Though one must understand the word 'translation' in the title with qualification--the New Revised Standard Version of the Old Testament was used when the translators judged it an acceptable rendering of the Septuagint text--this work is a milestone in biblical studies. The work of a team of over thirty scholars, based on the Göttingen and the Rahlfs critical texts, this is the first English translation of the Septuagint since Brenton's in 1843. Detailed critical introductions to the translation as a whole and to each individual book within it are included. The Old Testament of the Orthodox Study Bible
, published just months after this one, based solely on Rahlfs' Septuagint and using the New King James instead of the NRSV as its default English translation, would make interesting comparative reading.
An Eighth Day View:
The Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of Jewish sacred writings) is of great importance in the history of both Judaism and Christianity. The first translation of the books of the Hebrew Bible (plus additions) into the common language of the ancient Mediterranean world made the Jewish scriptures accessible to many outside Judaism. Not
only did the Septuagint become Holy Writ to Greek speaking Jews but it was also the Bible of the early Christian communities: the scripture they cited and the textual foundation of the early Christian movement.
Translated from Hebrew (and Aramaic) originals in the two centuries before Jesus, the Septuagint provides important information about the history of the text of the Bible. For centuries, scholars have looked to the Septuagint for information about the nature of the text and of how passages and specific words were understood.
For students of the Bible, the New Testament in particular, the study of the Septuagint's influence is a vital part of the history of interpretation. But until now, the Septuagint has not been available to English readers in a modern and accurate translation. The New English Translation of theSeptuagint fills this gap.