- the oldest Greek version of the Old Testament, traditionally said to have been translated by 70 or 72 Jewish scholars at the request of Ptolemy II: most scholars believe that only the Pentateuch was completed in the early part of the 3rd century b.c. and that the remaining books were translated in the next two centuries.
Origin of Septuagint
- the principal Greek version of the Old Testament, including the Apocrypha, believed to have been translated by 70 or 72 scholars
Word Origin and History for septuagint
"Greek version of the Old Testament," 1630s, earlier as the word for the translators collectively (1570s), from Late Latin septuaginta (interpretes) "seventy (interpreters)," from Latin septuaginta "seventy," from septem "seven" (see seven) + -ginta "tens, ten times," from PIE *dkm-ta-, from *dekm- "ten" (see ten).
So called in reference to the (incorrect) tradition that the translation was done 3c. B.C.E. by 70 or 72 Jewish scholars from Palestine and completed in 70 or 72 days. The translation is believed now to have been carried out at different times by an undetermined number of Egyptian Jews. Often denoted by Roman numerals, LXX. Related: Septuagintal.