Why I’m excited about Muraoka’s Lexicon

John A. L. Lee writes about Greek lexicons:

We come now to the Septuagint. Until now we have had only Schleusner, dating from the 1820s, and we have desperately been in neeed of a new work for more than a century. Well, at least the time has come. We now have not one but two lexicons of the LXX. I refer of course to Lust-Eynikel-Hauspie, covering all the LXX, and Muraoka’s lexicon to the Twelve Prophets. I’m sure we allf eel grateful to these authors for having at last provided us with something. Obviously, LEH, which is complete, will be the standard tool for some time to come.

But we must look at it a little more closely and honestly. the most obvious strength of LEH is in making full use of previous discussions of LXX words outside lexicons. So it gather up everything that has been done in the past by way of preparation for such a lexicon. But there are also significant weaknesses, which the authors themselves would readily admit. Two major point stand out: (1) most of the meanings are taken wholesale from LSJ; and (2) there has been no systematic gathering of non-LXX parallels that might throw new light on the meanings. In other words, it is based primarily on existing lexicons; and so we continue to move around in this circle in which the faults of one lexicon are passed on to the next.

“The Present State of Lexicography of Ancient Greek” in Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography edited by Bernard A. Taylor, John A. L. Lee, Peter R. Burton, and Richard E. Whitaker (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2004), 70 (Google Books).

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