A Book Review
Amos: A Handbook on the Greek Text by W. Edward Glenny is the second release in the Baylor Handbook on the Septuagint Series (BHLXX). Glenny is an accomplished Septuagint scholar who has authored four volumes in Brill’s “Septuagint Commentary Series” (including the one on Amos) and many articles. He also co-edited the recent Handbook of Septuagint Research.
This handbook will help students read and understand the Septuagint text of Amos. It provides a thorough syntactical and grammatical, following suit with the volumes in Baylor’s companion series on the Greek New Testament and Hebrew Bible. Along with Glenny’s analysis, this book also includes the 2006 Rahlfs-Hanhart text of Amos with a fresh English translation. Differences between the Masoretic Text are identified and explained along with discourse features and textual variants. Lexical discussions frequently appeal to Takimitsu Muraoka’s Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (GELS) and BDAG, and sometimes to LEH and GE. Hebrew discussions cite HALOT. Text-critical comments are made with frequent reference to Peter Gentry’s recent critical edition in the Göttingen series. There is also a glossary and grammar index. Readers can expect to encounter frequent references to the best scholarship and tools on the LXX and Koine Greek in general.
I have already reviewed the first book released in this series—2 Maccabees 1–7: A Handbook on the Greek Text by Seth Ehorn. There, I cover the purpose and methodology of the series, along with an example of how this series handles the text. In this review, I’ll highlight some of Glenny’s insightful comments that shed light on the text. Because the purpose of this book is to help students understand the Septuagint text, it may be helpful to demonstrate how Glenny’s work enabled me to better understand the text of Amos.
Glenny captured my interest from the beginning with his comments on νακκαριμ in Amos 1:1, which the translator misunderstood to be a place name. It’s fascinating to learn how the Greek translator handled their Hebrew Vorlage. It was also helpful to see how the word order usually follows that of the Hebrew. Amos 5:14 is a good example of how this can produce awkward results.Another worthwhile exploration was the best rendering for ἀλλόφυλος, which Glenny prefers to render as “foreigner.” Readers will grow familiar with the translator’s choices, even as to their choices of thematic emphasis (see for example 270–271).
This book offers a rewarding reading experience. In addition to comments on grammar and word meaning, the author explains the context of each textual division. The careful reader will come away with a richer understanding of Koine Greek and the Greek text of Amos, but also of Amos as a book in its own right.
This will be the standard tool for anyone embarking on the study of the Greek text of LXX Amos. Glenny has done a skillful and thorough job of explaining the meaning and relationships of its words and clauses. In short, it’s a marvelous accomplishment from an accomplished Septuagint scholar. I heartily recommend this book to any student of Koine Greek.
Special thanks to Baylor University Press for a review copy of this book. This did not affect my thoughts in any way so far as I know.