[B-Greek] Greek-Hebrew Psalms Mapping (was Making Sense of the Septuagint)

Albert Pietersma albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Sun Oct 4 11:41:49 EDT 2009

On the issue of Hebrew-Greek (LXX) verse/chapter correspondence a  
number of useful remarks have already been made. Differences in  
reference, for whatever reason, are a reality. Almost always, however,  
text editions include cross references. Since Stephen knows Greek,  
though no Hebrew, in order to find that LXX Ps 32 is MT Ps 33 all he  
has to do is to turn to LXX Ps 32 in either Rahlfs Psalmi cum Odis  
(1931) or to his manual edition (1935) where in both cases the MT  
equivalent is given as the first item in the apparatus. Starting with  
the Hebrew side of the equation makes matters perhaps slightly more  
complex, but again the apparatus of Ps 33(LXX)alerts the reader to the  
fact LXX Ps 33 is Ps 34 in MT (therefore again one up from the LXX).
Should one want to start with an English translation of the Greek,  
NETS comes to the rescue, since it gives the corresponding references  
in the NRSV, which in turn regularly gives the Hebrew numbering. There  
is, however, a caveat here, since the NRSV at times adopts the  
numbering of the Greek and therefore at times DOES NOT follow the  
numbering of the Hebrew. Since NETS (a translation of the Greek) aims  
to be synoptic with NRSV (a translation of the Hebrew) in such cases  
NETS cannot feature a dual reference.
Lastly, for the Psalms there is of course also John Kohlenberger's A  
Comparative Psalter (OUP 2007)
I'll address Stephen's second point in a separate note.

On Oct 4, 2009, at 12:05 AM, Tom Moore wrote:

> Stephen,
> Here's a chapter mapping:
> Gk. Psalm 1-8 = Heb. Psalm 1-8
> Gk. Psalm 9 = Heb. Psalm 9-10
> Gk. Psalm 10-112 = Heb. Psalm 11-113
> Gk. Psalm 113 = Heb. Psalm 114-115
> Gk. Psalm 114-115 = Heb. Psalm 116
> Gk. Psalm 116-145 = Heb. Psalm 117-146
> Gk. Psalm 146-147 = Heb. Psalm 147
> Gk. Psalm 148-150 = Heb. Psalm 148-150
> Gk. Psalm 151 = unique
> In some chapters, the verses are also misaligned.
> The Kata Biblon site maps the LXX to a Masoretic translation, so for  
> quick reference you can look up a chapter there to see how it aligns  
> with the tradition Psalm numbering:
> http://en.katabiblon.com/us/index.php?text=LXX&book=Ps&ch=32
> Regards,
> Tom Moore
>> -------Original Message-------
>> From: Stephen Baldwin <stbaldwi at hotmail.com>
>> Subject: [B-Greek] Making Sense of the Septuagint
>> Sent: Oct 03 '09 21:14
>> Ladies and Gentlemen:
>> This may be another opportunity to parade glorious ignorance but  
>> here goes...
>> 1. Are there any methods/aids out there for "mapping" a modern  
>> [English] translation to the LXX? For example, I was reading Ps33:6  
>> [NIV] and wanted to read the corresponding verse in the LXX. As  
>> often seems to be the case, Ps33:6 LXX is not Ps33:6 NIV. The  
>> corresponding LXX Psalm is 32:6 -- at least it looks more like  
>> Ps33:6 [NIV] than Ps33:6[LXX] does. This type of occurrence has  
>> happened several times and I am no longer surprised but go on a  
>> little hunt in the preceding and following chapters looking for the  
>> relevant verse. Is there a better way of getting to the desired  
>> verse?
>> 2. Using the same reference, the NIV is:
>>  6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
>>        their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
>> To the best of my knowledge, the LXX knows nothing of starry hosts...
>> or is there a nuance to DUNAMIS that has passed me by?
>> I am aware of the corresponding histories of modern versions and  
>> the LXX but of course when one encounters these word differences  
>> the inquisitive mind wants to know more. Is it just a case of  
>> shrugging it off or are there resources out there that discuss  
>> systematically these differences?
>> Rgds
>> Steve
>> Stephen Baldwin
>> stbaldwi at hotmail.com
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Albert Pietersma PhD
21 Cross Street,
Weston ON Canada M9N 2B8
Email: albert.pietersma at sympatico.ca
Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~pietersm

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