Septuagint and Greek as a sacred language
spuluka at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 27 06:26:54 EST 1999
>From: Cindy Smith <cms at dragon.com>
>Subject: Re: Septuagint and Greek as a sacred language
Thanks for your interest in the Septuagint (LXX). I love the study of the
Septuagint. In fact, this is why I really started to study greek.
The Eastern Christian Churches do use the Septuagint version of the Old
Testament as our authoritative scripture and the patristic writers did take
the story of Aristeas at face value and even embellish the details. You can
read the original letter yourself at:
Further discussion on the contents of the letter and patristic
embellishments are contained in-- Jellicoe, Sidney, "The Septuagint in
Modern Study", Oxford, 1968. This work has been republished by Eisenbrauns
Winona Lake, Indiana. ISBN0-931464-00-5. Jellicoe states at the outset
that he intends to update the information presented by Swete in 1914.
All that being said, Eastern Christians are not in the sacred language camp.
You will find translations of scripture in the the national languages of
the people all over the Orthodox world from the very beginings of the
Church. In fact, these earliest translations are important witnesses for
those who study Text Criticism, the attempt to find the "original text"
behind the various different manuscripts that survive to our day.
A great on-line resource for Septuagint studies is Joel Kalvesmaki's home
page at Catholic University. There you will find a nicely written position
opposite to the one presented in your on-line discussion.
Joel also has a Septuagint discussion list here and a ton of resources. The
main page is:
The only full English Translation of the Septuagint currently available is
Sir Lancelot Brenton's, The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English,
1851. This is a two column format work, Greek & English. The Eastern
Churches have been serving people in the English speaking world now for a
little over a hundred years so the Antiochian Orthodox jurisdiction is
working on a modern translation. Their progress to date is available on the
web. This Orthodox Septuagint web site is at:
Welcome to the fascinating world of the Old Testament in Greek. The reason
this is important to those of us that hold to the Septuagint is there are a
large number of differences between the Greek and Hebrew. Some are just
words or phrases, but some entire chapters and books exist in the Greek but
not the Hebrew.
Feel free to contact me off-list if you would like any further information
Adult Education Instructor
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
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