Re: Aquila of Pontus' Greek OT

David L. Moore (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 10:00:27 -0500

At 07:46 AM 1/14/97 -0500, Rod Decker wrote:
>There have been a number of summaries already (so I deleted the first one I
>wrote!). Here is a brief stmt. from ISBE as well as a sample of his
>translation that has not yet been cited.
>"the most literal form imaginable...attempted to reproduce the Hebrew text
>word for word in Greek without regard to Greek grammar or syntax...although
>stylistically a barbarous Greek translation and largely unintelligible
>apart from the Hebrew..., nevertheless enjoyed great popularity and
>longevity among the Jews of the Dispersion" (ISBE, rev., 4:404).
>Gen. 1:1, from Aquila's transl." "In heading founded God with the heaven
>and with the earth."

Aquila's slavish literalism - although it produced a barbarous
translation, as Rod Decker notes above - has endeared him to modern textual
critics, since his word-for-word rendering is often helpful as a witness to
the 2nd-Century Hebrew text.

David L. Moore Director
Miami, Florida, USA Department of Education Southeastern Spanish District of the Assemblies of God