This comprehensive yet user-friendly primer to the Septuagint (LXX) acquaints readers with the Greek versions of the Old Testament. It is accessible to students, assuming no prior knowledge about the Septuagint, yet is also informative for seasoned scholars. Karen H. Jobes and Moisés Silva, both prominent Septuagint scholars, explore the history of the LXX, the various versions of it available, and its importance for biblical studies. This new edition has been substantially revised, expanded, and updated to reflect major advances in Septuagint studies. Appendixes offer helpful reference resources for further study.
For more studies of the Septuagint check out The Septuagint and Modern Study.
“Origen revised the Greek translation commonly used in the third century, ‘correcting’ it on the basis of the Hebrew text available to him. After his work, the name Septuagint began to be used to refer both to the Greek text he had used as his base and to the text that resulted from his revisions!” (Page 23)
“The reader is cautioned, therefore, that there is really no such thing as the Septuagint.” (Page 17)
“More manuscripts of the Greek OT survive than of any other ancient Greek text except the NT.” (Page 2)
“The Vulgate was largely the work of one man (Jerome) at one time (the end of the fourth century) in one place (Bethlehem).2 As a result, the Latin Vulgate as a whole displays considerable unity. Not so with the Septuagint, which was produced by many people unknown to us, over two or three centuries, and almost certainly in more than one location. Consequently, the Greek OT does not have the unity that the term the Septuagint might imply.” (Page 14)
“When Christianity spread outside the borders of Palestine, it was apparently the Greek version of the Jewish Scriptures from which the apostles, especially Paul, preached Christ. It is often said that the resulting tension between Christians and Jews, both of whom used the Greek Bible but understood it differently, was the primary reason that the synagogue abandoned the ‘Septuagint’ to the church and produced a new Greek translation of the Hebrew texts.” (Page 25)
Jobes and Silva’s Invitation proposes a full tour of Septuagint studies. All aspects of the ancient Greek version are explored, with extensive examples and discussion of scholarly approaches. . . . Completely reworked and admirably up to date, it relates constructively to some criticisms expressed about the first edition. This book merits a place in the library of anyone seriously interested in the study of the Bible.
—Jan Joosten, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Oxford
Since the first edition of Jobes and Silva’s groundbreaking introduction, research on and interest in the Septuagint has increased dramatically. This new edition has incorporated the most up-to-date scholarship in the same informed and accessible style as the first. Kudos to the authors for so lucidly guiding their readers through the most recent developments in Septuagint studies. This volume should be on the shelf of all who are interested in this corpus, whether they are general readers or specialists.
—Benjamin G. Wright, University Distinguished Professor, Lehigh University
Invitation is the best entry-level introduction to the burgeoning and complex field of Septuagint studies, bar none. In this second edition, the authors have clarified misunderstandings, responded to criticisms, thoroughly revised and updated the work, and added helpful material for using the Göttingen editions. It is a must for every student and scholar of the Septuagint.
—Peter J. Gentry, Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Karen H. Jobes is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis, Emerita at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She is the author of Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles and 1 Peter in The Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (BECNT) (18 vols.).
Moisés Silva has taught biblical studies at Westmont College, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He lives in Litchfield, Michigan. He is the author of Interpreting Galatians: Explorations in Exegetical Method, 2nd ed., Biblical Words and Their Meaning, 2nd ed., and the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDNTTE) (5 vols.).