Selective Bibliography of the Septuagint

Compiled by Johan Lust, February 1999

1. Bibliographies

S.P. Brock - C.T. Fritsch - S. Jellicoe, A Classified Bibliography of the Septuagint (Arbeiten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums, 6), Leiden, Brill, 1973.

C. Dogniez, Bibliography of the Septuagint: Bibliographie de la Septante (1970-1993) (VTSup, 60), Leiden, Brill, 1995.

Bulletin of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (BIOSCS) (updated bibliography, survey of ongoing research).

2. Introductions

H.B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, Cambridge, University Press, 1900.

S. Jellicoe, The Septuagint and Modern Study, Oxford, Clarendon, 1968.

E. Tov - R. Kraft, Septuagint, in IDBS (1976) 807-815.

N. Fernández-Marcos, Introducción a las versiones griegas de la Biblia (Textos y estudios «Cardinal Cisneros», 23), Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 1979.

E. Tov, Die griechischen Bibelübersetzungen, in ANRW II, 20/1 (1987) 121-189.

E. Tov, The Septuagint, in M.J. Mulder - H. Sysling (eds.), Mikra. Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum, II/1), Assen - Maastricht, Van Gorcum; Philadelphia, PA, Fortress, 1988, 161-188. M. Harl, et al., La Bible grecque de la Septante. Du judaïsme hellénistique au christianisme ancien (Initiations au christianisme ancien), Paris, Cerf, 1988.

B. Botte - P.-M. Bogaert, Septante et versions grecques, in DBS XII, fasc. 68 (1993) 536-693.

M. Cimosa, Guida allo studio della bibbia greca, Roma, Società Biblica Brittanica & Forestièra, 1995.

3. Critical Editions

• Diplomatic edition:

R. Holmes - J. Parsons, Vetus Testamentum Graecum cum variis lectionibus, Oxford, Clarendon, 1798-1827.

A.E. Brooke - N. McLean - H.St J. Thackeray - The Old Testament in Greek, Cambridge, University Press, 1906-1940 (Gen-Neh, Est, Jdt, Tob).

• Textual reconstruction:

Septuaginta. Vetus Testamentum Graecum auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum (first volumes: Societatis Literarum) Gottingensis editum, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1931-.

4. Translations and Commentaries

L.C.L. Brenton, The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English, Bagster, London, 1851 (recent anastatic reprints: Peabody, MA, Hendrickson, 1986).

P. Giguet, La Sainte Bible. Traduction de l’Ancien Testament d’après les Septante, 4 vols., Paris, Librairie Poussielgue Frères, 1865-1872.

M. Harl (ed.), La Bible d’Alexandrie. Traduction et annotation des livres de la Septante, Paris, Cerf. Volumes available: 1. M. Harl, La Genèse, 1986; 2. A. Le Boulluec - P. Sandevoir, L’Exode, 1989; 3. P. Harlé - D. Pralon, Le Lévitique, 1988; 4. G. Dorival, Les Nombres, 1994; 5. C. Dogniez - M. Harl, Le Deutéronome, 1992; 6. J. Moatti-Fine, Jésus (Josué), 1996. Cf. ETL 63 (1987) 386-387 (Gen); 68 (1992) 411-413 (Deut).

J.W. Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis (SCS, 35), Atlanta, GA, Scholars, 1993; Notes on the Greek text of Exodus (SCS, 30), 1990; Notes on the Greek Text of Deuteronomy (SCS, 39), 1995. Cf. ETL 67 (1991) 148-150 (Exod); 71 (1995) 446-447 (Deut).

5. Concordances

C. Kircher, Concordantiae Veteris Testamenti Graecae, Ebraeis vocibus respondentes, Frankfurt/M., apud Claudium Marnium & heredes Iohannis Aubrii, 1607.

A. Trommius, Concordantiae Graecae Versionis vulgo dictae LXX Interpretum, cujus voces secundum ordinem elementorum sermonis Graeci digestae recensetur, contra atque in opere Kircheriano factum fuerat..., Amsterdam - Utrecht, sumptibus Societatis, 1718.

E. Hatch - H.A. Redpath, A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament, Oxford, Clarendon, 1897-1906 (reprints: 1954, 1983).

E.C. dos Santos, An Expanded Hebrew Index for the Hatch-Redpath Concordance to the Septuagint, Jerusalem, Digith Publishers, Baptist House, 1973.

A Comprehensive Bilingual Concordance of the Hebrew and Greek Texts of Ecclesiastes. Edited by J. Jarick on the basis of a computer program by G. Marquis (SBL Septuagint and Cognate Studies Series, 36), Atlanta, GA, Scholars, 1993.

6. Electronic Tools

Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint Studies (CATSS), Philadelphia, Penn Univ.; Jerusalem, The Hebrew University (computer readable and morphologically analysed version of the Septuagint, and a computer readable aligned version of the Hebrew and Greek texts).

Lbase, Dallas, TX, Silver Mountain Software (Dos), including a search programme for the Septuagint, based on the CATSS data.

Bible Windows, Dallas, TX, Silver Mountain Software (Windows), including a handy but less sophisticated search programme.

AcCordance, Vancouver, WA, The Gramcord Institute (Apple).

7. Grammars

F.C. Conybeare - St.G. Stock, Selections from the Septuagint According to the Text of Swete, Boston, MA, Ginn, 1905; reprint, new title: Grammar of Septuagint Greek. With Selected Readings from the Septuagint According to the Text of Swete, Peabody, MA, Hendrickson, 1988.

R. Helbing, Grammatik der Septuaginta. Laut- und Wortlehre, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1907.

Id., Die Kasussyntax der Verba bei den Septuaginta. Ein Beitrag zur Hebraismenfrage und zur Syntax ..., Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1928.

H.St.J. Thackeray, A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint, Cambridge, University Press, 1909.

B.A. Taylor, The Analytical Lexicon to the Septuagint: A Complete Parsing Guide, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 1994.

8. Lexica

J.F. Schleusner, Novus thesaurus philologico-criticus, sive lexicon in lxx et reliquos interpretes graecos ac scriptores apocryphos veteris testamenti, 5 vols., Leipzig, 1820-1821; re-editions, 3 vols., Glasgow, 1822; London, 1829; Turnhout, Brepols, 1995.

F. Rehkopf, Septuaginta-Vokabular, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1989.

J. Lust - E. Eynikel - K. Hauspie, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, Stuttgart, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; Part 1: -, 1992; Part 2: -, 1996 (= LSL). Cf. ETL 69 (1993) 118-124 (Part 1).

T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Twelve Prophets), Leuven, Peeters, 1993 (= MSL). Cf. ETL 70 (1994) 132-134.

9. Textual Criticism and Translation Technique

E. Tov, The Text-critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (Jerusalem Biblical Studies, 3), Jerusalem, Simor, 1981.

S. Olofsson, The LXX Version: A Guide to the Translation Technique of the Septuagint (Coniectanea Biblica: Old Testament Series, 30), Stockholm, Almqvist & Wicksell, 1990.

I. Soisalon-Soininen, Die Infinitive in der Septuaginta (AASF, B 132/1), Helsinki, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1965.

R. Sollamo, Renderings of Hebrew Semiprepositions in the Septuagint (AASF, Diss. hum. litt., 19), Helsinki, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1979.

A. Aejmelaeus, Parataxis in the Septuagint. A Study of the Renderings of the Hebrew Coordinate Clauses in the Greek Pentateuch (AASF, Diss. hum. litt., 31), Helsinki, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1982.

10. General Studies and Collected Essays

S.P. Brock, The Phenomenon of the Septuagint, in OTS 17 (1972) 11-36.

A. Pietersma - C. Cox (eds.), De Septuaginta. Studies in Honour of John William Wevers on His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, Ontario, Benben Publications, 1984. Cf. ETL 61 (1985) 381-382.

A. Pietersma, Septuaginta Research. A Plea for a Return to Basic Issues, in VT 35 (1985) 296-311.

J.W. Wevers, An Apologia for Septuagint Studies, in BIOSCS 18 (1985) 16-38.

D. Fraenkel - U. Quast - J.W. Wevers, Studien zur Septuaginta - Robert Hanhart zu Ehren (Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens, 20; Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen. Philologisch-historische Klasse: 3. Folge, 190), Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1990.

M. Harl, La langue de Japhet. Quinze études sur la Septante et le grec des chrétiens, Paris, Cerf, 1992. Cf. ETL 68 (1992) 406-407.

A. Aejmelaeus, On the Trail of the Septuagint Translators. Collected Essays, Kampen, Kok, 1993.

M. Hengel - A.M. Schwemer (eds.), Die Septuaginta zwischen Judentum und Christentum (WUNT, 72), Tübingen, Mohr, 1994. Cf. ETL 71 (1995) 195-196.


Among the general introductions, the classical work by H.B. Swete (1900) is still very useful. In the last decennium some excellent new works have been composed. For the reception and interpretation of the Septuagint in Jewish and Christian circles, special mention is to be made of M. Harl a.o. (1988); for the history of the research, one has to refer to S. Jellicoe (1968). Bogaert’s contribution is precious for its description of the present state of the research on the Septuagint and on the recensions (esp. Aquila, Theodotion, Symmachus).

The standard text-critical edition is being produced in Göttingen by «Das Septuaginta Unternehmen». A. Rahlfs opened the series with his Psalmi cum Odis published in 1931. At that time, the project was still in its initial stage, and its first product does not match the high standards of the later volumes. Therefore, an entirely new edition of the Psalms is now in the planning stage. Another early volume was Maccabaeorum liber 1 (1936) by W. Kappler. R. Hanhart completed Kappler’s edition of Maccabaeorum liber 2 (1956), and continued with Maccabaeorum liber 3 (1960), Esther (1966), Esdrae liber 1 (1974), Judith (1979), Tobit (1983). The Prophetic Books (1939-1957) and some of the Wisdom Books (Iob, 1982; Sapientia Salomonis, 1962; Sapientia Iesu Filii Sirach, 1965) have been edited by J. Ziegler. The volumes covering the Pentateuch have been taken care of, and have been completed recently, by J.W. Wevers (1974-1991). For the other biblical books one has to use the Cambridge edition.

The Septuagint is not a unified work. It is the product of several translators. Each book has its own features and problems. Therefore, the respective books should be dealt with separately. An important help in this field is provided by the commentary project launched by M. Harl in Paris. Up to now, five volumes have been published: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Each volume presents an introduction, a French translation, and a succinct commentary focusing on the Greek used by the translators, the differences with the Hebrew, the early Jewish interpretations, mainly by Philo and Josephus, and the Christian interpretations by the Church fathers. A complementary project is that of J.W. Wevers. His voluminous notes on the Greek text of the Pentateuch are basically concerned with matters of textual criticism. A continuous translation is not included.

Our lexicographical work (LSL) necessitated a closer look at the concordances. One will allow us to expand a little on their history. The concordance in two volumes of E. Hatch and H.A. Redpath published in 1897, with the supplements of 1900 and 1906, remains the standard work. It notes the variants of the Codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus. All the occurrences of each Greek word are listed according to the order of the biblical books. No translations are given. The complete range of the formal Hebrew equivalents is listed at the head of each entry and the citation lines of all occurrences are keyed to this list of equivalents. The lack of a complete Hebrew Greek index in Hatch and Redpath has been remedied to some extent by C. dos Santos’ Expanded Hebrew Index.

The Hatch and Redpath concordance had an impressive predecessor. Completed in 1718, Trommius’ work is based on the Aldine text of the printed edition published in Frankfurt in 1597 (1). It lists the Greek words in alphabetical order, with a Latin translation. After each Greek word follow its Hebrew equivalents, each of them with a Latin translation when differing from that of the Greek, and with the Septuagint text of the verses in which this particular Hebrew word is rendered by the Greek term in question. The readings of the other Greek versions are given after those of the LXX. Then follow the occurrences of the Greek term for which no Hebrew counterpart can be indicated, and finally the deuterocanonical instances.

Conrad Kircher, attacked in the title of Tromm’s work, produced the first printed Concordance of the Septuagint in 1607 in Frankfurt. He had organised the data in a completely different way. He starts from the Hebrew words in alphabetical order. Under each Hebrew word he lists the respective Greek translations with the references indicating where these translations occur in the Bible. At the end of the second volume, alphabetical lists of the Greek words are provided, indicating the pages where they can be found in the Hebrew-Greek concordance. Kircher’s approach is not without advantages. A combination of Tromm’s and Kircher’s methods might be interesting. A good computer programme could facilitate that project. As far as I know, however, the existing programmes enable interesting grammatical searches of the morphologically encoded Greek text, but none of them allow the searcher to find immediately the Hebrew equivalents of the Greek word or grammatical construction, or, when starting from the Hebrew encoded text, to find the Greek equivalents. G. Marquis seems to have come closest to the realisation of such a tool. A lack of the necessary funds thwarts the completion of his project.

Lexicon of the Septuagint

Trommius’ concordance was used and copied extensively in the lexica of the Septuagint, especially that of Biel (2). In a previous contribution we dealt with that topic. (3) Here we may suffice with a presentation of the lexica in use. The last major lexicon specifically geared to the requirements of the Septuagint is based on Biel’s work. It is now more than a century and a half old: J.F. Schleusner’s Novus thesaurus (1820-1821). Notwithstanding the reprints in 1822 and 1829, surviving copies are rare. Therefore an anastatic reprint of the second edition has been provided by the publisher Brepols in Turnhout. (4) It was and is a good tool, nevertheless, it is antiquated. Since its appearance many new papyri have been found, the vocabulary of which sheds a new light on several terms of the Septuagint, also numerous lexicographic studies have been published which refined our knowledge of biblical and Koinè Greek. It should also be observed that Schleusner did not produce a lexicon of biblical Greek in the strict sense of the word, but rather a lexicon of biblical Hebrew.

Recently several attempts have been made towards the compilation of a new lexicon. When we limit our survey to the ones that reached some degree of completion, we have to mention first Rehkopf’s Septuaginta-Vokabular (1990). The title of this modest but trustworthy work tells the reader clearly that it is not a real lexicon or dictionary, but a simple vocabulary listing all the words occurring in Rahlfs’ edition of the Septuagint, with a translation. Reference is also to be made to Taylor’s so-called Analytical Lexicon (1994), which is in fact a grammatical parsing guide rather than a lexicon in the usual sense of the word. It does not provide any information about the meanings of the Greek words, it simply lists all the words as they occur in Rahlfs’ edition of the text, with their morphological analysis and with the dictionary form of the word. To some extent it is to be compared with B. Davidson’s well known Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon of the Old Testament (London, Bagster, 1963), the main difference being that Davidson offers a translation of the dictionary forms whereas Taylor does not. Next, a word is to be said about Muraoka’s lexicon (MLS, 1993). It is an excellent work, but its scope is limited to the Book of the Twelve Prophets. In an earlier contribution we compared it with our own lexicon: Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (LSL, 1992-1996). (5) We conclude our survey with a summary of this comparison.

Scope. With the exception of proper names, our lexicon covers all the words in Rahlfs’ edition of the Septuagint. Muraoka’s lexicon (MLS) also excludes proper names, but is based on the critical edition of Ziegler. This distinction is rather theoretical only since the vocabulary of Ziegler’s main text hardly differs from that of Rahlfs. Being confined to the Minor Prophets, the scope of MLS is much more limited. It treats 281 words beginning with an , whereas the Leuven Lexicon, covering the whole Bible, has 1528 -words. MLS mentions variant readings, but not exhaustively. Neither MLS nor LSL discuss the vocabulary of the Theodotion, Symmachus, and Aquila.

Morphology and Statistics. In both lexica, each word is provided with morphological tagging. In addition to this, LSL provides statistics telling the reader how often a word occurs in the respective books of the Greek Bible. MSL most often mentions all the passages of the Minor Prophets in which a given word occurs, but gives no statistics concerning the Bible as a whole. As far as we could see, MSL does not note which words of the Septuagint are used in the New Testament. In LSL the words in question are marked with the sign +.

Translations and Definitions. In LSL, each word is given one or more translations rather than a description of its meaning. For each translation implying a new meaning, a reference is given to an example. MSL offers definitions rather than translations, and is more generous with its references and examples. For every single sense almost all the applicable passages in the Twelve Prophets are mentioned, and often the actual Greek text is quoted, an English translation of which is enclosed. Dealing with the Bible as a whole, LSL can hardly mention or quote all the passages in which a word occurs. In addition to the respective translations with their examples, it indicates several categories of special cases when available. First, expressions which can be labelled as classical Greek. Second, passages in which the Greek text may be corrupt. Third, passages in which the LXX differs from the MT, having misread the Hebrew, or read it differently, or having used a slightly divergent text. In MSL differences between the Greek and the Hebrew are treated more succinctly at the end of the lemma. We give these differences a good share of the attention because we are convinced that the language of the Septuagint is first of all translation Greek trying to render the underlying Hebrew as faithfully as possible. Therefore, special attention should be given to the instances in which the Greek appears to differ from the Hebrew. When the deviations can be explained on the level of the word form this should be noted.

Neologisms and Bibliographical Information. When a word seems to be proper to the Septuagint and the literature depending on it, LSL marks it as a neologism. When it occurs in the Septuagint as well as in the contemporary papyri and in the literature from the period of Polybius onwards, a question mark is added to the label. No such information appears to be given in MSL. In LSL, at the end of the treatment of each lemma, bibliographical information is provided. For each word, abbreviated references are given to lexicographical bibliography, when available.

J. Lust

1. The edition is mentioned in Trommius’ Praefatio (without pagination); for the Aldine text of this edition, see Swete’s Introduction, p. 174.

2. J.C. Biel, Novus Thesaurus Philologicus, sive lexicon in LXX et alios interpretes et scriptores apocryphos Veteris Testamenti, 3 vols., Den Haag, Bouvink, 1779-1781.

3. See J. Lust, J.F. Schleusner and the Lexicon of the Septuagint, in ZAW 102 (1990) 256-262.

4. The Brepols edition is an anastatic reprint of the slightly revised Glasgow 3-volumes edition, with a preface by J. Lust.

5. Cf. J. Lust, “Two New Lexica of the Septuagint and Related Remarks,” in Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 19 (1993) 95-105; compare ETL 70 (1994) 132-134. See also J. Lust, “A Concise Lexicon of the Septuagint,” in ETL 68 (1992) 188-194; M. Vervenne, “A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint,” in ETL 69 (1993) 118-124.

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Reacties op de inhoud: Johan Lust
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