Building the Bible


What is the Septuagint?

This is the name given to the first Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. Originally the Hebrew Scriptures were written in Hebrew, but around the third century B.C.E., the scriptures started being translated into Greek. In addition to being written in a different language, the Septuagint differs from the Hebrew Scriptures in its order of books and its inclusion of books from the Apocrypha. The term Septuagint comes from the Latin “septuaginta,” which means “seventy.” According to tradition, Ptolemy II asked seventy (some sources say seventy-two) Jewish scholars to start with translating the Torah. The other books in the Hebrew Bible were translated into Greek in the ensuing years.


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