Responding To A Puzzled Scribe The Barberini Version Of Habakkuk 3 Analysed In The Light Of The Other Greek Versions -- By: Joshua L. Harper

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 64:2 (NA 2013)
Article: Responding To A Puzzled Scribe The Barberini Version Of Habakkuk 3 Analysed In The Light Of The Other Greek Versions
Author: Joshua L. Harper


Responding To A Puzzled Scribe
The Barberini Version Of Habakkuk 3 Analysed In The Light Of The Other Greek Versions1

Joshua L. Harper

Some time before the Ninth Century AD a puzzled scribe wrote the following note at the end of a Greek version of Habakkuk 3:

τὴν ᾠδὴν τοῦ Ἀμβακοὺμ οὐχ εὗρον συμφωνοῦσαν οὔτε τοῖς ο̄, οὔτε ἀκύλᾳ, οὔτε συμμάχῳ, οὔτε θεοδοτίωνι· ζητήσεις οὖν εἰ τῆς ε̅̄ ἢ τῆς ϛ̄ ἐκδόσεως:— ἑτέρας ἐκδοχῆς προσευχὴ Ἀμβακοὺμ μετ’ ᾠδῆς, τῶν ο̅̄ ἑρμηνεία:

I have not found [this] ode of Habakkuk to agree with either the Septuagint or Aquila or Symmachus or Theodotion; you must therefore search to see whether it is the edition of quinta or sexta. — From another version, the prayer of Habakkuk with a song, the translation of the Septuagint:

This anonymous version of Habakkuk 3, which he had just finished copying, cannot be identified with any of the other known Greek versions of Habakkuk or the Twelve Prophets. It is only found in six Septuagint manuscripts, and has come to be known as the Barberini version of Habakkuk 3 after one of the best witnesses, which was formerly in the library of the Barberini family in Rome.

The goal of my thesis is to describe the Barberini version and the translator responsible for it—to give the who, what, where, when, why, and how of its creation in so far as this can be determined by comparing the Barberini Greek version with the other Greek and Hebrew versions of the chapter. As such, the results of the investigation can be broken down under these convenient headings.

How? Analysing the translation technique of the translator is perhaps the most concrete focus of the thesis. The version is clearly oriented toward producing clear, stylish Greek, rather than in representing every element of the Hebrew source text. The translator has felt free to transform the Hebrew in various ways, including syntactical modifications, careful choice of vocabulary, translations which clarify obscure Hebrew, flexibility of expression (especially with regard to function words), as well as attempts to produce an aesthetically pleasing and rhetorically elegant translation. These modifications mean that it is not always easy to reconstruct the Hebrew Vorlage used by the translator, and the version is th...

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