Category Archives: Scripture

The Limits of Freedom: A Short Post for International Septuagint Day 2020

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Scholars agree that some books are literal translations and others are paraphrases, much like the Living Bible. Given that Greek manuscripts are the earliest witnesses to the Hebrew Old Testament, a more literal manuscript can be helpful for textual criticism. The non-literal translations, however, may shed light on the theology, philosophy, or religious practices of the Jewish faith in the late Second Temple period.

Ryan Reeves, “What is the Septuagint?.”

The above-quoted statement is common in popular literature on the Septuagint (LXX). The idea is usually undergirded by a presupposition regarding the texts that the LXX translators had to work with, in many cases assuming something like the Masoretic Text (MT) as the exemplar. Take note of Reeves’ comment on the helpfulness of “a more literal manuscript” for textual criticism while the alleged “non-literal translations” shed light on things other than the text.

But what if these non-literal translations weren’t as non-literal as one might initially suspect? Could they then be helpful for textual criticism? In other words, rather than assuming that a supposedly non-literal rendering is an example of the translator assuming a certain freedom in their translation, why not ask if there might be another text serving as the foundation for their translation?

After referencing Rudolf Kittel’s comment that the “LXX is not a real translation but a theological commentary,” Natalio Fernández Marcos assures us that:

Once we get into the actual text, as a general rule the translation of the Pentateuch is faithful to the Hebrew text, more than was thought at the beginning of the century. And in the light of recent discov­eries at Qumran, the great divergences in the historical books between the LXX and the Hebrew have to be interpreted more as a witness of the pluralism of the Hebrew text before its consonantal fixation at the synod of Yamnia, c. 100 CE, than as the result of the exeget­ical preferences of the translators.

Natalio Fernández Marcos, The Septuagint in Context: Introduction to the Greek Versions of the Bible (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 23.

Laying aside the reference to the mythical council of Jamnia, this is an important point to note. We cannot presuppose that the LXX translators had something like the MT before them, nor can we assume that they were all working with the same text. We have to allow for divergent Vorlagen and then assess how strict or free they were in their translations.

James Barr has an instructive essay called “The Typology of Literalism in Ancient Biblical Translations” in which he expounds on what I’d call the limits of freedom. Around the same time that Marcos’ volume appeared in its original Spanish edition, Barr said:

Thus, in general, where new evidence has become available it has on the whole increased our conviction that, at least in many books, the LXX worked fairly literally and elements in their rendering stand for something that was actually there, rather than being free invention or fancy.

James Barr, “The Typology of Literalism in Ancient Biblical Translations,” (MSU XV, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1979), 286.

Barr follows these comments with a quick reference to Ben Sira, which contains a number of “Hebrew variants semantically grossly diverse from one another” (286). So where one thinks that the LXX translator is offering a free rendering of one variant, it is quite possible, even likely, that they are offering a literal rendering of another. But what of a case where there is no known textual variant? Barr uses Sir 5.1 as an example. The Hebrew reads:

אל תשען על חילך ואל תאמר יש לאל ידי

The LXX translates this to say:

Μὴ ἔπεχε ἐπὶ τοῖς χρήμασίν σου
καὶ μὴ εἴπῃς Αὐτάρκη μοί ἐστιν.

Barr says that this appears to be an “excellent free rendering” before asking whether or not it was possible that the final word in the Hebrew text was read as יד rather than ידי (see also W. Bacher, “The Hebrew Text of Ben Sira,” JQR 12/2 [1900], 283) in which case the LXX translator would have been translating quite literally. It is also noteworthy that the Syriac translation of Ben Sira understood the Hebrew in the same way (see W. Th. Van Peursen, Language and Interpretation in the Syriac Text of Ben Sira: A Comparative Linguistic and Literary Study [SSVBTCC 16; Leiden: Brill, 2007], 29, 42), which could indicate that the Syriac version is dependent on the LXX, or that the translators of the LXX and Syriac version had the same or a similar Hebrew text that has been lost, or finally “polygenesis,” that is, each translator read the Hebrew text in the same way independently of one another as Van Peursen suggests.

The point here is that it’s not always necessarily the case that the translator is offering a paraphrase of the source text even if there is no known variant to explain the difference. In this example, the translation itself could be thought to serve as a variant reading of sorts, which gives the reader pause to think about how this reading could have arisen. In this case it’s not difficult to imagine our translator missing the final י in the line. It is, after all, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

So in closing, I want to say two things: First, the LXX translators should be given more credit than they sometimes are for the translations they provide. They’re not like those who produced the Targumim nor are they the Eugene Petersons of their day. There was a limit to the freedom they could exhibit. Second, Barr’s essay is brilliant and says much more than I’ve hinted at in this short post. It should be required reading for anyone working with the LXX.

Happy International Septuagint Day!

B”H

The Old ‘Jesus Never Said’ Argument

I’ve lost count of how many times throughout the years that I’ve heard people mount a defense for gay marriage (or the non-sinfulness of homosexuality more generally) with the argument that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. It’s an argument from silence to be sure, but the force of it (if it has any) is that Jesus could have specifically condemned homosexuality just as he did murder or adultery or any other number of sins, but didn’t. And since Jesus didn’t condemn it then it doesn’t matter if another NT author did.

One stock response is to say that Jesus doesn’t condemn every individual sin and yet even those who argue for the non-sinfulness of homosexuality or gay marriage would agree that certain things Jesus never spoke of are sins. Take child molestation as an example. Not many in the pro-gay camp would argue that Jesus would green-light pedophilia simply because he didn’t call that particular sin out by name.

Another more common response is to look at what Jesus did say and argue from the general to the particular. Jesus never said the words (so far as we know), “homosexuality is sinful and gay marriage is a sinful union,” but he did say, “I have not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it.” He did say that “until heaven and earth pass, not one jot or tittle will pass from the Law, until all is fulfilled.” So we would take Jesus’ general upholding of the Law and apply that to specific instances of law breaking.

But I’d take a different approach. I’d note that the person making the argument is already presupposing biblical authority. After all, they want to accept Jesus’ words as authoritative and since he didn’t specifically condemn homosexuality (in general) or gay marriage (in particular) then neither should we. But Jesus’ words are recorded in Scripture and Scripture was written by men other than Jesus. By taking Jesus’ words as authoritative you’re taking the recorder of his words as authorities.

And since the Gospel writers’ words were inspired (= breathed out) by the Holy Spirit just as the writers of the epistles’ words were, then we can’t possibly pit Paul against Jesus. Paul was no less inspired than Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We can’t take the clear condemnations of homosexuality in Paul and disregard them because Jesus didn’t say them. At least we can’t do that and be consistent.

If one were to do that then I’d ask why they’re appealing to Jesus at all. If they want Jesus’ words to be authoritative then Scripture has to be authoritative, But if they don’t want Scripture to be the authority then they don’t want Jesus’ words either and might as well disregard them and say that they don’t really care about what Jesus did or did not actually say.

B”H

The Greek-English New Testament (NA28/ESV)

The Greek-English New Testament: Nestle-Aland 28th Edition/English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012.

There are no shortage of Greek-English Bibles on offer in the world of modern publishing. I have a number of useful editions of the Greek New Testament with English translation on facing pages adorning my shelves. They each have their own particular strengths while some exhibit more weaknesses than others.

There is the NIV Greek and English New Testament, which features the Greek text underlying the NIV translation. This is a rather straightforward volume presenting mainly text with very little by way of notes. When a note appears on the English side it’s usually signaling a translational issue. When they appear on the Greek side it’s mostly to note differences between this text and the UBS/NA text.

I also have a NA27/RSV diglot, which is a real gem. This contains the full NA27 critical text with full textual apparatus alongside an RSV translation that has quite a substantial textual apparatus in its own right. For quite some time I considered this the gold standard by which I judged all other diglots.

The NA28 Greek-English New Testament was a departure from the one modeled a version before. This particular text gave the full NA28 with apparatus on one page and then on the facing page in double columns the NRSV and REB. The NRSV appears in standard print while the REB is italicized throughout. There are scant notes for the English translations.

The UBS5/NIV is more in line with the NA27/RSV in terms of appearance aside from a thicker white Bible paper of the UBS5/NIV to the thinner cream colored paper of the NA27/RSV. But once again we’re left with hardly any notes for the English edition accompanying the Greek text.

The NA27/NET diglot on the other hand provides more notes for the English translation than even the RSV. The RSV contained a critical apparatus but the NET is another animal altogether. While the regular NET Bible contains three types of notes, namely study notes, translator’s notes, and text critical notes, this edition has removed the study notes and opted to abbreviate the translator’s notes, and have placed many (though certainly not all) text critical notes in an appendix. Still, this is the most useful volume of the lot in terms of information provided and layout. It’s also the only large print version available.

But all of these diglots, useful as they are, lack one thing: ample room to take notes. This is where the NA28/ESV excels. Alongside the full NA28 critical text and apparatus is the ESV, which has become my English translation of choice over the past few years. Like many of the newer editions it has very little by way of notes for the ESV text, but the lack of notes and the absence of a textual apparatus creates a large void on every  page of English text that leaves a significant amount of space to write.

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Like the NA27/NET diglot this one is also large print. And like the UBS5/NIV this one has a seemingly thicker white paper than the standard cream colored paper of other versions. This makes things quite easy on the eyes. However, this is the only volume of the Nestle-Aland lot that doesn’t contain the standard leaflet of witnesses, signs, and abbreviations. Sure, there are appendices in the back matter (1581-1674) that contain this information but it is an unnecessary burden to have to flip back and forth between the back of the Bible and the page that you’re studying in order to decipher the textual apparatus. We’re not all textual critics who have this thing committed to memory.

And while this is a beautifully bound volumes in blue cloth-over-board there is regrettably no ribbon marker (something missing in the NA27/NET as well). This was an easy enough fix but you’d think that by this point in that Bible publishers would include such things of necessity. I shouldn’t have to modify my Bibles to meet basic needs.

Lastly, because this is the large print version of the NA28 it follows the same page layout as the standard edition. This is fine as far as it goes but it creates a strange flow when dealing with the facing English page. Remember, there is no textual apparatus or significant amount of space dedicated to notes on the English page. So if the Greek page begins a new verse and there is only room for one or a few words of that verse at the bottom of the page it creates an awkward look and feel on the English page. For example, on p. 980 Romans 5:15 being with “Ἀλλ᾿” which looks fine. On the facing English page (981) we have “But” just floating there by itself.

On p. 1022 Romans 15:8 has “λέγω γὰρ Χρι-” with the facing English page (1023) having “For I tell you that Christ” but this signals another awkward type of break in the text. The beginning of Χριστὸν appears on p. 1022 but we don’t see the rest of the word until p. 1024. The English translation opted to not break the word up (how could they?) but there’s something unsettling about this kind of break. I don’t know how much work would be involved in the removing little things like this, nor do I know if anyone other than me would be bothered by it, but in a perfect world they wouldn’t exist.

These are rather minor complaints though and the strengths of this particular diglot outweigh its weaknesses considerably. Those readers of the ESV who would like the reference the Greek text without a separate volume would do well to pick this one up. Honestly, anyone who likes to take notes other either the Greek or the English text of the New Testament would do well to pick this up. There’s more than enough room to do so and this is its major benefit in my opinion.

B”H

The Reckless Love of God?

Every now and again a song will come out that takes the Christian world by storm. The latest mega-hit is “Reckless Love.” It’s a good tune. The Bethel version sounds great. I just spent over 40 minutes watching Anthony Brown and a young adult choir doing a more gospel type version of the song and I’m not gonna lie, I felt the Spirit of God as they were singing it.

But I’m a lyrics guy. I’m also theologically minded. So when I hear something in a song that doesn’t quite sit right I tend to focus in on it; sometimes to my detriment. I’m sure everyone knows where I’m going with this. I’m not the first to point it out or discuss it. In fact, John Piper addressed it on his Ask Pastor John podcast a while back. It’s the word “reckless” in the song. Why is it there and how does it function?

I’ve heard various explanations, one being that God will do whatever it takes to get to his people. Okay, that sounds good, and I agree, but does that equate to recklessness? Let’s take the definition that comes up with a simple Google search:

reckless3

Now I want us to think about this for a second… Have you thought about it? Does the God we know, love, and worship fit the description of the adjective “reckless”? Does God act without thinking? Let’s look to a piece of Paul’s glorious run-on sentence in Ephesians:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:3–10)

Look at the language Paul uses to describe God’s actions here. He says that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Choosing requires intentionality. Doing it before the foundation of the world requires premeditation. Let’s continue… He says that we’ve been predestined to adoption as sons. Again, predestination requires premeditation and adoption requires intentionality. No one was ever adopted on accident or without thought. And he did this according to the purpose of his will. Folks, there was purpose in this! And it was according to his will! Paul speaks of wisdom and insight and a plan to unite all things in him in the fullness of time! This is the polar opposite of recklessness.

The crucifixion was not an act that was carried out with no thought to the consequences of the action. Likewise with the resurrection. God knew exactly what he was doing. He still does. His love is many things, but reckless is not one of them. There is a way that God can do whatever it takes to get to his people without it being reckless. For God to cast light on a shadow or climb a mountain or tear down a lie, as the song says, he does not need to do so recklessly. He’s God! Leaving the 99 sheep to rescue the 1 is not a reckless act. It’s very thoughtful. It’s very intentional.

We could go through Scripture from Old Testament to New and point out example after example of God’s divine plan in action. How he had things set up that seemed one way to us but in the grand scheme of things were really another way altogether (think about Joseph being sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, and unjustly imprisoned only to be called upon by Pharaoh to interpret a dream and rise to a level of prominence that would allow him to save his family from a sure death that would have resulted from famine). The point is that of all of God’s attributes, recklessness is not one of them.

Now let me say this: I like the song. In fact, after hearing the version I heard this morning I’d go so far as to say that I like it a lot. I just don’t like that one adjective. I’d prefer to say “endless” or “precious” or “relentless” love of God. I think that they’re all theologically correct. Endless and precious wouldn’t change the cadence of the chorus at all and relentless would change it minimally. I think for the point that the song is making relentless makes more sense than reckless. God will stop at nothing to get the one sheep that goes astray. He’s relentless in his love for us; never letting up. But that jives with God’s thoughtful, intentional, well planned out initiative for saving his people.

B”H

Just Ordered, In the Mail, and Other Miscellany

So first off, my big CBD order that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is pretty much all here. I’m just waiting on Scott Hahn’s The Fourth Cup to arrive but that should be either today or tomorrow. I got 20 books and they were sent in various shipments. Hahn’s commentary on Romans in the CCSS series arrived damaged and the fine folks at CBD were good enough to replace it without requiring me to send them back the damaged copy.

In addition to those 20 books I also received the 4 used copies of various Hahn books that I ordered from different Amazon sellers. They’re all in good shape, thank God! And the free book that Hahn was giving away through the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology arrived as well.

My old friend Bryan L. made note of this year’s Fortress Press/Givingtons sale on Twitter and I took full advantage. Some might remember the trouble I went through last year with the sale when trying to acquire David Congdon’s big book on Bultmann. I went ahead and ordered a dozen books, namely:

The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century by Michael J. Kok

Deviant Calvinism: Broadening Reformed Theology by Oliver Crisp

Paul and the Stories of Israel: Grand Thematic Narratives in Galatians by A. Andrew Das

The Gospel of John and Christian Origins by John Ashton

Johannes Bugenhagen: Selected Writings, Volume I and Volume II

Irenaeus: Life, Scripture, Legacy edited by Paul Foster & Sarah Parvis

Persons in Relation: An Essay on the Trinity and Ontology by Najib George Awad

The Holy One in Our Midst: An Essay on the Flesh of Christ by James R. Gordon

Election of the Lesser Son: Paul’s Lament-Midrash in Romans 9-11 by David B. Wallace

The Holy Spirit and Ethics in Paul: Transformation and Empowering for Religious-Ethical Life, Second Revised Edition by Volker Rabens

What Is the Bible?: The Patristic Doctrine of Scripture edited by Matthew Baker & Mark Mourachian

The So-Called Jew in Paul’s Letter to the Romans edited by Rafael Rodríguez & and Matthew Thiessen

Chris Tilling raved about Rabens’ book so I’m sure it’s good since Chris would never lie. I’ve had my eye on Gordon’s book since it was published but it was always too pricey. I meant to get the 2 volume set by Bugenhagen last year after my brother from another mother Esteban Vázquez mentioned it but the whole fiasco caused me to be a bit gun-shy with ordering more than the two books I got. Hopefully I won’t have any issues with this order!

In other ordering news, I’ve had my eye on the ESV Scripture Journal New Testament set for a few weeks now. It was finally released yesterday and I proceeded to promptly order a copy from WTS Books. You can see a nice little promo video for the set on CBD’s website.

In addition to these items I got a copy of Gordon Fee’s Jesus the Lord According to Paul the Apostle: A Concise Introduction, which is a distillation of his larger Pauline Christology. Aside from my love for all things Fee, I ordered this volume in order to get free same day shipping on a book stand (pictured below) and some 005 Pigma Micron pens. I had originally gotten 01 Pigma Microns for marking up my Bible but I found them to be slightly thicker than I wanted. So I went a size down. I much prefer the 005.

And that just about does it.

B”H

ESV Heirloom Single Column Legacy Edition (Blue Goatskin): Some Preliminary Remarks

Nearly two weeks ago I mentioned that I had ordered a premium ESV from evangelicalbible.com. I went with the Ocean Blue goatskin ESV Heirloom Single Column Legacy Bible after more than a week of research. My research included watching video reviews, reading written reviews, and looking at as many pictures as I could find. This was, after all, a pretty big purchase. I got my copy for $155 marked down from $275.

Now this isn’t the first premium Bible I’ve ever owned. In point of fact, some years back Zondervan sent me a Premium single column NIV reference Bible for review. It’s really a beautiful Bible but it’s not one I’ve found myself using frequently over the years. I think the main reason has been that the type is on the small side and I have a double column NIV reference Bible with large print that I prefer to read and preach from.

But my friend Michael Burgos put the bug in my ear when he started talking about getting a new preaching Bible. I’m going to be leading a Bible study series at church in the near future and I’ll be starting up a Bible study at my job after work on Tuesdays so I figured that I’d get a nice preaching/teaching Bible as well. I had a short list of things I was looking for:

First, I wanted an ESV. I love the NIV and it’s almost always the translation I preach from, and I love the KJV because it’s the translation I was raised with, but the ESV strikes the right balance between the two for me and it’s the one I read most of the time. At this point it’s the translation I’m most familiar with.

Second, I wanted something with wide margins so I could take notes. I haven’t written in a Bible in years but I wanted to go back to my roots and really mark this thing up. For months I had my first KJV on my desk and I’d revisit it from time to time and look at my markings with fondness.

Third, I wanted a single column because I just find them easier for reading. Over the last couple of years I’ve been reading the various versions of the ESV Reader’s Bibles. It’s hard to go back. 

Lastly, I wanted something that was manageable in terms of size. A thinline would have been preferable but not absolutely necessary. I just don’t like unwieldy Bibles and this one will be traveling with me rather than positioned permanently on a pulpit.

So with this in mind I went searching evangelicalbible.com and I immediately fell in love with their selection of blue Bibles. Something about the blue gilding jumped out and grabbed my attention. They had a few to choose from but the Heirloom Legacy was the only one that met my criteria.

Technically it’s not a wide margin but because it’s a reader type of text there isn’t really anything extra on the page. I think they said its layout is based on the concept of “the perfect page.” This leaves plenty of room in the margins and page footers.

It’s also not a thinline. I had a Legacy when Crossway first published it and I hated it for its size. From my research I discovered that this one wasn’t as thick. I couldn’t be sure exactly how thick it was though as I hadn’t seen too much to establish a scale by which to judge it. I could just tell that it was thinner than the one I owned a few years back.

But it was an ESV and it was single column and that blue… So I ordered it and eagerly awaited its arrival. Well, it came in more than a week ago and it’s glorious! Below are some pictures showing just how nice the blue is, how flexible and soft the goatskin is, and how thin it actually is (take note of the last three photos; which include the original Legacy compared to my thinline NIV reference Bible and the new Heirloom Legacy compared to the same Bible).

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 In another post I’ll say some more about how I’ve been marking this Bible up and the pens I’m using to do so. Until then, enjoy the pictures, which really don’t do the reality any justice.

B”H

Just Ordered (and, Just Picked Up)

Indulge me a quick(ish) preface to this announcement of recent purchases. Today marks exactly one year since I stood before a room full of witnesses and made vows to my wife. I mention this firstly because it’s one of the more monumental moments in my life and secondly because it brings to mind something that we were told during out premarital counseling. The pastor who married us shared a story about how him and his wife have made it 40 years without impulse buying. They agreed that anything they wanted but hadn’t already planned for would be written down on a list in the kitchen and if they still wanted it after a day or two then they’d get it. He said that in all those years they never got anything off the list.

I’m not nearly as disciplined, but I have tried to implement that advice when and where possible. I share this anecdote because more than a week ago my buddy Michael Burgos started talking about getting a premium Bible. That sparked my interest and I began perusing evangelicalbible.com’s offerings. I found a couple that I liked but I determined that I wouldn’t get anything because I didn’t really need another Bible and I had no good reason to grab another at this moment in time. Well, after a week I still wanted one and I kept reading reviews, watching videos, and looking at pictures before finally deciding to pull the trigger.

I went with the Ocean Blue goatskin Crossway ESV Heirloom Legacy Bible. Now I’ve had an ESV Legacy before and I hated it. I ended up giving the thing away. It appears that this is an update and the major things that irked me are no more. I also went with this version because I had my heart set on blue (it really is quite striking!) and I’ve come to know and love single column texts over the years. As of late I read my Bible almost exclusively in my many Reader’s editions from Crossway. And though I haven’t handwritten anything in a Bible in quite a long time, this particular Bible has plenty of room in the margins and footer for note taking. I think I will pick the practice back up once I get it.

In addition to this premium Bible, my wife and I spent our first anniversary together out and about doing all manner of things. Our first stop was a Barnes & Noble for some Starbucks and book browsing. I ended up grabbing a copy of H. A. Guerber’s Classical Mythology for $7.98. I saw it the last time I was there and wanted to grab a copy but never did. I also opted to order a bunch of books from CBD’s Spring Sale before we went to see Death Wish, which was great, by the way! Here’s what I got from them:

The Structure of Sacred Doctrine in Calvin’s Theology

Translating the New Testament: Text, Translation, Theology

Rowan’s Rule: The Biography of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization*

The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church

What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? Diet in Biblical Times

ESV Gospel of John, Reader’s Edition

Friends of Calvin

The Fourth Cup: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper and the Cross*

Abraham Kuyper: A Pictorial Biography

An Outline of New Testament Spirituality

Romans: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scriptures*

Treasures Old and New: Essays in the Theology of the Pentateuch

The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass As Heaven On Earth*

At the Heart of the Gospel: Suffering in the Earliest Christian Message

Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church*

Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism

The Gospel and The Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life

The Challenges of Cultural Discipleship: Essays in the Line of Abraham Kuyper

God Speaks: What He Says, What He Means

I got too many to link them all. Most of them ranged in price from $0.99 to $2.99. The notable exceptions are the volumes by Scott Hahn*, but I’m trying to get my hands on everything he’s ever written so I’m willing to pay the price for those. I’d love to say that this should hold me over for a while, and while it probably should, it definitely won’t. Until next time…

B”H

Home Library/Office Tour

I wanted to do this for a while. I had some time today. One day I’ll get a good camera and give this thing some real production value.

B”H

I Missed International Septuagint Day

I meant to post this yesterday but I got held up at work. I think it was roughly 2005 or 2006 when I became interested in the academic study of the Bible and related literature. I had been a believer for a few years at this point but until then my library consisted of a KJV and an NIV. I’d read both voraciously, which was great (I miss those days!), but there came a point when I needed to supplement my study of the Bible in English.

The first two resources I got my hands on were the New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha, 3rd ed. and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation of the Septuagint, which was a diglot containing both the Greek text alongside Brenton’s translation. I procured both books from Walmart and this was my entry into a deeper study of the Scriptures.

I still have that Septuagint, and while I mostly consult my Rahlfs-Hanhart edition these days (or an electronic text in Accordance), it’s nice to pull it down off the shelf and flip through it just to reminisce. Brenton’s was the only English translation of the LXX I knew for years until the NETS came to my attention. I believe it was my brother-from-another-mother Esteban Vázquez and our friend Kevin Edgecomb that first informed me about the NETS, and while I’ve never gotten my hands on a physical copy, I have made use of a PDF copy as well as the edition provided in Accordance.

I’ve said all this to say that the LXX is at the foundation of my love for biblical studies and theology. It was there right at the beginning and it will remain close at hand until the end.

Λύχνος τοῖς ποσίν μου ὁ λόγος σου
καὶ φῶς ταῖς τρίβοις μου.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my paths.

Psalm 118 (119):105

B”H