Bible Catechism – Lesson 9

Lesson 9:
The Septuagint Version

1. Who were the translators of the Old Testament?

The translators of the Old Testament were Jewish scholars well acquainted with both the Hebrew and the Greek languages.

2. By what name is this translation known?

It is known as the Septuagint Version.

3. Why is it called by that name?

It is called by that name because it was commonly supposed that seventy scholars were employed in the work of translating.

4. Was it known by any other name besides that of the Septuagint?

It was known as the Alexandrian Version to distinguish it from the Hebrew or Palestinian Version.

5. Why was it known as the “Alexandrian Bible?”

Because this translation was made in Alexandria, Egypt, which had the biggest and most vibrant Jewish community outside of Israel.

6. Is there any other difference between the Septuagint and the Palestinian version, besides their language?

Several; The Septuagint contains more books than the Palestinian version and is about three hundred years older. The Palestinian Version originated approximately around 106 A.D. and is different from the Hebrew texts that were the basis for the Septuagint translation.

7. Why does the Septuagint have more books than the Palestinian version?

The translators had a well-founded belief that these books were inspired.

8. Were these added books accepted by the Hebrews?

Yes, but only up until 106 A.D., when the Palestinian, known also as the pharisaic version, became the norm.

9. Was the Septuagint Version much in use in Our Lord’s time?

It was used not only by the Greek-speaking Jews but also by the Palestinian Jews; Our Lord and the Apostles frequently quoted it.

10. Did this Greek translation of the Bible help to spread Christianity?

It helped very much, because Gentiles, particularly the Greek philosophers, had read it, and had knowledge of the prophecies referring to the Messiah, with the result that when St. Paul preached to them, many converts were made. 

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