New Test.  Stud. 17 (1970/71),  488-90




  by Robert A. Kraft (University of Pennsylvania)

During the past year, lively interest in Jewish Greek scriptures and related topics has continued.  Bulletin 3 of the International Organization for Septua­gint and Cognate Studies (= IOSCS) appeared in October I970,\1/ containing brief communications by C. T. Fritsch,\2/ J. W. Wevers,\3/ and K. L. Smith,\4/ as well as a record of the minutes from the 1969 IOSCS meeting at Toronto and notices of personnel and projects of special interest to IOSCS readers (supple­menting the material included in earlier Bulletins).\5/ Detailed information about the 1970 meeting of IOSCS in New York (25 October, in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting) will be included in IOSCS Bulletin 4.6. Mention should be also be made here of the major paper read by S. Brock (Cambridge) on 'The Phenomenon of the Septuagint' at the joint meeting of SOTS and the OT Society of the Netherlands on 4 September 1970 in the Netherlands.\7/



\*/ This supplements the report by the same author in NTS 16  (1969/70), 384-96.


\1/ Bulletin 3 was printed for IOSCS by W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (Grand Rapids), and is available by subscription from Professor C. T. Fritsch, 80 Mercer St., Princeton, N.J. 08540, U.S.A.


\2/ 'The Future of Septuagint Studies: a Brief Survey' (pp. 4-8), This paper was first read at the 1968 Berkeley meeting of IOSCS; a brief abstract appeared on p. 5 of IOSCS Bulletin 2.


\3/ 'The Arabic Versions of Genesis and the Septuagint' (pp. 8-11), a paper read at the 1969 Toronto meeting of IOSCS.  At the 1970 New York meeting of IOSCS, Professor Wevers announced the following corrections to the 'textual evidence' listed on p. 11 of Bulletin 3: under 0, read 29 (not 19); under C, add 128-646 and remove references to 18-52-54-79-408-569-6I5-761; under c. II, remove 128-646 and insert the above sigla removed from C; under d, remove 84 and add it to t; under y, remove 31-68-122 and add 71; instead of 'y', read 'z: 31-120-122 (of which 68-630 are copies)-407'; under 'Codices Mixti', remove 71.


\4/ 'Data Processing the Bible: A Consideration of the Potential Use of the Computer in Biblical Studies' (pp. 12-14), a paper read at the1969 Toronto meeting of IOSCS.

\5/ On P. 19, under 'Orlinsky', read 'Joshua' instead of 'Job.'


\6/ At the 1970 meeting, the IOSCS executive committee began to prepare for a meeting of IOSCS at Uppsala, Sweden, on 7-8 August 1971 prior to the Seventh Congress of OT Studies and in conjunction with it.  A program of papers and symposia is planned with a wide range of international participation anticipated.  The IOSCS also will meet as usual during the 1971 SBL annual meeting at Atlanta (??-31 October).


\7/ A summary of Brock's paper is scheduled to appear in IOSCS Bulletin 4.


The SNTS seminar on 'The Greek NT and the Septuagint' met at Newcastle upon Tyne from 24 to 27 August I970, under the chairmanship of Dean Sidney Jellicoe (Bishop's University, Lennoxville, Canada).  As a basis for discussion, David Hill (Sheffield) first reported on the general problem of translational activity in the ancient world, emphasizing the effect that the translator's relative skills in handling the respective reception language and original language would have on his work.  Hill suggested that a translator would tend to build up a certain amount of 'semantic tolerance' (due to [[489]] ‘automatic response' translation) for certain usages that might be unusual in the receptor language, and thus might introduce new elements into that language - producing something of 'a new sub-language.'\8/ A basic problem is how to identify such 'semantic change' in a way that is useful for lexico­graphical purposes.


\8/ For development of some of these ideas, Hill referred to the article by C. Rabin, 'The Translation Process and the Character of the Septuagint,’ in Textus 6 (1968), 1-26.


The present writer also reported on his lengthy 'probe' (which had been circulated in mimeographed form to participants prior to the SNTS meeting\9/) into the problem of collecting and organizing material for a lexicon of Jewish translation Greek.  It is my conviction that a lexicon of this sort should provide as much information as is reasonably possible for a wide range of specialized interests such as:


(1) Jewish translation techniques and practices (lexicography and grammar/syntax).

(2) Influence of Jewish translation Greek on other Jewish Greek, on early Christian Greek, and on Greek in general.

(3) Recovery of the earliest form(s) of Greek Jewish scriptures.

(4) Study of other forms of Jewish scriptures in Greek (e.g.   Aquila, etc.) -

(5) Developments within the Hebrew/Aramaic textual histories of Jewish scriptures.

(6) Analysis of Greek and Semitic word groups (related terms, ideas).

(7) Greek lexicography and grammar syntax in general.


\9/ The following omission in the mimeographed probe was noted: on p.3 1ine 4 of the 'sample entry'; for bebelon, read ‘MT root HLL = be profaned.'


To this end, the aforementioned 'probe' investigated Greek renderings of certain closely related Hebrew interjections, with sample entries constructed so that each Greek interjection could be seen against its general background as presented in the standard lexica and could be related to other Greek and Semitic words to which it seems linked in the translation literatures.  Cross-references, statistical analyses, attention to variants in the MS tradition, and discussions of particularly difficult or interesting passages or problems were included.  An attempt also was made to draw attention to possible relationships with hellenistic Greek writings in general, and to jewish; and early Christian materials in particular. (In the discussion, it was suggested that relevant bibliography should also be included at the end of each lexicographical entry, as in the Bauer lexicon.) The ensuing seminar discussions tended to focus on problems of method and procedure as they relate to the proposed lexicon project.  Are available editions of the Greek texts adequate?  Is it better to begin by studying a particular word throughout the entire range of relevant material (a con­cordance-based approach), or to limit investigation initially to a particular book or translation unit?  Is it possible to make use of computers in such a project, and is it practical?  Do we know enough about what was taking place [[490]] linguistically within hellenistic Greek in general (e.g. Atticistic rhetorical tendencies)?  How can the evidence gathered from a study of translation Greek be related to a general theory of semantic change and presented in a helpful way?  Are the times 'right' for this sort of project?


The seminar decided to reconvene 'under the continuing chairmanship of Dean Jellicoe' at the 1971 SNTS meeting in the Netherlands in order to attack some of these problems further.  It was suggested that more experience in gathering and presenting the lexicographical material would be helpful.  Interested parties are encouraged to produce studies of particular words and semantic groupings for this purpose.  The need to deal with the total linguistic ­context of a word at each occurrence was stressed, as was the desirability of including as much relevant Greek material as possible (e.g. from Aquila, etc.) along with consistent reference to Hebrew equivalents.  Finally, Professor F. F. Bruce (Manchester) agreed to prepare a lexicon to the Greek of Joel (for which the textual problems are relatively limited and a reliable critical apparatus is available), while Professor J. W. Doeve (Utrecht) volunteered to prepare some selected sample lexicographical entries, for presentation and discussion at the 1971 SNTS seminar.