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Verbiage: Greek translation of Bible before the Septuagint

Chacham (981) writes | more than 10 years ago

User Journal 3

I forgot who it was, but someone asked me about when the Bible was first translated into Greek. I think i mentioned two translations. One was by Akilus, but that happened a few hundred years after the Septuagint. The Septuagint was translated by 72 rabbis, ordered to do so by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. However, his predecessor, Ptolemy I Soter also had the Bible translated into Greek by five rabbis. As such, the Septuagint cannot be accurately called the "original Greek translation".

I forgot who it was, but someone asked me about when the Bible was first translated into Greek. I think i mentioned two translations. One was by Akilus, but that happened a few hundred years after the Septuagint. The Septuagint was translated by 72 rabbis, ordered to do so by Ptolemy II Philadelphus. However, his predecessor, Ptolemy I Soter also had the Bible translated into Greek by five rabbis. As such, the Septuagint cannot be accurately called the "original Greek translation".

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3 comments

Greek translations (1)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8898530)

I read somewhere that Onkelos, the author of the authoritative Aramaic translation of the Torah, also wrote a Greek translation; no longer extant. Scholars know it existed because not only does the Gemara mention it it is also mentioned by a Church Father. (Who called it "overly literal", a strange charge considering the nature of the Aramaic Targum; though Onkelos is more literal than say Targum Yonason.)

Re:Greek translations (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#8898686)

I read somewhere that Onkelos, the author of the authoritative Aramaic translation of the Torah, also wrote a Greek translation; no longer extant.

This is very likely the translation done by Akilus. It's in the correct era, and the names are very similar. And it, or at least parts of it, is extant.

As for the literal translation, Onkeles is usually more literal, but not always. Targum Yonasan is not literal to make room for Midrush, but if none is present, it is possibly more literal then Onkeles.

Note though, that the Midrush is based on being overwhelmingly literal. That literal translation then lends deeper meaning, When transtion simply, which means to use common sense, a lot is actually lost. Which is the main reason i do not like translations.

Re:Greek translations (1)

MobyTurbo (537363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8902424)

Note though, that the Midrush is based on being overwhelmingly literal. That literal translation then lends deeper meaning,
Very good point.
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