Why Should You Care About the Septuagint?

Posted By on July 22, 2013

Here’s one answer. The link leads to the Oxford University Press website and points to a new book on the LXX. But it also contains a good overview answer to the question that I’d recommend to readers.

Here’s a related answer that I wrote for Bible and Spade in 2010.

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5 Responses to “Why Should You Care About the Septuagint?”

  1. Patrick says:

    Other than Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Isaiah 7:14 parthenos/septuagint decision, can you think of a doctrinal change that might be caused if we used the LXX primarily like the Catholics do?

    • MSH says:

      I actually wouldn’t classify the theological ideas in either of those passages as dependent on the LXX (readers can see mhy posts here on Isa 7:14 for why, and my site http://www.thedivinecouncil.com for the Deut 32:8 issue). I think it’s a bit off target to say “like the catholics do” since their Bible is the Vulgate (or English – e.g., Douay Rheims). I think what you’re thinking (!) is that the LXX has “extra” books in it, some of which are also in Catholic Bibles. But the importance of LXX shouldn’t be defined in terms of the apocryphal / deutero-canonical books. Generally, since the NT writers typically cite the LXX (not citing those extra books, just citing the “regular” OT canonical books), the LXX is important. Along those lines, certain eschatological and messianic connections made by the apostles derive from LXX translation. (But messianic theology doesn’t depend on LXX).

  2. Arklen says:

    Is it at all feasible good sir, that (hypothetically) if an individual is debating on the etymology of a word, its original state, whether progressive or stationary in its evolution, to construct a cohesive and concrete argument that consist of

    I propose A) got to C) by the situation of B) for example

    Ive found few other ancient language scholars that can tie a word down with an etymological binding that will make it “stay put”, you seem to have done that well, which is why I check my facts at the naked bible.
    There are plenty of amateurs who may read alot, what that consist of depends on the reader i guess, It seems that when constructing an argument, writing an essay, or publishing a blog online specifically those they are seeking to discredit (etc…etc..) They like to put a lot of bread into their arguments without getting to the meat of the matter, layering their critic in rich use of vocabulary vs “getting to the darn point” .
    I imagine in turn this may cause a reader; who perhaps being uneducated in forming a “concrete” philosophical debate, to get lost among all the wondrous colors and vocabulary words, shifting their point from “logic” to complete “ethos”. Or tipping the balance in favor of “ethos”.
    Also Ive noticed an attempt in recent times to exclude the Septuagint and King James as the work of Amateurs looking to propagate vs substantiate, when in truth these were learned men of their time who no doubt countless analyzed and put under the torch every single word they were in dealing with. These theories become more conspiratorial vs logical, I imagine the above mentioned is why you recommend a course in logic for those involved in theological studies? So that they may simply get to the heart of the matter vs beating around the bush?

    • MSH says:

      what you’re asking here isn’t clear; personally, I don’t do interpretation by etymology. Meaning is determined by context (and there are many contexts, of course).

      • Arklen says:

        lol, I think I may have been making an out-loud philosophical debate with myself, my apologies, it belongs in my philosophy class not on your website.

        Ill refer to your rebuttal of this writer’s proposition.


        It seems like you were able to break things down in to a simpler format than the author, by constructing your thesis into a sequence that left out the UN-necessary and ran with the facts in a logical sequence of “events”. Im getting an idea on how to construct more cohesive debate patterns to display a clear point, you seem to advocate that alot in your writing and I just want to understand if that is usually how you construct your arguments?

        Ugh…if it still doesn’t pose a good question I give up lol

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