What is the Septuagint?

The Septuagint (Latin septuaginta, seventy, also referred to as LXX) was the Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures (including the Apocrypha), begun around 200 B.C. during Roman rule. Under the authority of King Ptolomy Philadelphus, it was undertaken as a team effort by about seventy Jewish scholars from Palestine and supposedly completed in seventy days. It has been noted that many of the Jewish leaders of the day considered this one of the greatest tragedies in Jewish history (a corruption of the sacred Hebrew scriptures), but the Septuagint, gained widespread popularity in both Jewish and, later, Christian communities. Most of the New Testament quotations of the Old Testament came from the Septuagint, which served as the basis for the Bibles of the Egyptian churches (Coptic), Etheopian churches (Ethiopic), the Eastern Orthodox Church (Slavonic), and the Roman Catholic Church (Vulgate).

        Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. (John 19:19-20)

The Septuagint eventually became associated with Christianity and the Jews set out to retranslate the Hebrew into Greek. Most notable of the Septuagint translations was the Hexapla by Origen of Alexandria in the third century A.D., which contained both Hebrew scripture and various Greek translations side by side. The Hexapla also contained the transliterations of Hebrew into Greek, where scripture was taken word for word and each Hebrew word was then translated into the Greek equivalent. It was Origen's intent to draw from the existing Jewish Greek versions of the Bible and establish one unified version.

        "I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus." (Acts 20:21)
        "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolsihness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)