Names and Titles

The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. It came about because outside of Israel, Greek was the “international language” because Greece controlled much of the world from 335 B.C. to 146 B.C.. There are few facts and much tradition about this translation. Its name, Septuagint, means “seventy.” Tradition says that seventy, or seventy-two (six from each of the twelve tribes of Israel), men translated the work. It is also referred to as the “LXX.” The earliest date of this translation was sometime around 300 B.C. to 250 B.C., but the date is not certain.

The Septuagint was not held in high regard by the Jews who lived in Israel, because they spoke Hebrew and relied on the Hebrew Scriptures. Then, a few decades after the time of Jesus, there were more Gentile Christians than Jewish Christians, and the Gentiles used the Septuagint because they spoke Greek.

Actually, the version of the Septuagint we have today is from the early Fourth Century, or about 300 A.D. That means the version we have is five to six hundred years removed from the original translation. In comparison, the English of the King James Version (KJV) is four hundred years old, and many of the words no longer have the same meaning. This five or six century age difference may have caused difficulties for the Fourth Century scribes.

Another tradition of the Jews is that they would not speak or write name of Jahweh or Jehovah. You may have noticed someone, writing about the Lord, spelled His name G-d, to avoid writing His name. That is thought to be the reason the name of God does not appear in the version of the Septuagint that we have today. Some scholars believe that the Jews who translated the Septuagint followed that tradition. The translators of the KJV also used the same protocol.

The reason for this discussion is because when we read the Bible, we find the terms “God” and “Lord.” But these words are not proper names, they are titles. When Jesus was tempted by the Devil, He responded, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Strong’s G2316 theos ).” (Matthew 4:4) Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, which is almost identical, except – the Hebrew translated as God (or LORD) in all English Bibles today is Jehovah, (Strong’s H3068) the proper Name of the person we call God.

There is an interesting version of the KJV called the Proper Name Version of the King James Bible which shows the correct names in both Old and New Testament. You can view part of it online. I think you will like it.

In the meantime, praise the Name of the Lord, Jehovah. He is the ever-existent One. Praise His name for ever and ever!

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