Septuagint Day 2020

We once against missed celebrating the annual Septuagint Day. Others remembered, however.

Dr. William Ross has an excellent interview with my editorial colleagues on the Lexham English Septuagint (Amazon), a project that I was extremely pleased to contribute to in a number of capacities over the years:

International Septuagint Day 2020: An Interview with the Editors of the Lexham English Septuagint — Septuaginta &c.

One of the quirks of history with the LES compared with the NETS is each of their relationships with two very different “interlinear” paradigms. As Ken Penner explains in the interview:

NETS is more concerned with what the translator meant by the words he wrote, whereas LES is more concerned with what the readers understood from the words they read. NETS uses an “interlinear paradigm” with three implications: (1) it explains the “translationese” in the Septuagint, (2) it can appeal to the Hebrew as an “arbiter of meaning,” and (3) it attributes the linguistic strangeness of the Septuagint to its pedagogical purpose. LES is interested not in explaining this strangeness or discovering the intended meaning but in conveying this strangeness and discovering the understood meaning.

That’s the technical and scholarly sense of the phrase “interlinear paradigm.” But the LES has a paradigm of its own. The first edition of the LES began with the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint: H.B. Swete Edition (Logos.com). This interlinear was produced with two interlinear gloss lines. One is a lexical gloss and the other, an in-content gloss with a sub-scripted number. This gloss line can be read in the order of the numbers to (in theory) provide readers with a coherent English sentence.

Still, the result was excessively wooden. In the first edition (the digital-only one) of the LES, we worked to revise that gloss line and make a readable, coherent, and consistent text that could exist on its own without the Greek in comprehensible English.

This second edition now brings a consistency of purpose in how the Greek is rendered into English relative to how the original audience would have interpreted the text and finally brings our hard work to print. Our interlinear paradigm is a practical one, rather than a theory of text and its history.

I’m excited that it is finally available. I have been connected to this effort since 2008 when I contributed to the original interlinear project with work on Joshua, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, and Odes. To finally hold the print translation in hand is incredibly satisfying.