Department of Ancient History

Dr John A. L. Lee

ancient-staff johnleeBA USyd., PhD Cambridge, FAHA

Contact Details:

Telephone: +61 2 9399 7808

Office: W6A 706




John Lee is a Senior Research Fellow (honorary) attached to the Ancient History Department at Macquarie University. He retired from the University of Sydney in 2001 after teaching Greek for 27 years. His interest in Greek was first nurtured at Sydney Grammar School, after which he took his first degree (with honours in Greek and Hebrew) at the University of Sydney, under G. P. Shipp, before proceeding to Cambridge to undertake a doctorate. His doctoral dissertation, completed in 1970, was on the language of the Septuagint. He returned to Sydney to an appointment in the (then) Department of Greek.

During his teaching career, besides the usual range of courses in Greek, John taught specialist topics at senior level on The Greek Vocabulary, Advanced Koine Greek, and The History of the Greek Language. He also taught New Testament Greek for beginners (1980-99) and offered an Introduction to the Septuagint (1985-91).

John continues to be active in research and publication and attends conferences. His research interests have always centred on Greek language, starting from early work on Homer and extending to all forms of Koine Greek, especially the language of the Septuagint, the New Testament and Greek documentary texts; he also reaches into early modern Greek, Liturgical Greek, and the Renaissance. Nothing Greek is without interest for him. His major publications are A Lexical Study of the Septuagint Version of the Pentateuch (1983) and A History of New Testament Lexicography (2003).

John has been co-chair of the Biblical Lexicography Section, Society of Biblical Literature (2003-05), and is a member of Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (elected 2005). He has been chairman of the Committee on the Translation of Liturgical Texts of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese since 1990, and is a member of the Macquarie Papyri Research and Development Committee.

John Lee is currently Grinfield Lecturer in the Septuagint at Oxford (for 2011-12). In early 2011 he delivered the first series of lectures and also offered a seminar in Cambridge and a lecture in Paris.  In 2012 he also delivered the Jeremie Septuagint Lecture in Cambridge.

ancient-staff johnlee paris

In l'École Normale Supérieure, Paris, before lecture, March 2011


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Current Projects

  1. Grinfield lectures in the Septuagint.
  2. A history of Liddell and Scott's Greek lexicon.
  3. The New Testament lexicon in the Complutensian Polyglot.
  4. 'Words from the Sand: A Lexical Analysis of Early Greek Papyri from Egypt', with Trevor Evans and James Aitken.

Awards and Grants

  • 2010-14 ARC Discovery Project Grant.
  • 2008 Gold Cross of St Andrew, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.
  • 2005 Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities.
  • 2004-06 ARC Discovery Projects Grant.
  • 1999-2001 ARC Large Grant.
  • 1995-97 ARC Institutional Grant.
  • 1991-93 ARC Small Grant.
  • 1968 Jeremie Septuagint Prize, University of Cambridge.
  • 1966 University Medal in Hebrew, University of Sydney.

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Selected Publications

  1. A History of New Testament Lexicography (New York: Peter Lang, 2003).
  2. With B. A. Taylor, P. R. Burton, and R. E. Whitaker (eds.), Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2004).
  3. A Lexical Study of the Septuagint Version of the Pentateuch (Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1983; Reprint SBL, 2006).
ancient-staff johnlee book1John A. L. Lee A History of New Testament Lexicography (New York: Peter Lang, 2003).



Greek Accents in Eight Lessons (Sydney: Ancient History Documentary Research Centre, Macquarie University, 2005).

ancient-staff johnlee book2John A. L. Lee Greek Accents in Eight Lessons (Sydney: Ancient History Documentary Research Centre, 

Macquarie University 2005.)





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Book Chapters
  1. 'The Vocabulary of the LXX and Documentay Evidence', in Handbuch zur Septuaginta: Sprache (Gütersloher Verlagshaus: forthcoming).
  2. 'The Atticist Grammarians', in S. E. Porter and A. W. Pitts (eds.), The Language of the New Testament: Context, History and Development (Brill: forthcoming).
  3. 'Releasing LSJ From Its Past', in C. Stray (ed.), Classical Dictionaries: Past, Present and Future (London: Duckworth, 2010), 119-38.
  4. 'Auxiliary thelô', in T. V. Evans and D. D. Obbink (eds.), The Language of the Papyri (Oxford: OUP, 2010), 15-34.
  5. 'A Lexicographical Database for Greek: Can it Be Far Off? The Case of amphodon', in M. Karrer, W. Kraus, with M. Meiser (eds.), Die Septuaginta - Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten: Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch(LXX.D), Wuppertal 20.-23. Juli 2006 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 214-20.
  6. 'Exapostellô', in J. Joosten and P. J. Tomson (eds.), Voces Biblicae: Septuagint Greek and its Significance for the New Testament (Leuven: Peeters, 2007), 99-113.
  7. 'The Present State of Lexicography of Ancient Greek', in B. A. Taylor et al. (eds.), Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2004), 66-74.
  8. 'A Lexical Study Thirty Years On, with Observations on "Order" Words in the LXX Pentateuch', in S. M. Paul, et al. (eds.),Emanuel: Studies in Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls in Honor of Emanuel Tov (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2003), 513-24.
  9. 'Translations of the Old Testament: I. Greek', in S. E. Porter (ed.), Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period 330 BC-AD 400 (Leiden: Brill, 1997), 775-83.
  10. 'Sunistêmi: A Sample Lexical Entry', in T. Muraoka (ed.), Melbourne Symposium on Septuagint Lexicography (Atlanta, Ga.: Society of Biblical Literature, 1990), 1-15.
  11. 'MSS of Psalms and Genesis in the Greek OT', in G. H. R. Horsley (ed.), New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, Vol. 3 (Macquarie University, 1983), 97-8.
  12. 'More Light on the Greek Text of Daniel', in G. H. R. Horsley (ed.), New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, Vol. 2(Macquarie University, 1982), 123-4.
  13. With S. P. Brock, 'A Memorandum on the Proposed LXX Lexicon Project', in R. A. Kraft (ed.), Septuagintal Lexicography (Missoula, Mont.: Society of Biblical Literature, 1972), 20-4.

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Journal Articles
  1. 'Why Didn't St Basil Write in New Testament Greek?', Phronema 25 (2010), 3-20.
  2. 'Led Astray by Punctuation: The Meaning of epiorkô in Matt 5:33', Novum Testamentum 52 (2010), 24-36.
  3. 'The Complutensian Polyglot, the Text of Sirach, and a Lost Greek Word', BIOSCS 42 (2009), 95-108.
  4. With M. O'Connor, 'A Problem in Biblical Lexicography: The Case of Hebrew tap and Greek aposkeuê', ZAW 119 (2007), 403-9.
  5. 'Dimitrios Doukas and the Accentuation of the New Testament Text of the Complutensian Polyglot', Novum Testamentum47 (2005), 250-90.
  6. 'Hebrews 5:14 and hexis: A History of Misunderstanding', Novum Testamentum 39 (1997), 151-76.
  7. With G. H. R. Horsley,  'A Preliminary Checklist of Abbreviations of Greek Epigraphic Volumes', Epigraphica 56 (1994), 129-69.
  8. 'The United Bible Societies' Lexicon and its Analysis of Meanings', Filología Neotestamentaria 5 (1992), 167-89.
  9. 'A Non-Aramaism in Luke 6.7', Novum Testamentum 33 (1991), 28-34.
  10. 'Some Features of the Speech of Jesus in Mark's Gospel', Novum Testamentum 27 (1985), 1-26.
  11. 'The Future of zên in Late Greek', Novum Testamentum 22 (1980), 289-98.
  12. 'Equivocal and Stereotyped Renderings in the LXX', Revue Biblique 87 (1980), 104-17.
  13. 'A Neglected Sense of meros', Antichthon 6 (1972), 39-42.
  14. 'Aposkeuê in the Septuagint', Journal of Theological Studies 23 (1972), 430-7.
  15. 'A Note on Septuagint Material in the Supplement to Liddell and Scott', Glotta 47 (1969), 234-42.
  1. T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (2009), in BIOSCS 43 (2010), 115-25 (Featured Review).
  2. J. Fotopoulos (ed.), The New Testament and Early Christian Literature in Greco-Roman Context: Studies in Honor of David E. Aune (2006), at BMCR 2007.03.23.
  3. T. Muraoka, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint: Chiefly of the Pentateuch and the Twelve Prophets (2002), inBIOSCS 37 (2004), 127-39.
  4. G. Walser, The Greek of the Ancient Synagogue: An Investigation on the Greek of the Septuagint, Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament (2001), in BIOSCS 36 (2003), 134-9.
  5. J. W. Wevers, Notes on the Greek Text of Deuteronomy (1995), in JSS 45 (2000), 177-9.
  6. R. Sollamo, Repetition of the Possessive Pronouns in the Septuagint (1995), in JSS 44 (1999), 306-7.
  7. Claude E. Cox (ed.), VII Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies, in Australian Biblical Review 42 (1994), 74-5.
  8. R. Hanhart, Tobit (ed.), and Text und Textgeschichte des Buches Tobit, in JBL 105 (1986), 324-5.
  9. R. Sollamo, Renderings of Hebrew Semiprepositions in the Septuagint, in JTS 32 (1981), 212-3.
  10. B. Mandilaras, The Verb in the Greek Non-Literary Papyri, in AUMLA 42 (1974), 223-4.

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