Benjamin J.M. Johnson on The David and Goliath Narrative in Hebrew and Greek

Benjamin J.M. JohnsonBenjamin J.M. Johnson has recently completed a PhD thesis and article in Vetus Testamentum on the different Hebrew and Greek versions of the David and Goliath Narrative in 1 Samuel (1 Reigns) 16-18.

His thesis is available to read on Durham University’s e-Theses collection:

Benjamin J.M. Johnson, A Reading of the David and Goliath Narrative in Greek and Hebrew. Doctoral thesis, Durham University, November 2012

The story of David and Goliath existed in antiquity in two distinct literary versions, a short version found in LXXB and a longer version reflected in the MT. This thesis proposes that each version is worthy of study in its own right and offers a close literary reading of the narrative of David and Goliath in the Greek text of 1 Reigns 16-18. In this study we explore a method of reading the Septuagint that recognizes it is both a document in its own right and a translation of a Hebrew original. In offering this reading of the septuagintal version of the David and Goliath narrative we will highlight the literary difference between the two final versions of the story that exist in LXXB and MT.

In addition, Charles Jones (AWOL  – The Ancient World Online) has compiled a list of open access dissertations relating to antiquity on the Durham e-Theses website, including Benjamin Johnson’s.

Benjamin Johnson has also recently published the following article relating to the different versions of the David and Goliath story:

Benjamin J.M. Johnson, “Reconsidering 4QSama and the Textual Support for the Long and Short Versions of the David and Goliath Story“, Vetus Testamentum 62.4 (2012): 534-549.

The story of David and Goliath contains one of the classical textual problems. It exists in two versions: a short version in LXXB and a longer version in the MT. The question of priority has divided scholars and much scholarly ink has been spilt attempting to resolve the issue. In the discussion about the short and long versions of the David and Goliath story the witness of 4QSama has largely been ignored. The present study surveys all of the extant portions of 1 Samuel 17-18 in 4QSama where there is a variant between LXXB and MT. This survey shows that 4QSama most likely contained the long version of the story.

Benjamin Johnson is currently a tutor in hermeneutics and biblical theology at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford.

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