Project Description

Research on the Septuagint has strong traditions at the University of Helsinki. The focus of the “Helsinki School” – founded by Professor Ilmari Soisalon-Soininen – has mainly been on translation technical research of Septuagintal Greek syntax. The present project broadens the scope of Finnish Septuagint research to the study of its textual history, daughter versions, recensions, Patristic quotations, as well as the Hebrew source text reflected in it. The methodological focus of the project is on textual criticism, textual history and translation technique.

The focal point of the project is 1 Samuel (1 Kingdoms) with its complicated textual history. One of the goals is the publication of a critical edition of the First Book of Samuel in the series of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen.

In preparation for the edition, the task of the “Septuaginta-Unternehmen” in Göttingen is to offer the text material that is needed for the edition. In 1 Samuel this means the collation of ca. 60 Greek manuscripts. The editor collates fragmentary manuscripts, groups the manuscripts according to their affiliation and assesses the evidence of the daughter translations (Latin, Ethiopic, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian) and the quotations of the Church Fathers. After these steps, all the text material is evaluated. The goal is to reconstruct a critical text, that is, the nearest possible approximation to the original wording of the Septuagint translation, and to write the apparatus which shows the full evidence of the textual transmission.

This kind of a scientific edition requires large scale research into the textual and recensional developments of the book. The dissertation projects cover several of these related areas, reaching even beyond the actual work on the edition. These studies on the Hebrew text, the Proto-Lucianic question, the Sahidic and Syriac daughter versions, and the translation technique of the Septuagint of 1 Samuel are described more closely in the personal pages of the doctoral students. The results will be published in monographs and articles by the project group members.