Exegetical Terms from the Appendix of Old Testament Exegesis

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acrostic composed alphabetically, successive verses beginning with successive Hebrew letters  
anacoluthon grammatical non sequitur in which the first part of a thought is not completed as expected  
antithetical describing poetic parallelism characterized by the pairing of an assertion and its contrast  
Aquila translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek literalistically around AD 140; included in Hexapla; replaced parts of the LXX  
Aramaism word or idiom used in Hebrew, supposedly Aramaic in origin, therefore late in date (almost all have proved to be Semitism, not late, and therefore not properly used for dating OT books late)  
assimilation replacement of an original text reading by a reading from another document  
asyndeton absence of conjunctions or other linking/coordinating words - the reader must figure out the relationship of the concepts expressed  
autograph the original, first copy of a biblical book or portion  
bifid organized into two discrete parts  
chiasm (chiasmus, inverted parallelism) a pattern of words or concepts in which the first and last are similar, the second and next to last are similar, and so forth, making memorization easy. The middle of a chiasm is not necessarily more important than the others.  
codex an ancient manuscript in book (bound pages) form  
collate to compare manuscripts of a given text in order to reconstruct the original  
colon a single verse unit of poetry  
colophon title or other summary at the end or beginning of a unit of text  
conflation combining two variant readings, producing a reading not the same as either of the originals  
daughter translation a translation of a translation, usually referring to a translation of the LXX into another language  
deuterograph secondary writing/rewriting  
dittography copy error repeating something accidentally  
doublet a supposedly parallel narrative, allegedly resulting from retelling in oral tradition  
formula a set or words commonly used in a particular kind of context  
hapax legomenon a word or term that occurs only once in the OT  
haplography the loss of something during copying  
hendiadys expressing a single concept by two or more words or expressions linked by "and"  
Hexapla Origen's six-column OT containing: 1. Hebrew, 2. Hebrew transliterated into Greek, 3. Aquila, 4. Symmachus, 5. the LXX, 6. Theodotion  
homoioarchton similar beginnings in two words  
homoioteleuton similar endings in two words  
inclusio literary device in which the end and the beginning of a passage are similar, thus sandwiching the rest  
Kethib inferior reading that the Masoretes included in the text by writing only its consonants  
Qere superior reading that the Masoretes imposed over the Kethib consonants by using only its vowels  
lacuna a physical gap in a manuscript  
meter the pattern of accents and/or total syllables in a passage of poetry  
metonymy a word substitution  
paleography study of ancient writing/penmanship  
parallelism the logical balances and correspondences between lines of poetry  
paronomasia a pun or a play on words or word roots  
Peshitta the most common Syriac version of the OT  
prostaxis the tendency to start all the clauses in a language in the same way (Hebrew uses prostactic וְ)  
Qinah meter supposedly a three-accent + two-accent pattern used in dirges  
rîb form a literary form (ריב) by which a nation is imagined to be taken to court, usually to be tried and found guilty  
Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew OT originally made between about 250 and 100 BC, modified often  
Symmachus independent, freestyle translation of the OT into Greek around AD 175; influenced Vulgate  
synecdoche a part used for the whole, or vice versa  
synonymous describing poetic parallelism in which the same essential concept is conveyed by two different wordings that are parallel to each other  
synthetic describing poetic parallelism in which the first half of a complete assertion is paralleled and completed by the second half  
Talmud huge Jewish rabbinical teaching collection: Mishnah (traditions) and Gemara (commentary on Mishnah), third to fifth centuries AD  
Targum Aramaic translation of the OT (there are various sections, produced at various times, probably second to fifth centuries AD)  
terminus a quo the earliest possible date for something  
terminus ad quem the latest possible date for something  
Theodotion Greek revision of the LXX toward the Hebrew, around AD 175; replaced the LXX in most Daniel manuscripts  
variant a different reading  
Vulgate free translation of the OT in Latin by Jerome, completed AD 405; replaced the older and often better Old Latin  

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