This blog provides links to open-access resources for the study of the Old and New Testaments as well as for the ANE, and, occasionally, for Classics. The source for the great majority of the posts is Chuck Jones's The Ancient World Online (http://ancientworldonline.blogspot.com/).
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Greek Bible in Byzantine Judaism
A consortium of institutions has now made available a number of texts from the Cairo Geniza that purportedly demonstrate that Jews continued to use the Greek text of the Old Testament well into the Middle Ages.
The website provides critical information about and high-quality digital scans of manuscripts as well as diplomatic and "normalized" versions of the texts.
The story of the Jewish transmission of Greek Bible versions has yet to be told. While it is recognised that the books of the Hebrew Bible were originally translated into Greek in Greco-Roman antiquity by Jews for Jews, it is generally supposed that at some early point Jews gave up using the translations, along with the use of the Greek language generally, and they were preserved and used only in the Christian Church. However, materials have come to light, some very recently, that make it plain that some Jews continued to use the Greek language throughout the Middle Ages, and that, while the Hebrew Bible came to play a central part in their religious and cultural life, they also knew the Bible in Greek.
The aim of the Greek Bible in Byzantine Judaism project is to gather evidence for the use of Greek Bible translations by Jews in the Middle Ages, and to make these texts available to scholars as a corpus, together with the information necessary for an appreciation of their historical background, meaning and exegetical implications.