Value Of The Septuagint

Value Of The Septuagint

It is written:

“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS: ‘PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD; MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.’ “. (Matthew 3:3)

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” (Isaiah 40:3)

Matthew quotes from Isaiah 40:3, but when we look at Isaiah 40:3, we see that that the words do not line up perfectly. Why? Had Matthew misquoted the Old Testament?

Not at all.

Many people do not realize that very often in the New Testament, the inspired writers make use of the Greek Old Testament translation known as the Septuagint. While the Old Testament was written originally in Hebrew, many of the Jews and early Christians preferred to study from and quote from this Old Testament translation instead of the Hebrew original. This is the reason why so many of the New Testament quotes from the Old Testament do not match perfectly word for word with her Hebrew Old Testament: because they are quoting from the Greek translation instead of the Hebrew original.

“The Septuagint is a valuable document for many reasons. First of all, it demonstrates that the prophecies detailed in the Old Testament were in black and white virtually three centuries before Christ’s ministry. The existence of those prophecies are beyond dispute, because they are locked away in a book that an Egyptian king had translated into Greek several centuries before Christ’s birth. It also gives us a precise Greek rendering of the Old Testament. The translators chose their Greek terms carefully, and these help us better understand what the Alexandrian Jews of the day believed was the correct understanding of certain passages. For instance, where the Hebrew calls the offspring of the sons of God and daughters of men nephilim fallen ones the Septuagint translates them gigantes “earth born” –which had the connotation of “giants.” The Septuagint translation gives us greater insight into the Hebrew understanding of these strange hybrids. The Greek gigantes truly were giants, not just strong men or warriors. The Septuagint is also significant because it became the Bible of the early Church. The early Greek Christians used the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament along with the letters of Paul and the other apostles as their Scriptures. The Septuagint is the most-often quoted text in the New Testament, and the text can be correlated with the same passages in the Hebrew.” (Chuck Missler, How We Got Our Bible, 550-560 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House)

How blessed we are to have different translations of the Bible in modern English!

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