The Greek Septuagint
The Greek Septuagint was the dominant Old Testament version during the Apostolic period. The Septuagint is what Christ and His disciples would have read and studied from during His ministry.
It was written in Alexandria, Egypt. It was started in the 3rd century B.C.E., and finished prior to 132 B.C.E. It is the oldest of several Greek versions of the Old Testament, dating from the time of Alexander the Great.
According to the Talmud, King Ptolemy placed 72 Jewish Elders in 72 different chambers, without them knowing why they were put there. He then entered each chamber, and told each Elder to write down the "Torah of Moshe, your teacher".
Upon conclusion, according to the Talmud, each version was identical to the other, as God had put the same words into the heart of each Elder.
Though the later books of the Septuagint have drawn criticism, the five books of Moses, or the Pentateuch, has been highly regarded as an accurate translation since antiquity.
The Greek Septuagint was written in Alexandria, Egypt. This was the first copy of the Hebrew OT into Greek, the "English" language of its time.
Philo and Josephus thought it to be divinely inspired. The Old Armenian, Old Georgian, Syriac, and Slavonic Old Testament finds their respective roots in the Septuagint.
It is also quoted throughout the New Testament, and was highly regarded by the early Church Fathers. The LXX has very interesting things to say about the Nephilim in Genesis. The Septuagint leaves no room for debate, as the phrase bene elohim is translated as "angels of God". These are the words Christ and His disciples would have read in the New Testament. It logically follows, they would have believed the Nephilim to be half divine beings.
Similarly, the ancient scholars and Church Fathers had little trouble believing angels descended from heaven and had intercourse with women.
William F. Albright expressed this exact notion in his book, From the Stone Age to Christianity.
"The Israelites who heard this section (Genesis 6.2) recited unquestionably thought of intercourse between angels and women."
The intensely spiritual Philo of Alexandria wrote a piece on the subject entitled, Concerning the Giants. He based this treatise on the Septuagint.
In his discourse, he translates the phrase exactly like the Septuagint, "angels of God". Philo believed the word "angel" could refer to both good and bad angels, just as the word "soul" applies both to good and evil beings.
Philo argued that the story in Genesis 6 was historical, and it is not a myth.
Philo insisted that the incident is to teach us that some men are "earthborn", while others are "heaven born", yet the highest are "God-born".
Also worth noting is the Septuagint's translation of the word, "Nephilim". In the Greek Septuagint "Nephililm" is rendered as Gegenes.
One must keep in mind that the Jewish Elders responsible for the Septuagint were writing in Greek, for a Greek audience. Thus, their use of this word Gegenes is telling.
In Greek mythology, the Gegenes, or the Titans, were powerful deities. These divine beings ruled during the mythical Golden Age, until they were overthrown by the Olympians in the Battle of the Titans.
This battle took place long before man, and was a major part of Greek Mythology. It would seem that the Jewish Elders wished to convey this idea of divinity to their Greek audience.
As a result, "Nephilim" became "Gegenes" in the Septuagint, meaning, beings of divine origin. Thus, the Septuagint provides further evidence the Scriptures being read and studied in the ancient times were interpreted, in certain regards, much differently than modern day interpretations.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEPHILIM. Click on the above link to give us your insights into the Septuagint and/or the Nephilim. Give us your thoughts, comments, and questions!
"This is a great Greek resource for scholars and laypeople alike! Basically this is the whole Septuagint (the Greek Old Testament), in both Greek and English. There are also helpful textual and translational footnotes included when Brenton felt they were necessary." --- David Bennet (courtesy amazon.com)
Click on the link below to view this edition of The Greek Septuagint at Amazon.com!
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