Original Research - Special Collection: Septuagint

The headings of the Psalms in Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus

Herculaas (Herrie) F. van Rooy
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 1 | a7460 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i1.7460 | © 2022 Herculaas (Herrie) F. van Rooy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2022 | Published: 29 April 2022

About the author(s)

Herculaas (Herrie) F. van Rooy, Department of Ancient Languages, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


In Codex Ambrosianus of the Syro-Hexapla, marginal readings related to the headings of some of the Psalms occur. The importance of these variants for the history of the Greek and Syriac Psalm headings warrants further discussion. To this end, this paper undertakes a comparative study of the marginal notes that accompany the headings of the Psalms in the Syro-Hexapla. These notes do not occur for all headings and only rarely do variants from all three occur (as is the case for Ps 7). These variants are compared to the readings of the headings of the Septuagint (LXX) and the Syro-Hexapla. Three matters are investigated in this paper, namely the rendering of the technical term לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ in the Three (Aquila, Theodotion and Symmachus), references to the name of David and some instances where the LXX has a substantial plus in comparison to the Masoretic Text (MT), such as in Psalms 98 (97), 104 (103), 43 (42) and 56 (55). Research to date demonstrates that Field did not use these notes in Codex Ambrosianus to their full extent. As far as the three elements under investigation are concerned, this paper demonstrates that the Three frequently differ from the LXX in their rendering of certain aspects of the headings. In some instances, the Three reflect a rendering much closer to the Hebrew. In others, they contain a rendering that is dependent on the Hebrew, but which displays a lack of understanding of especially some of the technical terms in the Hebrew.

Contribution: The research shed new light on the variants recorded in the margin of Codex Ambrosianus and their value for the text-critical study of the headings in the Psalms in the MT and the Septuagint. Textual Criticism is one of the core disciplines for the study of the text of the Hebrew Bible and its translation and transmission in different ancient languages.


Syro-Hexapla; Psalms; headings; marginal notes; Septuagint; Field; Codex Ambrosianus


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