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Paraclete

Zero-knowledge Hebrew Bible questions :)

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Hi all,

 

Since I know nothing about the Hebrew Bible, I figured I'd just ask this question: what is the authoritative Hebrew edition (editions?) of the LXX that is commonly used by scholars, something that would be the HB equivalent of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece? Is there a commonly-recommended Hebrew-English interlinear, or even Hebrew-Greek interlinear? For the New Testament, for example, I use the Brown and Comfort/Douglas edition of The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament based on the Nestle-Aland, so everything is standardized. Any suggestions on these fronts before I went out onto the vast sea of Amazon on my own? :)

 

Thanks in advance!

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We're generally encouraged to use the Stuttgart editions of the Vulgate and Greek NT. I'm pretty sure this applies to the Hebrew as well. This is a critical edition and not, unfortunately, interlinear. 

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So, we use the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), which is--as far as I know--the most accessible critical edition of the Hebrew Bible. The Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ), however, has the larger critical apparatus of the two. The work is not yet finished as they continue to roll out BHQ in volumes. Given its size and cost, it is a reference source and not something you'd bring to class. Your local theological library may have what has been published so far by the BHQ project.

 

I wish I could recommend an interlinear, but I'm not up to speed on what's out there. For what its worth, I've heard some good things about the ESV/Hebrew interlinear Bible. I believe it follows the BHS. On a similar note, I tote around the Biblia Sacra Hebraica Stuttgartensia with Greek New Testament in one volume when going to language classes. As its name suggests, it is the BHS text while the Greek NT follows NA27. It is very handy but expensive--esp. since you already have a Greek NT. For the LXX, I think the standard is Rahlf's Septuaginta. 

 

An interlinear or side-by-side LXX/BHS would be useful, but I have not come across it before--I haven't really looked either though. My guess is that it would need to be several volumes like the old polyglot Bibles were.

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We also use the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia in my Hebrew class. Once you figure out how to read the apparatus, it is very useful. From my independent studies, I have a personal copy of the JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh, which is useful but does not have the apparatus. If you are looking for Hebrew and English side-by-side, it has this feature.

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As everyone said, the BHS is the standard edition for pretty much every student. While the apparatus is useful, it's not something you really need if you are just learning to work with classical Hebrew (if one needs an interlinear version). You might consider the JPS Hebrew-English pocket edition: http://www.amazon.com/JPS-Hebrew-English-Tanakh-Pocket-Edition/dp/0827607660/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414081111&sr=8-1&keywords=tanakh+small

 

The latter is nice because of its size (though if you have bad eyesight it's too small) and English and Hebrew. 

 

As for the LXX: a dated but still somewhat useful interlinear edition is Sir Lancelot Brenton's. Like most (all?) interlinear editions it is diplomatic in its base text and does not include an apparatus. Though, as someone who works quite a lot in LXX/OG studies can attest, this isn't going to hurt you much, as most of the editions are incomplete. Rahlfs' edition, while useful in some regard, is wildly incomplete in ways that BHS is not. Like BHQ, there are editions slowly released (still ongoing) under the name of the Göttingen Septuagint, which treat individual books (like BHQ) (previous attempts that are much more thorough exist such as the Cambridge LXX, though the series is incomplete as it treats only certain books). Without getting off topic here, but in response to your question if there is a 'Hebrew edition of the LXX,' I will say, no (assuming you do not mean a modern Hebrew translation of the LXX/OG). The reason that editions like Rahlfs are used, as incomplete as they are, is to support HB/OT research. They are almost always used as auxiliaries. This presumes, incorrectly, that our reliable HB manuscripts--what we often term 'the MT' dating to the Medieval period--reflect the source text with which 'the LXX' was based. Again, while there are many who argue 'the LXX' has 'more authentic' traditions (e.g. Vaticanus), the assumption is that such LXX traditions are only more authentic in so far as they reflect the MT as their base text. The problem is made much more complex by the fact that most of our reliable LXX manuscripts predate 'the divine' MT by centuries. The chicken or the egg, basically. 

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I'm a little confused by your question. You asked about "authoritative Hebrew edition (editions?) of the LXX." If you are asking about the standard critical edition of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic, it's the Stuttgartensia BHS for the single volume edition that any biblical Hebrew class would use. And as turktheman said, Biblia Hebraica Quinta (BHQ) is in process of being completed and you can find the volumes published so far in a library if you really need to do in-depth text critical work.

 

If you're asking about the LXX--the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek (and there is more than one recension of this!)--the standard one volume edition is Rahlf's Septuaginta (ISBN: 1598561804). If you need to do more in-depth text critical work with the LXX, it's the Göttingen Septuagint or else the Cambridge Septuagint. Any good biblical/theological library should have them. Here's a pretty helpful orientation to the various critical editions: http://abramkj.com/2012/10/08/bhs-the-gottingen-septuagint-and-other-critical-editions-a-basic-orientation-to-what-they-are/.

 

Most significant differences in the LXX will be noted in the apparatus of BHS, although you would have to use a separate edition of the LXX (e.g. Rahlf's, Göttingen, or Cambridge) for books that exist in the LXX in a very different form from the MT like the expansions ("Additions") to Esther or the different edition of Jeremiah. Any Bible software should also include an edition of the LXX (my BibleWorks software includes Rahlf's).

 

If you're going to take a class and are serious about studying this, I think many professors will recommend to stay away from interlinears because they can become a "crutch." Thankfully, the NETS (New English Translation of the Septuagint) is available completely for free online: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/.

 

Hope this helps! Text criticism can be difficult and confusing. Before you spend too much money on amazon, I'd recommend checking out from a library Emmanuel Tov's book Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible and looking through it as well as a copy of Rahlf's.

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