Septuagint

Septuagint

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The Septuagint or simply "LXX", is an Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 translation of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

. It is referred to in critical works by the abbreviation or G. It was originally the designation for the Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

 translation of the Pentateuch, but came in time to refer to the Greek translation of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 adopted by Christians, incorporating the translations of all the books of the Hebrew Bible and books later considered apocryphal
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

 or deutero-canonical
Deuterocanonical books
Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books, which are...

, some composed in Greek and some translations. The translation process was undertaken in stages. It began by the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE, initially in Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

, but in time possibly elsewhere too.

It incorporates the oldest of several ancient translations of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

, the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

of the Eastern Mediterranean
Eastern Mediterranean
The Eastern Mediterranean is a term that denotes the countries geographically to the east of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is also known as Greater Syria or the Levant....

 from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) until the development of Byzantine Greek (c.600 CE). Other versions are now preserved only in fragmentary form.

The Septuagint was held in great respect in ancient times; Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

 and Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 ascribed divine inspiration to its translators. Besides the Old Latin versions
Vetus Latina
Vetus Latina is a collective name given to the Biblical texts in Latin that were translated before St Jerome's Vulgate Bible became the standard Bible for Latin-speaking Western Christians. The phrase Vetus Latina is Latin for Old Latin, and the Vetus Latina is sometimes known as the Old Latin Bible...

, the LXX is also the basis for the Slavonic, the Syriac
Syro-hexaplar version
The Syro-hexaplar version is the Syriac translation of the Septuagint, as revised by Origen of Alexandria in his Hexapla....

, Old Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Old Georgian
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

 and Coptic
Coptic language
Coptic or Coptic Egyptian is the current stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century. Egyptian began to be written using the Greek alphabet in the 1st century...

 versions of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

. Of significance for all Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s and for Bible scholars, the LXX is quoted by the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 and by the Apostolic Fathers
Apostolic Fathers
The Apostolic Fathers are a small number of Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the first century and the first half of the second century. They are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, although their writings were not included in the New Testament...

.

Creation


According to the legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

 first recorded in the (pseudepigraphic) Letter of Aristeas
Letter of Aristeas
The so-called Letter of Aristeas or Letter to Philocrates is a Hellenistic work of the 2nd century BCE, one of the Pseudepigrapha. Josephus who paraphrases about two-fifths of the letter, ascribes it to Aristeas and written to Philocrates, describing the Greek translation of the Hebrew Law by...

, and repeated with embellishments in Philo, Josephus and various later Jewish and Christian sources, Jewish scholars first translated the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 (the first five books of the Bible) into Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

 in the 3rd century BCE. The traditional explanation is that Ptolemy II sponsored the translation for use by the many Alexandrian Jews who were fluent in Koine Greek, but not in Hebrew. According to the record in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

,


'King Ptolemy
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 BCE to 246 BCE. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice, and was educated by Philitas of Cos...

 once gathered 72 Elders. He placed them in 72 chambers, each of them in a separate one, without revealing to them why they were summoned. He entered each one's room and said: "Write for me the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 of Moshe
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, your teacher." God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically as all the others did.'


The date of the 3rd century BCE is confirmed for the Pentateuch translation by a number of factors, including the Greek being representative of early Koine, citations beginning as early as the 2nd century BCE, and early manuscripts datable to the 2nd century.

Further books were translated over the next two to three centuries. It is not altogether clear which was translated when, or where; some may even have been translated twice, into different versions, and then revised. The quality and style of the different translators also varied considerably from book to book, from the literal
Literal translation
Literal translation, or direct translation, is the rendering of text from one language to another "word-for-word" rather than conveying the sense of the original...

 to paraphrasing
Paraphrase
Paraphrase is restatement of a text or passages, using other words. The term "paraphrase" derives via the Latin "paraphrasis" from the Greek , meaning "additional manner of expression". The act of paraphrasing is also called "paraphrasis."...

 to interpretative.

As the work of translation progressed gradually, and new books were added to the collection, the compass of the Greek Bible came to be somewhat indefinite. The Pentateuch always maintained its pre-eminence as the basis of the canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

; but the prophetic collection (out of which the Nevi'im
Nevi'im
Nevi'im is the second of the three major sections in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh. It falls between the Torah and Ketuvim .Nevi'im is traditionally divided into two parts:...

 were selected) changed its aspect by having various hagiographa incorporated into it. Some of the newer works, those called anagignoskomena in Greek, are not included in the Jewish canon
Development of the Jewish Bible canon
Rabbinic Judaism recognizes the 24 books of the Masoretic Text, commonly called the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, as authoritative. Evidence suggests that the process of canonization occurred between 200 BCE and 200 CE. A popular former theory is that the Torah was canonized c. 400 BCE, the Prophets c....

. Among these books are Maccabees
Books of the Maccabees
The Books of the Maccabees are books concerned with the Maccabees, the leaders of the Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid dynasty, or related subjects.The term mostly refers to two deuterocanonical books contained in some canons of the Bible:...

 and the Wisdom of Ben Sira
Ben Sira
Jesus ben Sirach , commonly known simply as ben Sirach or Sirach and also rendered "Jesus son of Sirach" or "Jesus Siracides", was the author of the deuterocanonical Wisdom of Sirach and possibly the rabbinical Alphabet of Sirach...

. Also, the Septuagint version of some works, like Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 and Esther
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther is a book in the Ketuvim , the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and is part of the Christian Old Testament. The Book of Esther or the Megillah is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim...

, are longer than those in the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

. Some of the later books (Wisdom of Solomon
Book of Wisdom
The Book of Wisdom, often referred to simply as Wisdom or the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books of the Septuagint Old Testament, which includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon ,...

, 2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....

, and others) apparently were not translated, but composed in Greek.

The authority of the larger group of "writings", out of which the ketuvim
Ketuvim
Ketuvim or Kəṯûḇîm in actual Biblical Hebrew is the third and final section of the Tanak , after Torah and Nevi'im . In English translations of the Hebrew Bible, this section is usually entitled "Writings" or "Hagiographa"...

were selected, had not yet been determined, although some sort of selective process must have been employed because the Septuagint did not include other well-known Jewish documents such as Enoch
Book of Enoch
The Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel...

 or Jubilees or other writings that are now part of the Pseudepigrapha. It is not known what principles were used to determine the contents of the Septuagint beyond the "Law
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 and the Prophets", a phrase used several times in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

.

Naming and designation


The Septuagint derives its name from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 versio septuaginta interpretum,"translation of the seventy interpreters," (Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomēkonta), "translation of the seventy ". The title refers to a legendary account in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, of how seventy or seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 BCE to 246 BCE. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice, and was educated by Philitas of Cos...

 in the 3rd century BCE to translate the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 (or Pentateuch) from Biblical Hebrew into Greek for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was the largest and most significant great library of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the...

.

As narrated by Philo of Alexandria, 72 Jewish translators were enlisted to complete the translation while kept in separate chambers.
According to legend, Aristeas arrived at the figure of 72 scholars by calculating the participation of six elders from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. Adding to the legend and coincidental alignment with the number of scholars being 72 was the implication that these scholars all produced identical versions of the text in exactly seventy-two days. This story underlines the fact that some Jews in antiquity wished to present the translation as authoritative. A version of this legend is found in the Tractate Megillah
Megillah (Talmud)
Megillah is the tenth Tractate of Mishnah in the Order Moed. It and its Gemara deal with the laws of Purim and offers exegetical understandings to the Book of Esther. It also includes laws concerning the public reading of the Torah and other communal synagogue practices...

 of the Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 (pages 9a-9b), which identifies fifteen specific unusual translations made by the scholars. Only two of these translations are found in the extant LXX.

Textual history


Further, the LXX symbol is also the Roman numeral for 70. Thus, LXX is often used as an abbreviation for septuagint.

Modern scholarship holds that the LXX was written during the 3rd through 1st centuries BCE. But nearly all attempts at dating specific books, with the exception of the Pentateuch (early- to mid-3rd century BCE), are tentative and without consensus.

Later Jewish revisions and recension
Recension
Recension is the practice of editing or revising a text based on critical analysis. When referring to manuscripts, this may be a revision by another author...

s of the Greek against the Hebrew are well attested, the most famous of which include the Three: Aquila
Aquila of Sinope
Aquila of Sinope was a 2nd Century CE native of Pontus in Anatolia known for producing an exceedingly literal translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek around 130 CE. He was a proselyte to Judaism and a disciple of Rabbi Akiba...

 (128 CE), Symmachus
Symmachus the Ebionite
Symmachus was the author of one of the Greek versions of the Old Testament. It was included by Origen in his Hexapla and Tetrapla, which compared various versions of the Old Testament side by side with the Septuagint...

, and Theodotion
Theodotion
Theodotion was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar,, perhaps working in Ephesus who in ca. AD 150 translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Whether he was revising the Septuagint, or was working from Hebrew manuscripts that represented a parallel tradition that has not survived, is debated...

. These three, to varying degrees, are more literal renderings of their contemporary Hebrew scriptures as compared to the Old Greek
Old Greek
The term "Old Greek" is sometimes used to describe the Greek language as spoken from Late Antiquity to around AD 1500. Greek spoken during this period is usually split into:...

. Modern scholars consider one or more of the 'three' to be totally new Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible.

Around 235 CE, Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

, a Christian scholar in Alexandria, completed the Hexapla
Hexapla
Hexapla is the term for an edition of the Bible in six versions. Especially it applies to the edition of the Old Testament compiled by Origen of Alexandria, which placed side by side:#Hebrew...

, a comprehensive comparison of the ancient versions and Hebrew text side-by-side in six columns, with diacritical markings (a.k.a. "editor's marks", "critical signs" or "Aristarchian signs"). Much of this work was lost, but several compilations of the fragments are available. In the first column was the contemporary Hebrew, in the second a Greek transliteration of it, then the newer Greek versions each in their own columns. Origen also kept a column for the Old Greek (the Septuagint) and next to it was a critical apparatus combining readings from all the Greek versions with diacritical marks indicating to which version each line (Gr. στἰχος) belonged. Perhaps the voluminous Hexapla was never copied in its entirety, but Origen's combined text ("the fifth column") was copied frequently, eventually without the editing marks, and the older uncombined text of the LXX was neglected. Thus this combined text became the first major Christian recension of the LXX, often called the Hexaplar recension. In the century following Origen, two other major recensions were identified by Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, who attributed these to Lucian
Lucian of Antioch
Saint Lucian of Antioch , known as Lucian the Martyr, was a Christian presbyter, theologian and martyr. He was noted for both his scholarship and ascetic piety.-History:...

 and Hesychius
Hesychius of Jerusalem
Hesychius of Jerusalem was a Christian presbyter and exegete, probably of the fifth century. Nothing certain is known as to the dates of his birth and death , or, indeed concerning the events of his life...

.

Manuscripts



The oldest manuscripts of the LXX include 2nd century BCE fragments of Leviticus and Deuteronomy (Rahlfs nos. 801, 819, and 957), and 1st century BCE fragments of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and the Minor Prophets (Alfred Rahlfs
Alfred Rahlfs
Alfred Rahlfs was born in Linden, Hannover, Germany. He studied Protestant Theology, Philosophy, and Oriental Languages in Halle and Göttingen, from where he received a Dr. Phil. in 1881...

 nos. 802, 803, 805, 848, 942, and 943). Relatively complete manuscripts of the LXX postdate the Hexaplar rescension and include the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus
Codex Sinaiticus
Codex Sinaiticus is one of the four great uncial codices, an ancient, handwritten copy of the Greek Bible. It is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in the 4th century in uncial letters on parchment. Current scholarship considers the Codex Sinaiticus to be one of the best Greek texts of...

 of the 4th century and the Codex Alexandrinus
Codex Alexandrinus
The Codex Alexandrinus is a 5th century manuscript of the Greek Bible,The Greek Bible in this context refers to the Bible used by Greek-speaking Christians who lived in Egypt and elsewhere during the early history of Christianity...

 of the 5th century. These are indeed the oldest surviving nearly complete manuscripts of the Old Testament in any language; the oldest extant complete Hebrew texts date some 600 years later, from the first half of the 10th century. While there are differences between these three codices, scholarly consensus today holds that one LXX — that is, the original pre-Christian translation — underlies all three. The various Jewish and later Christian revisions and recensions are largely responsible for the divergence of the codices.

Differences with the Latin Vulgate and the Masoretic text


The sources of the many differences between the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate and the Masoretic text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 have long been discussed by scholars. Following the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, a common opinion among some humanists was that the LXX translators bungled the translation from the Hebrew and that the LXX became more corrupt with time. The most widely accepted view today is that the original Septuagint provided a reasonably accurate record of an early Hebrew textual variant that differed from the ancestor of the Masoretic text as well as those of the Latin Vulgate, where both of the latter seem to have a more similar textual heritage.

These issues notwithstanding, the text of the LXX is generally close to that of the Masoretes and vulgate. For example, Genesis 4:1–6 is identical in both the LXX, Vulgate and the Masoretic Text. Likewise, Genesis 4:8 to the end of the chapter is the same. There is only one noticeable difference in that chapter, at 4:7, to wit:












Genesis 4:7, LXX (NETS
New English Translation of the Septuagint
The New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included under That Title is a modern translation of the scriptures used by Greek-speaking Christians and Jews of antiquity. The translation was sponsored by the International Organization for Septuagint...

)
Genesis 4:7, Masoretic and English Translation from MT (Judaica Press
Judaica Press
Judaica Press is an Orthodox Jewish publishing house founded in New York City in 1963 by S. Goldman, and then taken over by his son Jack Goldman in response to the growing demand for books of scholarship in the English-speaking Jewish world...

)
Genesis 4:7, Latin Vulgate (Douay-Rheims)
If you offer correctly but do not divide correctly, have you not sinned? Be still; his recourse is to you, and you will rule over him.
Is it not so that if you improve, it will be forgiven you? If you do not improve, however, at the entrance, sin is lying, and to you is its longing, but you can rule over it."
If thou do well, shalt thou not receive? but if ill, shall not sin forthwith be present at the door? but the lust thereof shall be under thee, and thou shalt have dominion over it.


This instance illustrates the complexity of assessing differences between the LXX and the Masoretic Text as well as the Vulgate. Despite the striking divergence of meaning here between the Septuagint and later texts, nearly identical consonantal Hebrew source texts can be reconstructed. The readily apparent semantic differences result from alternative strategies for interpreting the difficult verse and relate to differences in vowelization and punctuation of the consonantal text.

The differences between the LXX and the MT thus fall into four categories.
  1. Different Hebrew sources for the MT and the LXX. Evidence of this can be found throughout the Old Testament. Most obvious are major differences in Jeremiah and Job, where the LXX is much shorter and chapters appear in different order than in the MT, and Esther where almost one third of the verses in the LXX text have no parallel in the MT. A more subtle example may be found in Isaiah 36.11; the meaning ultimately remains the same, but the choice of words evidences a different text. The MT reads "...al tedaber yehudit be-'ozne ha`am al ha-homa" [speak not the Judean language in the ears of (or — which can be heard by) the people on the wall]. The same verse in the LXX reads according to the translation of Brenton "and speak not to us in the Jewish tongue: and wherefore speakest thou in the ears of the men on the wall." The MT reads "people" where the LXX reads "men". This difference is very minor and does not affect the meaning of the verse. Scholars at one time had used discrepancies such as this to claim that the LXX was a poor translation of the Hebrew original. With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, variant Hebrew texts of the Bible were found. In fact this verse is found in Qumran (1QIsaa) where the Hebrew word "haanashim" (the men) is found in place of "haam" (the people). This discovery, and others like it, showed that even seemingly minor differences of translation could be the result of variant Hebrew source texts.
  2. Differences in interpretation stemming from the same Hebrew text. A good example is Genesis 4.7, shown above.
  3. Differences as a result of idiomatic translation issues (i.e. a Hebrew idiom may not easily translate into Greek, thus some difference is intentionally or unintentionally imparted). For example, in Psalm 47:10 the MT reads "The shields of the earth belong to God". The LXX reads "To God are the mighty ones of the earth." The metaphor "shields" would not have made much sense to a Greek speaker; thus the words "mighty ones" are substituted in order to retain the original meaning.
  4. Transmission changes in Hebrew or Greek (Diverging revisionary/recensional changes and copyist errors)

Dead Sea Scrolls


The Biblical manuscripts found in Qumran
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

, commonly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

 (DSS), have prompted comparisons of the various texts associated with the Hebrew Bible, including the Septuagint. Peter Flint, cites Emanuel Tov, the chief editor of the scrolls, who identifies five broad variation categories of DSS texts:
  1. Proto-Masoretic: This consists of a stable text and numerous and distinctive agreements with the Masoretic Text. About 60% of the Biblical scrolls fall into this category (e.g. 1QIsa-b)
  2. Pre-Septuagint: These are the manuscripts which have distinctive affinities with the Greek Bible. These number only about 5% of the Biblical scrolls, for example, 4QDeut-q, 4QSam-a, and 4QJer-b, 4QJer-d. In addition to these manuscripts, several others share distinctive individual readings with the Septuagint, although they do not fall in this category.
  3. The Qumran "Living Bible": These are the manuscripts which, according to Tov, were copied in accordance with the "Qumran practice" (i.e. with distinctive long orthography and morphology, frequent errors and corrections, and a free approach to the text. Such scrolls comprise about 20% of the Biblical corpus, including the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsa-a):
  4. Pre-Samaritan: These are DSS manuscripts which reflect the textual form found in the Samaritan Pentateuch, although the Samaritan Bible itself is later and contains information not found in these earlier scrolls, (e.g. God's holy mountain at Shechem rather than Jerusalem). The Qumran witnesses – which are characterized by orthographic corrections and harmonizations with parallel texts elsewhere in the Pentateuch – comprise about 5% of the Biblical scrolls. (e.g. 4QpaleoExod-m)
  5. Non-Aligned: This is a category which shows no consistent alignment with any of the other four text-types. These number approximately 10% of the Biblical scrolls, and include 4QDeut-b, 4QDeut-c, 4QDeut-h, 4QIsa-c, and 4QDan-a.


The textual sources present a variety of readings. For example, Bastiaan Van Elderen compares three variations of Deuteronomy 32.34, the last of the Song of Moses.










Deuteronomy 32.43, Masoretic
Deuteronomy 32.43, Qumran
Deuteronomy 32.43, Septuagint
1 Shout for joy, O nations, with his people
2 For he will avenge the blood of his servants
3 And will render vengeance to his adversaries
4 And will purge his land, his people.









1 Shout for joy, O heavens, with him
2 And worship him, all you divine ones
3 For he will avenge the blood of his sons
4 And he will render vengeance to his adversaries
5 And he will recompense the ones hating him
6 And he purges the land of his people.





1 Shout for joy, O heavens, with him
2 And let all the sons of God worship him
3 Shout for joy, O nations, with his people
4 And let all the angels of God be strong in him
5 Because he avenges the blood of his sons
6 And he will avenge and recompense justice to his enemies
7 And he will recompense the ones hating
8 And the Lord will cleanse the land of his people.



The Dead Sea Scrolls, with its 5% connection to the Septuagint, provides significant information for scholars studying the Greek text of the Hebrew Bible.

Jewish use


Starting approximately in the 2nd century CE, several factors led most Jews to abandon use of the LXX. The earliest gentile
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

 Christians of necessity used the LXX, as it was at the time the only Greek version of the Bible, and most, if not all, of these early non-Jewish Christians
Jewish Christians
Jewish Christians is a term which appears in historical texts contrasting Christians of Jewish origin with Gentile Christians, both in discussion of the New Testament church and the second and following centuries....

 could not read Hebrew. The association of the LXX with a rival religion may have rendered it suspect in the eyes of the newer generation of Jews and Jewish scholars.. Instead, Jews used Hebrew/Aramaic Targum
Targum
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

 manuscripts later compiled by the Masoretes
Masoretes
The Masoretes were groups of mostly Karaite scribes and scholars working between the 7th and 11th centuries, based primarily in present-day Israel in the cities of Tiberias and Jerusalem, as well as in Iraq...

; and authoritative Aramaic translations, such as those of Onkelos
Targum Onkelos
right|thumb|Interlinear text of [[Hebrew language|Hebrew]] [[Book of Numbers|Numbers]] 6.3–10 with [[Aramaic language|Aramaic]] Targum Onkelos from the [[British Library]]....

 and Rabbi Yonathan ben Uziel
Targum Jonathan
Targum Jonathan - otherwise referred to as Targum Yonasan/Yonatan is the official eastern targum to the Nevi'im. Its early origins, however, are western i.e. from the Land of Israel, and the Talmudic tradition attributes its authorship to Jonathan ben Uzziel...

.

What was perhaps most significant for the LXX, as distinct from other Greek versions, was that the LXX began to lose Jewish sanction after differences between it and contemporary Hebrew scriptures were discovered. Even Greek-speaking Jews
Hellenistic Judaism
Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism...

 tended less to the LXX, preferring other Jewish versions in Greek, such as that of the 2nd century Aquila
Aquila of Sinope
Aquila of Sinope was a 2nd Century CE native of Pontus in Anatolia known for producing an exceedingly literal translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek around 130 CE. He was a proselyte to Judaism and a disciple of Rabbi Akiba...

 translation, which seemed to be more concordant with contemporary Hebrew texts. While Jews have not used the LXX in worship or religious study since the 2nd century CE, recent scholarship has brought renewed interest in it in Judaic Studies.

Christian use


The Early Christian Church used the Greek texts since Greek was a lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

 of the Roman Empire at the time, and the language of the Greco-Roman Church (Aramaic was the language of Syriac Christianity
Syriac Christianity
Syriac or Syrian Christianity , the Syriac-speaking Christians of Mesopotamia, comprises multiple Christian traditions of Eastern Christianity. With a history going back to the 1st Century AD, in modern times it is represented by denominations primarily in the Middle East and in Kerala, India....

, which used the Targums).
The relationship between the apostolic use of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, for example, the Septuagint and the now lost Hebrew texts (though to some degree and in some form carried on in Masoretic tradition) is complicated. The Septuagint seems to have been a major source for the Apostles, but it's not the only one. St. Jerome offered, for example, Matt 2.15 and .23, John 19.37, John 7.38, 1 Cor. 2.9. as examples not found in the Septuagint, but in Hebrew texts (Matt 2.23 is not present in current Masoretic tradition either, though according to St. Jerome it was in Isaiah 11.1).
Furthermore, the New Testament writers, when citing the Jewish scriptures or when quoting Jesus doing so, freely used the Greek translation, implying that Jesus, his Apostles and their followers considered it reliable.

In the Early Christian Church, the presumed fact was that the Septuagint was translated by Jews before the era of Christ, and that the Septuagint at certain places gives itself more to a christological interpretation than (say, 2nd century) Hebrew texts, was taken as evidence, that "Jews" had changed the Hebrew text in a way that made them less christological.
For example Irenaeus
Irenaeus
Saint Irenaeus , was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire . He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology...

 concerning Isaiah 7.14: The Septuagint clearly writes of a virgin that shall conceive. While the Hebrew text was, according to Irenaeus, at that time interpreted by Theodotion
Theodotion
Theodotion was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar,, perhaps working in Ephesus who in ca. AD 150 translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Whether he was revising the Septuagint, or was working from Hebrew manuscripts that represented a parallel tradition that has not survived, is debated...

 and Aquila
Aquila of Sinope
Aquila of Sinope was a 2nd Century CE native of Pontus in Anatolia known for producing an exceedingly literal translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek around 130 CE. He was a proselyte to Judaism and a disciple of Rabbi Akiba...

 (both proselyte
Proselyte
The biblical term "Proselyte", derives from the Koine Greek προσήλυτος/proselytos, as used in the Septuagint for "stranger", i.e. a "newcomer to Israel"; a "sojourner in the land", and in the New Testament for a convert to Judaism from Paganism...

s of the Jewish faith) as a young woman that shall conceive. And according to Irenaeus the Ebionites
Ebionites
Ebionites, or Ebionaioi, , is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian sect or sects that existed during the first centuries of the Christian Era. They regarded Jesus as the Messiah and insisted on the necessity of following Jewish religious law and rites...

 used this to claim that Joseph was the (biological) father of Jesus: From Irenaeus' point of view that was pure heresy, facilitated by (late) anti-Christian alterations of the scripture in Hebrew, as evident by the older, pre-Christian, Septuagint.

When Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 undertook the revision of the Old Latin
Vetus Latina
Vetus Latina is a collective name given to the Biblical texts in Latin that were translated before St Jerome's Vulgate Bible became the standard Bible for Latin-speaking Western Christians. The phrase Vetus Latina is Latin for Old Latin, and the Vetus Latina is sometimes known as the Old Latin Bible...

 translations of the Septuagint, he checked the Septuagint against the Hebrew texts that were then available. He came to believe that the Hebrew text better testified to Christ than the Septuagint. He broke with church tradition and translated most of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 of his Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

 from Hebrew rather than Greek. His choice was severely criticized by Augustine, his contemporary; a flood of still less moderate criticism came from those who regarded Jerome as a forger. But with the passage of time, acceptance of Jerome's version gradually increased until it displaced the Old Latin translations
Vetus Latina
Vetus Latina is a collective name given to the Biblical texts in Latin that were translated before St Jerome's Vulgate Bible became the standard Bible for Latin-speaking Western Christians. The phrase Vetus Latina is Latin for Old Latin, and the Vetus Latina is sometimes known as the Old Latin Bible...

 of the Septuagint.

The Eastern Orthodox Church still prefers to use the LXX as the basis for translating the Old Testament into other languages. The Eastern Orthodox also use LXX untranslated where Greek is the liturgical language, e.g. in the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, the Church of Greece
Church of Greece
The Church of Greece , part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous churches which make up the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 and the Cypriot Orthodox Church
Cypriot Orthodox Church
The Church of Cyprus is an autocephalous Greek church within the communion of Orthodox Christianity. It is one of the oldest Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, achieving independence from the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East in 431...

. Critical translations of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, while using the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 as their basis, consult the Septuagint as well as other versions in an attempt to reconstruct the meaning of the Hebrew text whenever the latter is unclear, undeniably corrupt, or ambiguous.. For example, the Jerusalem Bible
Jerusalem Bible
The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible which first was introduced to the English-speaking public in 1966 and published by Darton, Longman & Todd...

 Foreword says, "... only when this (the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

) presents insuperable difficulties have emendations or other versions, such as the ... LXX, been used." The Translator's Preface to the New International Version
New International Version
The New International Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible. Published by Zondervan in the United States and by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, it has become one of the most popular modern translations in history.-History:...

 says: "The translators also consulted the more important early versions (including) the Septuagint ... Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the MT
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 seemed doubtful ..."

Deutero Canonical / Apocrypha


The Septuagint includes some books not found in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

, see Development of the Jewish Bible canon
Development of the Jewish Bible canon
Rabbinic Judaism recognizes the 24 books of the Masoretic Text, commonly called the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, as authoritative. Evidence suggests that the process of canonization occurred between 200 BCE and 200 CE. A popular former theory is that the Torah was canonized c. 400 BCE, the Prophets c....

 for details. After the Reformation, many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 and exclude the additional books. Roman Catholics, however, include some of these books in their canon while Eastern Orthodox Churches use all the books of the Septuagint except the Psalms of Solomon
Psalms of Solomon
One of the Pseudepigrapha, the Psalms of Solomon is a group of eighteen psalms that are not part of any scriptural canon...

. Anglican lectionaries also use all of the books except Psalm 151
Psalm 151
Psalm 151 is the name given to a short psalm that is found in most copies of the Septuagint but not in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible. The title given to this psalm in the Septuagint indicates that it is supernumerary, and no number is affixed to it: "This Psalm is ascribed to David and...

, and the full King James Version (following the Geneva Bible
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John...

, 1560) includes these additional books in a separate section labelled the "Apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

".

Language


Some sections of the Septuagint may show Semiticisms, or idioms and phrases based on Semitic languages like Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 and Aramaic. Other books, such as LXX Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 and Proverbs
Book of Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs , commonly referred to simply as Proverbs, is a book of the Hebrew Bible.The original Hebrew title of the book of Proverbs is "Míshlê Shlomoh" . When translated into Greek and Latin, the title took on different forms. In the Greek Septuagint the title became "paroimai paroimiae"...

, show Greek influence more strongly. The book of Daniel that is found in almost all Greek Bibles, however, is not from the LXX, but rather from Theodotion's
Theodotion
Theodotion was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar,, perhaps working in Ephesus who in ca. AD 150 translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Whether he was revising the Septuagint, or was working from Hebrew manuscripts that represented a parallel tradition that has not survived, is debated...

 translation, which more closely resembles the Masoretic Daniel.

The LXX is also useful for elucidating pre-Masoretic Hebrew: many proper nouns are spelled out with Greek vowels in the LXX, while contemporary Hebrew texts lacked vowel pointing. One must, however, evaluate such evidence with caution since it is extremely unlikely that all ancient Hebrew sounds had precise Greek equivalents.

Books

See also Table of books below.


All the books of western canons
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

 of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 are found in the Septuagint, although the order does not always coincide with the Western ordering of the books. The Septuagint order for the Old Testament is evident in the earliest Christian Bibles (4th century).

Some books that are set apart in the Masoretic text are grouped together. For example the Books of Samuel
Books of Samuel
The Books of Samuel in the Jewish bible are part of the Former Prophets, , a theological history of the Israelites affirming and explaining the Torah under the guidance of the prophets.Samuel begins by telling how the prophet Samuel is chosen by...

 and the Books of Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 are in the LXX one book in four parts called Βασιλειῶν ("Of Reigns"). In LXX, the Books of Chronicles
Books of Chronicles
The Books of Chronicles are part of the Hebrew Bible. In the Masoretic Text, it appears as the first or last book of the Ketuvim . Chronicles largely parallels the Davidic narratives in the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings...

 supplement Reigns and it is called Paraleipoménon (Παραλειπομένων—things left out). The Septuagint organizes the minor prophets as twelve parts of one Book of Twelve.

Some scripture of ancient origin are found in the Septuagint but are not present in the Hebrew. These include additions to Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 and Esther
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther is a book in the Ketuvim , the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and is part of the Christian Old Testament. The Book of Esther or the Megillah is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim...

. For more information regarding these books, see the articles Biblical apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

, Biblical canon
Biblical canon
A biblical canon, or canon of scripture, is a list of books considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular religious community. The term itself was first coined by Christians, but the idea is found in Jewish sources. The internal wording of the text can also be specified, for example...

, Books of the Bible
Books of the Bible
The Books of the Bible are listed differently in the canons of Judaism and the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Slavonic Orthodox, Georgian, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac and Ethiopian churches, although there is substantial overlap. A table comparing the canons of some of these traditions...

, and Deuterocanonical books
Deuterocanonical books
Deuterocanonical books is a term used since the sixteenth century in the Catholic Church and Eastern Christianity to describe certain books and passages of the Christian Old Testament that are not part of the Hebrew Bible. The term is used in contrast to the protocanonical books, which are...

.

These additional books are Tobit
Book of Tobit
The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent...

, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon
Book of Wisdom
The Book of Wisdom, often referred to simply as Wisdom or the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books of the Septuagint Old Testament, which includes Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon ,...

, Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach
Sirach
The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira , commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as Ecclesiasticus or Siracides , is a work from the early 2nd century B.C. written by the Jewish scribe Jesus ben Sirach of Jerusalem...

, Baruch
Book of Baruch
The Book of Baruch, occasionally referred to as 1 Baruch, is called a deuterocanonical book of the Bible. Although not in the Hebrew Bible, it is found in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate Bible, and also in Theodotion's version. It is grouped with the prophetical books which also include Isaiah,...

, Letter of Jeremiah (which later became chapter 6 of Baruch in the Vulgate), additions to Daniel
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a book in the Hebrew Bible. The book tells of how Daniel, and his Judean companions, were inducted into Babylon during Jewish exile, and how their positions elevated in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. The court tales span events that occur during the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar,...

 (The Prayer of Azarias, the Song of the Three Children
The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children
The Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Holy Children is a lengthy passage that appears after Daniel 3:23 in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles, as well as in the ancient Greek Septuagint translation. It is listed as non-canonical in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the...

, Sosanna
Susanna (Book of Daniel)
Susanna or Shoshana included in the Book of Daniel by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It is one of the additions to Daniel, considered apocryphal by Protestants. It is listed in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England among the books which are included...

 and Bel and the Dragon
Bel and the Dragon
The narrative of Bel and the Dragon incorporated as chapter 14 of the extended Book of Daniel exists only in Greek in the Septuagint. This chapter, along with chapter 13, is referred to as deuterocanonical, in that it is not universally accepted among Christians as belonging to the canonical works...

), additions to Esther
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther is a book in the Ketuvim , the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and is part of the Christian Old Testament. The Book of Esther or the Megillah is the basis for the Jewish celebration of Purim...

, 1 Maccabees
1 Maccabees
The First book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the 2nd century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint...

, 2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees
2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible, which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work....

, 3 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
The book of the 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the Anagignoskomena, while Protestants and Catholics consider it non-canonical, except the Moravian Brethren who included it in the Apocrypha of the Czech Kralicka Bible...

, 4 Maccabees
4 Maccabees
The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. It is not in the Bible for most churches, but is an appendix to the Greek Bible, and in the canon of the Georgian Bible...

, 1 Esdras
1 Esdras
1 Esdras , Greek Ezra, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book of Ezra in use among ancient Jewry, the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity and a high historical usefulness....

, Odes
Book of Odes (Bible)
The Book of Odes , commonly referred to simply as Odes, is a book of the Bible found only in Eastern Orthodox Bibles and included or appended after Psalms in Alfred Rahlfs' critical edition of the Septuagint, coming from the fifth-century Codex Alexandrinus. The chapters are prayers and songs from...

, including the Prayer of Manasseh
Prayer of Manasseh
The Prayer of Manasseh is a short work of 15 verses of the penitential prayer of king Manasseh of Judah. Manasseh is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous kings of Judah . Chronicles, but not Kings, records that Manasseh was taken captive by the Assyrians...

, the Psalms of Solomon
Psalms of Solomon
One of the Pseudepigrapha, the Psalms of Solomon is a group of eighteen psalms that are not part of any scriptural canon...

, and Psalm 151
Psalm 151
Psalm 151 is the name given to a short psalm that is found in most copies of the Septuagint but not in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible. The title given to this psalm in the Septuagint indicates that it is supernumerary, and no number is affixed to it: "This Psalm is ascribed to David and...

. The canonical acceptance of these books varies among different Christian traditions, and there are canonical books not derived from the Septuagint; for a discussion see the article on Biblical apocrypha
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

.

Extracts from Theodotion


In most ancient copies of the Bible which contain the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, the Book of Daniel is not the original Septuagint version, but instead is a copy of Theodotion
Theodotion
Theodotion was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar,, perhaps working in Ephesus who in ca. AD 150 translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Whether he was revising the Septuagint, or was working from Hebrew manuscripts that represented a parallel tradition that has not survived, is debated...

's translation from the Hebrew. The Septuagint version of the Book of Daniel was discarded, in favour of Theodotion's version, in the second to 3rd centuries; in Greek-speaking areas, this happened near the end of the 2nd century, and in Latin-speaking areas (at least in North Africa), it occurred in the middle of the 3rd century. History does not record the reason for this, and Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 basically reports, in the preface to the Vulgate version of Daniel, this thing 'just' happened.

The canonical Ezra-Nehemiah
Ezra-Nehemiah
Ezra-Nehemiah is the combined biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah - the two were originally one, but were divided by Christians in the 3rd century CE, and in Jewish circles in the 15th century...

 is known in the Septuagint as "Esdras B", and 1 Esdras is "Esdras A". 1 Esdras is a very similar text to the books of Ezra-Nehemiah, and the two are widely thought by scholars to be derived from the same original text. It has been proposed, and is thought highly likely by scholars, that "Esdras B" – the canonical Ezra-Nehemiah – is Theodotion's version of this material, and "Esdras A" is the version which was previously in the Septuagint on its own.

Printed editions


The texts of all printed editions are derived from the three recensions mentioned above, that of Origen, Lucian, or Hesychius.
  • The editio princeps
    Editio princeps
    In classical scholarship, editio princeps is a term of art. It means, roughly, the first printed edition of a work that previously had existed only in manuscripts, which could be circulated only after being copied by hand....

    is the Complutensian Polyglot. It was based on manuscripts that are now lost, but seems to transmit quite early readings.
  • The Aldine edition (begun by Aldus Manutius
    Aldus Manutius
    Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

    ) appeared at Venice in 1518. The text is closer to Codex Vaticanus than the Complutensian. The editor says he collated ancient manuscripts but does not specify them. It has been reprinted several times.
  • The most important edition is the Roman or Sixtine Vulgate, which reproduces the Codex Vaticanus" almost exclusively. It was published under the direction of Cardinal Caraffa, with the help of various savants, in 1586, by the authority of Sixtus V, to assist the revisers who were preparing the Latin Vulgate edition ordered by the Council of Trent. It has become the textus receptus of the Greek Old Testament and has had many new editions, such as that of Robert Holmes and James Parsons (Oxford, 1798–1827), the seven editions of Constantin von Tischendorf
    Constantin von Tischendorf
    Lobegott Friedrich Constantin Tischendorf was a noted German Biblical scholar. He deciphered the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, a 5th century Greek manuscript of the New Testament, in the 1840s, and rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th century New Testament manuscript, in 1859.Tischendorf...

    , which appeared at Leipzig between 1850 and 1887, the last two, published after the death of the author and revised by Nestle, the four editions of Henry Barclay Swete
    Henry Barclay Swete
    Henry Barclay Swete was an English Biblical scholar. He became Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge in 1890. He is known for his 1906 commentary on the Book of Revelation, and other works of exegesis....

     (Cambridge, 1887–95, 1901, 1909), etc.
  • Grabe's edition was published at Oxford, from 1707 to 1720, and reproduced, but imperfectly, the "Codex Alexandrinus" of London. For partial editions, see Fulcran Vigouroux
    Fulcran Vigouroux
    Fulcran Grégoire Vigouroux , was a French Catholic priest and scholar, biblical theologian, apologist, and the first secretary of the Pontificial Commission . Vigouroux defended the historicity of the Bible....

    , Dictionnaire de la Bible, 1643 sqq.
  • Alfred Rahlfs
    Alfred Rahlfs
    Alfred Rahlfs was born in Linden, Hannover, Germany. He studied Protestant Theology, Philosophy, and Oriental Languages in Halle and Göttingen, from where he received a Dr. Phil. in 1881...

    , a longtime Septuagint researcher at Göttingen, began a manual edition of the Septuagint in 1917 or 1918. The completed Septuaginta was published in 1935. It relies mainly on Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus, and presents a critical apparatus with variants from these and several other sources.
  • The Göttingen Septuagint (Vetus Testamentum Graecum: Auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum) is a major critical version, comprising multiple volumes published from 1931 to 2006 and not yet complete. Its two critical apparatuses present variant Septuagint readings and variants from other Greek versions.
  • In 2006, a revision of Alfred Rahlfs's Septuaginta was published by the German Bible Society. This editio altera includes over a thousand changes to the text and apparatus.
  • Apostolic Bible Polyglot
    Apostolic Bible Polyglot
    The Apostolic Bible Polyglot , originally published in 2003 is a Bible translation by Charles VanderPool. The ABP is an English translation with a Greek interlinear gloss and is keyed to a concordance. The numbering system, called "AB-Strong's", is a modified version of Strong's concordance...

     contains a Septuagint text derived mainly from the agreement of any two of the Complutensian Polyglot, the Sixtine, and the Aldine texts.

English translations


The Septuagint has been translated a few times into English, the first one (though excluding the Apocrypha) being that of Charles Thomson in 1808
Thomson's Translation
Charles Thomson's Translation of the Old Covenant is a very rare direct translation of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament into English. The work took 19 years to complete and was originally published in 1808. Thomson is credited with having created the work with little to no help...

; his translation was later revised and enlarged by C. A. Muses in 1954.

The translation of Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton
Brenton's English Translation of the Septuagint
This version of the Old Testament was a translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton and published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, in 1844.- External links :*http://www.ccel.org/bible/brenton/*http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/brenton/...

, published in 1851, is a long-time standard. For most of the time since its publication it has been the only one readily available, and has continually been in print. It is based primarily upon the Codex Vaticanus
Codex Vaticanus
The Codex Vaticanus , is one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible , one of the four great uncial codices. The Codex is named for the residence in the Vatican Library, where it has been stored since at least the 15th century...

 and contains the Greek and English texts in parallel columns. There also is a revision of the Brenton Septuagint available through Stauros Ministries, called The Apostles' Bible, released in January 2008. http://www.apostlesbible.com

The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) has produced A New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included Under that Title
New English Translation of the Septuagint
The New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included under That Title is a modern translation of the scriptures used by Greek-speaking Christians and Jews of antiquity. The translation was sponsored by the International Organization for Septuagint...

(NETS), an academic translation based on standard critical editions of the Greek texts. It was published by Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

 in October 2007.

The Apostolic Bible Polyglot
Apostolic Bible Polyglot
The Apostolic Bible Polyglot , originally published in 2003 is a Bible translation by Charles VanderPool. The ABP is an English translation with a Greek interlinear gloss and is keyed to a concordance. The numbering system, called "AB-Strong's", is a modified version of Strong's concordance...

, published in 2003, includes the Greek books of the Hebrew canon along with the Greek New Testament, all numerically coded to the AB-Strong numbering system, and set in monotonic orthography. Included in the printed edition is a concordance and index.

The Orthodox Study Bible was released in early 2008 with a new translation of the Septuagint based on the Alfred Rahlfs edition of the Greek text. To this base they brought two additional major sources. First the Sir Brenton translation of the Septuagint from 1851. Second, Thomas Nelson Publishers granted use of the New King James Version
New King James Version
The New King James Version is a modern translation of the Bible published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. The New Testament was published in 1979. The Psalms in 1980. The full Bible was published in 1982. It took a total of 7 years to complete...

 text in the places where the translation of the LXX would match that of the Hebrew Masoretic text. This edition also includes the New Testament as well which was also uses the New King James version. It also includes extensive commentary from an Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 perspective.

The Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible
Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible
The Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible is an English language edition of the Bible published and controlled by Greek Orthodox Christians with limited copyright control and within a collaborative framework. It has not yet been published.-Textual basis:...

 (EOB) is an extensive revision and correction of Brenton’s translation which was primarily based on Codex Vaticanus
Codex Vaticanus
The Codex Vaticanus , is one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Greek Bible , one of the four great uncial codices. The Codex is named for the residence in the Vatican Library, where it has been stored since at least the 15th century...

. Its language and syntax have been modernized and simplified. It also includes extensive introductory material and footnotes featuring significant inter-LXX and LXX/MT variants.

Promotion


The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS), a nonprofit, learned society formed to promote international research in and study of the Septuagint and related texts, has established February 8 annually as International Septuagint Day, a day to promote the discipline on campuses and in communities.

Definition


The title "Septuagint" should not to be confused with the seven or more other Greek versions of the Old Testament, most of which do not survive except as fragments. These other Greek versions were once in side-by-side columns of Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

's Hexapla
Hexapla
Hexapla is the term for an edition of the Bible in six versions. Especially it applies to the edition of the Old Testament compiled by Origen of Alexandria, which placed side by side:#Hebrew...

, now almost wholly lost. Of these the most important are "the three:" those by Aquila
Aquila of Sinope
Aquila of Sinope was a 2nd Century CE native of Pontus in Anatolia known for producing an exceedingly literal translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek around 130 CE. He was a proselyte to Judaism and a disciple of Rabbi Akiba...

, Symmachus
Symmachus the Ebionite
Symmachus was the author of one of the Greek versions of the Old Testament. It was included by Origen in his Hexapla and Tetrapla, which compared various versions of the Old Testament side by side with the Septuagint...

, and Theodotion
Theodotion
Theodotion was a Hellenistic Jewish scholar,, perhaps working in Ephesus who in ca. AD 150 translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Whether he was revising the Septuagint, or was working from Hebrew manuscripts that represented a parallel tradition that has not survived, is debated...

, which are identified by particular Semiticisms and placement of Hebrew and Aramaic characters within their Greek texts.

One of two Old Greek texts of the Book of Daniel has been recently rediscovered and work is ongoing in reconstructing the original form of the book.

Table of books

The Orthodox
Old Testament
Greek-based
name
Conventional
English name
Law
Génesis Genesis
Éxodos Exodus
Leuitikón Leviticus
Arithmoí Numbers
Deuteronómion Deuteronomy
History
Iêsous Nauê Joshua
Kritaí Judges
Roúth Ruth
I Reigns I Samuel
II Reigns II Samuel
III Reigns I Kings
IV Reigns II Kings
I Paralipomenon I Chronicles
II Paralipomenon II Chronicles
I Esdras 1 Esdras;
II Esdras Ezra-Nehemiah
Tobit Tobit or Tobias
Ioudith Judith
Esther Esther with additions
I Makkabees  1 Maccabees
II Makkabees  2 Maccabees
III Makkabees  3 Maccabees
Wisdom
Psalms Psalms
Psalm 151
Psalm 151
Psalm 151 is the name given to a short psalm that is found in most copies of the Septuagint but not in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible. The title given to this psalm in the Septuagint indicates that it is supernumerary, and no number is affixed to it: "This Psalm is ascribed to David and...

 
Psalm 151
Prayer of Manasseh
Prayer of Manasseh
The Prayer of Manasseh is a short work of 15 verses of the penitential prayer of king Manasseh of Judah. Manasseh is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous kings of Judah . Chronicles, but not Kings, records that Manasseh was taken captive by the Assyrians...

 
Prayer of Manasseh
Iōb Job
Proverbs Proverbs
Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs Song of Solomon
Wisdom of Solomon Wisdom
Wisdom of Jesus the son of Seirach
Sirach
The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira , commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as Ecclesiasticus or Siracides , is a work from the early 2nd century B.C. written by the Jewish scribe Jesus ben Sirach of Jerusalem...

 
Sirach or Ecclesiasticus
Psalms of Solomon
Psalms of Solomon
One of the Pseudepigrapha, the Psalms of Solomon is a group of eighteen psalms that are not part of any scriptural canon...

 
Psalms of Solomon
Prophets
The Twelve Minor Prophets
I. Osëe Hosea
II. Ämōs Amos
III. Michaias Micah
IV. Ioel Joel
V. Obdias Obadiah
VI. Ionas Jonah
VII. Naoum Nahum
VIII. Ambakum Habakkuk
IX. Sophonias Zephaniah
X. Ängaios Haggai
XI. Zacharias Zachariah
XII. Messenger Malachi
Hesaias Isaiah
Hieremias Jeremiah
Baruch Baruch
Lamentations Lamentations
Epistle of Jeremiah  Letter of Jeremiah
Iezekiêl Ezekiel
Daniêl Daniel with additions
Appendix
IV Makkabees  4 Maccabees

See also



  • Brenton's English Translation of the Septuagint
    Brenton's English Translation of the Septuagint
    This version of the Old Testament was a translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton and published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, in 1844.- External links :*http://www.ccel.org/bible/brenton/*http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/brenton/...

  • Alfred Rahlfs
    Alfred Rahlfs
    Alfred Rahlfs was born in Linden, Hannover, Germany. He studied Protestant Theology, Philosophy, and Oriental Languages in Halle and Göttingen, from where he received a Dr. Phil. in 1881...

     — editor of a commonly distributed critical edition of LXX.
  • La Bible d'Alexandrie
    La Bible d'Alexandrie
    La Bible d'Alexandrie is a collection of fresh translations and commentaries in French devoted to the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint. The first volume, devoted to Genesis, was edited by Marguerite Harl in 1986. Since then another sixteen volumes have appeared, and several others await...

  • Documentary hypothesis
    Documentary hypothesis
    The documentary hypothesis , holds that the Pentateuch was derived from originally independent, parallel and complete narratives, which were subsequently combined into the current form by a series of redactors...

     — discusses the theoretical recensional history of the Torah
    Torah
    Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

    /Pentateuch in Hebrew.
  • Tanakh at Qumran
    Tanakh at Qumran
    The Tanakh is the Hebrew Bible and Qumran is an archaeological site near the Dead Sea. More than two hundred portions of the Tanakh have been found near Qumran, forming part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls were found in a series of caves, which have since been numbered, and these numbers used...

     — some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are witnesses to the LXX text.
  • Septuagint manuscripts
  • Vulgate
    Vulgate
    The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

  • Book of Job in Byzantine illuminated manuscripts
    Book of Job in Byzantine illuminated manuscripts
    There are fourteen known Byzantine manuscripts of the Book of Job dating from the 9th to 14th centuries- as well as a post-byzantine codex illuminated with cycle of miniatures...

  • Hellenistic Judaism
    Hellenistic Judaism
    Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which existed in the Jewish diaspora that sought to establish a Hebraic-Jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of Hellenism...



Manuscripts of Septuagint
  • Cotton Genesis
    Cotton Genesis
    The Cotton Genesis is a 4th- or 5th-century Greek Illuminated manuscript copy of the Book of Genesis. It was a luxury manuscript with many miniatures. It is one of the oldest illustrated biblical codices to survive to the modern period...

  • Codex Marchalianus
    Codex Marchalianus
    Codex Marchalianus designated by siglum Q is a 6th-century Greek manuscript copy of the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint. The text was written on vellum in uncial letters...

  • Papyrus Rylands 458
    Papyrus Rylands 458
    Papyrus Rylands 458 is a copy of the Pentateuch in a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint. It is a papyrus manuscript in roll form. The manuscript has been assigned palaeographically to the 2nd century BC and it is the oldest known manuscript of the Greek Bible...

     – the oldest manuscript
  • Papyrus Fouad 266
    Papyrus Fouad 266
    Papyrus Fouad 266 is a copy of the Pentateuch in the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint. It is a papyrus manuscript in scroll form. The manuscript has been assigned palaeographically to the 1st century BC. The manuscript has survived in a fragmentary condition...

     – the second oldest manuscript

Further reading


General




Texts and translations


The LXX and the NT