The Septuagint Legacy

To engage with the Bible is to understand its legacy—one that’s been going on for over two thousand years! When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in the late fourth century BC, Jerusalem and its territories fell under the rule of Greek-speaking overlords—their language and culture shaping the area for centuries to come. Legend has it that a son of one of Alexander’s generals and ruler of Egypt devoted himself to gathering in his famous library at Alexandria “all the books of the world.” When an adviser told him: “the laws of the Jews are worth transcribing and deserve a place in your library”—Jewish scrolls were sent from Jerusalem to Alexandria. Seventy-two scholars were employed and they produced their Greek translations in just seventy-two days. Thus, the name Septuagint (“seventy” in Greek) became a term for the Greek version of the Hebrew texts.

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