The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research

The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research

The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research

The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research

Synopsis

McLay explains the use of the Septuagint in the New Testament by looking in depth at actual New Testament citations of the Jewish Scriptures. This work reveals the true extent of the Septuagint's impact on the text and theology of the New Testament. Indeed, against the background of textual diversity that existed during the first century, the Jewish Scriptures as they were known, read, and interpreted in the Greek language provided the basis for much, if not most, of the interpretive context of the New Testament writers. Complete with English translations, helpful indexes, and a glossary of terms, this book will give readers a new appreciation of the Septuagint as an important tool for interpreting the New Testament.

Excerpt

When I sat down in front of my computer to begin writing this book, I hardly felt the need to justify my reasons for doing so. In a virtual ocean of commentaries and texts probing the mysteries of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures we might be able to siphon off a bucket that has been devoted to what we commonly refer to as the Septuagint. This puzzled me during my seminary days when I first became interested in this field of study. I asked myself, “Why do so many scholars explain away readings in the Septuagint that differ with the Masoretic Text?” “How can New Testament scholars discuss Paul’s theology without taking account of the language and theology of the Septuagint?” There are some who argue that Paul did not read Hebrew, but everyone acknowledges that he knew Greek! He quotes the Septuagint everywhere! Surely there should be more study of the Greek Jewish Scriptures.

It has only been in recent years that the interest in the Septuagint has begun to grow. This is partly due to the influence of scholars such as Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen, Frank Cross, Emanuel Tov, Margarite Harl, and John Wevers on the world of scholarship through their writings and their students. Ironically, however, the most significant influence for the increasing interest in the Septuagint has been the discovery of Hebrew manuscripts in the desert. The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) have changed our understanding of the origins and development of the Hebrew Scriptures and have also opened a new window into life in Palestine at the beginning of the Common Era. The Septuagint has both benefited and suffered from this alliance with the DSS. The benefit has been that the profile of the Septuagint has been raised, particularly as a witness to reconstructing what might have been the original text of the Hebrew Scriptures. The drawback is that the Septuagint sometimes plays second . . .

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