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The Dictation of the Septuagint Version

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image of Journal for the Study of Judaism

In Antiquity, original writing, copying and translating took place through dictation. It is likely that (parts of) the Septuagint was (were) committed to writing in that way. Traditions concerning the translation of Buddhist Sutras into Chinese help us to picture that process. The hypothesis that someone recited the Hebrew text, one translated orally and one or more scribes wrote the translation down contributes to LXX research. It explains (1) characteristic features of the Septuagint noted by Soisalon-Soininen, and (2) phonetic errors on both the Hebrew and the Greek sides. (3) It is compatible with the notion that learned scribes were involved but it lends no support to the "targumic origin" theory.

Affiliations: 1: Waalstraat 38, 8303 DH Emmeloord, Netherlands


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