Much of my research is taken up with the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, the so-called Septuagint. It is fascinating to observe how Hellenistic Jews, from the third century BC onward, tried to express the message of the Hebrew Bible in a new language. The Septuagint is not only the oldest Bible translation, it is also in a way the oldest extant biblical commentary. All aspects of the translational process interest me, but in recent years I have focused mostly on questions of vocabulary. Together with Eberhard Bons of the Faculty of Catholic Theology in Strasbourg I am directing a research project aimed at creating a Historical and Theological Lexicon of the Septuagint (the first volume is to be published in 2014).
I also have a long-standing interest in Hebrew grammar and the benefits that can be derived from it for exegesis. A new book on the verbal system of Biblical Hebrew is in print.
Other subjects: OT textual criticism, Hebrew rhetoric, biblical law and Christian ethics, Pentateuchal criticism, Syriac Bible versions, the Diatessaron.
Exegetical skills are to be learnt in contact with the texts. A good teacher should be in command of many tools enabling successful exegesis, but he (or she) does not necessarily know what the exploration of a given text will lead to.
Comparative reading of the Hebrew text and its Greek translation not only reveals the differences between them but also throws into relief the way each text expresses meaning.
The Verbal System of Biblical Hebrew. A New Synthesis Elaborated on the Basis of Classical Prose, Jerusalem Biblical Studies 10 (Jerusalem, Simor, 2012).
Collected Studies on the Septuagint. From Language to Interpretation and Beyond, Forschungen zum Alten Testament 83 (Tübingen, Mohr-Siebeck, 2012).
Eberhard Bons, Jan Joosten, eds., Septuagint Vocabulary. Pre-History, Usage, Reception, Septuagint and Cognate Studies 58 (Atlanta, SBL, 2011).