History

In 1994 the Rich Seminar on the Hexapla was held at Oxford. All who participated agreed that the time had come to produce a new collection of Hexapla fragments. Gerard Norton presented a report of this Seminar at the 1995 IOSCS Congress,[1] and in 1998 a volume comprising the papers presented at the Seminar was published: Origen’s Hexapla and Fragments: Papers Presented at the Rich Seminar on the Hexapla, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, 25th–3rd August 1994, Alison Salvesen, ed. (TSAJ 58; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck). That same year, at the IOSCS Congress Bas ter Haar Romeny reported on the work he and Peter Gentry had done on Genesis. Because of unforeseen delays in the publication of such papers,[2] it may have seemed to some that the vision for a new edition of Origen’s Hexapla had died. The Hexapla Institute is a witness to the current vitality of the original vision of L. Greenspoon, G. Norton and A. Salvesen.

In the Fall of 2000 Bas ter Haar Romeny presented a series of lectures on textual criticism at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Inspired by this visit, Peter Gentry and Associate Dean Daniel I. Block presented a request to the Administration of Southern Seminary to consider funding the Hexapla project. The request was approved and Peter Gentry was authorized to set up a web site for the preliminary database and given a grant of ca. $35,000 to fund the necessary computer equipment and to remunerate a Research Fellow with skills in computer technology and biblical studies to set up the web site over a five year period beginning in 2001.

In July of 2001 Peter Gentry and Bas ter Haar Romeny met in Leiden with Arie van der Kooij, now President of IOSOT, and Konrad Jenner of the Peshitta Institute, to discuss their vision for the Hexapla Institute. It was agreed that the Institute should be governed by an Executive Board but have access to the broader counsel of an Advisory Board. The Executive Board consists of two representatives from Southern Seminary, and one each from the Universities of Leiden and Oxford. The Advisory Board currently consists of four scholars, recognized internationally for their work in the field of textual criticism of the Old Testament and for their enthusiasm for this project.

Convinced that the goal of a “Field for the 21st Century” would be best served if the Hexapla Institute operated in partnership with and under the auspices of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, representatives of the Executive Board sought the support of IOSCS. At the Annual Meeting of the society in Toronto in 2002, the members passed a motion agreeing “. . . that the Hexapla Project be sponsored by the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies under article 21 of the IOSCS Bylaws, and that it be carried out by the Hexapla Institute on behalf of the IOSCS.” The cooperation of the Hexapla Institute and IOSCS is ensured by the establishment of an editorial committee consisting of those members of the Executive Board who are also members of IOSCS.


(Footnotes) 
[1] For a published version of the report see G. J. Norton, “Collecting Data for a New Edition of the Fragments of the Hexapla,” in IX Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Cambridge 1995, B. A. Taylor, ed. (SCS 45; Atlanta Ga.: Scholars Press, 1997) 251 262. 
[2] R. B. ter Haar Romeny and Peter J. Gentry, “Towards a New Collection of Hexaplaric Material for the Book of Genesis,” in X Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, Oslo 1998, B. A. Taylor, ed. (SCS 51; Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars, 2001) 285-299.