What Is the Septuagint? The Beginner’s Guide
The Septuagint is the oldest surviving Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, and it is thought to have been written by 72 Jewish scholars sometime in the third century BC. The Septuagint is frequently referred to in the New Testament.
Why was the Septuagint written?
When Greek became the Roman Empire’s lingua franca, assimilation became more important for Jews. The Sepuagint is the only fully intact Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Scholars are pretty sure it’s made up, but they don’t know much about its origin.
The Letter of Aristeas
The Letter of Aristeas is a work of fiction, dubbed “Pseudepigrapha” by scholars because it isn’t written by who it claims to be written by. It claims to be written by Aristeas, a courtier of King Ptolemy II.
What does Septuagint mean?
The Septuagint, which is often abbreviated as LXX: the Roman numeral for 70, means “the translation of the seventy” in Greek or “seventy” in Latin, and is sometimes referred to as the Greek Old Testament because it is the only fully intact translation.
How old is the Septuagint, and how do we know?
The Septuagint is thought to have been written in the third century BC, which corresponds to the timeline established by the Letter of Aristeas. King Ptolemy II reigned from 283-246 BC, and the earliest complete manuscripts date from the fourth century AD.
Books of the Septuagint
While the Protestant Bible only has 39 books in the Old Testament, the Septuagint has 51. These “extra” books are referred to as deuterocanonical by Catholics and Orthodox Christians, while Protestants refer to them as Apocrypha (meaning “secret, or non-canonical”).
Are the deuterocanonical books part of the canon, or not?
Many of the writings in the Septuagint were not included in the Jewish canon when it was established, and the church debated whether or not to include them in the Christian canon throughout the 4th and 5th centuries. After the Reformation, Protestants labeled all of these books apocryphal and removed them from the canon.
Septuagint vs. Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is thought to have been passed down orally and perfectly transcribed over the centuries, whereas the Septuagint is an ancient Greek translation of the ancient Hebrew text. The two texts don’t always agree, and older copies may not be closer to the original.
Errors in the Septuagint?
Matthew and John were forced to “quote” passages that didn’t exist when Jerome translated the Septuagint into the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible.
Enter: The Dead Sea Scrolls
Scholars had long assumed that the Septuagint translators were more familiar with Greek than with Hebrew, but the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which contained more than 200 biblical books, including a nearly complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, threw a wrinkle in the debate.
Were there multiple Hebrew manuscripts?
While the Septuagint was widely used even among Jews, Jewish tradition did not regard it as authoritative, and most Protestant scholars still hold the Masoretic Text in high regard.
So what does this mean for Paul?
The Septuagint was the most accessible way to bring the Hebrew Bible to a Greek-speaking audience during the New Testament, and it was popular among non-Hebrew-speaking Jews.
Did Jesus quote the Septuagint?
“Of course he did!” some will say, “No, he didn’t!” others will argue that it does matter because the Old Testament references are in Greek and not in the Septuhagint.
An important, controversial Christian text
Despite its shortcomings, this early translation of the Hebrew Scriptures was instrumental in the spread of Christianity throughout the ancient world.
Is the Septuagint the first five books of the Bible?
The Greek word Pentateuch (u201cfive books or a bookcase or volume of fiveu201d) refers to the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. This audiobook contains the first five books of the Greek Septuagint (Old Testament) in English.
What is the difference between the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint?
The main difference between the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint is that the Hebrew Bible is a religious text written in biblical Hebrew, whereas the Septuagint is the same text translated into Greek. The Hebrew Bible is also known as the Old Testament, Tanakh, and other names, whereas the Septuagint is known as LXX, which means seventy.
Did the Septuagint contain the Deuterocanonical books?
The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible used by the early Christian church as its Old Testament, included all of the deuterocanonical books, or at least the majority of them.
How many manuscripts does the Septuagint have?
There are currently over 2000 Septuagint manuscripts classified.
What is the Hebrew name for the first five books of the Bible?
Be-reshit, Shemot, Va-yikra, Be-midbar, and Devarim are the five books that make up the Torah, which correspond to Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy in the English Bible.
What are the 5 first books of the Bible?
The Greek word Pentateuch, which means “five books or a bookcase or volume of five,” refers to the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, which are collectively known as The Torah by Jews.
What is the most accurate translation of the Bible in the world?
The New American Standard Bible (NASB) is widely regarded as the “most accurate” Bible translation in English; it was first published in 1963 and the most recent edition was published in 1995.
Why did Martin Luther remove 7 books from the Bible?
Luther attempted to remove Hebrews James and Jude from the Canon (notably, he saw them going against certain Protestant doctrines like sola gratia or sola fide) in order to make the Bible conform to his theology.
Why is the Septuagint significant for Christians?
The Septuagint was a landmark of antiquity as a translation of the Hebrew Bible; it was the first translation in the history of the Bible, and it also became the central literary work of Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity, despite its oddities of language and translation style.
Was the book of Enoch in the Septuagint?
Despite being clearly well-known during the development of the Hebrew Bible canon, 1 Enoch was excluded from both the Tanakh’s formal canon and the Septuagint’s typical canon, and thus from the Deuterocanon’s writings.
Why is the book of wisdom not in the Protestant Bible?
Answer and Explanation: The Book of Wisdom is not included in the Protestant Bible or Jewish holy books because it is not thought to have been inspired by God, but rather by humankind, and the Apocrypha was omitted entirely as Protestantism spread.
What is the difference between the Septuagint and the Vulgate?
The Vulgate is widely regarded as the first Latin translation of the Old Testament, originating in the Hebrew Tanakh rather than the Greek Septuagint.
What is the best version of the Septuagint?
The most well-known are Aquila (128 CE), Symmachus, and Theodotion, who are more literal renderings of contemporary Hebrew scriptures than the Old Greek (the original Septuagint) to varying degrees. Modern scholars consider one (or more) of the three to be new Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible.
How reliable is the Septuagint?
The Septuagint text can be found in a few early manuscripts, but they are not always reliable.
What is the difference between the Pentateuch and the Septuagint?
is that the septuagint is an ancient greek translation of the hebrew bible, completed by Jews in Alexandria for the benefit of Jews who had forgotten their Hebrew (well before the birth of Jesus), and the pentateuch is the torah: the first five books of the bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.