The Hexapla Institute is a co-operative venture of:
- The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- VU University Amsterdam
- University of Oxford
- The Hexapla Project
under the auspices of The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. The purpose of the Hexapla Institute is to publish a new critical edition of the fragments of Origen’s Hexapla, an endeavor which might be described as, “A Field for the 21st Century” to be available in a print edition and as an online database.
With the end of the Göttingen Edition of the Septuagint now in sight, attention is shifting to the later development of Septuagint tradition. The Hexaplaric tradition is a vital part of Septuagint studies because in certain books it is very hard to discern what is the original Greek of the pre-Christian translators, and what is due to later revisers. The readings of the “Three,” the Jewish revisers, Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, are important for Jewish studies in antiquity since they provide an important source of rabbinic exegesis in Greek rather than the customary Aramaic or Hebrew. The impact of these revisions and of Origen’s Hexaplaric work on biblical interpretation in the patristic age was considerable, and it is often due to the Church Fathers that such material was preserved at all. Origen’s recension affected subsequent Septuagint transmission history profoundly, and the Hexapla became the catalyst for Jerome’s Iuxta Hebraeos version.
Frederick Field’s marvelous late Victorian edition of the remains of this work is now outdated. Field rearranged earlier collections, and added new material, notably retroversions into Greek from Syriac sources. In the course of the work on the Septuagint editions, new manuscripts and patristic sources have become available, as well as new editions of several Church Fathers and catenae. Some of these contain better readings and even previously unknown material from Origen’s Hexapla.