First thoughts on Muraoka’s grammar of Septuagint Greek from Will Ross


My good friend Will Ross, a Cambridge PhD student working on the Septuagint, has provided a ‘first thoughts’ review of Takamitsu Muraoka’s new grammar of Septuagint Greek, A Syntax of Septuagint Greek (Leuven: Peeters, 2016). Muraoka is a master of Greek, especially on the LXX, and has already provided us with a superb lexicon (see Will’s video introduction) and Hebrew-Greek index of the LXX, both of which must be considered the ‘state of the art’.

Here’s the ‘blurb’ on the book:

This is the first ever comprehensive analysis of the morphosyntax and syntax of Septuagint Greek. The work is based on the most up-to-date editions of the Septuagint. The so-called Antiochene version of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles as well as Judges has been studied. Though this is a synchronic grammar, and though not systematic, comparison with Classical Greek, the Greek of contemporary literature of the Hellenistic-Roman period, papyri and epigraphical data, and New Testament Greek has often been undertaken. Even when analysing translated documents of the Septuagint, the perspective is basically that of its readers. However, attempts were made to determine in what ways and to what extent the structure of the Semitic source languages may have influenced the selection of this or that particular construction by translators. At many places it is demonstrated and illustrated how an analysis of the morphosyntax and syntax can illuminate our general interpretation of the Septuagint text.

Will reviews it with care, while being clear he is not intending a proper, comprehensive review (it’s 904 pages!). This should whet your (and my) appetite for the book and (I hope) for a fuller treatment by Will and other LXX scholars in due course. It’s on my shopping list (friends donating it are welcome!), although (sadly) I fear we won’t ever see the electronic edition that would make it so much more valuable (because searchable and linkable)—for Peeters are averse to such editions.