Septuaginta: Reader’s Edition

When studying the NT in depth, it’s hard to miss the fact that many NT authors often cite or quote a Greek version of the Hebrew OT. For two examples of many, in 1 Cor. 10:7 Paul quotes a Greek version of Exodus 32.6 word for word. In Rom. 15:3 the apostle quotes a Greek version of Psalm 68:10 verbatim. The list goes on. It’s pretty clear that the NT authors, apostles, and early Christians used a Greek version of the OT very frequently. Although there’s not really one single “authorized” OT Greek version, today we usually use the term “Septuagint” (LXX) when talking about the Greek OT.

Speaking of the Septuagint, here’s a great resource for students of NT Greek who want to expand their biblical Greek horizons: Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition. It’s a two-volume Greek OT that is well bound, has relatively thick pages, a good sized font, and has an easy to read layout. Yes, it’s a “Reader’s Edition” – this means it has glosses for these Greek words: those that appear 100 or fewer times in the Septuaginta, those that appear 30 times or less in NT Greek, Greek words spelled in an unfamiliar way, and phrases/idioms that are common in OT Greek but uncommon in NT Greek. Basically, the editors (Greg Lanier and William Ross) made this reader’s edition of the Septuagint more readable for students of NT Greek.

I’ve been using it quite a bit and so far I’m very impressed. I also like the introductory material which is a sort of intro to the Septuagint. This “Reader’s Edition” of the Septuaginta has really helped me improve my Greek overall and it has helped me read the OT in a similar way to how the early NT church would’ve read it: in the Greek. Granted, the original Hebrew is behind the LXX and we in the historic Protestant tradition take the Hebrew to be inspired and authentic (cf. WCF I.viii) . But the Septuagint is still extremely important for biblical studies and I believe students of NT Greek should – as much as they can – utilize the Seputagint for a number of reasons. For this, Septuaginta: Reader’s Edition is an awesome resource to have!

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015