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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Septuagint, the


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As this version of the Old Testament is constantly referred to in biblical works, a short account of it is appended. Its name has arisen from the tradition that the translation was made by seventy Jews (or seventy-two, six out of each of the twelve tribes); but this is considered improbable. It is however often referred to simply by the numeral LXX.

It is believed to have been made at Alexandria, and to have been begun about B.C. 280. The translation was by Alexandrian Jews, and by different persons. Some parts are found to be a better translation than others, the Pentateuch being considered the best, and the historical parts better than the poetical, except the Psalms and the Proverbs. It has been judged that the Hebrew MSS used in the translation had not the vowel points found in modern Hebrew Bibles, nor any divisions between the words. This may account for some of the differences between the Hebrew and the Greek, but there are variations, the origin of which cannot now be ascertained. The many quotations from the LXX adopted by the Lord Jesus and by the writers of the N.T., make it evident that it was then in common use, and its language in a great measure influenced that employed in the N.T. The principal uncial manuscripts are the Codices Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Sinaiticus, and Ephraemi; with a number of cursive copies. The Vaticanus is the MS usually printed, with more or less of the various readings.*

* This has been translated into English by Sir Charles Brenton, and published by Messrs. Bagster, who also publish a Handy Concordance of the Septuagint. The Oxford Presshas a full Concordance, including the Apocrypha

The Hebrew Old Testament was also anciently translated into Greekby Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, but of these only fragments remain in Origen's Hexapla, except Theodotion's Daniel, which is usually preferred to the translation of that prophet by the LXX.

The Septuagint can never take the place of the Hebrew Scriptures; but it is often useful to show how the Jews at that early period, who understood both Hebrew and Greek, translated many of the words or sentences; as well as to see how far the Lord and His apostles quoted that version verbatim, or how their citations differed from it. See QUOTATIONS.


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Septuagint, the '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/s/septuagint-the.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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