When God Spoke Greek: The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible

How did the New Testament writers and the earliest Christians come to adopt the Jewish scriptures as their first Old Testament? And why are our modern Bibles related more to the rabbinic Hebrew Bible than to the Greek Bible of the early Church?

The Septuagint, the name given to the translation of the Hebrew scriptures between the third century BC and the second century AD, played a central role in the Bible’s history. Many of the Hebrew scriptures were still evolving when they were translated into Greek, and these Greek translations, along with several new Greek writings, became Holy Scripture in the early Church.

Yet, gradually the Septuagint lost its place at the heart of Western Christianity. At the end of the fourth century, one of antiquity’s brightest minds rejected the Septuagint in favor of the Bible of the rabbis. After Jerome, the Septuagint never regained the position it once had. Timothy Michael Law recounts the story of the Septuagint’s origins, its relationship to the Hebrew Bible, and the adoption and abandonment of the first Christian Old Testament.
Most readers do not know about the Bible used almost universally by early Christians, or about how that Bible was birthed, how it grew to prominence, and how it differs from the one used as the basis for most modern translations. Although it was one of the most important events in the history of our civilization, the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek in the third century BCE is an event almost unknown outside of academia. Timothy Michael Law offers the first book to make this topic accessible to a wider audience. Retrospectively, we can hardly imagine the history of Christian thought, and the history of Christianity itself, without the Old Testament. When the Emperor Constantine adopted the Christian faith, his fusion of the Church and the State ensured that the Christian worldview (which by this time had absorbed Jewish ideals that had come to them through the Greek translation) would leave an imprint on subsequent history. This book narrates in a fresh and exciting way the story of the Septuagint, the Greek Scriptures of the ancient Jewish Diaspora that became the first Christian Old Testament.

Title: When God Spoke Greek The Septuagint and the Making of the Christian Bible
Author:
ISBN: 0199781710,9780199781713
Publisher: OUP USA
Genre: Religion / History
Date Published:
Pages: 256
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