Re: Quality of the Septuagint - Which books?

From: Jim West (
Date: Fri Oct 10 1997 - 20:02:35 EDT

At 06:52 PM 10/10/97 -0700, you wrote:
>I`d like to read the Septuagint and I am curious to know which books of
>Septuagint are good translations.

Some of the LXX is quite literal; while other parts of it are quite
paraphrastic. A good introduction to the OT will discuss the LXX and its
many idiosyncresies (or some such spelling!!!).

> I've heard that there were many (~70)

This is myth pure and simple. The LXX is a text which was translated by
various persons in various places over decades if not centuries.

>translators some were good translators and some were beginning students.
>I've heard that the translators who did the Torah did a great job but
>ones who did Isaiah were inept.

This is not quite right. Again, a good intro to the OT will discuss such
things. I especially like Eissfeldt (though he is a little dated now).

>I'm not interested in which books may have more scribal errors but the
>quality of the original translations. I'd like get your impressions for
>each of the Old Covenant books - or perhaps a web site for further

All in all, the LXX reflects a text which in places is similar to the MT and
in other places quite dissimilar. In short, there are no brief answers
possible to your questions and the best I can do is point you to Eissfeldt.
The LXX experts on the list can fill in more details once you have done the
basic work.

>David Wilens


Jim West

Adjunct Professor of Bible,
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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