Septuagint (sĕpˈtyōəjĭnt) [key] [Lat., = 70], oldest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible made by Hellenistic Jews, possibly from Alexandria, c.250 B.C. Legend, according to the fictional letter of Aristeas, records that it was done in 72 days by 72 translators for Ptolemy Philadelphus, which accounts for the name. The Greek form was later improved and altered to include the books of the Apocrypha and some of the pseudepigrapha. It was the version used by Hellenistic Jews and the Greek-speaking Christians, including St. Paul; it is still used in the Greek Church. The Septuagint is of importance to critics because it is translated from texts now lost. No copy of the original translation exists; textual difficulties abound. The symbol for the Septuagint is LXX.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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