Re: Septuagint apparatus

From: Edgar M. Krentz (
Date: Mon Sep 21 1998 - 21:59:39 EDT

>Am trying to go back to regaining lost (rotten) Hebrew, while
>practicing rotten Greek, by reading Daniel in Heb & Sept together.
>Problem is, Sept apparatus is using a capital M (regular font) not
>covered in its abbreviations list. Is that just a slip-of-the-font
>for the old-English (or whatever) M = Masoretic Text? Or is there a
>standard abbreviation "M" that they expect everyone to recognize
>without their bothering to list it? There are some such expressions
>used, e.g., "inscr" for, I assume, "inscriptions."

Diana, you've pointed to one editorial oversight made when the Rahlfs
Septuagint was published. The Wuerttembergische Bibelanstalt included with
the LXX a paper guide to the apparatus, which actually contains more
information than does the intgroduction in the text.

The Rahlfs text is basically a form of concordant text, based on three MSS:
A, S (for Sinaiticus) and B. But the apparatus occasionally cites other
MSS; C, D, F, G, L, M, Q (quite often in Danaiel), R, T, V, W in Deut,
Josiah and the minor prophets). M is a manuscript of the 7th century, the
Coislinianus located in Paris. In addition it also cites, at times four
minuscules: 398, 911, 1`088, and 2013.

The abbreviation inscr does not refer to inscription in the sense of a text
inscribed on stone, but to a feature of one of the MSS texts.

Recover that separately printed guide, if you still have it, and glue it
into the rear of your LXX or make a vcase for it by gluing an envelope into
the rear cover into which you can insert it.

I had it bound into the second volume of my large type copy when it needed
rebinding. I urge all Rahlfs users to do the same.

You might want to check out one of the introductions to the LXX. Henry
1914), recently reprinted by Hendricksen, gives a list of LXX manuscripts
in chapter 5, pp. 122-170. Or consult S. Jellicoe, THE SEPTUAGINT AND

I confess that I am puzzled by your reference to Daniel. I quickly went
through the apparatusIN RAHLFS and did not find any use of the abbreviation
M. Q (Codex Marchalianus in the Vatican Library) is the major codex outside
of the great complete Greek Bible MSS. M contains the Octateuch and
historical books. Can you give me a specific reference to a passage in
Daniel with the M in the apparatus?

There is an excellent article on the LXX by Melvin K. H. Peters in the
Anchor Bible Dictionary 5.1093-1104, with an extensive bibliography.

I hope this helps you somewhat.

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Edgar Krentz
Professor Emeritus of New Testament
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
1100 East 55th Street
Chicago, IL 650615
Telephone: (773) 256-0752
Office: [preferred for anything professional]
Home: [Tel: 773-947-8105]
 "I grow older, learning all the time."
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