Numbers (in progress)

Matthew; John; Romans; Galatians; Apocalypse

My aim is to produce a more faithful and more readable translation of the Septuagint (LXX) than currently exists. Each verse will be colour-coded to display:

my translation from the Greek
the Greek text itself
the ESV translation of the Hebrew

The Greek text is taken from the Rahlfs-Hanhart edition, a critical edition based mainly on the three major LXX codices, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, and Sinaiticus. It varies little from the as yet incomplete Gottingen edition, considered by many as the gold standard in Septuagintal studies.

Several existing translations into English are freely available online: those of Thomson, Brenton, The Apostolic Bible (interlinear), and NETS. The inelegantly translated NETS version is regarded as the most scholarly of these, but alas it has opted for a barbarous literalism, punitively unsympathetic to Hellenistic idiom, making much of it unreadable. Other translations are also available for a fee: those of Nicholas King, Gary Zeolla, the Lexham English Septuagint, and the Orthodox Study Bible. None of these translations were made by members of Christ's Catholic Church - and I include Mr King, a modernist minister of the anti-Catholic Vatican II sect, in that observation - and all I believe can be bettered.

The old Latin translation of the Septuagint, the Vetus Latina, has alas only been sketchily preserved, but Jean-Nicolas Jager's Latin 19th century translation of the Septuagint (the Vaticanus edition) builds well on what survives of it, demonstrating not only a remarkable fidelity to the Greek but also a masterly knowledge of Latin. It is extraordinary that his work is not better known. It is available online: Volume 1 and Volume 2.

The Greek Documents website is a useful resource for instant Greek vocabulary lookups, although the LSJ Lexicon is of course superior, and Muraoka's Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint is invaluable.

The Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) should also be regularly be consulted by students of the Septuagint, not just because it will often contain something very close (if not identical) to the Hebrew text from which the Septuagint translators were working, but because the Septuagint frequently reveals itself more faithful to the Hebrew Masoretic text than any of the English translations made from it! The Syriac Peshitta is of course also worth consulting, as is the Samaritan Pentateuch, which tends to be closer to the LXX than the MT.

If you have any criticisms, I would be delighted to hear from you. This is very much a work in progress.

Timothy Peter Johnson