Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When God Spoke Greek

Thanks to reader Larry for pointing out this interview article from First Things concerning the book When God Spoke Greek written by Timothy Michael Law.

How did the New Testament writers and the earliest Christians come to adopt the Jewish scriptures as their first Old Testament? And why are our modern Bibles related more to the rabbinic Hebrew Bible than to the Greek Bible of the early Church?

The Septuagint, the name given to the translation of the Hebrew scriptures between the third century BC and the second century AD, played a central role in the Bible's history. Many of the Hebrew scriptures were still evolving when they were translated into Greek, and these Greek translations, along with several new Greek writings, became Holy Scripture in the early Church.

Yet, gradually the Septuagint lost its place at the heart of Western Christianity. At the end of the fourth century, one of antiquity's brightest minds rejected the Septuagint in favor of the Bible of the rabbis. After Jerome, the Septuagint never regained the position it once had. Timothy Michael Law recounts the story of the Septuagint's origins, its relationship to the Hebrew Bible, and the adoption and abandonment of the first Christian Old Testament.


Theo said...

My wife and I always buy a book to read together at Christmas. We usually take it in turns to read a chapter to each other. We take great care about the book we select, and it sometimes takes all year to find the right one; we look forward to it so much.

Last year it was the wonderful 'Sisters of Sinai', a fantastic read for anyone who gets excited about ancient Biblical manuscript discoveries. The year before it was 'Light of the World'. But this year's book is 'When God Spoke Greek', and we only agreed upon it last week, funnily enough.

This review is excellent, and it's really whet our appetites!

Perhaps you could move onto this after 'Consuming the Word', Tim? Would be a real catalyst for some very interesting debate, don't you think?

Leave it until after Christmas though - it is expressly against tradition for us to open our festal book until the Octave is upon us!

Louis said...

Hi Tim,
I just picked up a copy of this. Looks to be very good