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[lxx] Aristobulus, Hecataeus and the LXX

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  • RGmyrken@aol.com
    It has been occasionally suggested that the LXX was produced in response to an earlier defective translation of the Torah in Alexandria. Aristobulus,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 11, 1999
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      It has been occasionally suggested that the LXX was produced in response
      to an earlier "defective" translation of the Torah in Alexandria.
      Aristobulus, probably writing under Ptolemy VI Philometor (181-145 BCE),
      refers to a translation of portions of the Law prior to the LXX.
      "For it had been translated by others before Demetrius Phalereus, before
      the conquests of Alexander and the Persians. The parts concerning the exodus
      of the Hebrews, our fellowcountrymen, out of Egypt, the fame of all the
      things that happened to them, the conquest of the land, and the detailed
      account of the entire translation (were translated)... But the entire
      translation of all the (books) of the Law (was made) in the time of the king
      called Philadelphus..." (Fragment 3.1-2 in Charlesworth, Old Testament
      Pseudepigrapha 2.831-42.)
      The scope and content of this earlier version corresponds closely to the
      account of the Jews in Hecataeus, writing ca. 300 BCE (as found in Diodorus
      Siculus book 40). Yet secondary literature in my reading is unanimous in
      saying that Hecataeus drew on an oral source. Does anyone in the group know
      of secondary sources that suggest Hecataeus may have utilized a written
      source, or that this source may be the earlier work seemingly known to
      Aristobulus? Are there any studies that systematically compare Hecataeus to
      either the LXX or HB? I am exploring the possibility that the LXX Pentateuch
      may have been produced in part to respond to perceived inaccuracies in
      Hecataeus (and/or a written source he may have drawn on). Any relevant
      secondary literature or would be very helpful.
      Thanks in advance.

      Russell Gmirkin
      Portland, Oregon

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