Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Resources and methods for teaching and learning New Testament Greek.
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Andrew Smith
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Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by Andrew Smith » June 15th, 2015, 7:40 am

I have recently been feeling very confident in reading NT Greek and want to start learning to read the Septuagint. The only problem is that I feel there aren't enough resources out there for learning to read the Septuagint on ones own. Yes, there are a couple grammars, none complete, and some good lexicons and translations, but is that enough to learn the Septuagint to a level of fluency? Are there any resources or exercises anyone can recommend for teaching myself to read the Septuagint fluently, or am I better off learning Hebrew?

Thank you,
Andrew

Ken M. Penner
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Re: Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by Ken M. Penner » June 15th, 2015, 8:59 am

Andrew Smith wrote:Are there any resources or exercises anyone can recommend for teaching myself to read the Septuagint fluently, or am I better off learning Hebrew?
I would think this is the book you should examine to see if it suits your purposes. See especially the notes on the selected readings.
Conybeare, F. C., and St. George Stock. Grammar of Septuagint Greek: With Selected Readings. Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905.
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

cwconrad
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Re: Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by cwconrad » June 15th, 2015, 9:23 am

Ken M. Penner wrote:
Andrew Smith wrote:Are there any resources or exercises anyone can recommend for teaching myself to read the Septuagint fluently, or am I better off learning Hebrew?
I would think this is the book you should examine to see if it suits your purposes. See especially the notes on the selected readings.
Conybeare, F. C., and St. George Stock. Grammar of Septuagint Greek: With Selected Readings. Boston: Ginn and Company, 1905.
Be careful, however, to avoid the e-books: they are scans and the Greek doesn't come across. Better is the PDF version, also available at TextKit http://www.textkit.com/learn/ID/144/author_id/65/. Reprint hardback and paperback editions of this old classic are also available, http://www.amazon.com/Grammar-Septuagin ... 0801045924
οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Ken M. Penner
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Re: Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by Ken M. Penner » June 15th, 2015, 9:56 am

Andrew Smith wrote:Are there any resources or exercises anyone can recommend for teaching myself to read the Septuagint fluently, or am I better off learning Hebrew?
Have you checked out the series on Greek Isaiah here?
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University

Stirling Bartholomew
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Re: Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by Stirling Bartholomew » June 15th, 2015, 12:31 pm

Andrew Smith wrote: ... or am I better off learning Hebrew?
I would suggest a study of the fundamentals of Hebrew syntax which will help you understand the grammar of LXX. The level of Hebrew syntax that is required for this isn't that difficult. I would also suggest finding a resource where you can display the LXX side by side with the Hebrew. Reading LXX with constant reference to the Hebrew is habit worth attaining. You will find that the LXX doesn't always correspond to the Masoretic text. For this it is helpful to use Emanuel Tov's parallel MT-LXX which is available as a module with LOGOS or what ever.
C. Stirling Bartholomew

RandallButh
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Re: Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by RandallButh » June 16th, 2015, 1:23 am

Andrew egrapsen:
but is that enough to learn the Septuagint to a level of fluency? Are there any resources or exercises anyone can recommend for teaching myself to read the Septuagint fluently, or am I better off learning Hebrew?
You mentioned a buzz word. So I would add:
Yes, you should learn Hebrew fluently. That will require hearing the language more than applying sub-phonemic sound rules to Hebrew morphology and extracting an etymology. Actually, the same goes for Greek, but that is an old issue. Find courses where you interactively hear and use the language.

My two lepta.

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Can you teach yourself to read the Septuagint?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » June 16th, 2015, 9:58 am

If you can read the GNT, you can read the LXX. The resources mentioned are fine, but form the most part, it's comprehensible Greek even when it's being really Hebraic. Just set yourself to reading and have fun. Use one of the free LSJ's that are available to look up unfamiliar vocab if you can't get it from context.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

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