There are some New Testament allusions or quotations in the King James Version (KJV) that don't precisely match the Old Testament (KJV) source that they point to; however, such allusions or quotations may match the Brenton LXX sources better. Therefore, did Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton borrow from the KJV when translating or editing his English Septuagint?

One example is 1 Peter 4:18, which alludes to Prov. 11:31:

1 Pe 4:18 KJV
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?


Pro 11:31 KJV
Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

Pro 11:31 LXXE
If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

Another example is Hebrews 1:6, which alludes to Deuteronomy 32:43:

Heb 1:6 KJV
And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.


Deu 32:43 KJV
Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

Deu 32:43 LXXE
Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him; and the Lord shall purge the land of his people.

  • 1
    You could answer your own question, by simply comparing the original Greek wording of both the Septuagint and New Testament.
    – Lucian
    Aug 25, 2018 at 6:18
  • @Lucian - Yes, there is great value in comparing the underlying Greek texts; however, as you are aware, the same set of Greek words could be translated into English in slightly different ways; e.g., "Let all God’s angels worship him." -NKJV. So it begs the question if the translator chose to borrow from another English translation, from time to time; which, for example, was the case the 1611 KJV translators. Aug 25, 2018 at 14:05
  • Again: just compare them. Notice that the Greek Septuagint text of the quoted Deuteronomy passage reads slightly differently than the Greek New Testament text of Hebrews, in the sense that the respective locations of angels and sons are interchanged.
    – Lucian
    Aug 25, 2018 at 16:47
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    Comparison is not sufficient to answer this question since translations can greatly coincide by chance. Of course, the word-for-word one is a strong example since the probability of two identical translations is so low. But when the question is about history, it makes sense to go there first. Aug 26, 2018 at 12:22
  • Regarding your comment on Hebrews 1:6, if you consider that its surrounding context quotes from two verses out of Psalms 102-104, it seem probable that, besides the equivalence in meaning, the referenced verse of Paul was Psalms 103:21.
    – user21676
    Aug 27, 2018 at 6:22

1 Answer 1


The Septuagint is a translation of Hebrew into Greek and Brenton's work was a translation of the Septuagint Greek into English. But Brenton's mind, in common with that of his contemporaries (he lived from 1807 to 1862), was steeped in the KJV.

'English' to Brenton meant 'KJV English' - its idioms and its way of conveying language was something that would have been part of Brenton's mentality.

Just as it is difficult, sometimes, to tell whether the apostolic authors (and Jesus of Nazareth, himself) are quoting the Septuagint or, themselves, translating Hebrew into Greek, so I think it is a matter of opinion whether Brenton (and similar translators such as J.N. Darby, for example) are translating freshly from the text itself or are being influenced by the KJV which, from infancy, filled their minds.

But you raise a very valid point in your question which is an important one. It is not true translation to 'retrospectively' render the Old Testament Hebrew in language which conveys New Testament revelation.

The more ancient scriptures ought to stand in their own right and ought to be translated exactly as they were written, rather than being 'adapted' according to subsequent revelation.

  • I just initially read the Preface to Sir Brenton's 1844 edition of his English translation of the Vatican Septuagint. He seems to suggest, subject to correction, that the Septuagint may correct the Hebrew; to reiterate, a translation may correct a copy of an original language. He actually addresses Prov 11:31 and Peter 4:18. Aug 26, 2018 at 23:24
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    If the original Hebrew be the inspired word of God, then it cannot be 'corrected'. Further revelation may give deeper insight, but not 'correction', I would say.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 27, 2018 at 12:17
  • With respect to the original autographs, yes, they are not subject to correction; however, copies of the originals are subject to correction. I think that was Brenton's intended point; which I didn't clearly convey. Aug 27, 2018 at 12:34

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