Should we trust the Septuagent like the Holy Spirit does?

trueseek1's picture

Recently read that the men who were under the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit and wrote down what we call New Testament, quoted almost always the Septuagent version of the Old Testament even when it disagrees with the Hebrew version even slightly. Wondering are we "liberals" who use modern scholarly techniques to lower the trustworthiness of the Greek Old Testament translation (LXX) by trusting the Hebrew version instead? Can not understand how I as a Bible believing Christian can justify such a move since I believe the New Testament authors were under the infallible inspiration of the Holy Spirit when they quoted from the Septuagent version of the Old Testament? It seems also the early Church fathers almost exclusively quoted from the same greek translation to strongly point to Christ as the fulfiller of all old testament prophecies. Eusebius was specially illuminating on this one recently.

Appreciate any other Bible believers' viewpoints on this one.


klove's picture

Septuagent, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Torah

by Alyza

The Septuagent translation of the Torah was done between 285 and 244 B.C.E., as my quote from the Encylopaedia Judaica below attests to. Further more, the other books of the Tanach were translated during the following 2 centuries, i.e. between 244 and 44 B.C.E.

"Septuagint, the oldest Greek translation of the Bible...the legend contained in the apocryphal letter of Aristeas, according to which 72 elders of Israel, six from each tribe, translated the LAW [Torah] into Greek in Alexandria, during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-244 B.C.E.)...The designation Septuagent was EXTENDED to the rest of the Bible and non-canonical books that were translated to Greek during the following two centuries" (Encylopaedia Judaica, Volume 14, p1178).

As I understand it, the canon (defined as an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture; a body of principles, rules, standards or norms) of the Old Testament in Hebrew had already been closed (i.e., all the books had been written and collected) at the time of the translation into Greek. Under the name of the Septuagent, other books were included, e.g. the apocraphal writings.

As I further understand it, the Gospels and letters of the Apostles are accepted as a continuation of Holy Scripture and are recognized as part of the canon, and are so designated by the name "New Testament" books because they are descriptive of and instructive of the new covenant of redemption through Christ, the "good news" to all mankind, which is very important to all of us. All of these books were written prior to the close of the first century because John, historically, was the latest of the Apostles to die at or around the year 95 A.D.

Of course, the more universal language of the day was Greek and we find the Gospels written in Greek. The number of books in your Bible is determined by whether the body of people to whom you belong (church/family) accept or reject certain writings. Obviously, those of us who use the 66 book Bible have had ancestors who rejected the apocraphal writings for some reason or we individually have determined for ourselves that the apocraphal writings are not canonical.

Peace be with you,