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Dead Sea Scrolls
The "Translation of the Seventy" (from the Greek Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα), better known as the '''Septuagint''' (a name derived from the Latin word for ''septuaginta'' or "seventy", also referred to as by the Roman numeral for seventy, '''LXX''') is originally referred to a 3rd century B.C. translation of the [[Old Testament|Hebrew ScripturesPentateuch]] into [[Koine Greek]]. By the time of [[Justin Martyr]] (+ c. 160), the term has come to refer to the other scriptural and related texts translated from Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek in the next century. It is the basis of the canonical [[Old Testament]] of the [[Orthodox Church]].
The differences with Rome are fairly small and have never been a subject of much contention between the Orthodox and that communion. The canonical lists are essentially the same in content (some of the names are different) but for the following items: The Latin canon does not include [[I Esdras]] (though it uses that name for what the Orthodox call [[II Esdras]]); there are only 150 [[Psalms]] in the Latin canon, while the LXX has 151 (and the Psalms are numbered and divided differently between the two canons, because the modern Latin canon is based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text, though the [[Vulgate]] used the Septuagintal Psalm numbering); the [[Epistle of Jeremiah]] is a separate book in the LXX, while it is included as part of Baruch for the Latins; and the Latins do not include either [[III Maccabees|III]] or [[IV Maccabees]]. Traditionally, Roman Catholics used the numbering of the Latin Vulgate, which follows the Septuagint. However, since the Second Vatican Council, Roman Catholic publications, including Catholic Bibles and liturgical texts, have used the numbering found in the Masoretic Text.
The differences with the Protestant canon are based on the 16th century misunderstanding of Martin Luther's opinions about the Old Testament. His argument was that St [[Jerome]] distinguished the Hebrew Old Testament from the Greek Old Testament and that only the texts in Hebrew should be considered canonical, while the others may be good to read. When he was translating the Old Testament into German, he mistakenly believed that used the oldest source for common Hebrew text available at the Old Testament would be in Hebrewtime, so he found and used the so-called Masoretic Text (MT), which contains a 9th century Jewish smaller canon compiled largely in reaction to Christian claims that the Old Testament Scriptures belonged to and is based on another manuscript tradition from the ChurchLXX. The Other reformers followed suit, so the MT is thus also the basis for the Old Testament text of the 17th century Authorized Version in English (the "King James Version"). There are multiple differences between the LXX and MT. The MT lacks the following texts: [[I Esdras]], the portion of [[II Esdras]] (which the MT simply calls "Ezra") called the "[[Prayer of Manasseh]]," [[Tobit]], [[Judith]], portions of [[Book of Esther|Esther]], [[Wisdom of Solomon]], [[Wisdom of Sirach]] (Ecclesiasticus), [[Baruch]], the [[Epistle of Jeremiah]], the so-called "additions to Daniel" (The [[Prayer of the Three Holy Children|Song of the Three Children]], [[Susanna (Book of Daniel)|Susanna]], and [[Bel and the Dragon]]), the 151st Psalm, and all four Maccabees books. The Psalms are also numbered and divided up differently.
== Variations with the Masoretic Text (MT) ==
There are multiple internal variations between the LXX and the MT. The texts read differently in many places, giving a much more [[Christology|Christological]] tone to the LXX which was deliberately avoided when the Masoretes were putting together their anti-Christian canon. These differences in wording are the evidence that the Apostles were using the LXX. Here follow several examples of radical differences in wording:
{| border="1" cellpadding="2"
| Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, but a body Thou hast prepared for me... || Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears has thou opened...
==Different Translations of the Septuagint in English==
The Septuagint has been translated a few times into English, the first one (though excluding the Apocrypha) being ''The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Covenant'' of Charles Thomson in 1808; his translation was later revised and enlarged by C. A. Muses in 1954 under the title ''The Septuagint Bible''. The Thomson's Translation of the Old Covenant is a direct translation of the Greek Septuagint version of the Old Testament into English, rare for its time. The work took 19 years to complete and was originally published in 1808.
Lancelot Brenton's ''The Septuagint version of the Old Testament: according to the Vatican text, translated into English : with the principal various readings of the Alexandrine copy, and a table of comparative chronology'' was published in 1844 and for most of the time since its publication it has been the only one readily available, and has continually been in print. The creator of the ''World English Bible'', Michael Paul Johnson, has produced a version of Brenton's translation in American English, entitled ''LXX2012: Septuagint in English 2012''.
The ''[[Orthodox Study Bible]]'' was released in early 2008 with a new translation of the Septuagint based on the Greek text of Alfred Rahlfs ''Septuaginta'', and with reference to the Brenton translation. Thomas Nelson Publishers granted use of the New King James Version text in the places where the translation of the LXX would match that of the Hebrew Masoretic text. This edition includes the New Testament as well, which also uses the New King James Version. It also includes extensive commentary from an Eastern Orthodox perspective.<ref></ref>
''The Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible'' (EOB) is an extensive revision and correction of Brenton’s translation. 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.
''The New English Translation of the Septuagint and the Other Greek Translations Traditionally Included Under that Title'' (NETS), published in 2007 (with corrections and emendations issued in 2009 and 2014), is a major scholarly translation based on the critical texts available at the time from Gottingen and Rahlfs semi-critical ''Septuaginta''.
Kevin Mayhew Publishers has printed the translation by Peter King, SJ, in four volumes (''The Pentateuch'' 2010, ''The Historical Books'' 2012, ''The Wisdom Literature'' 2008, and ''The Prophets'' 2013), which are now available (along with King's translation of the New Testament) as ''The Bible''. King's work, however, is difficult to obtain in the US.
==Dead Sea Scrolls==
With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the mid twentieth century many examples have been recovered of the Old Testament in Hebrew from the time of Christ and the Holy Apostles and earlier. Scholarship during the past half century based upon these Dead Sea discoveries has revealed a close agreement between the LXX and pre-Masoretic Hebrew texts. In a review of some of this scholarship, Hershal Shanks<ref> Hershal Shanks, ''4QSama - The Difficult Life of a Dead Sea Scroll'', Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol 33 No 3, May/June 2007, pp66-70.</ref> notes that ''”…many Hebrew texts [are available] that were the base text for Septuagintal translations…”''. Further he notes that what ''”…texts like 4QSama show is that the Septuagintal translations are really quite reliable”'' and ''”…gives new authority to the Greek translations against the Masoretic text”''. Quoting Frank Moore Cross (a co-author of the book under review), Hershal continues ''”We could scarcely hope to find closer agreement between the Old Greek [Septuagintal] tradition and 4QSama than actually is found in our fragments”''.
The scholarship based upon However, Emanuel Tov <ref>Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the new information provided in Hebrew Bible. 2nd Rev. Ed. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2001., 114-117.</ref> summarizes the contents of the Dead Sea Scroll thus supports the millennial old tradition on use of Scrolls biblical manuscripts with the following percentage breakdown: * Qumran-specific texts – 20%* Proto-Masoretic texts – 35%* Proto-Samaritan texts – 5%* Proto-Septuagint by the Orthodox Church.texts – 5%* Non-Aligned texts – 35%
== External links ==
* [ Departing Horeb: The Masoretic Hebrew vs the LXX Part 1] by Eric Jobe. A series of articles on the Masoretic Text and Septuagint from a scholarly perspective. [ Part 2], [ Part 3], [ A Clarification]
* [ The Orthodox Study Bible page] - contains the Septuagint Old Testament using the NKJV as a base text
* [ The Septuagint Online] - Compiled by Joel Kalvesmaki, Editor in Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks and convert to Orthodoxy 1993.
* [ New English Translation of the Septuagint]. It has been released at San Diego, November 19, 2007 by Oxford University Press. [ Provisional edition] online. This project is being carried out under the aegis of The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS). An international team of more than thirty scholars is working on the entire corpus of the Greek Jewish Scriptures. It is the first such English version in 160 years. Called the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS), the text reflects both the wealth of manuscript evidence that has been brought to light since the 19th century and, of course, current English idiom. (Note however, that this project is using the NRSV(1989) version as its English base of referral).
* "[ The Eastern Orthodox Bible]" - a new translation rather than a revision of another work, dedicated to the recently reposed Archbishop Vsevolod of the (canonical) Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA.
* [ The KJV Septuagint] - a revision of the KJV text according to translated from the Septuagint text edition published by the official publisher of the Orthodox Church of Greece's ''Apostoliki Diakonia'', using the King James Version as a template. Scheduled to be published by St. Innocent Press in 2013, this will be the only English translation to date using an approved ecclesiastical text of the Septuagint.
* [ Peter Papoutsis]'s translation of the Septuagint
* R. Grant Jones. [ Notes on The Septuagint].
* [ Septuagint Institute] (Trinity Western University, Canada). In 2005 the Septuagint Studies department moved from the University of Toronto to TWU, forming the new Septuagint Institute (SI). The SI complements TWU's already established Dead Sea Scrolls Institute (DSSI), founded in 1995, and together they form North America's new hub of Septuagint research.
* [ Septuaginta-Unternehmens Institute] in Gottingen, Germany (German only at present). The Septuaginta-Unternehmen is a special research institute that was founded in 1908 in Göttingen under the auspices of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. Its purpose was to conduct sound scientific investigation into the Septuagint and to trace the history of evolution of the Septuagint text, on the basis of the mass of manuscript data, and ultimately to establish a text which could be claimed to be for all intents and purposes identical with the Septuagint in its pristine form, a proto-Septuagint.([ 1]) The institute made Göttingen the nerve centre of Septuagint studies. The first director of the Institute, '''[ Alfred Rahlfs]''', published the critically established ''Septuaginta, 2 volume edition in 1935'' (Septuagint in Greek). The Rahlf's critical edition of the Septuagint for the book of Genesis rests on a foundation of some one hundred and forty 140 manuscripts (nine pre-dating the fourth century CE), ten 10 daughter-versions, plus biblical citations in Greek and Latin literature. However, and is his two-volume, semi-critical edition ''Septuaginta'' has been supplanted by the most modern fully critical edition Göttingen ''Septuaginta Vetus Testamentum Graecum'', in 23 volumes covering approximately two-thirds of the LXX text, along with a supplementary series.([ 2])
* [ The HEXAPLA Institute]. Its purpose is to publish a new critical edition of the fragments of Origen's [[Hexapla]], focusing on the later development of Septuagint tradition.
* [ Centre for Septuagint Studies and Textual Criticism]. Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
==See also==
*[[Aristobulus of Paneas]], the earliest write writer to give an account of the Septuagint version.
*[[Deuterocanon]] (Apocrypha)

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