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The Koine Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures; often abbreviated "LXX".

When the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria in Egypt were losing facility in Hebrew, the greatest translation project of the ancient world was undertaken, that of translating the from Hebrew into Greek. This was around the 3rd C. BCE. The rest of the Hebrew Scriptures were also later translated, all still in the pre-Christian period. During this time, certain Jewish texts were also composed in Greek (e.g. the books of the Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon).

Together, these works are commonly referred to as "the Septuagint", a designation which in a narrow, technical sense refers only to the Torah itself. This large collection of Greek writings -- sometimes referred to as the "Alexandrian canon" -- forms the basis for the scriptural "Old Testament" used in the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Its use in the Jewish community receded with its growing adoption among Christians.

The text is available online in both Greek and English:

The standard older introduction is that of H.B. Swete (2nd updated edition, 1914). Sidney Jellicoe's 1968 The Septuagint and Modern Study (OUP, 1968) carried the story forward, and Jellicoe has since been followed by:

A substantial bibliography of resources compiled by Johann Lust gathers a wide range standard works and tools in the field.

history | excerpt history