Why Use the Targums?

Two weeks ago my esteemed colleague Dr. Heiser wrote an insightful post about the importance of the Septuagint (LXX) for New Testament (NT) students and scholars. He used an example from Deuteronomy 33:2, showing how in three different verses, New Testament authors alluded to angels being present at the giving of the Law. In the Masoretic Text (MT) of the Hebrew Bible that we have today, there is no use of the word mal’akhim, or angels, but the Septuagint does mention angeloi in Deuteronomy 33:2. Dr. Heiser’s conclusion is that the NT authors must have used the Septuagint. But is this the only possible conclusion?
The phrase in question in the Hebrew Bible is ‘merivvoth qodesh’. Dr. Heiser reads this as a place name, but allows that it could mean “Ten thousands of Kadesh” with Kadesh also being a place name. (This is how the LXX translates this phrase, transliterating qodesh as Kades as if it is a place name.) But the MT points the word qodesh, not qadesh. So it could also be better rendered “Ten thousands of holiness” or “Ten thousands of holy ones”. Now this still isn’t using the word ‘angels’ and so doesn’t completely explain the Septuagint translation. After all, ‘holy ones’ could refer to righteous men or priests (like it does in certain Ugaritic tablets – maybe we need a follow up post on “Why use Ugaritic?”) rather than angels. Indeed, in Dr. Tov’s alignment of the LXX and the MT, angeloi is aligned to a different phrase than merivvoth qodesh altogether – being tentatively aligned with a very difficult portion of the MT which is often translated as fire or lightening flashing down from Yahweh’s right hand, or the law being brought forth from fire. But this ought to show that it is possible for ‘merivvoth qodesh’ to be interpreted as a large assembly of angels from the MT alone.
But is there any evidence outside of the Septuagint that this interpretation of the passage was widely held? Turn with me in your Targums to Targum Onqelos (TO) on Deuteronomy 33:2. It reads:

And he (Moses) said, “The Lord was revealed from Sinai, and the brightness of His glory appeared to us from Seir. He was revealed in His power upon the mountain of Pharan, and with Him were ten thousand holy ones; He gave us, written with His own right hand, the law from the midst of the fire.”

The Targums were an oral tradition long before they were written down. The basic practice was to read the scriptures in Hebrew and then translate them into Aramaic for those who couldn’t understand Hebrew. The translations are sometimes quite literal, and sometimes expanded with interpretive comments. Over time, some Targums came to be written down and achieved some authority in the communities that used them. Targum Onqelos is a fairly literal rendering of the MT in this verse, and it is obvious that the interpretation in the synagogues that produced TO that ‘merivvoth qodesh’ is referring to a myriad of holy ones instead of a place name. But still no mention of the specific word mal’akhim, or angels.
Now turn to Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (TgPsJ) on Deuteronomy 33:2. It contains a much-expanded reading compared to MT, LXX and TO:

The Lord was revealed at Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel, and the splendor of the glory of His Shekinah arose from Gebal to give itself to the sons of Esau: but they received it not. It shined forth in majesty and glory from mount Pharan, to give itself to the sons of Ishmael; but they received it not. It returned and revealed itself in holiness unto His people of Beth Israel, and with Him ten thousand times ten thousand holy angels. He wrote with His own right hand, and gave them His law and His commandments, out of the flaming fire.

Now we see that qodesh has become an adjective describing mal’akhim (actually, mal’akhin in Aramaic, with n replacing m as the plural suffix – but the word is the same). We’ve gone from ten thousands of his holy ones to ten thousand ten thousands of his holy angels! And all without losing the difficult section of the MT that is here translated as giving the Law from the midst of the fire.
To finish our tour of the Targums on Deuteronomy 33:2, you can turn to either Targum Neofiti or the Palestinian Fragment Targums to the Pentateuch – they both read about the same thing here, and the verse seems to be expanded even a little further than TgPsJ:

And he said: The Lord was revealed from Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel. He arose in His glory upon the mountain of Seir to give the law to the sons of Esau; but after they found that it was written therein, Thou shalt do no murder, they would not receive it. He revealed Himself in His glory on the mountain of Gebala, to give the law to the sons of Ishmael; but when they found that it was written therein, Ye shall not be thieves, they would not receive it. Again did He reveal Himself upon Mount Sinai, and with Him ten thousands of holy angels; and the children of Israel said, All that the Word of the Lord hath spoken will we perform and obey. And He stretched forth His hand from the midst of the flaming fire, and gave the Law to His people.

So what?
None of this proves whether the NT authors used the LXX or not. TO clearly translates MT. The other Targums may translate the MT but reflect an interpretive tradition that is similar to the one which produced the LXX, or both the LXX and the other Targums might be translations of a Hebrew text that is somewhat different from MT. But it does go to show that the interpretation of Deuteronomy 33:2 that is found in the New Testament might have also been found in the local, Aramaic speaking synagogue without any reference to Greek translations. And figuring out which text the NT writers are quoting or alluding to isn’t as simple as just reading the LXX and the MT and picking between the two. How many other places have theologians turned to Greek sources like the LXX or Philo when a trip to the local synagogue would have hit closer to home? Let’s not forget the Targums!

Bible Reading Plans for 2008

It’s officially a new year—at least for most countries—and that means a new opportunity to start fresh in your Bible reading. No matter what your goals are for this year, Logos Bible Software can help you read your Bible more faithfully—and give you quick and convenient access to tools that will help you understand it better and apply it more consistently.
There are at least three ways that Logos can help you plan for your Bible reading this year.
1. Use Logos to Create a Bible Reading Plan
Logos Bible Software has a built-in tool that allows you to create customized Bible reading plans. To create a new Bible reading plan, click File > New > Bible Reading Plan. Give it a name like Bible Reading Plan 2008 or My Bible Reading Plan and click OK.
Select Your Range
The first step is to choose what portion of the Bible you’d like to read. The predefined options are:

  • Bible
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Old and New Testament Each Session
  • Old and New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs Each Session
  • Old and New Testament, Psalms and Daily Proverb Each Session

We also allow you to customize your own range. Choose Special from the Presets drop down menu, and enter a range like Genesis-Deuteronomy, Matthew-Acts, or Romans-Philemon (for multiple readings each day, separate the ranges with | [e.g., Genesis-Deuteronomy | Matthew-Acts]). If you struggled last year because you felt like you were reading more than you could keep up with or digest, you might want to set a smaller goal this year. It’s better to read less with comprehension and meditation than more if it means you’ll (1) give up because you can’t keep up or (2) perhaps worse—read mindlessly just so you can check off your list.
Select Your Version
The next step is to choose a version to read. All of your unlocked versions are listed in the drop down menu. Choose the one that you’d like to read this year. It might be best to choose a version that you have never read before. I remember the first time I read through the Bible in a new version; things stood out to me that I had previously read right over because of familiarity.
Select Your Schedule
Next, decide what days you’d like to read. You can schedule your readings for every day, only weekdays, once a week, or a special frequency of your choosing. Then decide when you’d like your plan to start and end. It can be specific dates, a certain number of weeks, a certain number of sessions, or a certain number of verses per session.
Select Boundary Breaks
You can select whether the reading plan should end at the end of chapters or at the end of pericopes (i.e., paragraphs or sections). Choosing pericopes will result in more consistent reading lengths and often more logical breaking points.
Create as many reading plans as you’d like: one for each member of your family or one for your English Bible reading, another for your Greek reading, and another for Hebrew. Reading a couple verses a day or a week in the Hebrew OT and Greek NT is a great way to keep develop your language skills or keep them sharp.
All of your new reading plans will appear on your home page. If you don’t use the home page, you can view your reading plan by going to File > Open > Bible Reading Plans and selecting the appropriate plan.
For more information, watch our video on how to set up a Bible reading plan.
2. Use Addins and Resources for Bible Reading and Devotions
Lectionary
Built into all of our base collections (except Original Languages Library) is a Lectionary Viewer. You can access it from Tools > Bible Data > Lectionary Viewer. You can also choose to have the lectionary appear on your Logos home page. Open the Logos home page (Go > Home > Logos Bible Software), click Customize View, scroll down to Lectionary, and check the appropriate boxes. We include The Revised Common Lectionary and The United Methodist Revised Common Lectionary. If you are in a tradition that follows the lectionary, this will allow you to keep up with the current week’s readings.
We also have a few lectionary resources you may want to consider adding to your library:

If you know XML, you can even create your own lectionary.
For more information, watch our Lectionary Viewer video.
The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
In For the Love of God, Volumes One and Two, Dr. D. A. Carson gives the M’Cheyne chart of daily Bible readings, which covers the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once. There are four readings per day: two for family reading and two for personal reading. Each day’s reading features reflective comments from Dr. Carson. Both volumes cover the same reading schedule, but the comments are different allowing you to following this program and read Dr. Carson’s reflections for two consecutive years.
Devotionals
There are more than 50 devotional books in Logos that have daily readings to help you meditate on God’s Word. To find them, open the Logos home page (Go > Home > Logos Bible Software), click Customize View, and scroll down to Devotions. This will display all of the devotional books that you currently own. Check the box next to any book that you’d like to appear on your home page each day.
3. Try the Global Bible Reader Beta 1
We just launched beta testing for a brand new tool that allows you to read the Bible along with Christians all over the world. It has a very nice look and feel, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy using it. Currently, you have the choice of two versions: the KJV and the ESV. We are looking into adding others. You can also click an icon that will open the passage up for you in Libronix allowing you to dig further into the meaning of the passage.
At present there are three reading plans available:

  • Bible in a Year
  • Gospel of John in a Month
  • New Testament in Six Months

You can participate in any or all of them. We’re considering creating others or even allowing you to create your own to use with family and friends. You can interact on the current day’s passage by leaving comments and reading the comments of others.
Remember, this is a beta product, which means it is likely to have some bugs. We do not recommend trying this unless you are comfortable testing beta software.


To find out more and download the Global Bible Reader visit http://www.logos.com/beta/gbr.
Update: Bruce asked if we had a chronological Bible reading plan. We do. You can download it here. Put the file in \My Documents\Libronix DLS\BibleReadingPlans.

The Best of 2007

As 2007 comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most popular blog posts and products of 2007. Here are three top ten lists each ordered from highest to lowest.
Top Ten Blog Posts
(Most Viewed)

  1. The Lifework of Dr. Jim Rosscup
  2. The Secret to Beating the Postage Increase
  3. New Bible Widget for Mac
  4. Original Language Study: A Boutique Specialty
  5. Getting More from Library Builder, Part 1
  6. Smokers Drive Up Costs of Bibles
  7. The Most Important Person in the Bible
  8. Lange’s Lost Volume
  9. Christmas Deals from Logos!
  10. Getting More from Library Builder, Part 2

Top Ten New Products
(Number of Sales for Products Released in 2007)

  1. The Hermeneutical Spiral
  2. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ
  3. Selected Works on the Life of Christ
  4. The Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English (3 Editions, with Morphology)
  5. The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament (Moulton & Milligan)
  6. The Bible Speaks Today New Testament on CD-ROM (22 Volumes)
  7. Romans Unlocked
  8. The John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library
  9. Getting to Know Jesus Bible Study
  10. Idioms of the Greek New Testament, Second Edition

Top Ten New Pre-Pubs
(Number of Pre-Orders for Products Announced in 2007)

  1. Hebrew Pronunciation Addin
  2. An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible (5 volumes)
  3. John Piper Collection (24 volumes)
  4. Christian Theology, Second Edition
  5. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms
  6. A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels
  7. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey
  8. Studies in the New Testament
  9. Norman L. Geisler’s Systematic Theology
  10. Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament

A big thanks to all of our customers for a fabulous 2007! We’re looking forward to an even better 2008. As you’ll find out in a future blog post, our Electronic Text Development department is growing, and we’re planning to produce even more great products this next year. Stay tuned!
Christmas Specials
Just a reminder not to miss out on our great Christmas specials!

Shibboleth: A Free Tool for Typing in Ancient Scripts

A few years ago Bob came up with the idea to create a small utility to facilitate typing in ancient scripts, and the first version of Shibboleth was born.

We have been using this tool internally for a couple of years, but have recently updated it to take advantage of some of the new technologies made available with Microsoft’s .NET Framework 3.0.

We’ve found Shibboleth to be such a handy tool that we wanted to share it with you. Best of all, we’ve decided to make it free for personal use!
Here are three reasons you might want to use Shibboleth.

  1. Shibboleth makes typing in a script you don’t know well very easy. It’s perfect for those who are still learning to type in Greek and Hebrew; it’s also great for those who can skillfully type in the biblical languages, but occasionally need to type in a non-biblical ancient script like Ugaritic or Coptic.
  2. Shibboleth makes typing obscure characters easy. Even if you’re proficient at typing in Greek and Hebrew, you probably don’t have characters like the Greek digamma (ϝ) or the Hebrew inverted nun (׆) memorized. With Shibboleth that’s no longer a problem. No more hunting for all those keyboard layouts in PDF files somewhere. Shibboleth provides a single location to look up all those obscure ancient script characters!
  3. Shibboleth is also an ideal tool for learning to type proficiently in an ancient script. By practicing for a while in Shibboleth, Greek and Hebrew students will become skilled at typing in no time. The transition from using Shibboleth to typing directly in Greek or Hebrew in other Windows applications like Word is easy since Shibboleth uses the same keyboard layouts as our free Windows keyboards. So once you have a feel for where all the characters are in Shibboleth, making the switch is seamless.

Shibboleth works with both Vista and XP. However, if you’re running XP, you’ll need to download the free .NET Framework 3.0 from Microsoft if you don’t already have it. (We provide the link for you on the Shibboleth page.)
A note about browsers: Shibboleth is a ClickOnce application. You will probably want to use Internet Explorer 7 to install it. To install Shibboleth from Firefox, you will need to use the FFClickOnce add-on or the IE Tab add-on.
Visit http://www.logos.com/shibboleth to find out more and install the application. Enjoy!

Upgrade Special Ending Soon!

Over a year and a half ago we launched the ground-breaking Logos Bible Software 3. It was and continues to be the most advanced collection of digital tools and resources on the planet for studying the Bible. Logos Bible Software 3 added more than 100 new features and updates to the Libronix Digital Library System and brought even greater value to our base packages by including tons of new books, addins, and other data! (Check out the Top 20 New Features of Logos 3!)

Last Chance for the EARLYBIRD Discount!

Thousands of you have already upgraded and are taking advantage of all that Logos Bible Software 3 has to offer, but many of you are still missing out! This is a call to upgrade before we finally end our “EARLYBIRD” discount permanently. We’ve extended this special for a long time now because we wanted to give everyone the chance to upgrade at a discounted rate, but we plan to discontinue it for good on December 31, 2007. Don’t miss out on this final chance to upgrade with the “EARLYBIRD” discount and get all the added value in our new base packages!

Updating vs. Upgrading: What’s the Difference?

Some customers get confused between updating and upgrading. As a result, many are missing out on most of what Logos Bible Software 3 has to offer! Let me explain the difference.

Updating

Updating deals with the core Libronix software engine and is free. When you update, you get the latest version of the Libronix Digital Library System and the most up-to-date version of your digital books. You can easily update from within Libronix by clicking on Tools > Libronix Update or from the update page on the website. Run the Libronix Update as often as you want, but we recommend checking for new updates at least once a month. If you haven’t updated your software in a while, do it now and see what you’ve been missing out on!

However, if you only update and don’t upgrade, you’re missing out on most of the new features of Logos Bible Software 3!

Upgrading

Upgrading deals with the base packages and is not free. When you upgrade, you get tons of new books and tools that will allow you to take full advantage of Logos Bible Software 3. You are not repurchasing what you already own. You are paying a customized upgrade discount price for the new books and addins that you don’t already have. Our customized upgrade discounter gives you upgrade prices for the various base packages taking into consideration what base package you already own and even some of the other titles that you may have purchased. Visit http://www.logos.com/upgrade to find out what your upgrade options are!

Is It Worth It?

Our base packages are among our most heavily discounted collections. You get thousands of dollars worth of resources for just a fraction of the cost. They are an amazing value. If you don’t want to take our word for it, check it out for yourself. In order to make an informed decision, you’ll want to see (1) what you are going to get and (2) what it is going to cost you.

What Will You Get, and What Will It Cost?

Visit the product page for the collection you already have and look for the to find out what has been added to that base package.

You’ll see that the resources make even upgrading from the old version to the new version of the same base package a tremendous deal. For example, if you own only the Bible Study Library, you can upgrade for as little as $34.66! You should at least upgrade to the new version of the base package you own. But most of you should probably consider making the jump up to one of the higher base packages where you get an even better deal!
After you’ve seen all the items that were added to your base package, check the comparison chart to see all the additional resources that the larger collections add! The best value is Scholar’s Library: Gold. It’s not for everyone, but it may be for you.

Take advantage of your upgrade options before they expire!

Library Builder: Volumes 4-6

Also, don’t miss out on your chance to buy Library Builder: Volumes 4-6. It is available only through the end of the year! Find out why this is such an amazing deal!

Greek Syntax: First Thessalonians 4:16, Part IV


I’ve blogged a bit about the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω in 1Th 4.16. There are three previous posts in this series:

Today’s post, the last in the series, is a follow-up to Part II. We’ll further explore how to search for εν Χριστω in relation to the verb (predicator) that it co-occurs with; only today we’ll search for this with both adverbial (as in Part II) and adjectival instances. For those of you who can’t wait, here’s a link to the video:

In 1Th 4.16, εν Χριστω occurs before the verb, as shown below:

1Th 4.16

This instance is somewhat ambiguous (indeed, that’s the reason why the JBL article was written); there are equally good reasons for the prepositional phrase to modify the subject or the verb. OpenText.org SAGNT annotates this as an adjectival relation, further modifying the subject. In order to examine like cases, we need to find where the prepositional phrase itself (whether the OpenText.org SAGNT annotates it adjectivally or adverbially) occurs preceding the predicator. Our earlier search in Part II only located OpenText.org’s adverbial instances.
So today’s video starts there and then shows how to search for where OpenText.org’s adjectival instances precede the predicator. The combination of those two lists provides the whole set of instances where the prepositional phrase precedes the predicator.

Once the lists are available, the analysis can proceed. Examine not only the verbs, but also the other clausal components that are similar to 1Th 4.16. Which of these instances, like 1Th 4.16, appear to be genuinely ambiguous as to where the prepositional phrase can attach? And can those instances help in establishing reasons to prefer either adjectival or adverbial modification in 1Th 4.16?
Lastly, after surveying the material, you may want to do a reference search of your Greek grammars to see if any of them discuss the issue of how the prepositional phrase functions in 1Th 4.16; you may also want to check some of your commentaries (like NIGTC on Thessalonians, perhaps; or the WBC or ICC volumes if you’ve got ‘em) to see what they say.

Logos Is Serious about Scholarship

We are excited to announce that our Academic Editor, Dr. Mike Heiser, was named 2007 SBL Pacific Northwest Regional Scholar in November at the SBL National Conference in San Diego. The details are available in our press release. In our commitment to being the most advanced and powerful Bible software on the planet, we are thrilled to have gifted people like Mike in the company.
Mike is ably leading the academic team to make advanced biblical studies easier and more powerful than ever with ground-breaking products like Hebrew and Greek Syntax databases, the Niese edition of Josephus in Greek, the Ugaritic Library, the Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations, the Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database, the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint, the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, and many more exciting products that are in the works but too top secret to mention yet!
Logos also hosts a monthly academic Lecture Series, featuring speakers like Dr. Rod Stiling, Dr. V. Philips Long, Dr. James Herrick, Dr. Mark Futato, Dr. Mark Goodacre, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, David Sielaff, Dr. Michael Heiser, Dr. H. Wayne House, Dr. Peter Flint, Dr. Samuel Lamerson, and Dr. Steve Delamarter.
In short, Logos is serious about scholarship.
But don’t read into this strong academic tone a movement away from our commitment to lay Bible study. The very heart of our vision is to provide an incredibly powerful tool that is still very accessible. Logos is easy enough for a beginner, yet powerful enough for the most advanced scholar. No matter where you are in the spectrum, Logos offers you a vast array of powerful tools and resources perfectly suited to take you to the next level. From the simplicity of the homepage to the power of the syntax databases, Logos is the right tool for any age and any skill level—and we plan to keep it that way.

Why Use the Septuagint?

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos.
Logos recently announced the creation of the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint on the Pre-Pub page. Many pastors, seminary students, and lay people devoted to Bible study might wonder about the value of the Septuagint for Bible study. The Septuagint, of course, is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. The Septuagint was the Old Testament of the early Greek-speaking church, and it is by far the version of the Old Testament most frequently quoted by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament. Rather than try to persuade you of the value of the Septuagint by means of these kinds of arguments, I thought it might be helpful to provide a practical example where the Septuagint explains what seems to be a New Testament theological blunder. I’m betting most of us are interested in that sort of thing!
Below is Deuteronomy 33:1-2 side-by-side in two translations. On the left is my literal rendering of the traditional Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Masoretic text. On the right is an English translation of the Septuagint at this passage. I have boldfaced significant differences for some discussion.


Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text
Septuagint
1 This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.
2 He said: Yahweh came from Sinai, and He shone upon them from Seir. He appeared in radiance from Mount Paran, and approached from Ribeboth-Kodesh, from his right lightning flashed at them.
3 Indeed, he loved the people, all his holy ones at your hand. And they followed at your feet; he bears your words,
4 the law which Moses commanded us, an inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.
1 This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.
2 He said: The LORD came from Sinai, and He shone to us from Seir; He made haste from Mount Paran with ten thousands of Kadesh, his angels with him.
3 And He had pity on his people, and all the holy ones were under your hands; and they were under you; and he received his words,
4 the law which Moses charged us, an inheritance to the assemblies of Jacob.


What Are We Looking At?
Some English translations (ESV, NIV, NASB) are close to the Septuagint or sound like a mixture of the two choices. As the traditional Hebrew text goes, the Hebrew phrase in verse 2 underlying “Ribeboth-Kodesh” is the same (except for spelling) as what occurs at Deut. 32:51 (“Meribath Kadesh”). This is why most scholars today consider the phrase to be a geographical place name, and I agree. The Septuagint, however, obviously has something else going on! While it is possible to get “ten thousands of Kadesh” from the Hebrew consonants of the traditional Masoretic text, the very common Hebrew word for angels (mal’akim) does not appear in the traditional Masoretic text. The Septuagint translation (aggeloi) came from a different Hebrew text.
One more observation: In verse 3 the Masoretic Text seems to equate “the people” with “all his holy ones.” Yahweh’s people, his holy people, are under his authority (“under your hand”). They follow at the LORD’s feet and receive the Law. Note that the singular pronoun “he” in “he bears your words” likely refers to Israel collectively (i.e., ISRAEL bears your words). Israel is often referred to as a singular entity in the Bible (“my son,” Exod. 4:21-23; “my servant,” Isa. 44:1). The Septuagint, however, gives the reader the feel that “his people” and “all the holy ones” are different groups. In the Septuagint, God pities his people and his holy ones–the angels referred to in the previous verse–are under his authority. Israel, of course, receives the law.
So What?
So who cares? Well, the Septuagint here helps us understand an oddity mentioned in several places in the New Testament-the idea that the Mosaic Law, given at Sinai, was actually given by angels. Check out these New Testament passages:

Acts 7:52-53
52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
Hebrews 2:1-2a
1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
Galatians 3:19
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

Simply put, if you stick to the traditional Masoretic Hebrew text for your Old Testament, there is no place that the New Testament writers could have drawn such an idea. The closest you come to that is in Psalm 68:17. While that verse has a multitude of angelic beings at Sinai, it says zilch about the Law.
The point is that the New Testament references have provided fodder for biblical critics who want the New Testament to be guilty of either an outright error in thought, or just contriving a doctrinal point out of thin air. The Septuagint shows us that those perspectives are just simply incorrect. The New Testament writers weren’t nitwits or dishonest. They were using the Septuagint.

Two New Lexham Greek-English Interlinears

If you subscribe to our Pre-Pub feed or check the Pre-Pub page often, you probably noticed that we recently announced two new products in our growing Lexham Bible Reference Series. There are three products available in the series so far:

Now on Pre-Pub are two new Greek-English interlinears:

Randall Tan and David A. deSilva are the editors for the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint. Twenty-seven other scholars are contributors to the project. W. Hall Harris III serves as General Editor and Translator for the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament.

Why More Interlinears?

Perhaps you’re wondering what makes these new products special, and why you should consider buying them.

The LXX Interlinear

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first ever Greek-English interlinear of the LXX available for any Bible software platform. That alone makes it pretty special! It’s difficult even to find an LXX interlinear in print! You’ll also be getting a fresh morphological analysis of the entire LXX text.

The NT Interlinear

With regard to the NT, we have added direct links for every Greek word to Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. These links are disambiguated and context-sensitive and connect you directly to the appropriate Louw and Nida article for the word you are examining. (Where multiple interpretations are possible, you are given all relevant articles.) This tagging will allow you to search the interlinear by domains, articles, and ranges.

Both Interlinears

Here are the primary features that make both of these Greek-English interlinears special:

  1. Two Levels of Glossing: Each Greek word has a simple, context-free gloss (i.e., the "Lexical value," what you’d see in a lexicon) and a context-sensitive gloss (or "English Literal Translation").
  2. Idiom Level: Where the literal translation doesn’t convey the force of a passage, the interlinears provide an additional idiomatic translation.
  3. Notes: There are four different kinds of notes: (1) lexical, (2) text-critical, (3) literary/rhetorical, and (4) LXX compared to the Hebrew (LXX interlinear only).
  4. Word Order Number: They also include English word order numbering where it is not clear.

As you can see, both of these interlinears will make great tools to aid you in your study of the Greek of both the Old and New Testaments. Visit the product pages to read more, see screenshots, and place your pre-order.

Keep your eye out for even more great resources in the Lexham Bible Reference Series.

Greek Syntax: First Thessalonians 4:16, Part III

I’ve blogged a few times about 1Th 4.16 and the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω (see here and here).

1Th 4.16

But there’s more to talk about.
One thing that could be handy is searching for when the prepositional object (Χριστω) is articular, and when it is anarthrous. Our initial search for the prepositional phrase found both articular and anarthrous instances.
But in tracking how εν Χριστω functions, it may be necessary to consider articular and anarthrous instances separately. With syntax searching, you can do this. I’ve created a video that starts with the basic search for the prepositional phrase and adjusts it to first locate articular instances (so, εν τω Χριστω) and then to locate anarthrous instances (εν Χριστω) .