Biblicalia on the "Two Septuagints"
Published: Mar 15, 2008 by Maria Gwyn McDowell
I am hardly a biblical scholar and so translations issues are not my area of expertise. I have often been somewhat disturbed however, at the Orthodox Study Bible. The New Testament and Psalms is based on the New King James which, while appealing to my love of Shakespeare, does not aid in either my understanding of scripture nor my trust in the faithful rendition of the Greek text. Worse, I find the notes to be, well, not helpful and not particularly thoughtful. Besides, in my shameless feminist way, I prefer gender inclusive language for humanity, despite the translation issues it creates. I use the NRSV for academic study/work, and I have an "not-published-in-the-United-States- thank-you-very-much-Mr.-Dobson-who-condemns-all-censorship-as-communist- unless-it-is-a-version-of-the-bible-he-doesn't-like" NIVI (the last "I" refers to "inclusive," a publication of the NIV available outside the US).
I have met with some trepidation the now available English translation of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) available in the Orthodox Study Bible: Ancient Christianity Speaks to Today’s World. The Orthodox Church considers the Greek Septuagint, not the Hebrew, to be the authoritative version of the Old Testament. So, I read with great interest biblicalia's thorough, insightful, and not-very-flattering review of the recent release, the "Two Septuagints. The second refers to the NETS translation, which Kevin (the author of Biblicalia) recommends "without reservation and with whole-hearted, honest enthusiasm."