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a snapshot of the 1980s IOSCS and LXX lexicography Aug 29, 2005
The Australian lexicographer T. Muraoka gathers in this slim volume a selection of papers that demonstrate the concern to upgrade the tools and methodologies available to Septuagintalists that was expressed among the members of the International Organization of Septuagint and Cognate Studies in the late 1980s.
J.A.L. Lee chooses the 'unexciting' word SUNISTEMI to demonstrate a technique of 'framing definitions' that reduces attention to the supposed Hebrew background and aligns Septuagint lexicography with the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY and OXFORD LATIN DICTIONARY ('Sunistemi: a sample lexical entry', pp. 1-15).
The editor himself makes the book's lengthiest contribution ('Septuagintal lexicography: some general issues', pp. 17-47). In it he argues for the importance of 'function words', a maximalist approach to the information conveyed in an LXX lexicon, semantic field, hapax legomena, and a number of other issues that reflect serious consideration of the Septuagint as a Greek document. Muraoka's essay is self-evidently intended as a prolegomenon to an IOSCS lexicon project.
S.P. Swinn tackles a word group well known to readers of the New Testament ('Agapan in the Septuagint', pp. 49-81'), arguing that it was just one of the ordinarily available words for 'love' at the time of the LXX translation project.
E. Tov borrows the title of David Hill's 1967 monograph ('Greek words and Hebrew Meanings') as the title of a substantial contribution to the same phenomenon. Tov is one of the most respected scholars in the IOSCS. As always, his work repays careful study.
T. Muroaka's book is not earth-shaking, but does provide a valuable snapshot of the preparations for new works in Septuagintal lexicography at an early stage of the recipe.