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Preface

IN dealing with the Septuagint in and for itself we feel that we are in a humble way acting as pioneers. For hitherto the Septuagint has been regarded only as an aid to the understanding of the Hebrew. We have reversed that procedure and have regarded the Hebrew only as an aid to the understanding of the Septuagint. This would be in a strict sense preposterous, were it not for the admitted fact that the Greek translation of the Old Testament has occasionally preserved traces of readings which are manifestly superior to those of the Massoretic text. That text, it should be remembered, was constituted centuries after the Septuagint was already in vogue in the Greek-speaking portion of the Jewish and Christian world.

For permission to use Dr. Swete's text we beg to offer our respectful thanks to the Syndics of the Cambridge Pitt Press and to Dr. Swete himself. To our own university also we owe a debt of gratitude. The Concordance to the Septuagint, edited by Dr. Hatch and Dr. Redpath, is a magnificent work worthy of a university press. Without this aid it would be impossible to speak, with the precision demanded by modern scholarship, about the usage of words in the Septuagint. It is greatly to be regretted that the list of con tributors to this work should somehow have got lost owing to the lamented death of Dr. Edwin Hatch. The labour of many good men, such as the Rev. W. H. Seddon, now Vicarof Painswick, and the Rev. Osmond Archer, to name two who happen to fall under our own knowledge, has thus been left without acknowledgement. They toiled silently for the advancement of learning, like the coral insects who play their part beneath the waters in rearing a fair island for the abode of man.

No one can well touch on Old Testament studies without being indebted to Professor Driver, but our obligations in that and other directions have been acknowledged in the body of the work.

In composing the Grammar of Septuagint Greek we have had before us as a model Dr. Swete's short chapter on that subject in his Introduction to the Septuagint. Help has also been derived from the grammars of New Testament Greek by Winer and by Blass, and from the great historical grammar of the Greek language by Jannaris. But in the main our work in that department is the direct result of our own observation.

To come now to more personal debts, our common friend, Walter Scott, sometime Professor of Greek in the University of Sydney, not merely gave us the benefit of his critical judgement in the early stages of the work, but directly contributed to the subject-matter. We have accepted his aid as freely as it was offered. No Higher Critic is likely to trouble himself about disentangling the different strands of authorship in our Introductions and Notes. Still, if anyone should be tempted to exercise his wits in that direction by way of practice for the Pentateuch, we will give him one clue: If anything should strike him as being not merely sound but brilliant, he may confidently set it down to this third source.

To the Rev. Samuel Holmes, M. A., Kennicott Scholar in the University of Oxford, our thanks are due for guarding us against mistakes in relation to the Hebrew: but he is not to be held responsible for any weakness that may be detected in that direction.

It remains now only to express our sincere gratitude to Professor Thomas D. Seymour for his vigilant and scholarly care of our work during its passage through the press; and to tender our thanks to Messrs. Ginn & Company for extending their patronage to a book produced in the old country. May the United Kingdom and the United States ever form a Republic of Letters one and indivisible!


OXFORD,


May 22, 1905.

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