I have been keeping a secret. Now it’s out.
For the last several years, I have been working alongside Gregory R. Lanier (RTS Orlando) to produce a “reader’s edition” of the entire Septuagint. And finally, it’s (almost) finished.
It’s been listed on ChristianBook and will be available in November.
You are probably familiar with the idea of a reader’s edition, which over the past ten years or so has grown in popularity. Although there are others on the market, I think the reader’s edition of the Hebrew Bible and of the New Testament by Hendrickson Publishers are the best out there in terms of quality and readability. That is a big reason that we went with Hendrickson ourselves (although there are others) and I dare say they are doing a great job.
The basic idea behind a reader’s edition is to provide an edition of the ancient text – in our case Rahlfs-Hanhart’s – annotated with running footnotes with lexical information. Since most students and scholars of biblical studies are most familiar with New Testament vocabulary, picking up a Septuagint can make for a challenge. Our reader’s edition seriously reduces that challenge by providing the footnotes for rarer vocabulary, thereby making the reading experience much more seamless and less intimidating.
But this is not the place to discuss every aspect of the project. It was, after all, a pretty big project. So Greg and I have set up a website specifically for doing so:
Our plan is to use this site to outline details of Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition, how we produced it, details of its publication, and even to provide some samples of the text. You should note that Greg also maintains a blog that’s worth your time, and he’s posted something about this project today as well.
F. Hitzig (1807–22)
On a final note, there is a legendary quote by biblical scholar Ferdinand Hitzig, who is reported to have remarked to his students,
“Gentlemen, have you a Septuagint? If not, sell all you have, and buy one.”
I couldn’t agree more. Except to add that – when you do – make sure it’s the reader’s edition! If you are the conference-going type, you can plan to do so there.