Modular Fall Course on Septuagint Genesis at TWU (Fall 2019)

Students interested in the Septuagint know how difficult it can be to find reliable guides to get familiar with the field. Books are one thing. But nothing quite substitutes for in-class instruction. That is one reason I am so glad that the fine scholars at the John William Wevers Institute for Septuagint Studies at Trinity Western University (Langley, BC) are stepping into the gap in North America.

I have posted numerous times in the past about the numerous summer schools that have taken place at TWU. You can read about them here:

As I’ve mentioned too, I have participated in two of these and they are well worth it.

Now, in addition to the summer school, TWU is offering a modular course this coming fall semester (2019). The 3-credit hour course will take place on the campus of TWU from October 21-25, 2019. For those who are unable to be physically present in (the very beautiful) Vancouver area of Canada this October, there is also a video live-streaming option.

The course is entitled “Exploring Septuagint Genesis” and it will be taught by Dr. Robert J. V. Hiebert. Several years back, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Hiebert about his work in Septuagint scholarship. He is a very well respected scholar. Aside from being the current president of the IOSCS and a joint-editor-in-chief of the SBL Septuagint Commentary Series, he is also currently editing the critical text of 4 Maccabees for the Göttingen series. Hiebert has also done a great deal of work in Greek Genesis — he was the book’s translator for NETS and is preparing the Genesis volume in the SBLCS — so he makes an ideal guide for a course like this one.

The course poster and description are below:

The Old Greek or Septuagint version of the Jewish Scriptures is the product of the work of Jewish scholars who, beginning in the third century BCE, undertook to translate the Hebrew Bible into what became the vernacular of the Mediterranean world and significant portions of West and Central Asia following the conquests of Alexander the Great. In this course, we shall explore the linguistic relationship between the Hebrew source text of Genesis and the Septuagint version as we seek to understand the meaning encoded in the translated text at its point of production, in distinction from the meanings that subsequent interpreters came to attribute to it. This will entail investigating the kinds of transformations that occurred in the translation process, examining the sorts of cultural and theological dynamics that were in play, and learning something about how Jews in the Hellenistic period interpreted their Scriptures. Consideration will also be given to the impact this Greek text had on the production of the New Testament.

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