Septuagint Manuscript

Detail of a second-century C.E. Greek (Septuagint) manuscript of the book of Joshua. The Schoyen Collection, London and Oslo.

This fragment of the book of Joshua comes from a second-century manuscript of the Septuagint, an early translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek. The Septuagint derives its name from the seventy Jewish scholars who supposedly completed the translation in the late second century B.C.E. As the legend goes, the Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II, asked these scholars to translate the Torah from Hebrew into Greek for the library at Alexandria. According to this story, Ptolemy II intended the translation to be used by Alexandrian Jews, whose primary language was Greek. In addition to the traditional Jewish canon, the Septuagint contains a number of related writings, such as the book of Judith.

Detail of a second-century C.E. Greek manuscript of the book of Joshua.

An authoritative collection of texts generally accepted as scripture.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

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