Jennifer Dines provides a survey of current scholarship on the Greek Bible - the Septuagint. She outlines its origins in the third to first centuries BCE , going on to trace its subsequent history to the fifth century CE. The Septuagint's relationship with the standard Hebrew text and its translational characteristics are examined, as is its value as a collection with its own literary and exegetical character. The Septuagint is shown to be an important source for biblical studies (both Old and New Testament), to make a distinctive contribution to the history of biblical interpretation, and to be of considerable interest for understanding the early development of both Judaism and Christianity.
“Once we reach the end of the first century ce, Greek biblical papyri are more likely to be of Christian origin” (Page 5)
“As a title, Septuaginta is abbreviated from interpretatio septuaginta virorum (‘the translation by the seventy men’) or similar expressions. The Greek equivalent, found in manuscripts from the fourth century ce onwards, is kata tous hebdomēkonta, ‘according to the seventy’” (Page 1)
“The discovery among the Dead Sea Scrolls of substantial fragments of the LXX, even in a revised form, is some indication of the early spread of the translations and of their use by at least some Greek-speaking Palestinian Jews.” (Page 4)
“The prophetic books. For the moment, these are mostly assigned to the mid-second century bce and later” (Page 46)
“The three earliest are Codex Vaticanus (B), Codex Sinaiticus (S, or א) and Codex Alexandrinus (A).” (Page 6)
The Septuagint or early Greek translation of the Old Testament has lacked a good, current introduction until recently. The strength of Dr. Dines’ introduction is its thoroughness, compactness, and readability. . . It has one of the most comprehensive discussions on Septuagint origins that I have seen. The treatment of topics, even the controversial ones, is balanced and judicious. I do not believe the student can do better for a guide to the Septuagint, and working biblical scholars and even Septuagint specialists will also want it on their bookshelf.
—Lester L. Grabbe, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, University of Hull