The Septuagint in English?

I am wondering if there are any modern English translations of the Septuagint that are available in print (book) form.

I know that there is the New English Translation of the Septuagint available both for free online and in book form printed by OUP. But from what I understand NETS is not really a new translation but a “re-working” of the NRSV.

I’m wondering if specifically, if there exists an English translation of the Septuagint that exists that is done by the Eastern Churches?

Or perhaps there is an already existing English Bible translation that uses the Septuagint as its main “source” text for translation?

Another thing I’m wondering about is have there been any recent English translations available that have translated the Psalms from the Septuagint?


I always assumed all Catholic bibles were translated from the Septuagint.

Well from what I understand the Douay-Rheims Bible is obviously an English translation from the Latin Vulgate. For the Old Testament in the Latin Vulgate, apparently St. Jerome translated directly from the Hebrew. I am not a textural expert or scholar so how true this is I do not know.

I’m assuming the New American Bible/NAB: RE also uses the Masoretic text (Hebrew) as the primary source of OT translation but perhaps also the Septuagint for the Deuterocanonical books. I could be completely wrong on this however seeing as the main translation I currently use for devotional reading is the RSV: CE.

You may have already seen these, but I pass them along. I like Asser’s version.

Michael Asser: The Old Testament According to the Septuagint – A Translation into English of the Greek Text (2009) Probably the best available for Orthodox use. The language may annoy some people – it is deliberately archaic, an attempt to reproduce what the King James Bible would be like if its translators had worked from the Greek instead of the Hebrew – but others will consider this a strength. The Greek source is the one endorsed by the Church of Greece for liturgical and other official purposes, rather than that favoured by secular scholars. It is remarkable that one person has done this (one thinks of St. Jerome). — Orthodox England”

I have not used this version, but you can check out the work in progress by Peter Papoutsis.

Let us know what you find out and what you like.

Thanks for the links. I will look at them when I have the chance.

I guess I’m asking these questions because I’m more interested in knowing if the Septuagint Psalms have been translated into English.

For example, I found this:

But the above book is only available in paperback. I’m looking for something that is available in hardcover or leather binding. I haven’t done too much digging yet but I will look around online when I get the chance.

No. Older Bibles (such as the Douai-Rheims and the Knox Version for English Bibles) were translated from the Vulgate; while most modern-day Catholic Bibles tend to use the Masoretic text as their base like non-Catholic Bibles.

My LXX is hard cover with Greek and English. I am not thoroughly thrilled with it, but it is servicable.

Septuagint with Apocrypha
Sir Lancelot Brenton
ISBN 978-0-913573-44-0

Hopefully I have not typoed the number. Got it on Amazon.


It is my understanding that most Bible scholars still use the Vulgate Old Testament and the Septuagint along with Hebrew manuscripts in order to try to reconstruct the originals. Occasionally, in the RSV, I think I see footnotes saying that the editors went with the Septuagint reading or with the Vulgate reading and they list the Hebrew variants in the footnotes.

I realize this doesn’t meet your main criterion that it be in printed form, but there is the downloadable draft Psalter of the EOB

The EOB psalter is scheduled for full release in the Summer of 2011 (delay is due to the desire to footnote all significant LXX / MT / DSS variants).

Our goals are:

to offer a Psalter in stanza format, for easy praying / chanting
to follow the LXX text while documenting all MT variants
eventually offer a “thee and thou” version!
At this point, we are posting the draft PDF of the Psalter before it enters edition / revision / additions of MT variants.

Download the PDF

I’m not positive, but from the 2011 date this same translation may be used by Holy Apostles in their The Orthodox Psalter.

FULL-SIZED (6.25" x 9.25") ENGLISH VERSION of the Psalms and Nine Biblical Odes, translated from the Septuagint and the Greek Psalterion authorized by the Church of Greece.

This new revised and expanded 2nd edition can be used in the divine offices of the Church. Twenty groups of Psalms, called kathismata, have been arranged and versified according to the Greek Psalterion.
Although the Septuagint numbering of Psalms is used, yet KJV numbering also appears.
Six expanded Tables of Usage are furnished, as well as a general listing of the Psalms for daily services as provided in The Great Horologion, and an alphabetical list of introductory verse of each Psalm.
As with our former publication of THE ORTHODOX NEW TESTAMENT in two volumes, this publication also equips the reader with Patristic Commentary and notes on select verses and inscriptions of the book of Psalms.
The full-sized version is a sturdy black Smyth-sewn case-bound book, with gold stamping, and a burgundy double-sided grosgrain ribbon marker.
Black and red printing of text throughout, on high-opacity acid-free 80-pound creamy pages, in a very easy-to-read 14-point bold typeface for the Psalms, and a readable and clear 10-point typeface for the Commentary.
Words of God and others are set in quotation marks.
Bibliography furnished for Commentary. Illustrated.
438 pages.
ISBN: 978-0-944359-35-8.

There is also the Psalter According to the Seventy from Holy Transfiguration.

Cloth bound
Translated from the Septuagint by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. 2008.
Hardcover binding. 272 pages. 2-color printing.
6-¾ x 9-¾ inches

The Psalter, translated from the Orthodox text, divided into the traditional sections for the daily readings. Printed in large type to facilitate use in church services. Two-color printing throughout.

Included in addition to the 150 Psalms:

A Psalm (Psalm 151)
The Nine Odes
A Prayer for the Reposed
Order of Reading the Psalter
A table comparing the Septuagint and KJV numbering of the Psalms
Psalms Assigned to Services

This blog compares Psalm 1 from Holy Apostles, Holy Transfiguration, KJV, and RSV.

The NETS is the most scholarly one. My friend Peter Papoutsis (Holy Orthodox Bible) has translated it, but I don’t think he has had it all published in book form. But I highly recommend his translation.

That’s true. Strictly speaking, what modern Bibles nowadays use is the German Bible Society’s Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), an edition of the Masoretic Text based on the Leningrad Codex (AD 1008-9). The BHS has footnotes recording emendations or corrections on the MT text based on the Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Peshitta, the Dead Sea Scrolls, or just simple scholarly conjectures. AFAIK the footnotes you see in modern Bibles giving alternate readings are based on these footnotes.

Check out A Psalter for Prayer at

It is a Septuagint psalter that comes in both hardcover and eBook formats and is authorized for use in English-language Russian Orthodox parishes. It has 23 reviews and 4.9 stars. A google search will turn up additional mostly positive comments.

The most recent one is from the UK, as translated by Fr. Nicholas King.

I also have the NETS, which is excellent, scholarly, and quite literal. My only gripe is the print is pretty small.

I have the Orthodox Study Bible too, but I’m not sure if that qualifies as a true Septuagint translation, since it was kind of a hybrid of a new translation and the NKJV.

For the Psalter-only portion of the NETS, there is A Comparative Psalter: Hebrew (Masoretic Text) · Revised Standard Version Bible · The New English Translation of the Septuagint · Greek (Septuagint), Hardcover – April 13, 2007, by John Kohlenberger (Editor), available on and elsewhere.

It is a hardcover edition, though some reviewers have complained about the quality of the binding, but mine held up nicely while I was translating* A Psalter for Prayer*. I used it primarily as a handy resource for Alfred Rahlf’s critical text of the Septuagint Greek (the so-called Goettingen edition), but I liked it also for the Hebrew and Revised Standard texts, side-by-side with the NETS English translation. As for the latter, I found it useful in my comparisons of the Greek to the Church Slavonic and St. Jerome’s Latin, but I wouldn’t consider it serviceable liturgically.

I jumped on this one when I came across it:

It has some interesting essays in it.

It’s mostly the New King James Version with the text from the Septuagint added wherever it goes, but without identifying it, as such.

A book that somebody gave me, What Catholics Really Believe, has a statement in there that the Septuagint is the official old testament version of the Roman Catholic Church.

Unusual: It has a Psalm 151, about David. this psalm is previously unknown to me and it is not related to the numbering variations in the psalms.

The Orthodox Church (OC) is very conservative. This edition states that the OC has never (and they mean NEVER) decided the canonicity of books in the Bible. Their use of the Septuagint (I guess) is just a matter of long-accepted tradition. Of course, that it was in Greek to begin with does not offend them, either.

Martin Luther, the reformer (?) translated the Bible into German (there were other German translations, 22 I have heard, before his). But, he translated the OT from the Masoretic Text – Hebrew, in other words. But, I think the average KJV that you pick up cheats a little bit by borrowing from the LXX (Septuagint) in Is 7:14, rendering it that a “virgin” shall conceive and bear a son.

Luther translated the Bible some 500 years ago, so virtually all reformation Protestants follow Luther, in his rejection of seven books from the LXX which are retained in Catholic Bibles. Luther violated 1 Ti 3:15 (giver or take verse) where it says all scripture is inspired by God…and useful. Protestants, loathe to officially follow “the traditions of men”, nonetheless followed Luther’s tradition.

Elsewhere, in the Second Edition of The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford), there’s an essay on the dead sea scrolls that confirms What Catholics Really Believe, that there were Hebrew scrolls that unquestionably were the Hebrew source for the LXX, which Luther didn’t know about. But, after 500 years, Luther’s heresy and error are enshrined in Protestantism.

The Douay-Rheims is just that.

I think that’s a translation of the Vulgate, not the Septuagint.

The Vulgate OT is the Septuagint.

No, the Vulgate’s OT is from the Hebrew, except for the Deuterocanonicals, and one edition of the Psalms (the so-called Gallican).

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