annual Septuaginta Tagungen are held (e.g., here).

This is a volume you will certainly want on your shelf, but there are a few things to know about it before you take the plunge. (more…)