The Septuagint

    The Septuagint occupies an important place in any study of the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This is true for at least three reasons:

  1. The extent to which the Christian Scripture writers referred to either a Hebrew text or the Septuagint when they copied Hebrew Scripture passages must be determined. This can be done by comparing the Greek words used in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation with the Greek words used for the same passage in the Septuagint. The results must then be compared with the Hebrew text. If the Christian Scripture passage in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation indicates by its vocabulary and content that it was directly translated from the Hebrew passage, it can be assumed that the Christian Scripture writer was using a Hebrew text as he wrote. If the two Greek texts are identical or vary by only insignificant words—and if both Greek texts vary significantly from the vocabulary and content of the Hebrew text—then it can be assumed that the Christian Scripture writer quoted from the Septuagint. The word order and vocabulary of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation indicates that the Christian Scripture writers both translated from Hebrew texts and quoted from the Greek Septuagint. The question you must answer is this: How frequently did the Christian Scripture writers translate from Hebrew texts or quote from the Septuagint?

  2. There are today, extant copies of the Septuagint which use the Tetragrammaton (יהוה) within the Greek text. Consequently, the translation date for these individual Septuagint versions must be established in order to determine whether or not these same Septuagint versions could have been used by the Christian Scripture writers. Thus, if a particular Septuagint version is known to have been in existence by at least the time of the writing of the Christian Scriptures, it could be assumed that the Christian Scripture writer was familiar with that Septuagint version. (According to Aid to Bible Understanding, page 318, the last books written were the Gospel and Epistles of John in 98 C.E.) On the other hand, if that Septuagint version was produced after the close of the first century C.E., then it can be stated that the Christian Scripture writers did not have access to at least that particular Septuagint version. The question you must answer is this: Considering both the number and the dates of extant Septuagint manuscripts, what is the likelihood that the Christian Scripture writers could have obtained a copy of the Septuagint containing the Tetragrammaton ( יהוה) when they quoted Hebrew Scripture? Your answer will also take the information used in the third question into account.

  3. The Septuagint was well represented among the Qumran Cave manuscripts. The Essene communicants responsible for these manuscripts were devout and often seperatist Jews. They placed high value on their Jewish tradition and Scriptures. Of all groups which existed just prior to Jesus' life, we would expect them to be the least inclined to use Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures. In addition, we also know that the growth of Christianity had little influence on the Qumran manuscripts because they were hidden sometime prior to the Roman conquest in 69-70 C.E. The questions you must answer are these: Considering the large number of Septuagint manuscripts found among this very conservative Jewish sect, what Scriptures would we expect to find among the general populace of Palestine in Jesus' day? Would they be exclusively Hebrew-language Scriptures?

About this Page

    This page refers you to web sites reporting extensive Septuagint research. In addition to linking you directly to the web sites, we have also linked you to a number of topics within the web sites. This will direct you to specific information without requiring that you search for it. For the sake of using more familiar information, we also included an introduction to the Septuagint from Aid to Bible Understanding and Appendix 1c from the New World Translation Reference Edition.

    The most useful Septuagint web sites are: Jones and You can search these sites for much of the material listed below. However, for quick reference, we have listed specific pages by topic.

    When using the material which comes from other publishers or web sites, please remember that it is covered by their copyrights.

    In the subject lists below, we have highlighted the headings you will most likely need in your basic research. Supplementary links are also highlighted.

Introduction to the Septuagint.

I. A General Introduction to the Septuagint:

A review of theSeptuagint from Aid to Bible Understanding.

The Divine Name in Ancient Greek Versions, Appendix 1c from The New World Translation Reference Edition. This appendix lists 10 ancient Greek Septuagint manuscripts which use the Tetragrammaton.

II. For other information relating to the Septuagint:

III. A comprehensive discussion of textual issues with many links related to the Tetragrammaton and ancient manuscripts:
  Greek Scribal Culture in Early Jewish and Christian Settings

The following section will be your primary area of research in answering the three questions asked in the introductory paragraphs above. (The questions are written in yellow font.)

Please read this statement of purpose and the tutorial.
    Our Purpose / Using the links effectively

IV. The Septuagint in the New Testament:
    The Septuagint in the NT

V. Table of Old Testament quotes in the NT:
    Table of OT quotations in the NT

VI. Quotations in New Testament Order:
    Quotations in NT Order

VII. Instances where the NT follows the Hebrew meaning:
    The Masoretic Reading Is Quoted in the NT

VIII. Instances where the Septuagint is Quoted in the NT:
    The Septuagint Quoted in the NT

IX. A Manuscript Photo Album:

  1. Septuagint manuscripts with יהוה in a Greek text.
     A montage of nine examples
     Scribal confusion in copying the Tetragrammaton
     PFaouad 266b (1st century bce)
     POxy 1007b (3rd century ce)
     Nahal Hever Minor Prophets ( 0 bce / ce)
     POxy 3522 (1st century ce)
     POxy 1007 (3rd century ce)
     A catalog of ancient manuscripts

  2. Jewish copies of the Septuagint in Greek before the Christian era. (There are many more examples, especially from the Qumran Caves)
     Qumran 4QLXX (2nd century bce)
     Qumran 7QLXXEpler (100 bce)
     PRylands Gk 458 (2nd century bce)
     Qumran 7QLXXEx (100 bce)
     Qumran 4Q127 (1st century bce)

  3. A bce Jewish manuscript using Kurios rather than יהוה.
     Qumran 4Q126 (1st century bce)

  4. Representations of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton.
     Seven examples (1st century bce to 7th ce)

Other useful information.

X. Origen's Hexapla with יהוה and PIPI
 Appendix J: Origen's Hexapla
 The Hexapla's six columns
 The Ambrosiana O 39 Sup. manuscript

XI. A wealth of Septuagint texts and translations:

XII. Brenton's 1851 translation of the Septuagint into English:*
     *An excellent reference, but it takes considerable time to download.

XIII. The Septuagint in Greek.
You can use this link to compare the Greek wording of the Septuagint with that of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation:

XIV. A description of the differences between the Hebrew and Septuagint texts:

XV. Online Septuagint reference materials:

 XVI. An interesting perspective on Jeremiah 44:26 and the LXX:

XVII. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia entries on the Septuagint:

XVIII. Introduction to the Old testament in Greek by Henry Barclay Swete, Cambridge University Press, 1914:

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