Christianity / Bible / Bible Canon


(lat. Interpretatio Septuaginta Seniorum — translation (interpretation) of the seventy elders; gr. Ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα — translation of the seventy interpreters)
The oldest translation of the TaNaKh into ancient Greek.
After the Babylonian captivity, Israel rebuilt the temple and worship. But most of the Jews remained in Babylon and stopped using Hebrew.
There were more Jews in the Diaspora than in Israel. That's why it was decided to make a translation into the international language of the time, Greek.
The translation was made in the 3rd or 1st century B.C. by 72 translators in Alexandria, Egypt. 72 translators at Alexandria, Egypt.

This translation was not intended for liturgical purposes, therefore in addition to the books of TaNaKh, a number of historical and important books have been translated: the Third Book of Ezra, the Book of Tobit, the Book of Judith, the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon, the Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach, the Epistle of Jeremiah, the Book of Baruch and the Maccabees.

The main difference of the Septuagint from the primary source (Tanakh) is the increase in the number of books. First of all, these are apocrypha.
A different division of books.

Ἰησοῦς NαυῆJoshua
Βασιλειῶν Αʹ1 Samuel
Βασιλειῶν Βʹ2 Samuel
Βασιλειῶν Γʹ1 Kings
Βασιλειῶν Δʹ2 Kings
Παραλειπομένων Αʹ1 Chronicles
Παραλειπομένων Βʹ2 Chronicles
Ἔσδρας ΑʹEzra (the first book of Ezra)
Ἔσδρας ΒʹNehemiah (2nd book of Ezra)
Μακκαβαίων Αʹ1 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Βʹ2 Maccabees
Μακκαβαίων Γʹ3 Maccabees
Ψαλμός ΡΝΑʹPsalm 151
Προσευχὴ ΜανάσσηPrayer of Manasseh
ΠαροιμίαιProverbs of Solomon
Ἆσμα ἈσμάτωνSongs of Songs
Σοφία ΣαλoμῶντοςWisdom of Solomon
Σοφία Ἰησοῦ ΣειράχWisdom of Jesus the son of Seirach
Ψαλμοί ΣαλoμῶντοςPsalms of Solomon [9]
Small Prophets (12)
Ὡσηέ ΑʹHōsēe
Ἀμώς ΒʹĀmōs
Μιχαίας ΓʹMichaias
Ἰωήλ ΔʹIōēl
Ὀβδίου ΕʹObdias
Ἰωνᾶς Ϛ'Iōnas
Ναούμ ΖʹNaoum
Ἀμβακούμ ΗʹAmbakum
Σοφονίας ΘʹSophonias
Ἀγγαῖος ΙʹAngaios
Ζαχαρίας ΙΑʹZacharias
Ἄγγελος ΙΒʹMalachias
Big Prophets
Επιστολή ΙερεμίουEpistle of Jeremiah
Μακκαβαίων Δ' Παράρτημα4 Maccabees

The background is tinted gray - deuterocanonical books.

The main difference between the Septuagint and the traditional Tanakh is the larger number of books.
And also another division of books.

Apocryphal additions to books:

  • Additions to Daniel (Susana and the Elders; Bel and the Dragon; Prayer of Azariah),
  • Prayer of Manasseh
  • The Epistle of Jeremiah,
  • Psalm 151,
  • Addition to Esther (10:4-16:24).


The translation used earlier manuscripts that have not survived to this day.
After the captivity to Babylon, the Jews began to speak Aramaic (related to Hebrew) and changed the alphabet from Paleo-script to Babylonian square script.
When switching from one alphabet to another manually, errors inevitably creep in.
So, when translating the Septuagint, the texts of the original paleo-letter were also available.
Some passages are translated more accurately than the original that has come down to us.

When translating, it is always interesting to see how difficult passages are translated in the Septuagint.

The New Testament quotes the Septuagint

The Septuagint was quoted, and the text of the Tanakh was not translated into Greek.
This is clearly evident from minor discrepancies.

By the way, deuterocanonical books were also quoted. Moreover, there was no canon then.

Deuterocanonical books

Initially, all the books were in separate scrolls and were in one place - a jug, a special shelf or...
There was no gradation, they were just there.
And the Jews themselves translated these books into Greek and called them the Septuagint. They chose books to translate, especially since there was no canon yet.

The Septuagint was popular in the early church because most people did not speak Hebrew.
Rome considered Christians a Jewish sect and Gospels and epistles began to appear.
Then the Jews decided to distance themselves from Christians and protect themselves from the penetration of new holy books.
This is how the canon was determined, which included 22 books according to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, so that it was complete.
For this purpose, the very best books were selected, many were combined, for example:

  1. 12 minor prophets - written in one scroll and counted as 1 book,
  2. The 1st and 2nd Samuel (we have the 1st and 2nd Kings) was also one book, just a 2-volume set, like the books of the Kings (3rd and 4th Kings) and the Chronicle ( 1st and 2nd Chronicles),
  3. The 5 scrolls of Psalms were one book,
  4. The Pentateuch of Moses was divided into 5 separate books,
  5. Ezra and Nehemiah were combined into one book of 2 parts.
Later the Church accepted this canon, but what to do with the remaining books from the Septuagint?
They were called deuterocanonical.

The generally accepted definition is that they are not divinely inspired, but historical.

The link between the Old and New Testaments

We all know that Jesus did not speak Greek, as He is quoted in the original New Testament, but Aramaic and Hebrew, as they then spoke in Israel.
Here the question arises of the correspondence of Greek words to Hebrew ones.

Example of online translators

Let's take a break. Computer translators were built on the principle of grammar.
They were fed a text, they studied the grammatical structure of, say, a Russian text and built a suitable version of, for example, an English text using English grammar.
It seems simple. Only such a translator could work correctly with literate literary texts.

Google, Yandex, Microsoft... created artificial intelligence.
They took advantage of the fact that many sites on the Internet have versions in different languages.
Having studied them, an algorithm was created for translating any text: literary, youth slang, professional jargon...

We also have the text in the original language, as well as the translation that was made by the Jews who lived then - the Septuagint.
So to understand what Jesus might have said in Hebrew, you can simply study.