I’m excited to announce this morning my newest book that will hit shelves in early November: The Septuagint: What It Is and Why It Matters, which is being published with Crossway. It’s great to see this project come to fruition. Here are the details.
Long-time readers of my blog won’t be all that surprised to see that I co-wrote this book with my colleague, fellow-Cantabridgian, and New Testament alter ego Gregory R. Lanier, who is a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando. Greg and I have worked on a number of projects together at this point, all of which relate to the Septuagint. Perhaps the best known is our Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition (Hendrickson 2018), which was followed by our Book-by-Book Guide to Septuagint Vocabulary (Hendrickson 2019). (Yes, other projects are in the works, but let’s stay focused on the latest one!)
Greg and I began working on this new book about two years ago and it was a lot of fun to write. From the outset, we wanted to produce something that was accessible to students but also informative for ministry professionals and even useful for scholars. That is a tough balance to strike and our readers will have to judge for themselves whether we were successful.
About the Book
Part of what made the project challenging is the fact that the Septuagint is a broad and complicated field of study. That is why there are a handful of introductions and now handbooks for this area of scholarship. Each one has a slightly different focus and is needed in different ways. But another major challenge for us was to discuss the most important topics briefly, informed by the most recent scholarship, and without assuming knowledge of Greek or Hebrew. That last part especially is not something other introductions have so far tried to offer (and having done it I understand why).
For me personally, this book was also a great way to take the much more highly specialized work going into my T&T Clark Handbook for Septuagint Research (Bloomsbury 2021) — which was coming together as we were writing this book — and make that information way more accessible.
Here is the table of contents:
As you can see, we do tackle quite a range of topics and pack it all into a little more than two hundred pages. That is about half the length of Jobes and Silva’s Invitation to the Septuagint (2nd ed. Baker 2015), which is excellent but also more detailed and technical. Our chapter seven in particular offers our thoughts on a difficult topic that really does not get much discussion in the typical seminary classroom or the pulpit (understandably so), much less other literature on the Septuagint in general.
We were very glad to see some positive endorsements come through for this book as well. Here are just a few of them:
“It is good to have Lanier and Ross as reliable guides to the tricky but fascinating domain of the Greek Old Testament. Their short introduction is a rare achievement: introducing the complexities behind the term ‘Septuagint’ in a simple way without compromising accuracy. An excellent book.”
Peter J. Williams, Principal, Tyndale House, Cambridge
“Pastors and seminary students regularly ask me about the Septuagint and its significance for a modern, English-speaking Christian. The Septuagint: What It Is and Why It Matters is my new number-one recommended resource for these inquiries. The book is informed by a scholarly knowledge of the subject, yet it remains accessible and a pleasure to read.”
Robert L. Plummer, Collin and Evelyn Aikman Professor of Biblical Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Founder and Host, Daily Dose of Greek
“The Septuagint is a minefield of quandaries for both Bible scholar and devoted layperson: Why is the Septuagint in my Bible’s footnotes, offering a different reading from the main text or the source for the reading in the main text? Why do the New Testament authors quote from the Septuagint and not the Hebrew? In this book, Lanier and Ross know the minefield and ably guide readers through the potential dangers related to terminology, the task of ancient translation, textual and translational histories, canonical formation, and biblical authority and lead them safely to the other side. I happily recommend this book!”
John D. Meade, Associate Professor of Old Testament; Codirector, Text & Canon Institute, Phoenix Seminary; coauthor, The Biblical Canon Lists from Early Christianity
Keep an eye out wherever books are sold and pick up a copy of The Septuagint this November.