It doesn't seem that this text has had a thorough review by any Orthodox Christian clergy. At least one critique - by Archimandrite Irenei Steenberg (who himself is a respected Orthodox author) was decidedly negative.
In fact, the author himself has stated on monachos.net:
"I have never, and I repeat NEVER proclaimed that I was doing an official English translation of the LXX, and, in fact, I have even avoided calling it a translation but an approximation as the underlying Septuagnt [sic] Greek"
How on earth did Logos vet this translation?
Fr. Irenei's comments:
Even a cursory glance at the translation proper reveals it as deeply problematic. In a brief reading of the translation of the first few chapters of Genesis, for example, nearly every paragraph had substantial problems of the Greek simply being rendered wrongly.
Let us look at a few examples:
For Gen 1.3, the translation is rendered “And God said, Let light be created, and light was created.” The awkwardness of the passive form in English seems to be caused by the translator’s desire to keep strictly to the voice of the Greek; however, this doesn’t work, as the Greek alternates voices between the two occurrences of the verb in that sentence (καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός Γενηθήτω φῶς. καὶ ἐγένετο φῶς). So the translation fails to render the Greek as written. But it also fails to translate accurately the key term itself, which is not ‘to create’, but ‘to come into being’. The verse would more accurately be translated, “And God said, ‘Let light come into being; and light came into being’.
At Gen 1.9, the translation reads “And God said, Let the water, which is under the sky be collected into one place…”. Here the translator begins to show what is an extremely common occurrence in the translation: mis-translation of significant terms based on expected idiom—for the Greek does not say ‘into one place’ but ‘into one gathering’ (Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός Συναχθήτω τὸ ὕδωρ τὸ ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ εἰς συναγωγὴν μίαν). This is an interesting phrase, and one that deserves to be rendered according to what the Greek actually says (there is, for example, something telling about the creation saga, in the organisation of the cosmos here not by ‘place’, but by communion/gathering).
One verse later, at Gen 1.10, the translation imposes the term ‘gathering’ (which had been present in 1.9, but not translated as such) where it does not exist in the Greek, and therefore fails to translate the LXX’s shift in nuance. Papoutsis’ translation reads: “And God called the dry land Earth, and the gatherings of the waters He called Seas”; but in fact the Greek does not say ‘gatherings of the waters’ but ‘systems of the waters’ (καὶ ἐκάλεσεν ὁ θεὸς τὴν ξηρὰν γῆν καὶ τὰ συστήματα τῶν ὑδάτων ἐκάλεσεν θαλάσσας). The LXX has presented an interesting and revealing reading: The waters under the sky are gathered into an ‘assembly’, and the ‘systems’ of this assembly are called seas—an interesting (if perhaps confusing!) nuance which the translation fails entirely to present, since it does not actually translate what the Greek says.
There are also problems that move away from the relatively simple matter of not translating the Greek words actually present, to a mis-translation of Septuagintal grammatical constructions that render odd (and incorrect) readings. So, for example, at Gen 1.20 we find: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth reptiles having life…”; but this is not possible from the Greek phrase (Καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός ᾿Εξαγαγέτω τὰ ὕδατα ἑρπετὰ ψυχῶν ζωσῶν). If the Greek meant to say ‘reptiles having life’, it would have had to use an accusative participial construction, which it does not. The translator has tried to take ψυχῶν ζωσῶν as a participial construction nonetheless, which it decidedly cannot be in this phrase in this form; it is clearly (and must be) a genitive, so the phrase should read ‘reptiles [or “creeping things”] among living creatures’. This is a tremendous reading that the LXX offers! ‘Among living creatures, the waters brought forth creeping things’—something quite different than what is presented in the translation!
Some of the problems are less dramatic, but still evidence a lack of understanding of the nuance of Septuagintal Greek. So, for example, at Gen 2.5 the translation gives us the awkward and fairly bizarre phrase, “for God had not rained on the earth”, apparently unaware that the verb in Greek (οὐ γὰρ ἔβρεξεν ὁ θεὸς ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν) means as much ‘to send rain’ as ‘to rain’; and when it occurs with a personal subject in Classical Greek also, always means this transitive act of sending the rain. So the translator has given us an awkward phrase in English, which makes the meaning less straightforward than it actually is in Greek.
At Gen 3.8, Papoutsis refers to Adam and his wife as “both Adam and his woman” (the Greek being ὅ τε Αδαμ καὶ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ). Why he has chosen this phrase for what is clearly a term meaning ‘wife’ is eminently unclear. Especially as he aims to provide a translation useful to Orthodox Christians, translating ἡ γυνὴ as ‘woman’ rather than ‘wife’ ignores the entire liturgical usage of the term (e.g. in the Orthodox wedding rite).
The English style
Others (and I myself) have already remarked that, quite apart from the dire problem of inaccurate translation, the English itself is rendered in a most bizarre way. Or to put it another way, what is rendered is simply not correct English. But before stressing the why and how, it seems fair to let the translator describe his intention in terms of English style. From his To the Reader (prefatory remarks), Papoutsis writes:
The English style that is used throughout this translation is what many would call "Biblical" or "Traditional" English, but in a slightly modernized form. The philosophy behind this current work is that the reader, and hearer, might be instilled with reverence and awe as he approaches the Word of God, and that one might realize the sacredness of scripture and that this is truly God’s revelation of Himself to man. Therefore, by presenting God’s Word in "Biblical" English the sacred and holy nature of Almighty God is clearly and succinctly conveyed and the soul of the partaker of Holy Scripture is uplifted to the very heights of God’s love and mercy that He has for all mankind. Contemporary English fails to do this. We cannot feel the sense or depth of God’s sacredness when we approach God with the same language we use in business and everyday conversation. In other words, since there is nothing special about Contemporary English, there is nothing special about God. Thus, the style of English in this present translation is intended to uplift men’s souls and bring them to a sense of fear and trembling people must have of the Lord.
The desire to present the Scriptures in exalted English, rather than the every-day vernacular, is a noble and proper one; and I personally agree whole-heartedly with the intention to do so. The problem here is not in the aim, but in the realisation. What is offered is not an exalted English, it is non-English; the attempt to offer a traditional English ‘in a slightly modernized form’ has ended with a language that simply does not work.
‘Traditional English’—i.e. English that preserves the older distinctions of the second person singular and plural as affectionate/formal, together with the general stylings of the language when that usage was common—is not simply modern-day English with ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ inserted. These forms require that the verbs associated with them be conjugated properly. So it is possible to say “You are here” (plural/formal), or “Thou art here” (singular/intimate), but not “Thou are here”, which is a confusion of the language.
It seems to be the case that Mr Papoutsis has ‘modernized’ traditional English simply by rendering it in modern English (which is what this translation is, however broken), with the modern English’s generic ‘you’ replaced with ‘thee/thou’ and ‘ye’ at his personal preference. So we get, for example, 'thou has hearkened' (Gen 3.17) and 'What have thou done?' (Gen 4.10)—phrases which grammatically make no sense whatsoever.
And even with this, the application isn’t uniform. So in Gen 3.9 we find “And the Lord God called Adam and said to him, Adam, where art thou?”—a rendering which is, surprisingly, correct. But then, a mere two verses later, we have lost this accuracy: “And God said to him, Who told thee that thou was naked” (Gen 3.11).
I am also disappointed at the inconsistent approach to rendering biblical names in English. I’m very much in support of rendering the Greek names in an English transliteration of the Greek rather than imposing the Hebrew versions with which English speakers are more familiar (so, for example, ‘Avakoum’ rather than ‘Habbakuk’); but one must be consistent. It makes little sense to insist on a Hellenisation of a name in one case, but ignore it in another—yet this is just what we find. So in Gen 4.1 (and elsewhere) we have Abel’s brother named as ‘Kain’; this is a case of what I would call ‘insistent’ transliteration, drawing attention to the Greek root for its own sake, since ‘Kain’ and ‘Cain’ sound identical in English (though Mr Papoutsis seems to loose his insistence later; at Joshua 7.9, for example, why does he translate ‘Canaanites’ rather than insist upon the Greek ‘Chanaanites’?). But then there are passages where not only does he not insist on a radically Hellenic spelling, but doesn’t even transliterate the Greek names at all (!)—so at Gen 4.16 we hear about “the land of Nod”, despite the fact that the Greek (Ναιδ) does not transliterate to ‘Nod’ but ‘Naid’. Why are we now imposing Hebrew names?
Then, apart from these specific issues, there are many passages where the English is simply so broken as to be almost unreadable. A representative example is Gen 1.29, which reads like this:
”And God said, Behold I have given to you every seed bearing herb sowing seed which is upon all the earth, and every tree which has in itself the fruit of seed that is sown, to you it shall be for food.”
From the Greek: καὶ εἶπεν ὁ θεός ᾿Ιδοὺ δέδωκα ὑμῖν πᾶν χόρτον σπόριμον σπεῖρον σπέρμα, ὅ ἐστιν ἐπάνω πάσης τῆς γῆς, καὶ πᾶν ξύλον, ὃ ἔχει ἐν ἑαυτῷ καρπὸν σπέρματος σπορίμου— ὑμῖν ἔσται εἰς βρῶσιν—
The brokenness of the English here seems to come from a desire to remain absolutely bone-literal to the word order of the Greek; though elsewhere, Mr Papoutsis (rightly) appreciates that Greek word ordering needn’t be precisely mirrored in English (and shouldn’t—the two languages have different practices of, for example, verb location in a sentence) in order to render an accurate translation, and he doesn’t do so. But this passage is hardly out of the ordinary.
A final note
I’m sorry for the decidedly negative tone of these comments, but it has to cause a feeling of great disappointment (which I certainly feel) to see a project that has clearly taken substantial amounts of time, nonetheless fail so dramatically to make a substantial offering to the lack of Septuagintal translations in English—for we are in need of more, and better, versions of the Church’s sacred Scriptures. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t either an accurate or a readable version. If there are those who wish to approach the Septuagint, this version really cannot be recommended.