Is the Septuagint Trustworthy?

by David B Loughran
August 1999

The Septuagint is an ancient Greek translation of theOld Testament. It is not inspired.
Tradition has it that the Septuagint (known also as the LXXbecause 70 scribes were involved in its production) was writtensome 250 years before the Christian era. But this is not the case.


In his book Forever Settled (published by The BibleFor Today: 900 Park Avenue, Collingswood. N.J. 08108 USA) JackMoorman writes on page 13 "Paul Kahle ( afamous O.T. scholar) who has done extensive work in the Septuagintdoes not believe that there was one original old Greek versionand that consequently the manuscripts of the Septuagint (so-called)cannot be traced back to one archtype...

Peter Ruckman (in the Christian's handbook of ManuscriptEvidence) has taken a similar position. His arguments can be summarizedas follows:

1. The letter of Aristeas is mere fabrication (Kahle callsit propaganda), and there is no historical evidence that a groupof scholars translated the O.T. into Greek between 250 - 150 B.C.
2. The research of Paul Kahle shows that there was no pre-ChristianLXX.
3. No one has produced a Greek copy of the Old Testamentwritten before 300 A.D.
In fact, the Septuagint "quotes" from theNew Testament and not vice versa, i.e. in the matter of N.T.- O.T. quotation, the later formulators of the Greek O.T. madeit conform with the New Testament Text."

In his masterful book Problem Texts (published by PensecolaBible Institute Press, P.O. Box 7135, Pensecola, Florida 32504.USA) Peter S Ruckman Ph.D. writes of the Septuagint inAppendix Two, pages 407-409: "I have a copy of the notoriousSeptuagint on my desk (Zondervan Publishing Co.1970,from Samuel Baxter & Sons, London). In the Introduction, theparty line of the Alexandrian Cult is laid out as neatly as atiled floor. Our writer says 'THE FACT' may be regarded as 'CERTAIN'that the Greek Old Testament LXX had begun to be translated before285BC. The evidence for this? Don't be silly; the AlexandrianCult never deals with evidence. Every LXX manuscript citedin the Septuagint Concordance was written 200 years after thecompletion of the New Testament. They are as follows:"

Ruckman then lists the 4 Greek manuscripts from which the Septaugintcame. Brief details include:

1. A- "Alexandrinus:" written more than 300years after the completion of the New Testament. It omits Genesis14:14-17; 15:1-6, 16-19, 16:6-10, Leviticus 6:19-23, 1 Samuel12:17-14:9, 1 Kings 3-6 and Psalms 69:19-79:10.
2. Aleph-"Sinaiticus:" written more than 200years after the completion of the New Testament. It omits Genesis23:19-24:46, Numbers 5:27-7:20, 1 Chronicles 9:27-19:17, all ofExodus, Joshua, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Hosea, Amos, Micah,Ezekiel, Daniel and Judges. It contains New Testament Apocrypha.
3. C- "Codes Ephraemi:" written more than 300years after the completion of the New Testament. It omits Genesis,Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 and2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings and all of the major and minor prophets!
4. B -"Vaticanus:" It omits all off Genesis 1:1- 46:28, all of Psalms 105:26-137:6, and parts of 1 Samuel, IKings and Nehemiah. It contains the Apocrpha books of the OldTestament.

Ruckman continues:
"Those interested in further damaging evidence willobserve that every papyrus manuscript found with any partof the Old Testament in it was written after the resurrection,with the exception of one scrap containing less than six chaptersof Deuteronomy on it.

The "Septuagint" papyri (we have listed all23 of them with all that they contain and the dates they werewritten in The Christian's Handbook of Manuscript Evidence pp.48-51,published in 1970) were all written within 60 to 500years after John finished writing the Book of Revelation."

"The mythological LXX or Septuagint is the mostpersistent spook to haunt orthodox Christianity since the myththat Christ was born in a cave. The theory is based onabstract speculation of the wildest sort without one piece ofreliable documented evidence of ANY kind that there was ever onthis earth one single copy of an OLD Testament in GREEK beforethe heading up of the school at Alexandria by Origen, one hundredyears after the entire New Testament was complete, yet to thisday there exists on every campus of every fundamental school inthe United States the nebulous ghost of this non-existent spook."

If the reader is interested in further studying this issueof Bible Versions and how that the King James Version is theinfallible Word of God, then you simply must buy Ruckman'sbook Problem Texts. Never in all my days have I read suchhard-hitting facts in favour of the Authorized Version. But bewarned, Ruckman's style is not for the faint-hearted, especiallyif they are afraid of the facts!

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