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of the Septuagint. The Vetus Testamentum Graecum e Codice
MS. Alexandrino, cura Henrici Herveii Bdber, 3 vols. London
1812-1826, gives the text of the MS. itself. Eecently an
edition has been prepared in photo-lithographic facsimile, of
which the portion comprising the New Testament has been
first issued {Facsimile of the Codex A lexandrimis, New Testament
and Clementine Epistles, published by order of the Trustees,
London 1879; comp. Theol. Litztg. 1880, p. 230).— The Old
Testament appeared in 3 vols. 1881 sqq. Comp. also on
the manuscripts the Prolegomena of the editions, especially
Holmes - Parsons and Tischendorf. The publications of
Tischendorf {Monumenta sacra ineditct) and Ceriani (Monumenta
sacra et prof ana) contain much material.

Bibliographical information concerning the numerous editions
of the Septuagint will be found in Le Long, Bibliotheca sacra,
ed. Masch. vol. ii. 2, 1781, pp. 262-304 Fabricius, Bibliotheca
graeca, ed. Harles, iii. 673 sqq. Rosenmiiller, Handbuch filr die
Literatur der bibl. Kritik und Exegese, vol. ii. 1798, pp. 279-322.
Winer, Handbuch der Theol. Literatur, i. 47 sq. Frankel,
Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta, 1841, pp. 242-252. Tischen-
dorf, Prolegomena to his edition, De Wette-Schrader, Einleitung
in das A. T.§ 58. All the editions fall back upon the following
four chief editions: (1) The Complutensiau Polyglot, 6 vols.
ill Complutensi universitate, 1514-1517. (2) The Aldina, Sacrae
Scripturae Veteris Novaeque omnia, Venice 1518. (3) The
Roman or Sixtine edition, Vetus Testamentum juxta Septuaginta
ex auctoritate Sixti V. Pont. Max. editum, Eome 1587. The
text of this edition is relatively the best among the printed
texts, conforming as it does frequently, though by no means
entirely, to the Vaticanus, 1209. Since the majority of the
more recent editions reproduce this Sixtine text, the printed
common text is a relatively good one. (4) Grabe's edition,
Septuaginta Interpretum,vols. i.-iv. ed. Grabe,Oxonii 1707-1720.
It chiefly follows the Codex Alexandrinus. Of recent editions
the most important is Vetus Testamentum- Graecum, edd. Holmes
and Parsons, 5 vols. Oxonii 1798-1827. The text is reproduced
from the Sixtine edition, but accompanied by an unusually
copious collection of manuscript various readings. Though
what is offered is not quite trustworthy, and rather confuses than
instructs by its copiousness, still this edition has the merit of
having for the first time brought forward the material furnished
by the MSS. in general (comp. Bleek and Wellhausen, Einl. in
das A. T. p. 592 sq.). The manual edition of Tischendorf, Vetus
Testamentum Graece juxta LXX. interpretes, 2 vols. Lips. 1850,


2ncl ed. 1880, also gives the Sixtine text with only unimportant
corrections. Nestle has added to the sixth edition a collation
of the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, as well as of the Alexandrinus
already collated by Tischendorf {Veteris Tcstamenti Graeci
codices Vaticanus et Sinaiticus cum tcxtu rcccpto collati ab E.
Nestle, Lips. 1880).

The literature on the Septuagint is almost unbounded
(comp. Fabricius-Harles, Billioth. gr. iii. 658 sqq. Rosen-
iiililler, Handh. fur die Literatur der hihl. Kritik und Exegese, ii.
395 sqq. De Wette-Scbrader, Einl. in das A. T. ^ bl sqq.
Fritzsche in Herzog's lleal-Enc. 2 vols. i. 280 sqq.). The chief
work of earlier date is : Hody, De hihliorum textihus originali-
hus, versionihus Graecis et Latina vulgata, Oxon. 1705. Of recent
times may be mentioned : (1) On single books, Thiersch, De
Pentateuclii versione Alexandrina, Erlang. 1841. Hollenbcrg,
Der Charaliter der alexandrinischen Uchersetzung des Buches
Josua und ihr textkritischer Werth, Moers 1876 (Gymnasial-
progr.). Wichelhaus, De Jeremiae versione Alexandrina, llalis
18-17. Vollers, Das Dodckapropheten der Alexandrincr, 1st half,
Berlin 1880. The same in Stade's Zcitschr. fur die alttcstamentl.
Wissensch. vol. iii. 1883, pp. 219-272, vol. iv. 1884, pp. 1-20.
Lagarde, Anmcrkimgcn zur griechischen Uchersetzung dor Fro-
vcrhien, Leipzig 1863. Bickell, De indole ac ratione versionis
Alex, in interpretando lihro Johi, Marb. 1863. (2) On the
whole : Frankel, Vorstudien zu der Scptuaginta, Leipzig 1841.
Herzfeld, Gcsch. des Volkes Jisrael, iii. 465 sqq., 534-556.
Ewald, Gesch. des Volkes Israel, iv. 322 sqq. Gfrorer, Philo,
ii. 8-18. Dahne, Geschichtliche Darstellung der jiid.-alex.
Beligions-Philosophie, ii. 1—72. Fritzsche, art. " Alexandrinische
Uebersetzung des A. T.," in Herzog's Beal-Enc. 2nd ed. i.
280-290. The Introductions to the Old Testament of Eicbhorn,
Bertboldt, Havernick, Keil and others, especially De Wette,
Belirhuch der Mst.-krit. Einl. in die kanon und apokr. Biichcr
des A. T. viii., edited by Schrader (1869), § 51-53. Bleek,
Einleitu7ig in das Alte Testament, 4th ed., superintended by
Wellhausen (1878), pp. 571-598. Reuss, Gcsch. der hell.
Schriften Alien Testaments (1881), § 436-^39.

2. Aquila and Theodotion.

The Septuagint translation was indisputably regarded as
the sacred text of the Scriptures by Hellenistic Jews down to
the beginning of the second century after Christ. The period
of its ascendancy is at the same time that of the prime of
Hellenistic Judaism. Subsequently to the second century the


latter entered upon a slow but continuous course of retrogres-
sion, which — to leave out of consideration the limits prescribed
to the encroachments of Judaism by political legislation —
was mainly brought about by the co-operation of two factors,
viz. the increased power of Eabbinic Judaism and the victorious
advance of Christianity. A significant symptom in this
movement was the new Greek translations of the Bible, the object
of whieh was to place in the hand of Grcch-spcaldng Jews a
text in conformity with tlie, authorized Hebreio one. It is true,
that on the one hand the undertaking of such translations
was a proof of the still existing strength and importance of
Hellenistic Judaism. On the other hand however they show,
that Hebrew authority had now attained acceptance and
acknowledgment in a far stricter sense than formerly in the
recrion of Hellenistic Judaism. The Jews of the Dispersion
were renouncing their own culture and placing themselves
under the guardianship of the Eabbins. These translations
are at the same time a monument in the history of the
struo-o-le between Judaism and Christianity. They were to
place in the hands of the Jews a polemical weapon in their
contest with Christian theologians, who were making the most
of the very uncertain Septuagint text in their own cause (com p.
especially Justin, Dial.c. Tryph.o,. 6S,s.fin., 71 and elsewhere).

Of the three Greek translations of the. Bible, which Origen
placed in his Hexapla of the Septuagint (Aquila, Symmachus
and Theodotion, see above, p. 164) only Aquila and Theodotion
will here engage our notice ; for Symmachus was, according
to Euseb. Hist. eccl. vi. 17, an Ebionite and therefore a
Christian. Of Theodotion too it is not certain whether he
was a Jew. Aquila on the contrary is unanimously desig-
nated as such, and indeed as a proselyte.

According to Irenaeus, who is the first to mention Aquila,
he was a Jewish proselyte of Pontus. The statement with
respect to his native land is, by reason of its striking parallel
with Acts xviii. 2, somewhat suspicious, though Epiphanius
more precisely names Sinope in Pontus as his home. On the


other hand it seems certain — notwithstanding his thorough
knowledge of Hebrew — that Aquila was a proselyte. For he
is designated as such (i3n D^^pV) not only by all the Fathers,
but also in the Jerusalem Talmud and in Piabbinic literature
in general. Of the fables related of him by Epiphanius —
that he was a relation (TrevdepiSrjs:) of the Emperor Hadrian,
that he at first turned Christian, then was excluded from the
Christian Church on account of his inclination to astrology
and became a Jew — thus much is credible, that he lived in
the time of Hadrian. Rabbinical tradition also places him in
the time of R. Elieser, R. Joshua and li. Akiba, and thus in the
first decades of the second century after Christ. The aim of
his translation was to imitate the Hebrew text as exactly as
possible, so that he not only ventured upon the bold formation
of a multitude of new words, for the purpose of obtaining
Greek terms, which should exactly correspond with Hebrew
ones, but he slavishly rendered Hebrew particles by Greek
particles, even when their meaning did not allow it (for proof
of this see Field and others). A noted example ridiculed by
Jerome is, tliat in the very first sentence of Genesis he rendered
the sign of the accusative riX by a-uv (avv rov ovpavov koI
avv rrjv n

mx ^na n^V?' ""^ "'""^'^^ ^'"^^^ '^°^'^'^ ^^^^' '"• '^^^^ "^^^'''^ '"• '^^'''
" Aquila the proselyte translated the Thorah in the time of R.
EHeser and R. Joshua ; and they praised him and said to him,
'Thou art the fairest among the children of men ' " (Ps. xlv. 3,
with an allusion to tlie translation of the Thorah into the
Japhetic). Jer. KiddusUn \. 1, ibl. 59^^ : 'i ':-h njn D^^py DJi^n
r\2'[>V, " Aquila the proselyte translated in the time of Akiba,"
etc. Hieronymus, Comment in Jcs. viii. 11 sqq. (Vallarsi, iv.
122 sq.): Akibas quern magistrum Aquilae proselyti autumant.
(Comp. vol. i. Div. ii. p. 376.) A collection of Rabbinical pass-
ages, in which the translation of Aquila is quoted, is already
given by Asariah de Rossi, Ileor Enajivi, c. 45 ; comp. also Wolf,
BiUioth. Eebraea, i. 958-960, iii. 890-894; Zunz, Die gottes-
dicnstlichen Vortrdge der Juden, p. 82 sq. ; and most exhaust-


ively by Anger, De Akila, pp. 12-25. The nanie of Aquila is
in Ilabbinical literature often distorted into Dii^pJlX (Onkelos) ;
so also cfj. in all the passages of the Tosefta, see Zuckermandel's
edition, Index, s.v. D^'^iiK.

Origenes, epist. ad African, c. 2 : 'Ax6/.a; . . . 'aelim. pp. 56, 57.
Fabricius, Bihliotheca grace, ed. Harles, iii. 692-695. Field,
Orig. Hexapl. proleg. pp. xxxviii.-xlii.. Arnold, art. " BibelUber-
setzungen," in Herzog's Real-Enc. 1st ed. ii. 188. Fiirst in the
LiteraturU. des Orients, 1848, p. 793. Credner, as above. Zahn,
as above. Supernatural Religion (complete edition, 1879), ii.
210 sq. The Introductions to the Old Testament of Eichhorn,
Bertholdt, Herbst, Keil, De Wette - Schrader, Bleek-Well-
hausen and others. The older literature in Furst, Bihlioth.
Judaica, iii. 420-422.


The work of Aquila and its favourable reception on the
part of the Hellenistic Jews prove, that from about the
second century after Christ,. Hellenistic Judaism also kept
strictly to the text and canon of the Palestinians. This is
confirmed by the expressions of Origen in his Epistle to
Julius Africanus. He here speaks of such component parts
of the canon as are missing in the Hebrew, especially of the
additions to Daniel and Esther, and the Books of Tobit and
Judith, as if they had never belonged to the Jewish canon.
He regards them as the exclusive possession of Christians and


gays plainly that they are rejected by the Jews, without
making any distinction between Greek and Hebrew Jews
{Einst. ad African, c. 2, 3, and 13). Hence the canon of
the Palestinians was at that time absolutely valid among the
Jews of the Dispersion also. This was not the case in earlier
times. The Jews of the Dispersion indeed always possessed
on the whole the same Scriptures as those of Palestine. But
in Palestine the canon attained a settled form about the second
century hefore Christ. Later works, even when they appeared
under the name of sacred authorities and found approbation,
were no longer incorporated therein. Among the Hellenistic
Jews, on the contrary, the boundaries still fluctuated for some
centuries. A whole niultitude of works, originating in the
last two centuries before or even in the first after Christ,
were united by them to the collection of the Holy Scriptures,
and among them some also which, being originally written in
Hebrew and originating in Palestine, did not become the
property of Hellenistic Judaism till they had been translated
into Greek. We have certainly no direct evidence of this
fact. But the fact that the Christian canon of the Old
Testament .was from the beginning of wider and more
vacillating extent than the Hebrew, can only be explained by
the circumstance, that the Christian Church received the
canon in just this form from the hands of Hellenistic Judaism.
Hence the latter, at the time of the founding of the Christian
Church, had in its collection of Hdy Scriptures those books,
which are in the Protestant Church designated, according to
the precedent of Jerome, as " apocryphal," because they are
absent from the Hebrew canon. One thing however must not
be forgotten, that on the whole no settled boundary existed.

It is in accordance with this long maintained freedom in
dealing with the canon, that the Hellenistic Jews allowed
themselves a liberty of procedure with single works longer than

Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 18 of 51)