The Greek Septuagint -- some Christians swear by it, and other Christians have never heard of it. It is common for the new-age bible version defenders to call upon the Greek Septuagint in their time of weakness, but as we will demonstrate in this article, the Greek Septuagint never existed.
"The Codex Semitics and the Codex Vaticanus are versions of the Old Testament derived from the Greek Sptuagint, which scholars date to around 350 A.D.
New Testament writers often used the Septuagint when they quoted from the Old Testament."
-Christopher Persaud, Contending for the Faith, Xlibris Corporation, p. 130, ISBN: 9781479773374
Christians in Carthage were taking the Septuagint as the standard... a new standard developed over time, that being the Septuagint. It became, by traditional usage, the Bible for these Christians."
-James White, The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations?, Baker Books, 1995, p. 33, ISBN: 9781556615757
As you can see, many Christian authors are backing up this "Septuagint" as manuscript evidence in defense of things like "Codex Vaticanus," which was developed by pagan, heretical men who did not believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and one of the very few manuscripts used to produce the Catholic bible versions, and likewise, many subsequent new-age versions we see today.
(Read "Why I Use the King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details)
There is a letter called "The Letter of Aristeas," that describes a translation of the Old Testament, from Hebrew to Greek, that was sent to Alexandria, Egypt by Biblical scholars in Jerusalem. The supposedly "official" document referred to in "The Letter to Aristeas" is called the LXX, or known today as The Septuagint, because it was said to have been translated by 72 Jewish scholars.
(LXX is roman numerals for 70, but the document says there were supposed to be 72 translators, so why it is not called LXXII is mystery new-age scholars don't mention.)
The end of the Old Testament is around 397 B.C., and the Septuagint is supposedly dated around 250 B.C. which is in a roughly 400 year period of Biblical silence up until the birth of Christ.
Before we go into detail, it should be emphasized that the "Letter of Aristeas," is the ONLY evidence for the existence of the Septuagint. There are no Greek Old Testament manuscripts that are dated at 250 B.C. in the known world. At the very least, it would be logical to expect Jewish historical data to confirm such a project, since sending their highly-protected Law & Prophets of God, in Hebrew format, out of Israel would have been taken incredibly seriously, requiring the confirmation and cooperation of all the Levites, including all the people who did the Greek translation of the law and prophets into a foreign language, but no such Jewish document exists even hinting at such a project.
Objections will immediately be raised by those who use the Septuagint as a source, claiming that Origen of Alexandria's Hexapla (an edition of the Bible in six versions) has a column that he copied directly from the Septuagint, but based on what evidence other than vague claims? Even if they want to make that argument, Origen's Hexapla was written about 200 A.D., over 100 years after the New Testament was completed, and contains apocryphal books (e.g. Judith, Tobit, Bel and the Dragon, etc) which were never accepted as part of Scripture by the Jews, and only accepted as Scripture by the Roman Catholic church 200 years later. If Origen copied directly from the Septuagint, that means the Septuagint contained the apocryphal books, and that means the 72 Jewish scholars would had to have added in the apocryphal books BEFORE they were originally authored!
(Either that, or Origen added to the Word of God and made them up himself, which is a directly violation of Rev 22:18)
In fact, the ONLY Greek manuscript of the Old Testament from before the time of Christ in existance today is Ryland's Papyrus #458, which contains only 6 chapters of Deuteronomy. That's it. Someone might have a creative imagination about the "Septuagint," but we have no historical evidence for a Greek edition of the Old Testament before the time of Christ, and historians know that filling in the blanks with whatever they please is not considered proper research.
This gets even stranger when we realize that "Aristeas" may never have existed. In fact, in this author's research, I can find no mention of any historical references of an "Aristeas" who lived during the day the letter was said to have been written. It is not certain if an Aristeas ever existed, but a large foundation is placed by new-age bible defenders on the "Septuagint," which does not exist, and that is based solely on the author of a letter who also may not exist, or at the very least, lied about his identity.
"The writer of this letter, Aristeas, claims to have been a Greek court official during the time of Philadelphus' reign. He claims to have been sent by Demetrius to request the best scholars of Israel to bring a copy of the Hebrew scriptures to Alexandria to start the Septuagint translation project. He even goes so far as to give names of Septuagint scholars, yet many of the names he gives are from the Maccabean era, some 75 years too late. Many of them are Greek names, definitely not the names of Hebrew scholars. There are many other evidences that this letter is from a different time period, and is thus a fake.
The writer is lying about his identity.The supposed 'librarian,' Demetrius of Phalerum (ca. 345-283) served in the court of Ptolemy Soter. Demetrius was never the librarian under Philadelphus. The letter quotes the king telling Demetrius and the translators, when they arrived, how wonderful it was that they came on the anniversary of his 'naval victory over Antigonus' (Aristeas 7:14). But the only such recorded Egyptian naval victory occurred many years after Demetrius death, so the letter is a fraud."
-David W. Daniels, "What is the 'Septuagint'?" 2001, retrieved June 11, 2013, [http://www.scionofzion.com/septuagint1.htm]
There are Biblical problems with the Septuagint as well; one of the biggest being that it was supposed to be comprised of scholars from all twelve tribes of Israel for translation. All throughout the Old Testament, the Levites were the keepers of God's Word (Deut 31:25-36) and the temple, so why would the other tribes violate the position given by God specifically to the Levites to oversee?
"Hebrew is an extremely difficult language to learn. It takes years of study to attain a passing knowledge of it. And many more to be well enough versed to use it as a vehicle of study. By comparison a working knowledge of Greek is easily attainable. Thus, IF THERE WAS an official translation of the Old Testament into Greek,
Bible critics could triple the field of influence overnight without a painstaking study of biblical Hebrew.Unfortunately, the acceptance of the existence of the Septuagint on such thin evidence is based solely on pride and voracity."
-Samuel Gipp, "What is the Septuagint?" A Friend to Church Ministries, retrieved June 11, 2013, [http://samgipp.com/answerbook/?page=09.htm]
In case you didn't understand what this author is explaining is that most new-age version scholars typically study Greek only, putting in a semester of it in their seminary college as a requirement. If the Jews had made a Greek version of the Old Testament Scriptures, then they would no longer require Hebrew, and thus what they would is this: Anyone who has had some college training in Greek, to learn the alphabet and a few words, could be considered an "authority" on the Bible that other men would need to respect, or in other words, the Bible takes a back seat in authority to their own brains and scholarly status.
The bottom line is that all this is a bunch of lies, without any real research and investigation being done, but because these men are lovers of their own selves, and want other people to respect their person, they will continue the lie, knowing that most Christians will never take the time to check out their claims.
(Read "Why Are Christians Respecting Persons?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
That should have been all that was needed for Christians to stop attaching themselves to the fabled Septuagint, but sadly, many church-goers still insist on believing in it due to their worldly attachments. For example, Flavius Josephus, who lived during the first century A.D., is treated as a god by "scholarship mentality" (i.e. those who respect men over God) who can say or do no wrong, and he included a short story in his writngs about the Septuagint being developed, but in fact, Josephus was wrong about many things.
Before we get into his error, I'd like to point out the obvious: A story is not necessarily evidence. Church-goers say "because Josephus wrote about the Septuagint, therefore, it exists," is the same argument as someone who would say, "because pagans wrote about leprechauns, therefore, they exist." In order to say the document exists, we need the document, and the document has never been proven to exist. People are welcome to take it by faith that it exists, but by doing so, you're god is really Josephus, not the Almighty.
Josephus was in error in many places throughout his works, for example, in the compilation of his works, his preface states that, at the time he lived (1st century), the earth was at least 5,000 years old:
"[T]hose who were sent to Alexandria as interpreters gave him only the books of the law, while there was a vast humber of other matters in our sacred books. They indeed contain in them
the history of five thousand years;"
-Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 23, [University of Virginia]
Today, the world is about 6,000 years old according to Biblical genealogy, but at the time of Josephus, the world was only about 4,000 years old. Either you believe the Bible, or you believe Josephus.
Seth was born when Adam was in his two hundred and thirtieth year,"
-Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 28, [University of Virginia]
And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
There are MANY such errors in Josephus's writings in which he gets dates and ages wrong. Another example is that Josephus claimed that "Sarah died a little while after" the event where Abraham took Isaac up to be a sacrifice, but that event took place when Isaac was a child, and Sarah did not die until Isaac was 37 years old (i.e. She bore him at 90, and died at 127, which means Isaac was 37--Gen 23:1).
(See Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 36, [University of Virginia])
The Bible tells us that the Hebrews were in Egypt for over 400 years, but Josephus says they came out "
(See Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 59, [University of Virginia])
The Bible tells us that God rained fire and brimstone onto Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:24), but Josephus claims that "
(See Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 34, [University of Virginia])
God told Lot and his family not to look back to the city or they would be consumed (Gen 19:17), and when Lot's wife looked back, she was turned into a pillar of salt, but Josephus claims that "Lot's wife continually" looked back at the city before God finally punished her. Either you believe the Bible, or you believe Josephus.
(See Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 34, [University of Virginia])
The Bible tells us the world before the flood perished (2Pe 3:6), but Josephus said, "
(See Flavius Josephus, "The Works of Flavius Josephus," E. Morgan, 1841, p. 31, [University of Virginia])
I could go on for quite some time because there are literally hundreds of such examples in Josephus's writing, but I think the point's been proven by now. A Christian shouldn't need to see much more than this to know that there is not only serious error in Josephus, but also that the evidence of the Septuagint is lacking so much that, if this discussion were on a book about leprechauns, the same hypocritical "scholars" would denounce it; nevertheless, because it concerns an imaginary book that helps them become instant "experts" in Hebrew without any study, they'll defend it to the grave.
Just keep your faith in God's Preserved Word (i.e. the King James Bible), and you'll be safe.
(Read "Why I Use The King James Bible" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)