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The Date of the Translation of the Pentateuch into Greek

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Chapter Summary

Scholars agree that a written translation of the Hebrew Pentateuch into Greek was made in the third century BCE. This period of time can be further refined to the first half of the third century, and eventually brought down to one single date. This is derived from an analysis of eleven different dates for the translation which have been preserved in Greek by the Fathers of the Church. This chapter converts these dates into Julian calendar dates, allowing also for the way that Ptolemy II numbered the regnal years at the beginning of his reign. It discusses that the eleven different dates are 'descended' from one single date. This is the date which marks the date of the translation of the Pentateuch into Greek. This date corresponds with a description in the Letter of Aristeas of a celebration for the completion of the translation, which was held before Ptolemy II.

Keywords: Alexandria; Greek; Hebrew Pentateuch; Letter of Aristeas; Ptolemy II



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