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The Septuagint: The First Translation Of The Torah And Its Effects

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Chapter Summary

Our earliest papyri pertaining to the Jews of Egypt are in Aramaic, presumably reflecting the language that they brought with them from Eretz Israel; but within two generations, certainly by 270 B.C.E., the papyri are no longer in Aramaic but rather in Greek. Ptolemy II Philadelphia is said to have commissioned a translation on the island of Pharos off the coast of Alexandria by seventy or seventy-two (hence Septuagint) Jewish elders from Jerusalem of the Torah into Greek. The author perceives Greek philosophical influence in the Septuagint's translation of the opening words of the Torah. Perhaps the most important consequence of the elevation of the Septuagint is that it was regarded by the most influential Jewish thinkers of Alexandria, Aristobulus and Philo as being consonant with Plato.

Keywords: Alexandria; Greek; Jerusalem; Jews; Philo; Plato; Ptolemy II Philadelphia; Septuagint's translation; Torah



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