As you may know if you read my blog regularly, a brand new Septuagint Studies consultation was launched last year at ETS. Even better, we were also approved with “consultation status,” which means we’re sticking around each year through 2019. It’s an exciting new academic pathway for the Society, one that I hope will encourage greater numbers of evangelicals to engage with this fascinating and important discipline. We had a good turnout last year for the presentations, which were given by each of the members of our steering committee. I’m hopeful that this year we’ll see even greater numbers at the session.
Building Interest in Septuagint Scholarship
In order to generate as much interest and draw as many people as possible to this year’s Septuagint Studies session, we decided to make it an invited session. This allowed us to pursue a “dream team” of presenters who are well-known in ETS circles. For the most part, this year’s panelists are not known primarily as “Septuagint scholars,” but each of them is active in the discipline at some level. In the process, some turned us down for this year, but expressed interest, which means that we will have a great panel next year too.
One concern that we occasionally heard while recruiting presenters was that ETS did not need to launch a new venue for Septuagint studies. “There are few enough of us as it is,” went the response, “Why disperse things even more?” And there’s some merit to this criticism. If you want to be part of “the guild” in Septuagint studies, look no further than the IOSCS, which is and will continue to be the premier venue for the study of the Greek Old Testament and other versions. So to be clear, we are not attempting to become a “new” IOSCS. In fact, every member of the steering committee (and most or all of our presenters thus far) are current and active members in IOSCS and have contributed to the JSCS.
But what we do want is to draw more people within the evangelical world towards study of the Septuagint. The ETS Septuagint Studies session is meant to be a kind of funnel towards the IOSCS by hosting evangelicalism’s finest biblical scholars engaging with the discipline in constructive and responsible ways. With that end in mind, we have also decided that alongside of the top scholars invited this year (and, possibly, next year also) we would accept a current doctoral candidate whose work in LXX demonstrates the rigor and caliber we’re interested in fostering.
So with that, here is the current lineup for this year:
The 2016 Septuagint Studies Panel
Thursday, 1:00-4:10pm | Marriott-Rivercenter Room 2
Moderator: William A. Ross (University of Cambridge)
1:00-1:40pm | Dr. Stanley E. Porter (President & Dean, McMaster Divinity School)
Paper: “Why a Greek-text Oriented Commentary Series is Necessary”
1:50-2:30pm | Dr. Karen H. Jobes (Professor Emerita, Wheaton College)
Paper: “‘It Is Written’ The Septuagint and Evangelical Doctrine of Scripture”
2:40-3:20pm | Dr. Peter J. Williams (Warden, Tyndale House, Cambridge)
Paper: “On the Invention and Problem of the Term ‘Septuagint’”
3:30-4:10pm | Mrs. Jennifer B. Jones (Doctoral Student, McMaster Divinity
Paper: “Theme Variation in Zechariah 2:10-17 (6-13): A Comparative Analysis of Two Textual Traditions”
Again, we’re hoping this lineup does nothing but attract people to the session. Please share this post with anyone who might be interested. I’ll be sure to post a more detailed schedule for the session once it is available.