A-Z: General definitions: Septuagint


Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. Jewish tradition states that it was made for the Jews of Alexandria in the third century BC by a group of 72 scholars (hence LXX). Probably completed by 132 BC. It differs from the Hebrew Bible in the order of Biblical books and includes additional books (listed in Old Testament Apocrypha). LXX was used by the New Testament writers and by the Greek Church throughout the Middle Ages. In the West it was used chiefly in Latin translations, the most influential of which was the Vulgate of St Jerome, who although using the Hebrew text as the basis of his translation, drew on LXX for those books which it alone contained.

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