Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Orthodox OT

Does anyone know a good book surveying the textual history of the Old Testament used within the Greek Orthodox Church?


  1. Pardon my ignorance, but are you speaking of the LXX? I cannot imagine you are based on your question (because you would know where to look for that!), but perhaps it is a bit unclear what you are asking?

  2. Thanks. They may well call their OT the LXX, but it's not the same as Rahlfs or Göttingen because it presents a traditional text rather than a critically reconstructed text. It is the textual history of this traditional text for which I want an introduction—all vital groundwork so that we can begin to co-operate strategically!

  3. Pete, I've been looking around and asking a bit, so here's a start:

    Cavallo, G. Richerche sulla maiuscola biblica, Florence 1967.

    Kraft, RA. "Christian Transmission of Greek Jewish Scriptures: A Methodological Probe". Paganisme, Judaïsme, Christianisme. Mélanges offerts à Marcel Simon, Paris 1978, 207-206.

    I am not so sure about those sources above, as I have not checked them myself, but they are merely suggestions. These two, however, may be closer to what is needed:

    Jugie, M. 'Histoire du canon de l'Ancien Testament dans l'eglise grecque et l'eglise russe'. Paris 1909; rpr. Leipzig 1974.

    Delicostopoulos, A. 'Major Greek translations of the Bible' in 'Interpretation of the Bible'. Sheffield/Ljubljana 1998, 297-316.

  4. Thanks for these. More to add to my reading pile.

  5. I can not document this, but have heard that the Orthodox Church has lent resources (but not money) to the Göttingen Unternehmen, and that the current text used in the Greek OC is Rahlfs. This was all informally relayed in the OT as Christian Scripture class here in Aberdeen.

  6. Obviously Rahlfs' edition is in use in the church in Greece. Note that it usually has a preface from the Greek Bible Society. At the same time, I should like more information from the ground in Greece about present usage.

    I have here on my desk an edition of the Greek Orthodox OT from Athens, 1939. The preface is by Bratsiotes (Mpratsiotes). It clearly differs from Rahlfs, e.g. by it has απεκρινατο where Rahlfs has ενετειλατο in 3 Reigns 2:1. I'm sure there would be more differences if I searched.

    Moreover, there are also variations within Orthodox churches. For instance, whereas the Greek Orthodox Bible has both sets of miscellanies in 3 Reigns 2 (i.e. plusses after both v. 35 and v. 46), the Romanian Orthodox Bible only has the miscellany after v. 35. See:

    That's why I want a book that will neatly bring together all of the information on the textual history of the Orthodox Bibles.

  7. "See:"

    I did see quite a bit of added material there at v. 35--something about Pharoah, but beyond that I could decipher nothing. For some reason my copy of the LXX has nothing there either. Why, and where can I find an English translation?

  8. What edition of the LXX are you using? Rahlfs and others have a miscellany here (written about by David Gooding).

  9. Baxter's Vaticanus/Alexandrinus.
    But thanks for the (information which led me to the ) [url=]link.[/url]

  10. I found the miscellany. My LXX edition (Bagster is the correct spelling) has a rather unusual versification (e.g. Genesis six is one verse longer than in the MT), and the 2 extra sections were after 3:1 and before 3:2. Thus I didn't see anything unusual right at 2:35 and 2:46.

  11. Where can I find a list and/or a source for the various critical volumes published by the Goettingen Unternehmen?

  12. I saw that some of the people who left comments made remarks in relation to the Romanian Bible. Unfortunately, after 1914, the Romanian translators started to mix the texts. They used both the LXX and the Masoretic Text, so do not use the modern versions as a means of comparison.
    The first Romanian Bible (1688) has as Vorlage the Frankfurt Septuagint (1597). This "Protestant" edition was republished in Venice, in 1687, with support from the Romanian prince Serban Cantacuzene (Cantacuzino).
    Only recently we have had the LXX published anew in Romanian, as a critical edition, with notes mostly taken from the French Bible d'Alexandrie.