Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 13:1 (NA 2003)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Studies In The Psalter

The Psalms: A New English Translation of the Septuagint. Introduced and translated by Albert Pietersma. NETS. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000. Pp. xxv i + 149. ISBN 0-19-529753-9. $20.

The Psalter according to the Seventy. By Vivian Maria Hartley. Edited by Pierre Vachon and Lambros Kamperidis. Westport, Ontario: Wordsmith, 2001. Pp. xxiv + 50. ISBN 0-9688818-0-7. $29.95 CDN cloth. $18.95 CDN paper.

The Old Greek Psalter: Studies in Honour of Albert Pietersma. Edited by Robert J. V. Hiebert, laude E. Cox, and Peter J. Gentry. JSOTSup 332. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001. Pp. 346. ISBN 1-84127-209-4. $105.

Scholars and laity are treated to two new English translations of the Psalter. One is oriented to scholars and students; the other is oriented to worship and devotional study. The translation by Albert Pietersma is part of the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) project sponsored by the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies.

A new English translation is much overdue. All that is available are two antiquated translations: Charles Thomson, The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and the New Covenant, Commonly Called the Old and the New Testament (4 vols.; Philadelphia: Jane Aitken, 1808); and Lancelot C. L. Brenton, The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, according to the Vatican Text (2 vols.; London: S. Bag-ster, 1844; repr. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1986).

The NETS project presupposes the Göttingen Septuagint, at least for those books that have been prepared and published to date. It serves as the base text. Nevertheless, NETS translators are free to follow different readings where they think it is necessary. The new English translation makes use of a better established, more critical Greek text and offers today’s readers a modern rendering. However, the new English translation of the Septuagint is mindful of the nrsv, based on the conviction that the Septuagint originated as a translation of the Hebrew, which underlies the nrsv’s translation of the OT (see the discussion on pp. viii–xv). This is an interesting point, and one that may prove controversial in some circles. In practical terms for Pietersma and his NETS colleagues, this often means that the semantic range of the Greek is narrowed, even determined, when one takes into account the underlying Hebrew. This seems reasonable enough, but did Greek readers of late antiquity—the original readers of the Septuagint—take this philological point into account? So what really is being translated? This question is sure to be debated as NETS volumes continue to...

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