Year: 1999 ISBN: 978-90-429-0766-9 Pages: 354 p. Price: 45 EURO
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This study analyzes the Septuagint version of Isaiah's Servant Poems (Isaiah 42:1-8; 49:1-9; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12) as a translation and unique interpretation of the Hebrew text. The Septuagint version of the Servant Poems is of interest not only because it represents one of the earliest (if not the first) interpretations of the Hebrew text and thus an important stage in the history of exegesis of these poems, but also because this translation operates a transition from Hebrew modes of thinking and expression into a Greek language and context. The Septuagint version of the Servant Poems was cited by New Testament writers, read and commented on as Sacred Scripture by the early Church Fathers and continues to be used by the Eastern Church. This study is a helpful resource to Old Testament, New Testament and Patristic scholars and theologians alike.
The introduction offers a methodology for classifying Septuagint differences to determine the specific exegesis and underlying theology of a given Septuagint text. Differences with the Hebrew text are categorized according to linguistic explanations (style, the translator's difficulty determining Greek semantic equivalents for obscure Hebrew vocabulary, errors or omissions, etc.) Hebrew Vorlagen, non-linguistic explanations like contextual and intertextual exegesis and combinations of linguistic and non-linguistic factors.
The author identifies over 270 differences with the Masoretic Text in a presentation of the Septuagint text of each poem side-by-side with the Masoretic Text. Qumran variants are compared with the Masoretic Text and Septuagint to help classify Septuagint differences to determine which may be signs of the Septuagint's unique exegesis and theology. The Septuagint's numerous differences are bold-faced in the English translation of each poem before the author presents a detailed verse-by-verse literary analysis of the Septuagint in the wider context of Isaiah 1-66 and the Greek Pentateuch.
The author argues that the vast majority of Septuagint differences with the Masoretic Text in Isaiah's Servant Poems reflect contextual and intertextual exegesis. The Septuagint version expresses theological perspectives that are at times similar and often distinct from the Masoretic Text. In a final chapter the author draws on the exegesis of each poem in preceding chapters to present the theology visible in the Septuagint version of Isaiah's Servant Poems, concluding with an appendix that catalogues textual differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic Text and a biblical index.