Jacob Cerone answers me these questions three on his recently defended thesis


Kris over at Old School Script interviewed me about my Master’s Thesis!

Originally posted on Old School Script:

I’m frankly surprised Jacob had the energy and desire to say anything more on his recently defended thesis: “A Comparative Discourse Analysis of the Masoretic and Septuagint Versions of Jonah”. Once you get to the end of a project like this, the last thing you want is to re-visit it. But Jacob was kind enough to answer me these questions three, ere the other side he sees. (Actually, there’s four questions—but that doesn’t lend to a fun or felicitous reference).


Who were the biggest players in constructing your framework and methodology for doing discourse analysis?

This is a bit of a difficult question to answer as I took an eclectic approach. The short answer is that I highly favored cognitive functional linguistics, which means that I relied heavily on the work of Stephen Levinsohn, Steve Runge, Christo van Der Merwe, and Joshua Westbury.

The longer answer is that I relied on the…

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Old School Script and Linguistics

Now that I have a couple extra moments of free time, I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to one of my favorite biblioblogs: Old School Script. The authors of the blog are Kris Lyle (BA in Biblical Languages and Sociology Houston Bible College, MA in Biblical Languages Stellenbosch University, and Content Innovator at Logos Bible Software (aka Faithlife Corporation) and Chris Fresch (PhD candidate at Cambridge University).

Old School Script is on a mission to bring the complex field of linguistics to biblical studies in a way that is approachable and understandable for those trying to keep their feet in biblical studies while gleaning from and putting into use the findings of modern linguistics.

I encourage you to check out the two most recent posts at Old School Script entitled The hardships of Biblical Scholar’dom (or, Beware the buzzwords, my son!) and Greek Linguistic Historigraphy, O my! I think you will find both of these posts enlightening and encouraging for those of you that want resources that will help you better understand linguistics and how the field intersects with biblical studies. If you like what you see, become a regular reader. I assure you, if biblical languages are your thing (or just biblical interpretation for that matter), you’ll be glad you did.

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Thesis Defense

Story in pictures (mostly).







As you may have gathered, if you reached it to the end of these pictures, I have now successfully defended my thesis and made all necessary corrections. All that remains is meeting with the librarian, when school reopens, printing the copies, and submitting to the library.

Goodbye Jonah, my good friend, I’ll see you sometime in the not so near future. Maybe we can catch up and get a cup of coffee. But for now, I think we need a bit of space.

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Explanation for My Absence

I thought I’d stop by my blog and let everyone know that I’m still alive. I know I haven’t posted anything in some time, so here’s why:

I’ve been finishing up on a number of projects including my contributions to the Apostolic Readers (1 Clement and Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans), editing a 1 Corinthians Reader, editing The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research, and, most importantly, re-reading and editing my thesis on A Comparative Discourse Analysis of the Masoretic and Septuagint Versions of Jonah. The date of my defense draws nigh. Any prayers you might send up on my behalf would be much appreciated.

Also, during the little free time I might have had in the past to blog, I’ve been creating screen cast videos for Logos Bible Software. If you’re interested, you can take a look at them below:

LXX Translation Ring

Exploring the Works of Jonathan Edwards

Building Collections with Logos

Click Here

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Logos’ Perseus Web Lookup

Working with an New Testament or Old Testament apparatus can be a difficulty and frustrating experience for many. Even after you’ve mastered all the text critical notations (or scroll over them in your Bible Software for a quick definition) you’re still left to make sense of the variant reading.

Though the main text has morphological data that you can rely on for translation, the readings within the apparatus lack this information. This is particularly frustrating for those of you that use the Göttingen Septuagint. The vocabulary of the LXX is more diverse than the NT, making it much less likely that you are familiar with the words under consideration.

This, however, isn’t an insurmountable problem within Logos. Let’s look at Jonah 1:4 in the LXX:

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 11.15.50 AM

I’ve highlighted the word συντριβῆναι, which means “to break into pieces, to crush” in the clause “and the ship was in danger of breaking into pieces.” When I check the Apparatus I in the Göttingen text, I find the following:

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 11.16.18 AM

Instead of reading, “and the ship was in danger of breaking into pieces” some manuscripts read “and the ship was in danger διαλυνθηναι.”

While I could take an educated guess that διαλυνθηναι comes from διαλυω and simply look the word up in my lexicon to test my theory, I could take a different approach. Simply right click on the word in Logos, and you get the following menu:

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Logos automatically  runs a search for the morphological information and definition of the word in Perseus’ database:

Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 11.43.06 AM

I find that the word is used in the same way (aor pass inf) as συντριβῆναι and that its definition is something like “part asunder.” Now the phrase can be translated, “And the ship was in danger of parting asunder,” or something to that effect.

While this is a relatively simple example and one that doesn’t have too much bearing on the meaning of the text, the tool itself has proven invaluable to me as I’ve conducted my research in the LXX and other texts for that matter.

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Greek Psalms Observations: Psalm 9:1–10

10513536_10152192424111196_4495896224681766862_nSince this blog has experienced a bit of a lull as of late, I thought I would start posting some of my observations on the Greek text of the Psalms. These posts will be brief and largely will concentrate on the differences between the MT and LXX of the Psalms. I will use the following texts: BHS and the ESV for translation and the Göttingen LXX and the NETS translation, unless there’s a reason for me to make a modification.

For today’s reading, I read 9:1–10, and I came away with three brief observations:

1) Psalm 9:4

בְּשׁוּב־אוֹיְבַ֥י אָח֑וֹר

ἐν τῷ ἀποστραφῆναι τὸν ἐχθρόν μου εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω

When my enemies turn back
When my enemies are turned back

The translator transforms the active (בְּשׁוּב־אוֹיְבַ֥י [when my enemies turn]) into the passive construction ἐν τῷ ἀποστραφῆναι τὸν ἐχθρόν μου (when my enemy is turned back). It seems as if the translator anticipates the next clause where God is the one that causes the turning back (they shall grow weak and shall perish from before you).

2) Psalm 9:7

הָֽאוֹיֵ֨ב ׀ תַּ֥מּוּ חֳרָב֗וֹת לָ֫נֶ֥צַח

τοῦ ἐχθροῦ ἐξέλιπον αἱ ῥομφαῖαι εἰς τέλος

The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
The swords of the enemy failed completely

The “addition” of αἱ ῥομφαῖαι can be explained by an unpointed text (חֲרָבוֹת is plural for swords and the MT has חֳרָב֗וֹת).

3) Psalms 9:10

וִ֘יהִ֤י יְהוָ֣ה מִשְׂגָּ֣ב לַדָּ֑ךְ מִ֝שְׂגָּ֗ב לְעִתּ֥וֹת בַּצָּרָֽה׃

καὶ ἐγένετο κύριος καταφυγὴ τῷ πένητι, βοηθὸς ἐν εὐκαιρίαις ἐν θλίψει·

The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble (ESV).

And the Lord became a refuge for the needy, a helper at opportune times in affliction (NETS).

This is the only time in the LXX מִ֝שְׂגָּ֗ב (stronghold) is translated with βοηθὸς (helper). It would seem as if the translator is avoiding repetition in favor variation between the lines.

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Greek Psalms in a Year: Reading Group

10513536_10152192424111196_4495896224681766862_nIt’s the New Year, which means a host of reading plans and reading groups are being formed. For those interested, there’s a Greek Psalms in a Year reading group. The group is based upon last year’s Greek Isaiah in a Year reading group. Some great work has already been done to provide you with a schedule for the readings as well as vocabulary files. I encourage you to check it out here, request an invite, and join us this year.

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