Septuagint

The Septuagint (from the Latin: septuāgintā literally "seventy", often abbreviated as LXX and sometimes called the Greek Old Testament) is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew.[1] It is estimated that the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE.[2] Considered the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is quoted a number of times in the New Testament,[3][4]particularly in the Pauline epistles,[5]by the Apostolic Fathers, and later by the Greek Church Fathers.

The full title in Ancient Greek: Ἡ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα μετάφρασις, literally "The Translation of the Seventy", derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Septuagint was translated at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus(285–247 BCE) by 70 Jewish scholars (or, according to later tradition, 72: six scholars from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) who independently produced identical translations. The miraculous character of the Aristeas legend is indicative of the esteem in which the translation was held in the ancient Jewish diaspora and, later, early Christian circles.

It is clear that a Greek translation was in circulation among the Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew, but in Greek. The evidence of Egyptian papyri from the period have led most scholars to view as probable Aristeas's dating of the translation of the Pentateuch to the third century BCE. Whatever share the Ptolemaic court may have had in the translation, it satisfied a need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was waning before the demands of every-day life." [6]

While there are other contemporaneous Greek versions of the Old Testament,[4] most did not survive except as fragments. Modern critical editions of the Septuagint are based on the Codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus.

Codex vaticanus
Fragment of a Septuagint: A column of uncial book from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus c. 325–350 CE, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton's Greek edition and English translation.

Name

The Septuagint derives its name from the Latin versio septuaginta interpretum, "translation of the seventy interpreters", Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomḗkonta, "translation of the seventy".[7] 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.[8] The Roman numeral LXX (seventy) is commonly used as an abbreviation, also [9] or G.

Composition

Jewish legend

Letter of Aristeas (Vat. gr. 747 f. 1r)
Beginning of the Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates. Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 11th century.

Seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria.[10]

This narrative is found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates,[11] and is repeated by Philo of Alexandria, Josephus (in Antiquities of the Jews)[12] and by various later sources, including St. Augustine.[13] The story is also found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian 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.

Philo of Alexandria, who relied extensively on the Septuagint,[4] says that the number of scholars was chosen by selecting six scholars from each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

According to later rabbinic tradition (for which the Greek translation was regarded as a distortion of the sacred text, and thus not suitable for use in the synagogue), the Septuagint was handed in to Ptolemy on the date of an annual fast (known as the "Tenth of Tevet fast") and mourning for the Jewish people.[4]

History

The date of the 3rd century BCE is supported (for the Torah 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.[14]

After the Torah, other 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.[15] The quality and style of the different translators also varied considerably from book to book, from the literal to paraphrasing to interpretative.

The translation process of the Septuagint itself and from the Septuagint into other versions can be broken down into several distinct stages, during which the social milieu of the translators shifted from Hellenistic Judaism to Early Christianity. The translation of the Septuagint itself began in the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE,[16][17] initially in Alexandria, but in time elsewhere as well.[7] The Septuagint is the basis for the Old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament.[18]

Language

The Septuagint is written in Koine Greek. Some sections of the Septuagint may show Semiticisms, or idioms and phrases based on Semitic languages like Hebrew and Aramaic.[19] Other books, such as Daniel and Proverbs, show Greek influence more strongly.[10]

The Septuagint may also elucidate pronunciation of pre-Masoretic Hebrew: many proper nouns are spelled out with Greek vowels in the translation, while contemporary Hebrew texts lacked vowel pointing. However, it is unlikely that all ancient Hebrew sounds had precise Greek equivalents.[20]

Differences regarding canonicity

As the work of translation progressed, the canon of the Greek Bible expanded. The Hebrew bible, also called Tanakh, has three divisions: the Torah (Law), the Neviʾim (Prophets), and the Ketuvim (Writings). The Septuagint has four: law, history, poetry, and prophets, with the books of the Apocrypha inserted where appropriate. [2]

The Torah (Pentateuch in Greek) has held pre-eminence as the basis of the canon; it is not known when the Ketuvim ("writings"), the final part of the Tanakh, were established, although some sort of selection process must have been utilised, because the Septuagint did not include other Jewish documents such as Enoch or Jubilees, or other writings that do not form part of the Jewish canon and which are now classified as pseudepigrapha.

However, the Psalms of Solomon, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, the Epistle of Jeremiah, the Book of Odes, the Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151 are included in some copies of the Septuagint,[21] some of which are accepted as canonical by Eastern Orthodox and some other churches.

The Septuagint includes books called anagignoskomena in Greek, known in English as deuterocanon ("second canon") because they are not included in the Jewish canon. Among these are the first two books of Maccabees, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch (including the Letter of Jeremiah), additions to Esther and additions to Daniel. All of these books are considered by the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church as canonical books; for Protestantism they are the Apocrypha. The Septuagint version of some Biblical books, like Daniel and Esther, are longer than those in the Masoretic Text.[22] The Septuagint text of the Book of Jeremiah is shorter than the Masoretic text.[23]

Since Late Antiquity, mainstream rabbinic Judaism rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts. Several reasons have been given for this. First, some mistranslations were identified.[4] Second, the Hebrew source texts, in some cases (particularly the Book of Daniel), used for the Septuagint differed from the Masoretic tradition of Hebrew texts, which were affirmed as canonical by the rabbis. Third, the rabbis wanted to distinguish their tradition from the emerging tradition of Christianity.[4] Finally, the rabbis claimed for the Hebrew language a divine authority, in contrast to Aramaic or Greek. As a result of this teaching, other translations of the Torah into Koine Greek by early Jewish Rabbis have survived as rare fragments only.

In time the Septuagint became synonymous with the "Greek Old Testament", i.e. a Christian canon of writings which incorporated all the books of the Hebrew canon, along with additional texts. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches include most of the books that are in the Septuagint in their canons. Protestant churches, however, usually do not. After the Protestant Reformation, many Protestant Bibles began to follow the Jewish canon and exclude the additional texts, which came to be called "Apocrypha", with some arguing against them being classed as Scripture.[24][25][26] The Apocrypha are included under a separate heading in the King James Version of the Bible.[27]

Deuterocanonical and Apocryphal books included in the Septuagint

Greek name [7][28][29] Transliteration English name
Deuterocanonical Books
Τωβίτ (also called Τωβείτ or Τωβίθ in some sources.) Tōbit (or Tōbeit or Tōbith) Tobit or Tobias
Ἰουδίθ Ioudith Judith
Ἐσθήρ Esthēr Esther with additions
Μακκαβαίων Αʹ 1 Makkabaiōn 1 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Βʹ 2 Makkabaiōn 2 Maccabees
Σοφία Σαλoμῶντος Sophia Salomōntos Wisdom or Wisdom of Solomon
Σοφία Ἰησοῦ Σειράχ Sophia Iēsou Seirach Sirach or Ecclesiasticus
Βαρούχ Barouch Baruch
Ἐπιστολὴ Ἰερεμίου Epistolē Ieremiou Letter of Jeremiah
Δανιήλ Daniēl Daniel with additions
Apocryphal Books
Ἔσδρας Αʹ 1 Esdras 1 Esdras
Μακκαβαίων Γʹ 3 Makkabaiōn 3 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Δ' Παράρτημα 4 Makkabaiōn 4 Maccabees[30]
Ψαλμός ΡΝΑʹ Psalmos 151 Psalm 151
Προσευχὴ Μανασσῆ Proseuchē Manassē Prayer of Manasseh
Ψαλμοί Σαλoμῶντος Psalmoi Salomōntos Psalms of Solomon[31]

Final form

All the books of western biblical 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).[10]

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 Septuagint one book in four parts called Βασιλειῶν ("Of Reigns"). In the Septuagint the Books of Chronicles supplement Reigns and it is called Paraleipoménon (Παραλειπομένων— (of) things left out). The Septuagint organizes the minor prophets as twelve parts of one Book of Twelve.[10]

Some scriptures of ancient origin are found in the Septuagint but are not present in the Hebrew Bible. 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, Susanna 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.

Despite this, there are fragments of some deuterocanonical books that have been found in Hebrew among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran:

Sirach, whose text in Hebrew was already known from the Cairo Geniza, has been found in two scrolls (2QSir or 2Q18, 11QPs_a or 11Q5) in Hebrew. Another Hebrew scroll of Sirach has been found in Masada (MasSir).[32]:597 Five fragments from the Book of Tobit have been found in Qumran written in Aramaic and in one written in Hebrew (papyri 4Q, nos. 196-200).[32]:636 Psalm 151 appears along with a number of canonical and non-canonical psalms in the Dead Sea scroll 11QPs(a) (named also 11Q5), a first-century CE scroll discovered in 1956.[33] This scroll contains two short Hebrew psalms which scholars now agree served as the basis for Psalm 151.[32]:585-586

The canonical acceptance of these books varies among different Christian traditions. For more information regarding these books, see the articles Biblical apocrypha, Biblical canon, Books of the Bible, and Deuterocanonical books.

Incorporations from Theodotion

In the 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, which more closely resembles the Masoretic text. The Septuagint version was discarded in favor of Theodotion's version in the 2nd to 3rd centuries CE. 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 St. Jerome reports, in the preface to the Vulgate version of Daniel, This thing 'just' happened. Several Old Greek texts of the Book of Daniel have been rediscovered recently and work is ongoing in reconstructing the original form of the book.[10]

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 thought to be derived from the same original text. It has been proposed that "Esdras B" is Theodotion's version of this material, and "Esdras A" is the version which was previously in the Septuagint on its own.

Use

Jewish use

Pre-Christian Jews Philo and Josephus considered the Septuagint on equal standing with the Hebrew text.[10][34] Manuscripts of the Septuagint have been found among the Qumran Scrolls in the Dead Sea, and were thought to have been in use among Jews at the time.

Starting approximately in the 2nd century CE, several factors led most Jews to abandon use of the Septuagint. The earliest gentile Christians of necessity used the Septuagint, 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 Septuagint with a rival religion may have rendered it suspect in the eyes of the newer generation of Jews and Jewish scholars.[18] 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.[35]

What was perhaps most significant for the Septuagint, as distinct from other Greek versions, was that the Septuagint began to lose Jewish sanction after differences between it and contemporary Hebrew scriptures were discovered (see Differences regarding canonicity). Even Greek-speaking Jews tended less to the Septuagint, preferring other Jewish versions in Greek, such as the translation by Aquila, which seemed to be more concordant with contemporary Hebrew texts.[18]

Christian use

The Early Christian Church used the Greek texts[4] 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).

The relationship between the apostolic use of the Septuagint and the Hebrew texts is complicated. The Septuagint seems to have been a major source for the Apostles, but it is not the only one. St. Jerome offered, for example, Matt 2:15 and 2:23, John 19:37, John 7:38, 1 Cor. 2:9.[36] 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 Hosea 11:1.) 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.[5][19][4]

In the Early Christian Church, the presumption 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 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 (Greek παρθένος, bethulah in Hebrew) that shall conceive.,[37] while the word almah in 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. 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.[38]

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 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.[39] While on the one hand he argued for the superiority of the Hebrew texts in correcting the Septuagint on both philological and theological grounds, on the other, in the context of accusations of heresy against him, Jerome would acknowledge the Septuagint texts as well.[40] With the passage of time, acceptance of Jerome's version gradually increased until it displaced the Old Latin translations of the Septuagint.[18]

The Eastern Orthodox Church still prefers to use the Septuagint as the basis for translating the Old Testament into other languages. The Eastern Orthodox also use Septuagint untranslated where Greek is the liturgical language. 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.[18] For example, the New Jerusalem Bible Foreword says, "Only when this (the Masoretic Text) presents insuperable difficulties have emendations or other versions, such as the ... LXX, been used."[41] 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 ..."[42]

Textual history

Table of books

Greek name [7][28][a] Transliteration English name
Law
Γένεσις Genesis Genesis
Ἔξοδος Exodos Exodus
Λευϊτικόν Leuitikon Leviticus
Ἀριθμοί Arithmoi Numbers
Δευτερονόμιον Deuteronomion Deuteronomy
History
Ἰησοῦς Nαυῆ Iēsous Nauē Joshua
Κριταί Kritai Judges
Ῥούθ Routh Ruth
Βασιλειῶν Αʹ[b] 1 Basileiōn Kings I (I Samuel)
Βασιλειῶν Βʹ 2 Basileiōn Kings II (II Samuel)
Βασιλειῶν Γʹ 3 Basileiōn Kings III (I Kings)
Βασιλειῶν Δʹ 4 Basileiōn Kings IV (2 Kings)
Παραλειπομένων Αʹ I Paraleipomenōn[c] Chronicles I
Παραλειπομένων Βʹ 2 Paraleipomenōn Chronicles II
Ἔσδρας Αʹ 1 Esdras Esdras I
Ἔσδρας Βʹ 2 Esdras Esdras II (Ezra-Nehemiah)
Τωβίτ[d] Tōbit[e] Tobit
Ἰουδίθ Ioudith Judith
Ἐσθήρ Esthēr Esther with additions
Μακκαβαίων Αʹ 1 Makkabaiōn Maccabees I
Μακκαβαίων Βʹ 2 Makkabaiōn Maccabees II
Μακκαβαίων Γʹ 3 Makkabaiōn Maccabees III
Wisdom
Ψαλμοί Psalmoi Psalms
Ψαλμός ΡΝΑʹ Psalmos 151 Psalm 151
Προσευχὴ Μανασσῆ Proseuchē Manassē Prayer of Manasseh
Ἰώβ Iōb Job
Παροιμίαι Paroimiai Proverbs
Ἐκκλησιαστής Ekklēsiastēs Ecclesiastes
Ἆσμα Ἀσμάτων Asma Asmatōn Song of Songs or Song of Solomon or Canticle of Canticles
Σοφία Σαλoμῶντος Sophia Salomōntos Wisdom or Wisdom of Solomon
Σοφία Ἰησοῦ Σειράχ Sophia Iēsou Seirach Sirach or Ecclesiasticus
Ψαλμοί Σαλoμῶντος Psalmoi Salomōntos Psalms of Solomon[43]
Prophets
Δώδεκα Dōdeka Minor Prophets
Ὡσηέ Αʹ I. Hōsēe Hosea
Ἀμώς Βʹ II. Āmōs Amos
Μιχαίας Γʹ III. Michaias Micah
Ἰωήλ Δʹ IV. Iōēl Joel
Ὀβδιού Εʹ[f] V. Obdiou Obadiah
Ἰωνᾶς Ϛ' VI. Iōnas Jonah
Ναούμ Ζʹ VII. Naoum Nahum
Ἀμβακούμ Ηʹ VIII. Ambakoum Habakkuk
Σοφονίας Θʹ IX. Sophonias Zephaniah
Ἀγγαῖος Ιʹ X. Angaios Haggai
Ζαχαρίας ΙΑʹ XI. Zacharias Zachariah
Μαλαχίας ΙΒʹ XII. Malachias Malachi
Ἠσαΐας Ēsaias Isaiah
Ἱερεμίας Hieremias Jeremiah
Βαρούχ Barouch Baruch
Θρῆνοι Thrēnoi Lamentations
Ἐπιστολὴ Ἰερεμίου Epistolē Ieremiou Letter of Jeremiah
Ἰεζεκιήλ Iezekiēl Ezekiel
Δανιήλ Daniēl Daniel with additions
Appendix
Μακκαβαίων Δ' Παράρτημα 4 Makkabaiōn 4 Maccabees[g]

Textual analysis

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

Modern scholarship holds that the Septuagint 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.[10]

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

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 is 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), which included readings from all the Greek versions into a critical apparatus with diacritical marks indicating to which version each line (Gr. στίχος) 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 Septuagint was neglected. Thus this combined text became the first major Christian recension of the Septuagint, often called the Hexaplar recension. In the century following Origen, two other major recensions were identified by Jerome, who attributed these to Lucian (Lucianic or Antiochene recension) and Hesychius (Hesychian or Alexandrian recension).[10]

Manuscripts

The oldest manuscripts of the Septuagint 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 Septuagint postdate the Hexaplar recension and include the Codex Vaticanus from the 4th century CE 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.[18] The 4th century Codex Sinaiticus also partially survives, still containing many texts of the Old Testament.[44] While there are differences between these three codices, scholarly consensus today holds that one Septuagint—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.[10] The Codex Marchalianus is another notable manuscript.

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 Septuagint translators bungled the translation from the Hebrew and that the Septuagint became more corrupt with time. The most widely accepted view today is that the Septuagint provides 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. This view is supported by comparisons with Biblical texts found at the Essene settlement at Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls).

These issues notwithstanding, the text of the Septuagint is generally close to that of the Masoretes and Vulgate. For example, Genesis 4:1–6 is identical in both the Septuagint, 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 and English Translation (NETS)
Genesis 4:7, Masoretic and English Translation from MT (Judaica Press)
Genesis 4:7, Latin Vulgate and English Translation (Douay-Rheims)
οὐκ ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς, ὀρθῶς δὲ μὴ διέλῃς, ἥμαρτες; ἡσύχασον· πρὸς σὲ ἡ ἀποστροφὴ αὐτοῦ, καὶ σὺ ἄρξεις αὐτοῦ.

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.
nonne si bene egeris, recipies : sin autem male, statim in foribus peccatum aderit? sed sub te erit appetitus ejus, et tu dominaberis illius.

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 Septuagint 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 Septuagint and the MT thus fall into four categories.[45]

  1. Different Hebrew sources for the MT and the Septuagint. Evidence of this can be found throughout the Old Testament. Most obvious are major differences in Jeremiah and Job, where the Septuagint is much shorter and chapters appear in different order than in the MT, and Esther where almost one third of the verses in the Septuagint 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 Septuagint 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 Septuagint 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 Septuagint 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 Septuagint 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.[46] Emanuel Tov, editor of the scrolls,[47] identifies five broad variation categories of DSS texts:[48]

  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.[48][49][h]

The textual sources present a variety of readings. For example, Bastiaan Van Elderen compares three variations of Deuteronomy 32:43, the Song of Moses.[47]

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.

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 and is one of the received texts used for the KJV like Textus Receptus, and seems to transmit quite early readings.[50]
  • Brian Walton Polyglot is one of the few versions that includes a Septuagint not based on the Egyptian Alexandria type text such as Vaticanus, Alexandrinus and Sinaiticus, but rather follows the vast majority which extremely agree like the Complutensian Polyglot.
  • 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 Roman or Sixtine Septuagint, which uses Codex Vaticanus as the base texts and various other later manuscripts for the lacunae in the uncial manuscript. It was published in 1587 under the direction of Cardinal Antonio Carafa, with the help of a group of Roman scholars (Cardinal Gugliemo Sirleto, Antonio Agelli and Petrus Morinus), 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. A detailed description of this edition has been made by H. B. Swete in his An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek (1900), pp. 174–182.
  • 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 the University of 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.[51]
  • The Göttingen Septuagint (Vetus Testamentum Graecum: Auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum) is a major critical version, comprising multiple volumes published from 1931 to 2009 and not yet complete (the largest missing parts are the history books Joshua through Chronicles except Ruth, and the Solomonic books Proverbs through Song of Songs). Its two critical apparatuses present variant Septuagint readings and variants from other Greek versions.[52]
  • 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.[53]
  • 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.[54]

English translations

The Septuagint has been translated only a few times into English.

The first one, which excluded the Apocrypha, was Charles Thomson's in 1808, which was subsequently revised and enlarged by C.A. Muses in 1954 and published by The Falcon's Wing Press.

The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English translated by Sir Lancelot Brenton 1854. For most of the years 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. It has on average four footnoted transliterated words per page, abbreviated by "Alex." and "GK." Updating the English of Brenton's translation, there is a revision of the Brenton Septuagint available, called The Complete Apostles' Bible, translated by Paul W. Esposito, Th.D, and released in 2007 It uses the Masoretic Text in the 23rd Psalm, and possibly other places.

A New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included Under that Title (NETS), an academic translation based on the New Revised Standard version (which is Masoretic Text) was published by the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) in October 2007.

The Apostolic Bible Polyglot, published in 2003 is not a translation per se, but actually a Greek- English Interlinear Septuagint useful in conjunction with the re-print of Brenton's translation. It includes the Greek books of the Hebrew canon, ( i.e. without the Apocrypha), 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 Brenton translation of the Septuagint from 1851, and, second, the New King James Version text in the places where the translation of the Septuagint would match that of the Hebrew Masoretic text. This edition includes the New Testament as well, which also uses the New King James Version; and it includes, further, extensive commentary from an Eastern Orthodox perspective.[55]

Father Nicholas King, SJ completed a Catholic translation of the Septuagint into English. It is titled The Old Testament (volumes 1 through 4), and The Bible in hardcover and presentation editions.[2].

Brenton's Septuagint, Restored Names Version, (SRNV) is a two volume editing primarily based on Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton's translation. The Hebrew Names restoration is based on the Westminster Leningrad Codex with the prime focus being the restoration of the Divine Name. It is rendered in Modern English yet remains faithful to Brenton's translation. Additionally it features extensive Hebrew and Greek footnotes.

The Eastern Orthodox Bible (EOB) (in progress) 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.

Holy Orthodox Bible by Peter A. Papoutsis and the Michael Asser English translation of the Septuagint. Both the HOB and the Asser English translations are based on the Church of Greece's Septuagint text.

Promotion

In 2006 the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) - a non-profit, learned society formed to promote international research in and study of the Septuagint and related texts [56] - declared February 8 "International Septuagint Day", a day to promote the discipline on campuses and in communities.[57] The Organization also publishes the "Journal of Septuagint and Cognate Studies" (JSCS).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The canon of the original Old Greek LXX is disputed. This table reflects the canon of the Old Testament as used currently in Orthodoxy.
  2. ^ Βασιλειῶν (Basileiōn) is the genitive plural of Βασιλεία (Basileia).
  3. ^ That is, Things set aside from Ἔσδρας Αʹ.
  4. ^ also called Τωβείτ or Τωβίθ in some sources.
  5. ^ or Tōbeit or Tōbith
  6. ^ Obdiou is genitive from "The vision of Obdias", which opens the book.
  7. ^ Originally placed after 3 Maccabees and before Psalms, but placed in an appendix of the Orthodox Canon
  8. ^ 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%.

References

  1. ^ "Septuagint". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Septuagint". Encyclopedia Britannica. June 15, 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  3. ^ Nicole, Roger - New Testament Use of the Old Testament Revelation and the Bible, ed. Carl. F.H. Henry (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958), pp. 137-151.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Toy, Crawford; Gottheil, Richard (1906). "Bible Translations – The Septuagint". JewishEncyclopedia.com. The Kopleman Foundation. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Saul of Tarsus". JewishEncyclopedia.com. The Kopleman Foundation. 1906. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  6. ^ Sigfried, Carl; Gottheil, Richard (1906). "Hellenism". JewishEncyclopedia.com. The Kopelman Foundation. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d Karen H. Jobes and Moises Silva (2001). Invitation to the Septuagint. Paternoster Press. ISBN 1-84227-061-3.
  8. ^ Sundberg, in McDonald & Sanders, eds., The Canon Debate, p.72.
  9. ^ Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, for instance.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jennifer M. Dines, The Septuagint, Michael A. Knibb, Ed., London: T&T Clark, 2004.
  11. ^ Davila, J (2008). "Aristeas to Philocrates". Summary of lecture by Davila, February 11, 1999. University of St. Andrews, School of Divinity. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  12. ^ William Whiston (1998). The Complete Works of Josephus. T. Nelson Publishers. ISBN 0-7852-1426-7.
  13. ^ Augustine of Hippo, The City of God 18.42.
  14. ^ 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)
  15. ^ Joel Kalvesmaki, The Septuagint
  16. ^ Life after death: a history of the afterlife in the religions of the West (2004), Anchor Bible Reference Library, Alan F. Segal, p.363
  17. ^ Gilles Dorival, Marguerite Harl, and Olivier Munnich, La Bible grecque des Septante: Du judaïsme hellénistique au christianisme ancien (Paris: Cerfs, 1988), p.111
  18. ^ a b c d e f Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, trans. Errol F. Rhodes, Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. Eerdmans, 1995.
  19. ^ a b H. B. Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, revised by R.R. Ottley, 1914; reprint, Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1989.
  20. ^ Paul Joüon, SJ, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew, trans. and revised by T. Muraoka, vol. I, Rome: Editrice Pontificio Instituto Biblico, 2000.
  21. ^ "The Old Testament Canon and Apocrypha". BibleResearcher. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  22. ^ Rick Grant Jones, Various Religious Topics, "Books of the Septuagint", (Accessed 2006.9.5).
  23. ^ Blenkinsopp, Joseph (1996). A history of prophecy in Israel. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 130. ISBN 9780664256395.
  24. ^ Blocher, Henri (2004). "Helpful or Harmful? The "Apocrypha" and Evangelical Theology". European Journal of Theology (13.2): 81–90.
  25. ^ Webster, William. "The Old Testament Canon and the Apocrypha Part 3". Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  26. ^ Shamoun, Sam. "Are The Jewish Apocrypha Inspired Scripture? Pt. 4". Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog. Answering Islam. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  27. ^ "NETS: Electronic Edition". Ccat.sas.upenn.edu. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  28. ^ a b Timothy McLay, The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research ISBN 0-8028-6091-5.—The current standard introduction on the NT & LXX.
  29. ^ The canon of the original Old Greek LXX is disputed. This table reflects the canon of the Old Testament as used currently in Orthodoxy.
  30. ^ Originally placed after 3 Maccabees and before Psalms, but placed in an appendix of the Orthodox Canon
  31. ^ Not in Orthodox Canon, but originally included in the LXX. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/
  32. ^ a b c Abegg, Martin; Flint, Peter; Ulrich, Eugene (1999). The Dead Sea Scroll Bible. HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-060064-8.
  33. ^ Sanders, JA (1963), "Ps. 151 in 11QPss", Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 75: 73–86, doi:10.1515/zatw.1963.75.1.73, and slightly revised in Sanders, JA (ed.), "The Psalms Scroll of Qumrân Cave 11 (11QPsa)", DJD, 4: 54–64.
  34. ^ Alexander Zvielli, Jerusalem Post, June 2009, pp. 37
  35. ^ Marcos, Natalio F. The Septuagint in Context: Introduction to the Greek Bible (2000 ed.).
  36. ^ St. Jerome, Apology Book II.
  37. ^ Paulkovich, Michael (2012), No Meek Messiah, Spillix Publishing, p. 24, ISBN 0988216116
  38. ^ Irenaeus, Against Herecies Book III.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ Rebenich, S., Jerome (Routledge, 2013), p. 58. ISBN 9781134638444
  41. ^ New Jerusalem Bible Readers Edition, 1990: London, citing the Standard Edition of 1985
  42. ^ "Life Application Bible" (NIV), 1988: Tyndale House Publishers, using "Holy Bible" text, copyright International Bible Society 1973
  43. ^ Not in Orthodox Canon, but originally included in the Septuagint. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/
  44. ^ Würthwein, op. cit., pp. 73 & 198.
  45. ^ See, Jinbachian, Some Semantically Significant Differences Between the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint, [1].
  46. ^ "Searching for the Better Text – Biblical Archaeology Society". Bib-arch.org. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  47. ^ a b Edwin Yamauchi, "Bastiaan Van Elderen, 1924– 2004", SBL Forum Accessed 26 March 2011.
  48. ^ 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
  49. ^ Laurence Shiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 172
  50. ^ Joseph Ziegler, "Der griechische Dodekepropheton-Text der Complutenser Polyglotte", Biblica 25:297–310, cited in Würthwein.
  51. ^ Rahlfs, A. (Ed.). (1935/1979). Septuaginta. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.
  52. ^ "IOSCS: Critical Editions of Septuagint/Old Greek Texts". upenn.edu.
  53. ^ "Septuaginta".
  54. ^ "Introduction to the Apostolic Bible" (PDF). apostolicbible.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  55. ^ "Conciliar Press". Orthodox Study Bible. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  56. ^ "IOSCS". Ccat.sas.upenn.edu. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  57. ^ "International Septuagint Day". The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. Retrieved 30 March 2016.

Further reading

  • Timothy Michael Law, When God Spoke Greek, Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Eberhard Bons and Jan Joosten, eds. Septuagint Vocabulary: Pre-History, Usage, Reception (Society of Biblical Literature; 2011) 211 pages; studies of the language used
  • Kantor, Mattis, The Jewish time line encyclopedia: A yearby-year history from Creation to the present, Jason Aronson Inc., London, 1992
  • Alfred Rahlfs, Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments, für das Septuaginta-Unternehmen, Göttingen 1914.
  • Makrakis, Apostolos, Proofs of the Authenticity of the Septuagint, trans. by D. Cummings, Chicago, Ill.: Hellenic Christian Educational Society, 1947. N.B.: Published and printed with its own pagination, whether as issued separately or as included together with 2 other works of A. Makrakis in a single volume published by the same film in 1950, wherein the translator's name is identified on the common t.p. to that volume.
  • W. Emery Barnes, On the Influence of Septuagint on the Peshitta, JTS 1901, pp. 186–197.
  • Andreas Juckel, Septuaginta and Peshitta Jacob of Edessa quoting the Old Testament in Ms BL Add 17134 JOURNAL OF SYRIAC STUDIES
  • Martin Hengel, The Septuagint As Christian Scripture, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004.
  • Rajak, Tessa, Translation and survival: the Greek Bible of the ancient Jewish Diaspora (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).
  • Bart D. Ehrman. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings; 608 pages, Oxford University Press (July, 2011); ISBN 978-0-19-975753-4
  • Hyam Maccoby. The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity; 238 pages, Barnes & Noble Books (1998); ISBN 978-0-7607-0787-6

External links

General

Texts and translations

The LXX and the NT

Anno Mundi

Anno Mundi (Latin for "in the year of the world"; Hebrew: לבריאת העולם, "to the creation of the world"), abbreviated as AM, or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:

The Byzantine calendar was used in the Byzantine Empire and many Christian Orthodox countries and Eastern Orthodox Churches and was based on the Septuagint text of the Bible. That calendar is similar to the Julian calendar except that its epoch is equivalent to 1 September 5509 BC on the Julian proleptic calendar.

Since the Middle Ages, the Hebrew calendar has been based on rabbinic calculations of the year of creation from the Hebrew Masoretic text of the bible. This calendar is used within Jewish communities for religious and other purposes. On the Hebrew calendar, the day begins at sunset. The calendar's epoch, corresponding to the calculated date of the world's creation, is equivalent to sunset on the Julian proleptic calendar date 6 October 3761 BC. The new year begins at Rosh Hashanah, roughly in September. Year anno mundi 5779, or AM 5779, began at sunset on 9 September 2018 on the Gregorian calendar.While differences in biblical interpretation or in calculation methodology can produce some differences in the creation date, most results fall relatively close to one of these two dominant models. The primary reason for the disparity seems to lie in which underlying Biblical text is chosen (roughly 5500 BC based on the Greek Septuagint text, about 3760 BC based on the Hebrew Masoretic text). Most of the 1,732-year difference resides in numerical discrepancies in the genealogies of the two versions of the Book of Genesis. Patriarchs from Adam to Terah, the father of Abraham, are said to be older by as much as 100 years or more when they begat their named son in the Greek Septuagint than they were in the Latin Vulgate (Genesis 5; Genesis 11) or the Hebrew Tanakh (Gen 5; Gen 11). The net difference between the two major genealogies of Genesis is 1466 years (ignoring the "second year after the flood" ambiguity), 85% of the total difference. (See Dating creation.)

Bible

The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, tà biblía, "the books") is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.

What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; a number of Bible canons have evolved, with overlapping and diverging contents. The Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Greek Septuagint and the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be mostly Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon, primarily about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect.

Attitudes towards the Bible also differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone. This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, and many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching.

The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history, especially in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history, entertainment, and culture than any book ever written. Its influence on world history is unparalleled, and shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is widely considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells approximately 100 million copies annually.

Bible translations

The Bible has been translated into many languages from the biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. As of October 2017 the full Bible has been translated into 670 languages, the New Testament has been translated into 1,521 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,121 other languages. Thus at least some portion of the Bible has been translated into 3,312 languages.The Latin Vulgate was dominant in Western Christianity through the Middle Ages. Since then, the Bible has been translated into many more languages. English Bible translations also have a rich and varied history of more than a millennium.

Books of the Bible

Different religious groups include different books in their biblical canons, in varying orders, and sometimes divide or combine books. The Jewish Tanakh (sometimes called the Hebrew Bible) contains 24 books divided into three parts: the five books of the Torah ("teaching"); the eight books of the Nevi'im ("prophets"); and the eleven books of Ketuvim ("writings"). It is composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, and its Septuagint is the main textual source for the Christian Greek Old Testament.Christian Bibles range from the 73 books of the Catholic Church canon, the 66 books of the canon of some denominations or the 80 books of the canon of other denominations of the Protestant Church, to the 81 books of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church canon. The first part of Christian Bibles is the Greek Old Testament, which contains, at minimum, the above 24 books of the Tanakh but divided into 39 books and ordered differently. The second part is the Greek New Testament, containing 27 books; the four Canonical gospels, Acts of the Apostles, 21 Epistles or letters and the Book of Revelation.

The Catholic Church and Eastern Christian churches hold that certain deuterocanonical books and passages are part of the Old Testament canon. The Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Assyrian Christian churches may have minor differences in their lists of accepted books. The list given here for these churches is the most inclusive: if at least one Eastern church accepts the book it is included here. The King James Bible—which has been called "the most influential version of the most influential book in the world, in what is now its most influential language" and which in the United States is the most used translation, being still considered a standard among Protestant churches and being used liturgically in the Orthodox Church in America—contains 80 books: 39 in its Old Testament, 14 in its Apocrypha, and 27 in its New Testament.

Codex Marchalianus

Codex Marchalianus designated by siglum Q is a 6th-century Greek manuscript copy of the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh or Old Testament) known as the Septuagint. The text was written on vellum in uncial letters. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 6th century.Its name was derived from a former owner, René Marchal.

Deuterocanonical books

The deuterocanonical books (from the Greek meaning "belonging to the second canon") are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church to be canonical books of the Old Testament but which are considered non-canonical by Protestant denominations. They are books from the Septuagint, the standard translation of the Hebrew Bible in the Hellenistic period, written during the reign of Ptolemy II (283–246 BCE) and referenced extensively in the New Testament, particularly in the Pauline Epistles. With the rise of Rabbinic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple Period, the Hebrew Canon was in flux, until the Masoretic Text, compiled between the 7th and 10th centuries, became the authoritative text of the mainstream Rabbinic Judaism. The Masoretic Text excluded the seven deuterocanonical books and formed the basis for their exclusion in the Protestant Old Testament. The term distinguished these texts both from those that were termed protocanonical books, which were the books of the Hebrew canon; and from the apocryphal books, which were those books of Jewish origin that were known sometimes to have been read in church as scripture but which were considered not to be canonical.

The deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament are:

Canonical by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church:Tobit

Judith

1 Maccabees

2 Maccabees

Wisdom of Solomon

Wisdom of Sirach (also called Ecclesiasticus)

Baruch including the Letter of Jeremiah

Additions to Esther

Additions to Daniel:

Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Septuagint Daniel 3:24–90)

Susanna (Septuagint prologue, Vulgate Daniel 13)

Bel and the Dragon (Septuagint epilogue, Vulgate Daniel 14)Canonical only by the Orthodox Church:

The Prayer of Manasseh

1 Esdras

3 Maccabees

Psalm 151This 16th-century debate drew on traditions witnessing a counterpart debate in the 4th and 5th centuries; occasioned then by the awareness that the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, which the early church used as its Old Testament, included several books not recognised in the Jewish canon of the Bible as it had since been defined in Rabbinic Judaism. In this debate, which had preceded the dissemination of Jerome's Vulgate version, the books in the Hebrew Bible had been termed "canonical"; the additional books that were recognised by the Christian churches had been termed "ecclesiastical", and those that were considered not to be in the Bible were termed "apocryphal".Forms of the term "deuterocanonical" were adopted after the 16th century by the Eastern Orthodox Church to denote canonical books of the Septuagint not in the Hebrew Bible (a wider selection than that adopted by the Council of Trent), and also by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church to apply to works believed to be of Jewish origin translated in the Old Testament of the Ethiopic Bible; a wider selection still.Since the 16th century, most Protestant Churches have accepted only works in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible as canonical books of the Old Testament, and hence classify all deuterocanonical texts (of whichever definition) with the Apocrypha.

Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh (; תַּנַ״ךְ, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra, is the canonical collection of Jewish texts, which is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra and a few others). The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT), and is divided into 24 books, while the Protestant Bible translations divide the same material into 39 books.

Modern scholars seeking to understand the history of the Hebrew Bible use a range of sources, in addition to the Masoretic Text. These sources include early Greek (Septuagint) and Syriac (Peshitta) translations, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Dead Sea Scrolls and quotations from rabbinic manuscripts. Many of these sources may be older than the Masoretic Text and often differ from it. These differences have given rise to the theory that yet another text, an Urtext of the Hebrew Bible, once existed and is the source of the versions extant today. However, such an Urtext has never been found, and which of the three commonly known versions (Septuagint, Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch) is closest to the Urtext is not fully determined.

Jewish Koine Greek

Jewish Koine Greek, or Jewish Hellenistic Greek, is the variety of Koine Greek or "common Attic" found in a number of Alexandrian dialect texts of Hellenistic Judaism, most notably in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible and associated literature, as well as in Greek Jewish texts from Palestine. The term is largely equivalent with Greek of the Septuagint as a cultural and literary rather than a linguistic category. The minor syntax and vocabulary variations in the Koine Greek of Jewish authors are not as linguistically distinctive as the later language Yevanic, or Judeo-Greek, spoken by the Romaniotes Jews in Greece.

The term "Jewish Koine" is to be distinguished from the concept of a "Jewish koine" as a literary-religious, not a linguistic concept.

New English Translation of the Septuagint

The New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included under That Title (NETS) 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 and Cognate Studies (IOSCS). The Psalms were published in 2000 and the complete Septuagint (LXX) in 2007.

The NETS translators selected the best critical editions of the Septuagint, primarily the larger Göttingen Septuagint (as far as it was completed at the time of translation) and Alfred Rahlfs's manual edition for the books still missing from the Göttingen edition. The text was not rendered into a brand new translation; instead, the translators revised the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), altering it to match the wording of the Greek and removing gender-inclusive language that was not warranted by the underlying source texts. It was hoped the relationship between the NETS and the NRSV would mirror the relationship between the LXX and its underlying Hebrew text, making it easy for readers to study the discrepancies between the two textual traditions without extensive study of the original languages.

Old Testament

The Old Testament (abbreviated OT) is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible (or Tanakh), a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.

The books that comprise the Old Testament canon, as well as their order and names, differ between Christian denominations. The Catholic canon comprises 46 books, and the canons of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches comprise up to 51 books and the most common Protestant canon comprises 39 books. The 39 books in common to all the Christian canons correspond to the 24 books of the Tanakh, with some differences of order, and there are some differences in text. The additional number reflects the splitting of several texts (Kings, Samuel and Chronicles, Ezra–Nehemiah and the minor prophets) into separate books in Christian bibles.

The books which are part of a Christian Old Testament but which are not part of the Hebrew canon are sometimes described as deuterocanonical. In general, Protestant Bibles do not include the deuterocanonical books in their canon, but some versions of Anglican and Lutheran bibles place such books in a separate section called Apocrypha. These extra books are ultimately derived from the earlier Greek Septuagint collection of the Hebrew scriptures and are also Jewish in origin. Some are also contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Old Testament consists of many distinct books by various authors produced over a period of centuries. Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections: (1) the first five books or Pentateuch (Torah); (2) the history books telling the history of the Israelites, from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon; (3) the poetic and "Wisdom books" dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world; and (4) the books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 656

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 656 (abbreviated as P.Oxy.IV 656) – is a Greek fragment of a Septuagint manuscript written on papyrus in codex form. This is a manuscript discovered at Oxyrhynchus, and it has been catalogued with number 656. Palaeographycally it is dated to late second century or early third century.

The manuscript was written on papyrus, in codex form. The surviving fragments are four pieces of 24 cm by 20 cm. The fragments contains Genesis (14:21-23, 15:5-9, 19:32-20:11, 24:28-47, 27:32,33,40,41), written in Koine Greek. On places where the tetragrammaton occurs, the word kyrios is written, a nomina sacra, and the characters are different from the rest. Jason David BeDuhn, quoting Emanuel Tov wrote:

The transition from the practice of preserving YHWH in archaic Hebrew letters to replacing it with the Greek kurios can be seen in Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 656 (Rahlfs 950). In the text of Genesis preserved in this manuscript, the original scribe left blank spaces for YHWH exactly like the scribe of PFouad 266 did. But later another scribe instead of writing YHWH into those spaces wrote kurios.

In manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the use of different letters, a different pen and/or a different scribe was applied for the special treatment to the divine name in the text, but in this manuscript it was not written at all. The mss. Papyrus Rylands 458 has been used in discussions about the tetragrammaton, although there are blank spaces in the places where some scholars including C. H. Roberts believe that it contained letters. According to Paul E. Kahle, the tetragrammaton was intended to be written in the manuscript where these breaks or blank spaces appear.

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 846

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 846 (P. Oxy. 846 or E 3074) is a 6th-century manuscript of a portion of the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh or Old Testament) known as the Septuagint. It is one of the manuscripts discovered in Oxyrhynchus, was cataloged under the number 846. Palaeographically dates back to the sixth century CE. It contains Amos 2:6-12. It has been numbered as 906 in the list of Septuagint manuscripts according to classification by Alfreda Rahlfs.

The fragment was published in 1908 by Bernard P. Grenfell and Artur S. Hunt in The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, vol. VI. It is now in the University of Pennsylvania, catalogued as E 3074.

Proselyte

The biblical term "proselyte" is an anglicization of the Koine Greek term προσήλυτος (proselytos), as used in the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) for "stranger", i.e. a "newcomer to Israel"; a "sojourner in the land", and in the Greek New Testament for a first-century convert to Judaism, generally from Ancient Greek religion. It is a translation of the Biblical Hebrew phrase גר תושב (ger toshav)."Proselyte" also has the more general meaning in English of a new convert to any particular religion or doctrine.

Psalm 147

Psalm 147 has the same number in Hebrew and in Septuagint/Vulgate numbering.

Psalm 147 is the 147th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms in the Masoretic and modern numbering. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate/Vulgata Clementina, this psalm is separated into Psalm 146 and Psalm 147 in a slightly different numbering system. The theme of the psalm is a focus on the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Psalm 151

Psalm 151 is a short psalm 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 is outside the number. When he slew Goliath in single combat". It is also included in some manuscripts of the Peshitta. The psalm concerns the story of David and Goliath.

The Eastern Orthodox Church as well as the Coptic Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church accept Psalm 151 as canonical. Roman Catholics, Protestants, and most Jews consider it apocryphal. However, it is found in an appendix in some Catholic Bibles, such as certain editions of the Latin Vulgate, as well as in some ecumenical translations, such as the New Revised Standard Version.

Psalm 151 is cited once in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Breviary, as a responsory of the series from the books of Kings, the second in the Roman Breviary, together with 1 Kings 17:37 in a slightly different text from the Vulgate.

Psalm 52

Psalm 52 (51 in the Septuagint and Vulgate) is the 52nd psalm from the Book of Psalms.

It is attributed to David. In it, he is criticizing those who use their talents for evil. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 51 in a slightly different numbering system.

Salah (biblical figure)

Salah (שלח, Shelach, ISO 259-3 Šelḥ Hebrew word #7974 in Strong's Concordance) is an ancestor of the Israelites according to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. He is thus one of the table's “seventy names.” He is called Shelah in 1 Chronicles 1:18 and Sala (Greek word #4527 in Strong's) in the Septuagint and Luke 3:35.

In the ancestral line from Noah to Abraham, he is the son of Arpachshad (in the Masoretic Text and Samaritan Pentateuch) or Cainan (in the Septuagint ) and the father of ‘Eber. The name ‘Eber for his son is the original eponym of the Hebrew people, from the root ‘abar (עבר, Hebrew word #5674 in Strong's Concordance), “to cross over.”The Gospel of Luke and Book of Jubilees both agree with the Septuagint in making Salah the son of Cainan, adding the information that his mother was Milcah (the daughter of Madai), while his wife is named as Mu'ak, daughter of Kesed (another son of Arphachsad).

Salah's age at death is given as 433 (Masoretic), 460 (Septuagint), and 460 (Samaritan).Henry M. Morris states that Arpachshad, Salah, and ‘Eber are listed as the most important sons since they were in the line of the promised Seed of the Woman.

Tetragrammaton

The tetragrammaton (; from Greek Τετραγράμματον, meaning "[consisting of] four letters"), יהוה in Hebrew and YHWH in Latin script, is the four-letter biblical name of the God of Israel. The books of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Bible (with the exception of Esther and Song of Songs) contain this Hebrew name. Religiously observant Jews and those who follow Talmudic Jewish traditions do not pronounce יהוה, nor do they read aloud transliterated forms such as Yahweh; instead the word is substituted with a different term, whether used to address or to refer to the God of Israel. Common substitutions for Hebrew forms are hakadosh baruch hu ("The Holy One, Blessed Be He"), Adonai ("My Lord") or HaShem ("The Name").

The Septuagint version of the Old Testament (Brenton)

This version of the Old Testament is a translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton, originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, London, in 1844, in English only. From the 1851 edition the Apocrypha were included, and by about 1870, there was an edition with parallel Greek text, another one appearing in 1884. In the 20th century it was reprinted by Zondervan among others.

Codex Vaticanus is used as the primary source. Brenton's has been the most widely used translation until the publication of New English Translation of the Septuagint in 2007.

Books of the Bible
Principal
divisions
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Development
Manuscripts
See also

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