Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 2 February 2015
Page 10

The LXX

George Jensen

George JensenIf you look at the copyright date printed in many older books, it will appear as Roman numerals. This numeric system’s popularity has decreased over the years. Therefore, the title of this article might mean little to many. The “L” represents 50, and an “X” represents 10. So LXX is equivalent to the number 70.

Many whose focus is upon Judeo-Christian writings will readily know what this article is about. The LXX has come to be used as an abbreviation for a very special translation of the Old Testament Scriptures. About the middle of the 3rd century before Christ (c. 280 B.C), a group of 70 (or 72?) linguistic scholars assembled in Alexandria, Egypt. Their monumental undertaking was to take the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures (and some other writings) and translate them into the Koine (common) Greek language. This literary work is called the Septuagint. The Septuagint provides a variety of benefits.

First, it provides supportive proof for the legitimacy of Old Testament prediction. For example, the Book of Daniel includes prophecy of the fall of the Babylonian empire as well as the eventual rise and fall of other world regimes. The amazing detail found in Chapter Two has caused some skeptics to date the book nearer the time of the first century. They cannot accept that a Jewish captive living in Babylon would be able to foretell events so far in the future with such accuracy. They deny divine inspiration. It is easy for us to now look back on history and learn of the fall of Babylon, the rise and fall of the Medo-Persian Empire, then the rise and demise of the Greek power, and finally the appearance of the Roman superpower. However, the maneuver to re-date the Book of Daniel in order to strip it of its predictive element cannot be valid because the LXX translators had the Book of Daniel in Hebrew to do their work of translating.

Second, the translation is valuable in helping us understand words in the Old Testament better. For example, Moses was the penman for the first five Books of the Old Testament Scriptures. This collection is known as the Pentateuch. It was written originally in the Hebrew language. Whenever the meaning of some of those words proves difficult to determine, we may consider what Greek word was chosen by the 70 to represent the meaning of that particular ancient Hebrew term. In this way, we may determine with greater clarity what the Hebrew words meant to those living closer to the time of their usage.

Third, the Septuagint provides insights into word meanings that relate to our New Testament books. The LXX was a Greek translation, and the original documents of the New Testament were produced in the common Greek language of the first century.

Even a basic investigation of this wonderful work produces confidence in the reliability of the Bible. A deeper study helps with a more accurate understanding of God’s wonderful Word.


Worry

George Jensen

Worry has been likened to a rocking chair – it keeps you busy, but doesn’t get you anywhere. In our fast-paced, modern society, the old word “worry” is often replaced with terms like “stress” or “anxiety disorder.” Often this serious problem is disguised in the robe of “concern.” Why not take your Bible and read Matthew 6:24-34? Jesus Himself informed us that anxiety is unnecessary (v. 32), prohibited (vv. 25, 31, 34), futile (v. 27), heathenish (v. 32) and a sign of weak faith (v. 30).

According to a University of Wisconsin study many years ago:

We might think about saying, “We will cross that bridge if we come to it!” People worry about nearly everything under the sun.

Consider one problem area – materialism. Materialism is fanned by selfishness and greed. Read Luke 12:15-21. Worry over financial matters is often self-inflicted. Credit debt slavery is widespread.

God’s Word provides the guidelines for a life of obedience, trust and peace. Are you seeking freedom from worry?


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