What is it about?
Zacharias Frankel had a very low opinion of the abilities of the LXX translators, the quality of their work and the ensuing textual transmission. He considered the Septuagint only useful as a testimony to help prove the antiquity of the halacha, a notion with apologetic value. Methodologically, he conceptualized the genesis of the Greek Pentateuch through the theories of contemporary historical criticism. His monographs on the Septuagint display great continuity with early modern scholarship. This also holds true for the assumption that the Septuagint reflects Jewish interpretation and the notion of five translators/editors for the Greek Pentateuch. Frankel’s works were considered important, but his innovations, viz. the insistence that all Jewish exegesis was Palestinian in origin and his rejection of textual criticism were accepted by few and rejected by most scholars, Jews and Christians alike. Frankel’s boldness and his use of German helped to keep his ideas on the scholarly agenda.
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Why is it important?
Much has been published about Frankel as a Jewish scholar, as a historical personality in his own right, and as the forefather of Conservative Judaism. But his view of the Septuagint has not been a part of his portrayal. His publications, written in archaic German, are no longer accessible to English speakers, and are often misunderstood and misquoted. My study shows how Frankel combined an Orthodox (Jewish) perspective with great continuity with early modern (Christian) scholarship. It also makes clear that the reception of Frankel's work did not differ much between Jews and Christians.
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This page is a summary of: Zacharias Frankel’s Conception of the Septuagint in Context, Textus, July 2021, Brill,
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An English Summary of Zacharias Frankel's "Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta"
An English Summary of Zacharias Frankel's "Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta". Page numbers are given to faciliate reference to the original.
A Bibliography of Zacharias Frankel's "Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta" with Hyperlinks
This is a list of all literature that Zacharias Frankel refers to in his Vorstudien, together with hyperlinks to the online platforms where these (early) modern books can be consulted online.
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