When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of Western Civilization
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Oxford University Press / 2013 / Paperback

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When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of Western Civilization

Oxford University Press / 2013 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW781721

Product Description

The story of the Septuagint and its role in shaping the New Testament and Christianity, now made available to a wider audience.

The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures between the third century BC and the second century AD, played a central role in the Bible's history. It was used by New Testament writers and the early church in the formation of the early theology of Christianity.

However, at the end of the fourth century, the focus shifted. The Masoretic Text, the Hebrew Bible most know today, became the favored Hebrew scripture and the Septuagint was relegated to second place. In When God Spoke Greek, Timothy Michael Law discusses the history of the Septuagint and argues for its renewed place in the study of both the history of the Bible and the Bible itself. The Septuagint bears witness to an alternative and sometimes older form of the Hebrew Bible. The study of the Septuagint contributes to a greater understanding of the New Testament, early Christianity, and even Christianity as we know it today.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 216
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 0199781729
ISBN-13: 9780199781720

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Author Bio

Timothy Michael Law is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Marginalia Review of Books.


It is a gripping tale, beautifully told, and should be of profound interest to any reader of the Jewish or Christian Bible Timothy Michael Law has written the first introduction to the LXX that can be read by people outside the guild. It is a remarkable book, full of fascinating detail that I cannot evoke in a short review, a book that tells a rich story that no reader of the Bible can afford to ignore.
-Los Angeles Review of Books

A splendid work...I haven't found any book so interesting and enjoyable in years.
-Sir Fergus Millar,
Oxford University

When churchgoers and church watchers wonder about the origins of Christian theology, questions about the Septuagint's importance for the New Testament and patristic era do not dominate their concerns. Law laments this lack of attention and enthusiastically explains the Septuagint s history, its significance for early Christian writers, and the reasons it all but disappeared from theological discourse in the Christian West.
-The Christian Century

An original thinker, Timothy Michael Law portrays the birth, development, and theological impact of the Septuagint on Christianity and western civilization, and analyzes in a fascinating way the Septuagint as a creation in its own right and not only as a translation. This innovative study, incorporating the very latest research, is meant for the scholar and learned reader alike.
-Emanuel Tov,
The Hebrew University

Law overturns the assumptions of most Christians about their sacred scripture. He points out that the Greek text of the Septuagint was the early Church's Bible, that it predates the Hebrew Scripture now commonly accepted, and that it presents plural traditions of ancient Hebrew biblical texts, many now lost to us. Fundamentalists will find these unpalatable truths; others will find that Law points to new delights in their reading of scripture.
-Diarmaid N.J. MacCulloch,
Oxford University

Law provides a thorough, readable introduction to the Septuagint's formation, distinctiveness, impact upon the New Testament writers, and ongoing life in the Christian Church. Law boldly challenges us to reckon with the theological implications of multiple 'Old Testaments' informing early Judaism and Christianity and to consider the Septuagint afresh as Christian Scripture. We cannot afford to ignore the testimony this book offers.
-David A. deSilva,
Ashland Theological Seminary

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