The Historical Books, the penultimate volume of Nicholas King’s translation of the Old Testament, contains Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, plus the added bonus of the Septuagint’s little-known books of Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees. Together these precious volumes give the reader an astonishing sweep through the history of Israel, and the history of our salvation.
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These passages show a comparison: Ruth 1:14b-16 Ruth clung to her. So she said, ‘See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.’ But Ruth said, ‘Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (from the NRSV) But Ruth followed her. And Naomi said to Ruth, ‘Look – your sister-in-law has gone back to her people, and to her gods. So, you too must go back, after your sister-in-law.’ But Ruth said, ‘Don’t urge me to abandon you, or to go back from following you. For wherever you go, I shall go; and wherever you lodge, I shall lodge. Your people [shall be] my people, and your God shall be my God.’ (from the Septuagint) 2 Samuel 1:26 - I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. (from the NRSV) I am in pain for you, my brother Jonathan; you were lovely in my eyes; your love to me was wonderful, beyond the love of women! (from the Septuagint)
‘instantly accessible … hard to beat’ writes Archbishop Rowan Williams (Posted on 03/08/2012)
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