The Septuagint Is Important

The Septuagint (often referred to as LXX) is a Greek translation of the Old Testament completed prior to the time of Christ.  While the Old Testament was originally written largely in Hebrew, the New Testament was written largely in Greek.  Furthermore, it appears that when the New Testament quotes the Old Testament, it is often the Septuagint version that is being quoted.

Here’s a better, though still brief, rationale for why the Septuagint is important from Dr. William Varner and his DrIBEX ideas blog.  (Yesterday was International Septuagint Day.)

5 Replies to “The Septuagint Is Important”

  1. Does everything have its own “day” now? “International Septuagint Day”…lol.

    On a more interesting note, I too have often wondered if we are making a huge mistake when we ignore the Septuagint.

    Though, seeing as how my knowledge of Greek is very limited and I have no knowledge of Hebrew, I tend to use the English version in front of me and hope for the best 😉

    1. I am not a Greek scholar either, and am thus dependent on literal English translations, exhaustive concordances, etc.

      My touting of the Septuagint is based on the fact that the NT quotes of the OT seem to follow the LXX more than the Masoretic Text. Thus, it would appear that the NT authors were relying a great deal on the LXX. Thus, for example, when we are studying a NT Greek word, having the ability to trace the OT use of that word from a translation that the NT authors used seems to be particularly helpful for helping us more fully appreciate the meaning that word. More importantly, it would help us better see the unity and consistency of God’s messages to us across the diversity of NT and OT.

  2. Mike,

    I agree we should pay close attention to the Septuagint. It is our first commentary on the Hebrew Bible. The Septuagint vorlage (Hebrew text from which it is translated) is often significantly older than the Masoretic Text from which the Protestant bible is typically translated. If work both with the Greek versions and the Masoretic Text we have a lot more data at our disposal to understand how the text was read in the Hellenistic era. I always work with as many versions as I can lay hands on but admittedly my Latin is pretty basic, so while I can fake my way through the Vulgate I seldom talk about it in my discussions of exegesis.

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