Reviews of Books -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 36:2 (Winter 1974)
Article: Reviews of Books
Author: Anonymous


Reviews of Books

Peter Walters (formerly Katz): The Text of the Septuagint: Its Corruptions and Their Emendations. Edited by D. W. Gooding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973. xx, 419. $37.50.

Peter Katz first established himself in scholarly circles, relatively late in life, by publishing a most impressive critical review of Rahlfs’ edition of the LXX.1 In 1939 he fled to England, settled in Cambridge, and dedicated the rest of his life to the one great task of preparing a truly critical edition of the LXX. Biblical students are acquainted with him primarily through his only book-an examination of the LXX text used by Philo-and through his contribution to the C. H. Dodd Festschrift.2 Many of us do not fully realize, however, the enormous extent of his contribution to scholarship by means of important reviews and specialized articles, as well as by his participation in some of our most valuable works of reference.3

The present volume is a fully reworked version of his Ph.D. thesis, presented to the University of Cambridge in 1945. When Katz died in

1962, his student D. W. Gooding, now in the Classics faculty of the Queen’s University of Belfast, was asked to prepare the work for publication.4 As editor, he informs us, he has checked all the references (“except for an odd ten or so” 1), touched up the style, etc., but has made no changes whatever in the substance of the work. However, he has occasionally added information in brackets (but what is the meaning of the brackets on pp. 50 and 322f.?), and one wishes that he had systematically brought the material up to date—Katz would surely have used the translation of Blass-Debrunner (which at points differs significantly from the 9th German ed.; cf. the reference on p. 96) and would presumably have noted on p. 163 E. Masson’s Recherches Sur les plus anciens emprunts semitiques, to mention but two examples. Dr. Gooding tells us that he was deliberately over-cautious about making changes in the text, but there was no need, for instance, to retain the term “East-Semitic” in reference to Aramaic (p. 166); similarly, a slight change on p. 175 (“although not” in place of “except”) would have corrected a statement which implies that only English has a non-phonetic spelling. But these are minor criticisms and Dr. Gooding deserves our deep gratitude for accomplishing what at times must have been an agonizing labor of love.

The very difficult printing of this book measures up to the high stand...

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