I’m rather in love

My copy of A New English Translation of the Septuagint arrived yesterday. For those of you unfamiliar with this particular translation, edited by Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright, you might want to browse through the website of the translation project, and read, in particular, “To the Reader of NETS”, the introduction to the translation as a whole. The introduction was updated this year, so it differs slightly from the older version from the website, and from the version of the introduction included in the Psalms volume published in 2000 by Albert Pietersma, which is apparently out of print. I’ve been following the project since the appearance of the website a number of years ago. With luck, the commentary series based upon this NETS translation, also described on the website, will proceed apace.

The book itself is very well-made. It’s hardcover, with a “library binding,” and slightly larger than the Psalms volume, yet only about one inch thick. This is due to the use of fine, yet reasonably opaque, “Bible paper.” The text is approximately 10pt, and double-column throughout the Biblical text, with the front matter and introductions to the individual books being single-column. The binding is such that the book lies open flat even very near the front and back covers, in addition to which the inner margins are sufficient that one needn’t hold down the pages to keep text from falling into the gutter. Unfortunately, the other margins are quite small, and will not facilitate annotation. Perhaps a less economical edition in the future will remedy this. I confess that it would be quite nice to have a NETS edition Bible of the same production quality as the leather-bound Oxford NRSV Bibles, which are always exceedingly well made.

Now to the truly extraordinary aspects of this new translation of the Septuagint. Students of the Septuagint will be aware that several of the Biblical books are known in two versions (in whole or in part) in Greek, with the divergent texts being published and annotated in both the Rahlfs handbook edition and in the G