Hebrew Old Testament versus the Greek Old Testament: Septuagint, explains the glossed over story!

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Greek version has several books that were not in the original Hebrew Old Testament.  The translated version into Greek is called Septuagint.  The word ‘version,’ is more fitting than ‘translation,’ because of dramatic differences!

The following is copied from Wikipedia and details will follow in the comment section.

The Septuagint (play /ˈsɛptjuːəˌɪnt/), or simply “LXX“, is an Ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. It is referred to in critical works by the abbreviation  mathfrak{G} [1] or G. It was originally the designation for the Koine Greek translation of the Pentateuch, but came in time to refer to the Greek translation of the Old Testament adopted by Christians, incorporating the translations of all the books of the Hebrew Bible and books later considered apocryphal or deutero-canonical, 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,[2][3] initially in Alexandria, but in time possibly elsewhere too.[4]

It incorporates the oldest of several ancient translations of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the Eastern Mediterranean 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 and Josephus ascribed divine inspiration to its translators.[5] Besides the Old Latin versions, the LXX is also the basis for the Slavonic, the Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Old Testament.[6] Of significance for all Christians and for Bible scholars, the LXX is quoted by the New Testament and by the Apostolic Fathers.

Contents

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Creation

According to the legend first recorded in the (pseudepigraphic) Letter of Aristeas, and repeated with embellishments in Philo, Josephus and various later Jewish and Christian sources, Jewish scholars first translated the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) into Koine Greek in the 3rd century BCE.[7][8] The traditional explanation is that Ptolemy II sponsored the translation [9] for use by the many Alexandrian Jews who were fluent in Koine Greek, but not in Hebrew. According to the record in the Talmud,

‘King Ptolemy 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 of Moshe, your teacher.” God put it in the heart of each one to translate identically as all the others did.’[10]

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,[11] 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.[12] The quality and style of the different translators also varied considerably from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing 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; but the prophetic collection (out of which the Nevi’im 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. Among these books are Maccabees and the Wisdom of Ben Sira. Also, the Septuagint version of some works, like Daniel and Esther, are longer than those in the Masoretic Text.[13] Some of the later books (Wisdom of Solomon, 2 Maccabees, and others) apparently were not translated, but composed in Greek.

The authority of the larger group of “writings”, out of which the ketuvim 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 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 and the Prophets“, a phrase used several times in the New Testament.

Part of a series on
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Authorship
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Johannine works
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Samaritan Torah
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v · d · e

Naming and designation

The Septuagint derives its name from Latin versio septuaginta interpretum,”translation of the seventy interpreters,” (Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomēkonta), “translation of the seventy “.[4][14] 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 in the 3rd century BCE to translate the Torah (or Pentateuch) from Biblical Hebrew into Greek for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.[5]

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.[5] A version of this legend is found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian Talmud (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

The inter-relationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament (some identified by their siglum). LXX here denotes the original septuagint.

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.[5]

Later Jewish revisions and recensions of the Greek against the Hebrew are well attested, the most famous of which include the Three: Aquila (128 CE), Symmachus, and Theodotion. These three, to varying degrees, are more literal renderings of their contemporary Hebrew scriptures as compared to the Old Greek. Modern scholars consider one or more of the ‘three’ to be totally new Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible.[15]

Around 235 CE, Origen, a Christian scholar in Alexandria, completed the Hexapla, 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.[16] 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, who attributed these to Lucian and Hesychius.[5]

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 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 of the 4th century and the Codex Alexandrinus 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.[6][17] 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.[5]

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 have long been discussed by scholars. Following the Renaissance, 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) Genesis 4:7, Masoretic and English Translation from MT (Judaica Press) 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. הֲלוֹא אִם תֵּיטִיב שְׂאֵת וְאִם לֹא תֵיטִיב לַפֶּתַח חַטָּאת רֹבֵץ וְאֵלֶיךָ תְּשׁוּקָתוֹ וְאַתָּה תִּמְשָׁל בּוֹ: 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.[18]

  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, commonly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), have prompted comparisons of the various texts associated with the Hebrew Bible, including the Septuagint. [19] Peter Flint, [20] cites Emanuel Tov, the chief editor of the scrolls, [21] who identifies five broad variation categories of DSS texts: [22]

  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. [22][23][24]

The textual sources present a variety of readings. For example, Bastiaan Van Elderen [21] compares three variations of Deuteronomy 32.34, the last of the Song of Moses.[25]

 

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.

Use

Jewish use

Starting approximately in the 2nd century CE, several factors led most Jews to abandon use of the LXX. The earliest gentile 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 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.[6]. Instead, Jews used Hebrew/Aramaic Targum manuscripts later compiled by the Masoretes; and authoritative Aramaic translations, such as those of Onkelos and Rabbi Yonathan ben Uziel.[26]

What was perhaps most significant for the LXX,[citation needed] 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 tended less to the LXX, preferring other Jewish versions in Greek, such as that of the 2nd century Aquila translation, which seemed to be more concordant with contemporary Hebrew texts.[6] 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 of the Roman Empire at the time, and the language of the Greco-Roman Church (Aramaic was the language of Syriac Christianity, which used the Targums). The relationship between the apostolic use of the Old Testament, 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.[27] 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.[28]

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 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 and Aquila (both proselytes of the Jewish faith) as a young woman that shall conceive. And according to Irenaeus the Ebionites 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.[29]

When Jerome undertook the revision of the Old Latin 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.[citation needed] He broke with church tradition and translated most of the Old Testament of his Vulgate 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 of the Septuagint.[6]

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 and the Cypriot Orthodox Church. Critical translations of the Old Testament, while using the Masoretic Text 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.[6][verification needed]. For example, the Jerusalem Bible Foreword says, “… only when this (the Masoretic Text) presents insuperable difficulties have emendations or other versions, such as the … LXX, been used.”[30] The Translator’s Preface to the New International Version says: “The translators also consulted the more important early versions (including) the Septuagint … Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the MT seemed doubtful …”[31]

[edit] Deutero Canonical / Apocrypha

Main article: Biblical Apocrypha

The Septuagint includes some books not found in the Hebrew Bible, see Development of the Jewish Bible canon for details. After the Reformation, many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon 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.[32] Anglican lectionaries also use all of the books except Psalm 151, and the full King James Version (following the Geneva Bible, 1560) includes these additional books in a separate section labelled the “Apocrypha“.

[edit] Language

Some sections of the Septuagint may show Semiticisms, or idioms and phrases based on Semitic languages like Hebrew and Aramaic.[28] Other books, such as LXX Daniel and Proverbs, show Greek influence more strongly.[5] The book of Daniel that is found in almost all Greek Bibles, however, is not from the LXX, but rather from Theodotion’s translation, which more closely resembles the Masoretic Daniel.[5]

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.[33] One must, however, evaluate such evidence with caution since it is extremely unlikely that all ancient Hebrew sounds had precise Greek equivalents.[34]

[edit] Books

See also Table of books below.

All the books of western canons of the Old Testament 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).[5]

Some books that are set apart in the Masoretic text are grouped together. For example the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings are in the LXX one book in four parts called Βασιλειῶν (“Of Reigns”). In LXX, the Books of Chronicles 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.[5]

Some scripture of ancient origin are found in the Septuagint but are not present in the Hebrew. These include additions to Daniel and Esther. For more information regarding these books, see the articles Biblical apocrypha, Biblical canon, Books of the Bible, and Deuterocanonical books.

These additional books are Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah (which later became chapter 6 of Baruch in the Vulgate), additions to Daniel (The Prayer of Azarias, the Song of the Three Children, Sosanna and Bel and the Dragon), additions to Esther, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Odes, including the Prayer of Manasseh, the Psalms of Solomon, and Psalm 151. 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.

[edit] 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‘s translation from the Hebrew.[35] 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.[35] History does not record the reason for this, and Jerome basically reports, in the preface to the Vulgate version of Daniel, this thing ‘just’ happened.[35]

The canonical Ezra-Nehemiah 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.[35]

[edit] 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 is the Complutensian Polyglot. It was based on manuscripts that are now lost, but seems to transmit quite early readings.[36]
  • The Aldine edition (begun by Aldus Manutius) 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, 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 (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, Dictionnaire de la Bible, 1643 sqq.
  • Alfred Rahlfs, 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.[37]
  • 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.[38]
  • 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.[39]
  • Apostolic Bible Polyglot contains a Septuagint text derived mainly from the agreement of any two of the Complutensian Polyglot, the Sixtine, and the Aldine texts.[40]

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

The translation of Sir Lancelot C. L. 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 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. [3]

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 (NETS), an academic translation based on standard critical editions of the Greek texts. It was published by Oxford University Press in October 2007.

The Apostolic Bible Polyglot, 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 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 perspective.[41]

The Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible (EOB) is an extensive revision and correction of Brenton’s translation which was primarily based on Codex Vaticanus. 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.

[edit] 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,[42] has established February 8 annually as International Septuagint Day, a day to promote the discipline on campuses and in communities.

[edit] 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‘s Hexapla, now almost wholly lost. Of these the most important are “the three:” those by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, 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.[5]

[edit] Table of books

The Orthodox
Old Testament [4][43][44]
Greek-based
name
Conventional
English name
Law
Γένεσις Génesis Genesis
Ἔξοδος Éxodos Exodus
Λευϊτικόν Leuitikón Leviticus
Ἀριθμοί Arithmoí Numbers
Δευτερονόμιον Deuteronómion Deuteronomy
History
Ἰησοῦς Nαυῆ Iêsous Nauê Joshua
Κριταί Kritaí Judges
Ῥούθ Roúth Ruth
Βασιλειῶν Αʹ[45] I Reigns I Samuel
Βασιλειῶν Βʹ II Reigns II Samuel
Βασιλειῶν Γʹ III Reigns I Kings
Βασιλειῶν Δʹ IV Reigns II Kings
Παραλειπομένων Αʹ I Paralipomenon[46] I Chronicles
Παραλειπομένων Βʹ II Paralipomenon II Chronicles
Ἔσδρας Αʹ I Esdras 1 Esdras;
Ἔσδρας Βʹ II Esdras Ezra-Nehemiah
Τωβίτ[47] Tobit Tobit or Tobias
Ἰουδίθ Ioudith Judith
Ἐσθήρ Esther Esther with additions
Μακκαβαίων Αʹ I Makkabees 1 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Βʹ II Makkabees 2 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Γʹ III Makkabees 3 Maccabees
Wisdom
Ψαλμοί Psalms Psalms
Ψαλμός ΡΝΑʹ Psalm 151 Psalm 151
Προσευχὴ Μανάσση Prayer of Manasseh Prayer of Manasseh
Ἰώβ Iōb Job
Παροιμίαι Proverbs Proverbs
Ἐκκλησιαστής Ecclesiastes Ecclesiastes
Ἆσμα Ἀσμάτων Song of Songs Song of Solomon
Σοφία Σαλoμῶντος Wisdom of Solomon Wisdom
Σοφία Ἰησοῦ Σειράχ Wisdom of Jesus the son of Seirach Sirach or Ecclesiasticus
Ψαλμοί Σαλoμῶντος Psalms of Solomon Psalms of Solomon[48]
Prophets
Δώδεκα The Twelve Minor Prophets
Ὡσηέ Αʹ I. Osëe Hosea
Ἀμώς Βʹ II. Ämōs Amos
Μιχαίας Γʹ III. Michaias Micah
Ἰωήλ Δʹ IV. Ioel Joel
Ὀβδίου Εʹ[49] V. Obdias Obadiah
Ἰωνᾶς Ϛ’ VI. Ionas Jonah
Ναούμ Ζʹ VII. Naoum Nahum
Ἀμβακούμ Ηʹ VIII. Ambakum Habakkuk
Σοφονίας Θʹ IX. Sophonias Zephaniah
Ἀγγαῖος Ιʹ X. Ängaios Haggai
Ζαχαρίας ΙΑʹ XI. Zacharias Zachariah
Ἄγγελος ΙΒʹ XII. Messenger Malachi
Ἠσαΐας Hesaias Isaiah
Ἱερεμίας Hieremias Jeremiah
Βαρούχ Baruch Baruch
Θρῆνοι Lamentations Lamentations
Επιστολή Ιερεμίου Epistle of Jeremiah Letter of Jeremiah
Ἰεζεκιήλ Iezekiêl Ezekiel
Δανιήλ Daniêl Daniel with additions
Appendix
Μακκαβαίων Δ’ Παράρτημα IV Makkabees 4 Maccabees[50]

[edit] See also

Manuscripts of Septuagint

[edit] References

  1. ^ Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, for instance.
  2. ^ Life after death: a history of the afterlife in the religions of the West (2004), Anchor Bible Reference Library, Alan F. Segal, p.363
  3. ^ Gilles Dorival, Marguerite Harl, and Olivier Munnich, La Bible grecque des Septante: Du judaïsme hellénistique au christianisme ancien (Paris: Cerfs, 1988), p.111
  4. ^ a b c Karen H. Jobes and Moises Silva (2001). Invitation to the Septuagint. Paternoster Press. ISBN 1-84227-061-3.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jennifer M. Dines, The Septuagint, Michael A. Knibb, Ed., London: T&T Clark, 2004
  6. ^ a b c d e f Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, trans. Errol F. Rhodes, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. Eerdmans, 1995.
  7. ^ Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews.
  8. ^ William Whiston (1998). The Complete Works of Josephus. T. Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0785214267.
  9. ^ Davila, J (2008). “Aristeas to Philocrates”. Summary of lecture by Davila, February 11, 1999. University of St. Andrews, School of Divinity. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Tractate Megillah 9
  11. ^ J.A.L. Lee, A Lexical Study of the Septuagint Version of the Pentateuch (Septuagint and Cognate Studies, 14. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983; Reprint SBL, 2006)
  12. ^ Joel Kalvesmaki, The Septuagint
  13. ^ Rick Grant Jones, Various Religious Topics,Books of the Septuagint,” (Accessed 2006.9.5).
  14. ^ The Canon Debate, McDonald & Sanders editors, chapter by Sundberg, page 72, adds further detail: “However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term septuaginta. [70 rather than 72] In his City of God 18.42, while repeating the story of Aristeas with typical embellishments, Augustine adds the remark, “It is their translation that it has now become traditional to call the Septuagint” …[Latin omitted]… Augustine thus indicates that this name for the Greek translation of the scriptures was a recent development. But he offers no clue as to which of the possible antecedents led to this development: Exod 24:1–8, Josephus [Antiquities 12.57, 12.86], or an elision. …this name Septuagint appears to have been a fourth to fifth-century development.”
  15. ^ Compare Dines, who is certain only of Symmachus being a truly new version, with Würthwein, who considers only Theodotion to be a revision, and even then possibly of an earlier non-LXX version.
  16. ^ Jerome, From Jerome, Letter LXXI (404 CE), NPNF1-01. The Confessions and Letters of St. Augustin, with a Sketch of his Life and Work, Phillip Schaff, Ed.
  17. ^ Due to the practice of burying Torah scrolls invalidated for use by age, commonly after 300–400 years
  18. ^ See, Jinbachian, Some Semantically Significant Differences Between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, [1].
  19. ^ http://www.bib-arch.org/e-features/searching-for-better-text.asp
  20. ^ Dr. Peter Flint. Curriculum Vitae. Trinity Western University. Langley, BC, Canada. Accessed March 26, 2011
  21. ^ a b Edwin Yamauchi, “Bastiaan Van Elderen, 1924– 2004,” SBL Forum Accessed March 26, 2011.
  22. ^ a b Tov, E. 2001. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible (2nd ed.) Assen/Maastricht: Van Gocum; Philadelphia: Fortress Press. As cited in Flint, Peter W. 2002. The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls as presented in Bible and computer: the Stellenbosch AIBI-6 Conference: proceedings of the Association internationale Bible et informatique, “From alpha to byte”, University of Stellenbosch, 17–21 July, 2000 Association internationale Bible et informatique. Conference, Johann Cook (ed.) Leiden/Boston BRILL, 2002
  23. ^ Laurence Shiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 172
  24. ^ Note that these percentages are disputed. Other scholars credit the Proto-Masoretic texts with only 40%, and posit larger contributions from Qumran-style and non-aligned texts. The Canon Debate, McDonald & Sanders editors, 2002, chapter 6: Questions of Canon through the Dead Sea Scrolls by James C. VanderKam, page 94, citing private communication with Emanuel Tov on biblical manuscripts: Qumran scribe type c.25%, proto-Masoretic Text c. 40%, pre-Samaritan texts c.5%, texts close to the Hebrew model for the Septuagint c.5% and nonaligned c.25%.
  25. ^ Bastiaan Van Elderen. The Dead Sea Scrolls. Appendix 1, p. 8. Accessed March 26, 2011.
  26. ^ Greek-speaking Judaism (see also Hellenistic Judaism), survived, however, on a smaller scale into the medieval period. Cf. Natalio Fernández Marcos, The Septuagint in Context: Introduction to the Greek Bible, Leiden: Brill, 2000.
  27. ^ St. Jerome, Apology Book II.
  28. ^ a b H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, revised by R.R. Ottley, 1914; reprint, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1989.
  29. ^ Irenaeus, Against Herecies Book III.
  30. ^ Jerusalem Bible Readers Edition, 1990: London, citing the Standard Edition of 1985
  31. ^ “Life Application Bible” (NIV), 1988:Tyndale House Publishers, using “Holy Bible” text copyright International Bible S ociety 1973
  32. ^ http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/
  33. ^ Hoffman, Book Review, 2004.
  34. ^ Paul Joüon, SJ, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, trans. and revised by T. Muraoka, vol. I, Rome: Editrice Pontificio Instituto Biblico, 2000.
  35. ^ a b c d This article incorporates text from the 1903 Encyclopaedia Biblica article “TEXT AND VERSIONS”, a publication now in the public domain.
  36. ^ Joseph Ziegler, “Der griechische Dodekepropheton-Text der Complutenser Polyglotte,” Biblica 25:297–310, cited in Würthwein.
  37. ^ Rahlfs, A. (Ed.). (1935/1979). Septuaginta. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.
  38. ^ IOSCS: Critical Editions of Septuagint/Old Greek Texts
  39. ^ German Bible Society
  40. ^ Introduction to the Apostolic Bible
  41. ^ [2]
  42. ^ http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/ioscs/
  43. ^ Timothy McLay, The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research ISBN 0-8028-6091-5. — The current standard introduction on the NT & LXX.
  44. ^ The canon of the original Old Greek LXX is disputed. This table reflects the canon of the Old Testament as used currently in Orthodoxy.
  45. ^ Βασιλειῶν (Basileiōn) is the genitive plural of Βασιλεῖα (Basileia).
  46. ^ That is, Things set aside from Ἔσδρας Αʹ.
  47. ^ also called Τωβείτ or Τωβίθ in some sources.
  48. ^ Not in Orthodox Canon, but originally included in the LXX. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/
  49. ^ Obdiou is genitive from “The vision of Obdias,” which opens the book.
  50. ^ Originally placed after 3 Maccabees and before Psalms, but placed in an appendix of the Orthodox Canon

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

[edit] General

Greek Wikisourcehas original text related to this article:

Wikisourcehas original text related to this article:

[edit] Texts and translations

[edit] The LXX and the NT

3 Comments

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  1. Zia H. Shah

    Adding books to the Greek Version of the Old Testament

    Prof. Isaiah M Gafni writes in the Teaching Company Course Guidebook, Beginnings of Judaism:

    In its final form, the Septuagint includes not only the earliest complete translation of the Bible, but also 14 or 15 texts not found in the Old Testament. These are commonly referred to as the Apocrypha (Latin for “hidden”). Almost all these additional works were produced after the books of the Hebrew Bible, either in the last two centuries B.C.E. or the 1st century C.E. Otherwise there is really very little that they all have in common. Some are of a distinctly historical nature, such as I and II Maccabees; others, while purporting to present historical episodes, are in fact fictional novels with heavy moralistic agendas. These include the books of Tobit, Judith, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon. Two other books, Ben Sira and the Wisdom of Solomon, are works of Wisdom, much in the style of the biblical Proverbs or Ecclesiastes.

    He further adds:

    The Septuagint is far more than a Greek rendition of the Hebrew Bible. Its books are arranged differently, and it contains an additional collection of works produced by Jews which are not included in the Hebrew canon.
    The three components of the Hebrew Bible-Torah, Prophets, and Writings-are arranged according to the chronological order of their canonization. Jewish tradition ascribed varying degrees of divine inspiration to each of the sections; the earlier the canonization, the greater the sanctity.

    The Septuagint follows a different system of organization, based on genre rather than historical stages:

    1. Legal and historical works (beginning with the Torah)
    2. Poetry and wisdom
    3. Prophets

    Within each of these sections the arrangement of the books differs from that of the Hebrew Bible.

    In addition to the books of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint also includes 15 books that are not part of the Hebrew canon.

    Ref: Prof. Isaiah M Gafni. Teaching Company Course Guidebook, Beginnings of Judaism. The Great Courses, 2008. Page 35.

  2. Zia H. Shah

    Council of Trent placed the 15 Apocrypha at the level of the Book of Moses

    The Council of Trent in the sixteenth century declared the whole of the Bible as sacred and as such elevated these 14-15 history books, written in the time period when there were no Jewish Prophets, in two centuries before Jesus to the level of the Books of Moses. The Council of Trent said:

    The church’s interpretation of the Bible was final. Any Christian who substituted his or her own interpretation was a heretic. Also, the Bible and Church Tradition (not mere customs but the ancient tradition that made up part of the Catholic faith) were equally authoritative.

    Martin Luther had yielded before the Council of Trent that these 14-15 books did not have the same sanctity as the genuine books of the Jewish Prophets.

    To the Muslims it would always appear strange to call the 14-15 history books by historians,literal word of God, by merely placing them in the same volume as the books of Moses.

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