NETS corrected reprint

Professor Al Pietersma has informed me that Oxford University Press has just reprinted A New English Translation of the Septuagint, incorporating a number of corrections (over 200), though not yet a further set (about 100 more) which includes those that I’ve forwarded to him, some of which are mentioned here. Those and any subsequent corrections will be incorporated in the next reprinting. He expects to post the revised files of the electronic edition of the NETS soon.

So, if you haven’t yet bought a copy (Nick!), you may want to wait a little while to ensure that you get a copy of the corrected reprint, rather than a copy of the first printing. I’d also recommend ordering directly from Oxford University Press, as they’ll be certain to be both a.) the first vendor to run out of copies of the first printing, and b.) the first vendor to have the second printing first.

Just puttin’ it out there

Wellhausen’s demonstration that Judaism was the inventor of νομος παρεισηλθεν—the Law that sidled in, interrupting the true spiritual development of Israel—made it unnecessary for liberal Protestant thought in Germany to reassess any traditional judgment of Judaism. Indeed, as Leo Baeck showed in his critical review of Harnack’s Das Wesen des Christentums, Judaism could continue to be for the liberal Protestant the dark background against which the incandescence of the religion of Jesus could ever more brightly shine, once it had been purged of the dross of dogma. What had been dogmatic was now scientific. Of the consequences of this I shall not write.

Lou Silberman, “Wellhausen and Judaism” (Semeia 25: 75-82), 79.

Silberman ends his article on the low note of the consequences of the result of the anti-Judaism of Wellhausen and all prior German liberal Protestant Biblical scholarship having been pronounced and perceived to be scientific fact. Voices to the contrary earlier in the nineteenth century that did speak out against such anti-Jewish beliefs were ignored or silenced, and the opportunity was lost to nip in the bud the development of a “scientific” anti-Judaism and its evil child. For within a matter of years after the publication of Wellhausen’s magnum opus, “scientific” racial antisemitism appeared and was promptly established not only as the opinion of the intellectual elites, but was eventually enshrined as law. To quote Silberman: “Of the consequences of this I shall not write.”

Those who will support the methodologies of de Wette, Graf, Wellhausen, Baur and the rest need to recognize this connection and its moral nullity. The circular reasoning of an invented dialectic of devolving Jewish religion (and later, devolving Jews) giving rise to methods of Biblical study that are not objective but are designed only to support that dialectic, which are then used to “prove” the validity of the dialectic, needs to be recognized. The moral failure of liberal Protestantism in nineteenth and twentieth century Germany needs to be recognized. The moral failure of ignoring these moral failures needs to be recognized. There’s plenty of recognizing to be going on. Any truly rational person can recognize that the Germans of the eighteenth through twentieth centuries were the first people in the world to be ignored when the subject came to the Jews.

And will it ever happen? No, it won’t. Maybe some very few will change. Rather, the whole demonic engine will keep rolling on, oblivious to its intellectual, moral, and spiritual failings. Its supporters and defenders will continue to belittle any detractors as “fundamentalists” or whatever the insult du jour may be. That changes nothing. The whole of the fields of Old Testament and New Testament studes are teetering tenements of a fantastic hatred erected on thoroughly vile anti-Jewish and antisemitic foundations. They should be stripped down, the old foundations torn out, the ground levelled, new foundations laid, and a new superstructure built.

But no, that won’t happen.

After all, it’s only Jews….

Rahlfs and NETS Versification

As those attentive to my latest posts will have gathered, I’ve been spending much time working with the New English Translation of the Septuagint edited by Albert Pietersma and Benjamin Wright (Oxford, 2007). Part of this work involved determining the exact differences between the versification in the NETS text and the text of the readily available original Rahlfs Septuaginta (which is found in most electronic texts of the Septuagint), or the Rahlfs-Hanhart Septuaginta Editio altera, which uses the same versification. As the NETS utilized the versification (where available) found in the Göttingen Septuaginta, and its versification differs in some places from that of the Rahlfs editions, NETS ends up being slightly different than Rahlfs. The information below will show where this is the case. I hope it proves useful.

Readers of the NETS will have noticed that there is at times an alternate versification noted in the text of the NETS itself. These are pointers to the NRSV. I may present that list later, as well, but the following seems more immediately useful as these differences are not indicated in the NETS itself. If I’ve missed any that anyone else is aware of, please do let me know. I’ll add those in right away.

NETS Rahlfs
Gen 31.55 Gen 32.1a
Gen 32.1 Gen 32.1b
Ex 22.1 Ex 21.37
Ex 23.2-31 Ex 22.1-30
Ex 25.6-34 Ex 25.7-35
Ex 28.23 Ex 28.29
Ex 28.26-39 Ex 28.30-43
Ex 36.24 Ex 36.23b
Ex 26.25-37 Ex 36.24-36
Ex 36.38-39 Ex 36.37
Ex 36.40 Ex 36.38
Ex 39.2-3 Ex 39.3
Ex 39.4-5 Ex 39.4
Ex 39.6-16 Ex 39.5-15
Ex 39.16-17 Ex 39.16
Ex 39.18-20 Ex 39.17-19
Ex 39.21 Ex 39.19b-21
Ex 40.6 Ex 40.8
Ex 40.7-8 Ex 40.9-10
Ex 40.9 Ex 40.10
Ex 40.10-25 Ex 40.12-27
Ex 40.26 Ex 40.29
Ex 40.27-32 Ex 40.33-38
Leu 6.1-7 Leu 5.20-26
Leu 6.8-30 Leu 6.1-23
Leu 6.31-40 Leu 7.1-10
Leu 7.1-28 Leu 7.11-38
Num 13.1 Num 12.16
Num 13.2-34 Num 13.1-33
Num 16.36-50 Num 17.1-15
Num 17.1-13 Num 17.16-28
Dt 12.32 Dt 13.1
Dt 13.1-18 Dt 13.2-19
Dt 14.14b Dt 14.15
Dt 14.15-28 Dt 14.16-29
Dt 22.30 Dt 23.1
Dt 23.1-25 Dt 23.2-26
2Es 14.1-4 2Es 13.33-36a
2Es 14.5 2Es 13.36b
2Es 14.6 2Es 13.37
2Es 14.7-23 2Es 14.1-17
2Es 19.38 2Es 20.1
2Es 20.1-39 2Es 10.2-40
Wis 17.10 Wis 17.9b
Wis 17.11-17 Wis 17.10-16a
Wis 17.18 Wis 17.16b
Wis 17.18-21 Wis 17.17-20
Sir 34.11 Sir 34.10b
Sir 34.12-14 Sir 34.11-13a
Sir 34.15 Sir 34.13b
Sir 34.16 Sir 34.14
Sir 34.17-18 Sir 34.15
Sir 34.19-21 Sir 34.16-18a
Sir 34.22 Sir 34.18
Sir 34.23-26 Sir 34.19-22a
Sir 34.27 Sir 34.22b
Sir 34.28-31 Sir 34.23-26
Sir 35.1-2 Sir 35.1
Sir 35.2-3 Sir 35.2
Sir 35.5 Sir 35.3
Sir 35.6-7 Sir 35.4
Sir 35.8-14 Sir 35.5-11a
Sir 35.15a Sir 35.11b
Sir 35.15b-17 Sir 35.12-14
Sir 35.18-19 Sir 35.15
Sir 35.21-22a Sir 35.18
Sir 35.22b Sir 35.19
Sir 35.22c-23a Sir 35.20
Sir 35.23b Sir 35.21
Sir 35.24-26 Sir 35.22-24
Sir 36.1-2 Sir 36.1
Sir 36.3-5 Sir 36.2-4
Sir 36.6-7 Sir 36.5
Sir 36.8-9 Sir 36.6
Sir 36.10-12 Sir 36.7-9
Sir 36.13* Sir 36.10a
Sir 36.16-22a* Sir 36.10b-16
Sir 36.22b Sir 36.17
Sir 36.23-31a Sir 36.18-26
Sir 36.31b Sir 36.27
Hos 1.10-11 Os 2.1-2
Hos 2.1-23 Os 2.3-25
Hos 11.1a Os 10.15b
Hos 11.1b-11 Os 11.1-11
Hos 11.12 Os 12.1
Hos 12.1-14 Os 12.2-15
Mich 5.1 Mich 4.14
Mich 5.2-15 Mich 5.1-14
Na 1.15 Nah 2.1a
Na 2.1-14 Nah 2.1b-14
Zach 1.18-21 Zach 2.1-4
Zach 2.1-13 Zach 2.5-17
Mal 4.1-6 Mal 3.19-24
Esa 8.22b Is 8.23a
Esa 9.1 Is 8.23b
Esa 9.2-21 Is 9.1-20
Esa 64.1 Is 63.19b
Esa 64.2-12 Is 64.1-11
Ier 9.1 Ier 8.23
Ier 9.2-26 Ier 9.1-25
Ier 29.8-23 Ier 30.1-16
Ier 30.1-5 Ier 30.17-21
Ier 30.6-16 Ier 30.23-33
Iez 20.45-49 Iez 21.1-5
Iez 21.1-32 Iez 21.6-37
Dan (Th) 3.98-100 Dan (Th) 4.1-3
Dan (Th) 4.1-34 Dan (Th) 4.4-37
Dan (Th) 5.31 Dan (Th) 6.1
Dan (Th) 6.1-28 Dan (Th) 6.2-29
Dan (OG) 5.31 Dan (OG) 6.1
Dan (OG) 6.1-28 Dan (OG) 6.2-29


So, I’ve recently been working alot with BibleWorks, in getting the NETS version imported into it properly (no, don’t ask me for it), and then getting the verse mapping properly aligned with the Rahlfs Septuaginta Greek text and with the NRSV. Of course, if I had Accordance, I might’ve simply paid a nominal fee. Instead I’ve had to do it myself, because BibleWorks has run into licensing issues with Oxford, whatever they may be. (Maybe it’s because Oxford doesn’t want its text mangled!) I have had such a headache for a week. Anyhow, here are some notes on what I did.

First, because I am something of a perfectionist, I was unsatisfied with having the names of the books be the same as they are in the NRSV and just about every other version in BibleWorks. After all, we have in NETS 1-4 Reigns, not 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings, Makkabees not Maccabees, Esaias not Isaiah, and so on. But there is unfortunately no version-specific titling. So, this means I added entries to the master book name files, so that I could name them whatever I want. This also means that I had to make up some new book abbreviations. This is because BibleWorks is limited to a three-character alphanumeric code for all booknames. It’s a poor design, and this is a workaround.

Then, having imported the text, I wanted to be able to read it in the order in which is occurs in the actual NETS (or even LXX), but this is another thing you can’t have in BibleWorks (except as a help file, which is useless as it is not part of the usual toolset). The order is determined entirely by verse numbering. Of course, for various historical reasons, the versification of the Septuagint is an absolute nightmare. But throwing the text into the order of the versification is not an acceptable solution. There is also the serious drawback that sub-verses cannot be included (1a, 1b, 1c, etc). This results in several verses in the version being extremely lengthy, including the sub-verse numbers in brackets [a], [b], [c], etc. This latter is a disaster for mapping.

So, on that mapping thing. BibleWorks can only map one verse to another. A range of verses to be mapped to another range must have the same number of verses, and those verses must be valid, existent verses in their version. (Note also that in the stupid map files, you can only enter a maximum of one chapter’s range of verses; you can’t enter a range of chapters and verses, like 10:1-20:23.) However, if there are some verses which are not included in the version (and this happens alot in the LXX, where you might be missing a whole string of verse numbers, because they either sit somewhere else or were simply not included in the translation of the Hebrew/Latin tradition of versification on which the verse numbers are based), they display as blanks. This is annoying, but bearable when dealing with the version in browse mode. However, if your book name is the same as one in another Bible version, even if those blanks are not included as mapped to some other verses as parallel to some other version, you’re going to see those versions in parallel, even if you’ve specified that they’re actually parallel to something else. That’s just atrocious. So, you have to work around this by creating new Bible book codes and name. Then it’s almost bearable, except you’ll have to remember whatever weird abbreviations you were forced by this nightmare of bytes to utilize. As I said, it’s almost bearable, except in the case of those lengthy verses with sub-verses. This is truly unacceptable: all the parallels to those sub-verses end up aligned not in the order of the sub-verses to which they’re parallel, but in the order in which they occur in their own version. So it is completely useless to map these at all.

Now, in my specific mapping situation, I wanted two things: 1.) accurate mapping of the NETS to Rahlfs LXX text, and 2.) accurate mapping of the NETS to the NRSV. I put everything in the mapping file, had everything correct, and then looked at the results. It was a total mess! In Jeremiah, although my mapping file didn’t state for any of this to happen, I would see the NETS verse aligned properly with its NRSV equivalent, but then often also the NRSV equivalent of the same chapter and verse number of the NETS (which is completely wrong more often than not in Jeremiah). In a window displaying the Rahlfs, NETS, and NRSV, things were even more unpredictable. Fortunately, I discovered another workaround: keeping the two sets of mapping separate. I keep two separate files of the Rahlfs and NRSV maps and copy into the NETS version map file the mapping which I want to use. This will suffice, but I am nowhere near happy about it. I really am incensed that I have to do such a thing.

I should not have had to spend so much tiime to get this working properly. I should not have to work around so many limitations in the software itself. And in a program which is specifically designed for presenting parallel Bible texts, I should not run into any instance (much less dozens of them!) in which I cannot meaningfully present those parallels due to the software’s own seemingly arbitrary limitations. There should not be a case in using this supposedly powerful software that my sitting with two books and comparing the text “manually” happens to be easier and more accurate than using Bible(doesn’t)Works. My notes I put together for entering the mapping are more useful than the result of the mapping itself!

So, Accordance users, do you have problems like these? Do these problems exist in Accordance? Can Accordance do the following?:
1.) Present a version in its own proper order within the normal context of searching and display
2.) Include subverses as full verses for searching, etc
3.) Accurately align all verses and subverses without mysterious glitches
4.) Utilize any system of book names one wishes

At this point, I’m seriously considering a complete switch. I could go Mac, and then have Accordance. I’ve heard it’s a zillion times better, anyway. My recent experience has pretty well pushed me over the edge. If anyone has any experience with importing and mapping Bible versions in Accordance, I’d love to hear from you.


ἔστιν πανουργία καὶ αὕτη βδέλυγμα
καὶ ἔστιν ἄφρων ἐλαττούμενος σοφίᾳ

There is cleverness that is also an abomination,
and there is a fool lacking in wisdom.

Wisdom of Sirach 19.23, Rahlfs-Hanhart and NETS

NETS Corrigenda

If you have a copy of the New English Translation of the Septuagint (Oxford, 2007), then you’ll likely want to correct the following:

1.) Iezekiel 37.23: “recue” should read “rescue”

2.) Sirach 28.24-25: The second “25b” should read “25a” so that the verses progress thusly: 24a, 25b, 24b, 25a

3.) 3 Reigns 4.9: “Mackemas” should read “Machemas”

4.) Proverbs 24.23: “judgement” should read “judgment”

5.) Iezekiel 30.17: “Bubastus” should read “Bubastis”

6.) 1 Makkabees 2.32; 5.5; 10.77: “marshaled” should read “marshalled”

7.) Numbers 1.33: “(34)” should read “(35)”

8.) 3 Reigns 16.28c: “(22.46)” should read “(22.45)”

9.) Esa 38.14: “(5)” should read “(15)”

I discovered these in the course of working on the text for a concordance to the NETS, which I’ve mentioned before. There are also some of what I would call “mismatches,” that is, cases in which the spelling is inconsistent in view of other usage in the NETS. These are too numerous to list here (because I’m lazy!). One is “David” in 2 Reigns 4.8, 9, 12; 3 Reigns 11.27, rather than “Dauid” as elsewhere, passim. Another pair is “Dositheos” (Est OG 10.3; 2Mak 12.19, 24, 35) and “Dositheus” (3Mak 1.3). I’m forwarding the complete list to the editors, and hopefully there will be a corrected reprinting, eventually. The above, however, are the only real mistakes that I’ve found.

Mocha in the Bible?

And as for his concubine, whose name was Reema, she too bore Gaam and Tabech and Tochos and Mocha.

Genesis 22.24 NETS

With all those babies I’d bear a mocha too, with a triple-shot of espresso.