Electronic Editions of the Göttingen LXX

Academic bloggers and tweeters show up for International Septuagint Day like no other day. Today, my timeline has been filled with tweets about the Septuagint, and I love it. I wanted to add to the chorus by clearing up some confusion regarding electronic editions of the Göttingen LXX in Logos and Accordance.

Volumes

You have two options for electronic Göttingen LXX editions: Logos and Accordance. I’ve owned it on both platforms for several years, but until tonight I did not realize the nature of differences between the packages. I knew Logos started out far ahead in the number of volumes they offered, but Accordance has consistently released more and more Göttingen volumes the past few years. Here’s where we stand.

Logos has 5 volumes that Accordance doesn’t have:

  • Judith
  • Tobit
  • 3 Maccabees
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • Susanna, Daniel, and Bel et Draco

Accordance has 1 volume that Logos doesn’t have:

  • 2 Chronicles

Here is a full list of the volumes included in each package:

AccordanceLogos
GenesisGenesis
ExodusExodus
LeviticusLeviticus
NumbersNumbers
DeuteronomyDeuteronomy
RuthRuth
2 Chronicles
Esdras 1Esdras 1
Esdras 2 (Ezra, Nehemiah)Esdras 2 (Ezra, Nehemiah)
EstherEsther
Judith
Tobit
1 Maccabees1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees2 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
Psalms & OdesPsalms & Odes
JobJob
Wisdom of Solomon
SirachSirach
12 Prophets12 Prophets
IsaiahIsaiah
Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations, Epistle of JeremiahJeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations, Epistle of Jeremiah
EzekielEzekiel
Susanna, Daniel, Bel et Draco

Even though Accordance has fewer volumes than Logos, Accordance has continued to develop and release Göttingen modules, whereas I don’t think Logos has added to their offerings since their initial release. This pattern suggests that in the coming years Accordance will catch up and surpass Logos in the number of volumes offered.

Price

There are other pluses and minuses to consider besides which books are included. For example, Logos’ package is significantly cheaper. Right now, Accordance is offering their Göttingen package for $599, but that is a sale price and it’s the cheapest it has ever been. The normal Accordance price is $850. Logos normally sales their package for $699, but oddly enough you can find the Logos’ Göttingen LXX in this expansion pack for $329.

Features

Both Accordance and Logos include morphological tagging, but each platform has a way that it one-ups the other.

If a Göttingen volume has two apparatuses —one for the transmission history of the Old Greek and one for tracking differences in other Greek translations besides the Old Greek—Logos splits apparatus 1 and apparatus 2 into different modules. This makes seeing the text and the content of each apparatus far easier than including both apparatuses in one module. Accordance does this for all its modules except the Pentateuch volumes. For whatever reason, in Accordance the two apparatuses for the Pentateuch volumes are together in one electronic module. There is so much info in apparatus 1 that it makes it hard to see the actual text of a passage and scroll down far enough in the apparatus module to see the apparatus 2 information. You scroll down to the apparatus 2 information, but because the apparatus and text modules are linked, now your text module has jumped a verse or two ahead. This is a bummer because the Göttingen Pentateuch volumes are the ones I reference most frequently. I wish the developers would split the Pentateuch volumes into separate text modules and split apparatuses 1 and 2 like they do for the rest of the series.

Accordance however includes one very significant feature of the print volumes that Logos does not have: the Kopfleiste. This is a header that that appears on each page of the print volumes and tells you exactly which witnesses include the text that appears on that page. Without it, finding this information in the introductions is possible but very difficult.

Quality

Finally, the issue of quality control. It isn’t as simple as you might think. Older editions of the Göttingen volumes do not have digital files. These volumes have to be converted in some way to make digital resources. The Göttingen volumes make this very difficult to do well because of the insanely dense apparatus and the numerous uncommon sigla used.

So which platform pulls this off the best? It’s hard to say. At one point, Abram noted that the Logos editions seemed to be more accurate. I think this was based mostly on a close reading of the Isaiah volume. When I reviewed the Job volume for Accordance, I found many typos in the apparates and introduction. The Accordance developers, however, were all over this and fixed all the typos very quickly. When I read 2 Maccabees in the Logos Göttingen edition, I found many typos in the parsing. These have been fixed, as well.

While this category of comparison is significant, it is really hard to say which platform is more accurate.

Conclusion

I’m sure there are still typos in the electronic editions on both platforms, but to me the most useful Göttingen LXX is the one that I have with me when I want and need it. For this reason and many more, I prefer electronic editions over the print volumes. If I were still doing academic research in this field on a regular basis, I would certainly check a print edition before stepping up to the mic at SBL. For the purposes of reading and everyday study, the electronic editions are amazing. And no matter what time of the year it is or what sale is happening, the electronic editions are so, so much cheaper than the print volumes.

Here on LXX Day 2020, cheers to you, Logos and Accordance. Thank you both for years of fun reading and research. I hope to see both of you develop electronic editions of every Göttingen that has been and will be published. Prioritize these, please.

— a happy Göttingen reader

Postscript

Please note that V&R just published Peter Gentry’s Ecclesiastes edition, and we would love to see this in electronic form by LXX day 2021.