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Who Wrote the Septuagint and Why was it Written?
The Greek Empire truly brought the Greek language to the entire known world, but one important event sprang from this that would also influence the whole world and especially the Jews. The Hebrew Bible was translated into the Greek language, the Jewish Bible which had been so isolated was now a work of literature in the library of Alexandria. The Jews were actually blessed by this event, because their religion had degenerated as Hellenism spread within their culture. Judaism was on shaky ground as the world was changing. The solution was a Bible that those Hellenized Jews could read for themselves. It was truly the answer for any rationalistic thoughts but the Greek culture had bread into the mind of the Jews.
The Septuagint is recognized in history as a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Hebrew Torah. In fact the Septuagint contained not only the entire Old Testament, but the Apocrypha as well. There actually is a mention in history from about 125 BC known as the Letter of Aristeas which revealed that Ptolemy II Philadelphus (275 BC) was persuaded by those who studied in the Library of Alexandria to acquire a copy of the Jewish Torah for the library. They were no doubt influenced by the nearly 1,000,000 Greek speaking Jews of the Diaspora who were living in Alexandria at the time. Ptolemy II Philadelphus contacted the High-priest in Jerusalem whose name was Eleazar, and 72 men (six from each of the 12 tribes of Israel) skillful linguists were sent from Jerusalem to Alexandria, Egypt. They prepared on an island called Pharos and completed the work in 72 days. The translation was called "the Septuagint" (meaning translation of the 70), and he was designated by the Roman numerals LXX which also equates to number 70. This account which was composed by a Letter of Aristeas was believed by the Christians to be an accurate report, and later the Jews despised it for this reason. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1948, the findings revealed much about the Septuagint and is complexity, as well as the accurate rendering of the Hebrew Torah into Greek around 250 BC. The Pentateuch was first translated. Later the rest of the Old Testament books were added to the translation. It was called the "Septuagint" from the 70 translators who were reputed to have begun it. .Greek was the language of the world at that time. This version was in common use in the days of Christ. The New Testament was written in Greek. Many of its quotations from the Old Testament are from the Septuagint.