The Septuagint


#1

In the letter of Aristeas we are told the high priest sent seventy two elders i.e. six elders from each tribe to Alexandria to write the Septuagint. How could members from each tribe be sent when the ten tribes of Israel had been exiled to the “four corners of the earth” after the Assyrian conquest?

Source: ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/aristeas.htm


#2

Hi Augustine,

No doubt, it took a large team, of learned Jews, perfectly versed in both Hebrew and Greek to do this masterful translation. Blood, sweat and tears. The rest is all legend.

For full details see : europeanhistory.about.com/od/religionandthought/p/prseptuagint.htm

Verbum


#3

[quote="Verbum, post:2, topic:319633"]
Hi Augustine,

No doubt, it took a large team, of learned Jews, perfectly versed in both Hebrew and Greek to do this masterful translation. Blood, sweat and tears. The rest is all legend.

For full details see : europeanhistory.about.com/od/religionandthought/p/prseptuagint.htm

Verbum

[/quote]

Hi Verbum

In the letter we read “I suppose that the thing will seem incredible to those who will read my narrative in the future. But it is unseemly to misrepresent facts which are recorded in the public archives. And it would not be right for me to transgress in such a matter as this. **I tell the story just as it happened, conscientiously avoiding any error**”

To call the details apart from what you mentioned a legend would be contradictory unless we challenge the authenticity of this letter. We may find ourselves in a catch 22 situation and question the authenticity of all historical records....


#4

[quote="Augustine3, post:3, topic:319633"]
Hi Verbum

In the letter we read “I suppose that the thing will seem incredible to those who will read my narrative in the future. But it is unseemly to misrepresent facts which are recorded in the public archives. And it would not be right for me to transgress in such a matter as this. **I tell the story just as it happened, conscientiously avoiding any error**”

To call the details apart from what you mentioned a legend would be contradictory unless we challenge the authenticity of this letter. We may find ourselves in a catch 22 situation and question the authenticity of all historical records....

[/quote]

If the 72 elders is a legend that would not call all the historical records into question. Historians do not base their conclusions solely on whether an author said he was being careful or not. They look for things like: what source is he getting this from? Does the narrative he puts out there contain legend-type tropes? Etc.


#5

[quote="Augustine3, post:1, topic:319633"]
In the letter of Aristeas we are told the high priest sent seventy two elders i.e. six elders from each tribe to Alexandria to write the Septuagint. How could members from each tribe be sent when the ten tribes of Israel had been exiled to the “four corners of the earth” after the Assyrian conquest?

Source: ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/aristeas.htm

[/quote]

See II Chronicles 35. Clearly not everyone was exiled.


#6

[quote="dmar198, post:4, topic:319633"]
If the 72 elders is a legend that would not call all the historical records into question. Historians do not base their conclusions solely on whether an author said he was being careful or not. They look for things like: what source is he getting this from? Does the narrative he puts out there contain legend-type tropes? Etc.

[/quote]

Fair call :thumbsup:


#7

[quote="Augustine3, post:1, topic:319633"]
In the letter of Aristeas we are told the high priest sent seventy two elders i.e. six elders from each tribe to Alexandria to write the Septuagint. How could members from each tribe be sent when the ten tribes of Israel had been exiled to the “four corners of the earth” after the Assyrian conquest?

Source: ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/aristeas.htm

[/quote]

As Dave mentioned, not all were exiled. The idea of "the ten lost tribes" is the product of later thinking. Besides, the story contained in the letter of Aristeas, while repeated as fact by generations of Jewish and Christian writers, is most likely legendary. While it is likely that the Old Greek translation of the Torah was made around that time period (since the Greek is representative of early Koine used during the time period, as well as citations and early manuscripts datable to as early as the 2nd century BC), the account in the letter contains blunders which a purported eyewitness could not have made and some historical anachronisms.


#8

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