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What is the Septuagint?

What is the Septuagint

The Septuagint is an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). This translation was made by Jewish scholars around the 3rd century BC because many Jews lived in Egypt and no longer understood Hebrew. They needed the Bible in Greek, which was a common language at the time.

he Apocrypha is a collection of ancient texts that are included in some versions of the Christian Bible but not in others. These texts were mostly written between the 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE, and they provide additional insights into Jewish history, religious beliefs, and practices during the time between the Old and New Testaments.

The Apocrypha includes books such as Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and others. These texts vary widely in content, ranging from historical accounts to poetry to wisdom literature. While the Apocrypha is considered canonical by some Christian traditions, such as the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is not included in the canon of Protestant Bibles.

The inclusion or exclusion of the Apocrypha in various versions of the Bible stems from historical and theological differences among different Christian traditions. Here are some key points:

  1. Historical Context: The Apocrypha was included in the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that was widely used by Jews in the Hellenistic world and by early Christians. This contributed to its acceptance in some early Christian communities.
  2. Council of Trent: In the 16th century, during the Protestant Reformation, there was debate about the status of the Apocrypha. The Catholic Church affirmed the canonicity of these texts at the Council of Trent in response to the Protestant rejection of them. As a result, the Apocrypha is included in Catholic Bibles.
  3. Protestant Rejection: During the Reformation, Protestant leaders like Martin Luther rejected the canonicity of the Apocrypha, viewing these texts as less authoritative and doctrinally questionable. Consequently, most Protestant Bibles exclude the Apocrypha or include them in a separate section labeled as “Apocrypha” or “Deuterocanon” (meaning “second canon”).
  4. Eastern Orthodox Tradition: The Eastern Orthodox Church includes some additional texts beyond the Apocrypha, known as the “Anagignoskomena.” These texts are accepted by the Eastern Orthodox Church but not by Catholic or Protestant traditions.
  5. Cultural and Geographical Factors: The acceptance or rejection of the Apocrypha can also be influenced by cultural and geographical factors. For example, in predominantly Catholic regions, Bibles typically include the Apocrypha, while Protestant-majority areas tend to exclude them.

Relevant Bible Verses:
One of the famous Bible verses that highlights the usage of the Septuagint is when Jesus quotes Isaiah. The Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 4:15-16) uses the wording found in the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew text, showing how early Christians often used this translation.


  1. The translation process of the Septuagint is a remarkable example of cultural and religious interchange, demonstrating the influence of the Jewish community in the Hellenistic world.
  2. The Septuagint includes several books not found in the traditional Hebrew Bible, known as the “Apocrypha,” which are still part of the Old Testament in many Christian traditions.
  3. The usage of the Septuagint by New Testament writers shows its acceptance and importance in early Christian communities, who often cited it in their teachings and writings.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. The Septuagint made the Hebrew Bible accessible to many people, spreading the teachings of Judaism among Greek speakers.
  2. It influenced early Christianity by providing a scripture that the Apostles and early Christians could read and quote.
  3. The Septuagint shows the historical interaction between different cultures and religions, reflecting a period of rich cultural exchange in the Mediterranean region.


  • Greg Gaines

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