Reading the Septuagint (LXX)
The following thirty-nine essays explore the Greek text of the Old Testament, also known as the Septuagint. Though production history of this text is shadowy, most scholars see it as emerging in the third century BCE from Alexandria in Egypt. The Septuagint (LXX) became the Bible/Old Testament not only of the earliest Christians for several hundred years, but for countless Jews for well over a millennium until wide knowledge of the language of the Hebrew Bible was disseminated in that community in the Middle Ages. Thus, it was sacred Scripture for millions of people for more than 1,000 years.
Cambridge University scholar Nicholas de Lange has called the Septuagint a Jewish classic; that is, a text that stands on its own and to which one frequently returns despite the fact that it was translated from the underlying Hebrew (Masoretic) text of the Bible. This means that in order to mine its riches the first place one goes is not to the Masoretic text that may or may not stand behind it, but to the way the translators expressed their skill in the Greek language. I have relied on that insight here and almost exclusively tried to focus on the meaning of stories and words based on the Greek text alone. I have found, and I hope you concur, that careful study of the text of the LXX yields incredible riches in our day. My hope is that these essays, which only skim the surface of a few of the more engaging Biblical stories, will whet your appetite to take up the study of what I call the most neglected classic in the history of Western thought.
These essays represent a small portion of those I have written on the LXX.
Genesis 42:5-6 Genesis 42:7-9 Genesis 42:10-13
Genesis 42:14-17 Genesis 42:18-22 Genesis 44:18-21
Judges 6:1-5 Judges 6:6-10 Judges 6:11-24
Judges 6:25-26 Judges 6:27-29 Judges 6:30-32
Judges 7:1- 8 Judges 7:9-20 Judges 7:21-22
Judges 8:1-4 Judges 8:5-35