The Greek Version Of The Pentateuch -- By: H. B. Hackett

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 004:13 (Feb 1847)
Article: The Greek Version Of The Pentateuch
Author: H. B. Hackett


The Greek Version Of The Pentateuch

Prof. H. B. Hackett

De Pentateuchi Versione Alexandrina Libri tres. Scripsit Henr. Guil Jos. Thierschius,1 Phil. Dr., Theol. Lic. Erlangen, 1841.

Habes, lector, opusculum de ea re elaboratum, quam pauci hodie curant, plurimi ne curandum quidem a quopiam judicant. So says the author in laying his work even before the critical public of his own country. We trust, however, that of the few who take an interest in such labors, some are to be found also among us. The production here noticed relates to an important circle of study, and one that affords room for a much more extended investigation than it has yet received. There are various aspects and phenomena of the Hellenistic Greek as contained in the Septuagint, which remain still to be examined. Some of the obscurity which rests upon certain portions of Hebrew syntax, is destined to be cleared up, if ever, by light that shall be derived from this source. A just treatment of the New Testament idiom depends still more, both lexically and grammatically, upon a full acquaintance with the usage of the Septuagint Greek. An advance in this direction may be regarded as one of the most urgent wants, for which provision needs to be made, at the present time, in this branch of biblical study. In the work of Thiersch now before us, we have a favorable specimen of what is required, in order to supply this deficiency. In the last edition of his Grammar of the New Testament, Winer pronounces it beyond comparison the best treatise on the linguistic element of the Seventy, which has as yet appeared. It is confined to an examination of the five books of Moses. It consists of three parts; the first of which treats of the principles which the Seventy have observed in their translation of the Pentateuch; the second, of the Greek dialect in which they have written; and the third, of the Hebraisms which are to be found in their version.

In his prefatory remarks, the author speaks of the occasion

which led him to undertake this labor. It was in consequence of suspicions with which he found his mind assailed, in reference to the purity of the generally received Hebrew text He had observed that the Seventy frequently depart from it in their translation, and often in such a manner as to give an essentially different sense. He was anxious, therefore, to ascertain the ground of such deviation, and especially whether it was of such a nature as to warrant the belief that it could have originated from competent Ms. authority. For the purpose of obtaining satisfaction on this point, he devoted himself for two years together to the careful study of the Hebrew and Greek Pent...

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