W. Edward Glenny. Hosea: A Commentary Based on Hosea in Codex Vaticanus. Leiden; Boston: Brill Academic Pub, 2013. $149. Pp. i-x + 204.
The first comment about this commentary, and for that matter this commentary series, is that I love it! Why am I so enthusiastic about this commentary series? I am excited about this commentary series because it is commenting on the Septuagint exclusively. What do I mean? I mean, it is not a detailed MT to LXX comparison that generally concerns itself with expounding heavily on textual-critical issues. Rather, what this commentary offers is insight into the theology of the text, while being informed by textual issues, etc. Brill was keen to orient their series away from a MT to LXX comparison as part of their purpose for this series. And I for one am glad they did. More on the implications of these choices in my concluding remarks and recommendations.
W. Edward Glenny, in this commentary on the LXX-Hosea, has released the first of his contracted twelve commentaries on each of the Minor Prophets in Brill’s Septuagint Commentary Series. Other such commentaries have recently appeared in this new series edited by Stanley Porter; some of which I will allude to below. Glenny’s commentary on Hosea can be summarized in one word: unique. It is a unique commentary for a number of reasons. First, the obvious: it is the only commentary that I am aware of on the content in LXX-Hosea, exclusively (which also makes assessing such a commentary a real challenge). Second, it is based on a Codex Vaticanus, and not a composite text like Rahlf’s or Göttingen’s LXX (the La Bible d’Alexandrie series on the LXX is based on composite texts). In other words, it is (as is the rest of the Brill series) based on Vaticanus as an “artifact in its own right” (25). Third, it is based solely on the Septuagint. That is, this commentary is not concerned with the relationship between the MT and the LXX, as noted above about the series as a whole, which seems to generally have a latent MT priority to it; but it is concerned to study the LXX on its own terms, and its own translation and theology. For these three reasons, Glenny’s commentary is already breaking much ground.
So, what is the recommendation for this commentary? Highly recommended, with a caveat. The caveat is that it is much much too expensive! The only thing this commentary series is doing wrong is that it has placed priceless comment in pricy publication. It is actually quite sad. The only access one will likely have to this commentary, as well as the rest of the series, is via a theological library. However, my recommendation to pastors, students, and scholars who can access this commentary, is to access it. It is a commentary that should be on everyone’s shelf. The voice of the LXX-Hosea is explained carefully and expertly by Glenny, and this commentary should be read in tandem with other top Hosea commentaries that are generally MT oriented so that one’s study of the Old Testament is properly rounded. This commentary is an instant contribution to biblical studies, including: LXX studies, OT studies, and text-critical study, among other fields, and will have immediate impact on students, pastors, and scholars alike as word spreads about the series.
My appreciation to Brill for the opportunity to review this book with the expectation of an objective review.