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1. THE Church inherited from the Hellenistic Synagogue an entire confidence in the work of the Alexandrian translators. It was a treasure common to Jew and Christian, the authorised Greek Bible to which at first both appealed. When after the beginning of the second century a distrust of the LXX. sprang up among the Jews931931See above, p. 30 f., Christian teachers and writers not unnaturally clung to the old version with a growing devotion. They pleaded its venerable age and its use by the Evangelists and Apostles; they accepted and often embellished the legend of its birth932932 See above, p. 13 f., and, following in the steps of Philo, claimed for it an inspiration not inferior to that of the original. When the divergences of the Septuagint from the current Hebrew text became apparent, it was argued that the errors of the Greek text were due to accidents of transmission, or that they were not actual errors, but Divine adaptations of the original to the use of the future Church.


Iren. iii. 21. 3 f. "quum . . . Deus . . . servavit nobis simplices scripturas in Aegypto . . . in qua et Dominus noster servatus est . . . et haec earum scripturarum interpretatio priusquam Dominus noster descenderet facta sit et antequam Christiani ostenderentur interpretata sit . . . vere impudorati et audaces ostenduntur qui nunc volunt aliter interpretationes facere, quando ex ipsis 463scripturis arguantur a nobis . . . etenim apostoli quum sint his omnibus vetustiores, consonant praedictae interpretationi, et interpretatio consonat apostolicae traditioni. etenim Petrus et Ioannes et Matthaeus et Paulus et reliqui deinceps et horum sectatores prophetica omnia ita annuntiaverunt quemadmodum Seniorum interpretatio continet. unus enim et idem Spiritus Dei qui in prophetis quidem praeconavit . . . in Senioribus autem interpretatus est bene quae bene prophetata fuerant. Cyril. Hieros. cat. iv. 33 f.: ἀναγίνωσκε τὰς θείας γραφάς, τὰς εἴκ͌οσι δύο933933See above, p. 219 ff. βίβλοθς τῆς παλαιᾶς διαθήκης ταύτας, τὰς ὑπὸ τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα δύο ἑρμηνευ. τῶν ἑρμηνευθείσας . . . οὐ γὰρ εὑρεσιλογία καὶ κατασκευή σοφισμάτων ἀνθρωπίνων ἦν τὸ γινόμενον, ἀλλ᾿ ἐκ πνεύματος ἁγίου ἡ τῶν ἁγίῳ πνεύματι λαληθεισῶν θείων γραφῶν ἑρμηνεία συνετελεῖτο. Chrys. in Matt. hom. v. τῶν ἄλλων μᾶλλον ἁπάντων τὸ ἀξιόπιστον οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα ἔχοιεν ἂν δικαίως. οἱ μὲν γὰρ μετὰ τὴν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παρουσίαν ἡρμήνευσαν, Ἰουδαῖοι μείναντες, καὶ δικαίως ἂν ὑποπτεύοιντο ἅτε ἀπεχθείᾳ μᾶλλον εἰρηκότες, καὶ τὰς προφητείας συσκιάζοντες ἐπίτηδες· οἱ δὲ ἑβδομήκοντα πρὸ ἑκατὸν ἢ καὶ πλειόνων ἐτῶν τῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ παρουσίας ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἐλθόντες καὶ τοσοῦτοι ὄντες πάσης τοιαύτης εἰσὶν ὑποψίας ἀπηλλαγμένοι. καὶ διὰ τὸν χρόνον καὶ διὰ τὸ πλῆθος καὶ διὰ τὴν συμφωνίαν μᾶλλον ἂν εἶειν πιστεύεσθαι δίκαιοι. Hieron. ep. xxxiii. (ad Pammach.): "iure LXX. editio obtinuit in ecclesiis vel quia prima fuit et ante Christi facta adventum, vel quia ab Apostolis . . . usurpata"; praef. in Paralip. "si LXX. interpretum pura et ut ab eis in Graecum versa est editio permaneret, superflue me . . . impelleres ut Hebraea volumina Latino sermone transferrem." Aug. de doctr. Chr. 22 "qui (LXX. interpretes) iam per omnes peritiores ecclesias tanta praesentia Sancti Spiritus interpretati esse dicuntur ut os unum tot hominum fuisse . . . quamobrem, etiamsi aliquid aliter in Hebraeis exemplaribus invenitur quam isti posuerunt, cedendum esse arbitror divinae dispositioni quae per eos facta est . . . itaque fieri potest ut sic illi interpretati sint quemadmodum congruere Gentibus ille qui eos agebat . . . Spiritus S. indicavit." (Cf. quaest. in Hept. i. 169, vi. 19; in Ps. cxxxv.; de civ. Dei viii. 44.)


2. Under these circumstances the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament necessarily influenced the literature and thought of the Ancient Church in no ordinary degree. How largely it is quoted by Greek Christian writers of the first four centuries has already been shewn934934Part III. c. 3.. But they were not content to cite it as the best available version of the Old 464Testament; they adopted without suspicion and with tenacity its least defensible renderings, and pressed them into the service of controversy, dogma, and devotion. This remark applies also in effect to the Latin Christian writers before Jerome, who were generally dependent on a literal translation based upon the Greek Bible935935See above, p. 87 ff.. To Tertullian and Cyprian, as well as to Clement and Barnabas, Justin9369362 Justin occasionally adopts a rendering preferred by his Jewish antagonists, or does not press the rendering of the LXX. But he makes this concession only where the alternative does not affect his argument; see Dial. 124, 131. and Irenaeus, the Septuagint was the Old Testament authorised by the Church, and no appeal lay either to any other version or to the original. Nor was this tradition readily abandoned by the few who attained to some knowledge of Hebrew. Origen, while recognising the divergence of the LXX. from the Hebrew, and endeavouring to reconcile the two by means of the Hexapla937937See above, p. 60 ff., was accustomed to preach and comment upon the ordinary Greek text938938Comm. in Cant. i. 344, "tamen nos LXX. interpretum scripta per omnia custodimus, certi quod Spiritus Sanctus mysteriorum formas obtectas inesse voluit in scripturis divinis.". He even builds his system of interpretation on the LXX. rendering of Prov. xxii. 20939939See below, p. 468.. Jerome was long in reaching his resolve to adopt the Hebrew text as the basis of his new Latin version, and when at length he did so, his decision exposed him to obloquy940940See his Preface to the Gospels, addressed to Damasus.. Augustine, while sympathising with Jerome's purpose, thought it a doubtful policy to unsettle the laity by lowering the authority of the LXX.941941Aug. Ep. ii. 82, § 35. He deprecates the change of cucurbita into hedera in Jon. iii. 6 ff. on the ground that the LXX. doubtless had good reasons for translating the Hebrew word by κολόκυνθα: "non enim frustra hoc puto LXX. posuisse, nisi quia et huic simile sciebant."


The following examples of Christian interpretation based upon the LXX. will shew how largely that version influenced the 465hermeneutics of the Ancient Church. The exegesis is often obviously wrong, and sometimes it is even grotesque; but it illustrates the extent to which the authority of the LXX. became a factor in the thought and life of the Church both in ante-Nicene and early post-Nicene times. A careful study of these passages will place in the hands of the young student of patristic literature a key which may unlock many of his difficulties.


Gen. i. 2 ἡ δὲ γῆ ἦν ἀόρατος καὶ ἀκατασκεύαστος   Iren. i. 18. 1 τὸμ ἀόρατον δὲ καὶ τὸν ἀ[όκρυφον αὐτῆς μηνύοντα εἰπεῖν Ἡ δὲ γῆ κτλ. Tert. bapt. 3 "(aqua) plurima suppetit, et quidem a primordio . . . terra autem erat invisibilis et incomposita . . . solus liquor dignum vectaculum Deo subiciebat."   ii. 2 τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἕκτῃ.;   Iren. v. 28. 3 φανερὸν οὖν ὅτι ἡ συντέλεια αὐτῶν τὸ ͵ς ἔτος ἐστί.   iv. 7 οὐκ ἐὰν ὀρθῶς προσενέγκῃς κτλ.   Iren. iii. 23. 4 "Cain quum accepisset consilium a Deo uti quiesceret in eo quod non recte divisisset eam quae erga fratrem erat communicationem . . . non solum non acquievit, sed adiecit peccatum super peccatum"; cf. iv. 18. 3.   xiv. 14 ἠρίθμησεν . . . δέκα καὶ ὀκτώ καὶ τριακοσίους (cod. D).   Barn. 9. 8 μάθετε ὅτι τοὺς δεκαοκτὼ πρώτους, καὶ διάστημα ποιήσας λέγει τριακοσίους· τὸ δεκαοκτὼ () ἔχεις Ἰησοῦν· ὅτι δὲ ὁ σταυρὸς ἐν τῷ Τ ἤμελλεν ἔχειν τὴν χάριν λέγει καὶ τριακοσίους Τ. Cf. Clem. Al. strom. vi. 11.   Hil. syn. 86. Ambr. de fide i. prol.   xxxi. 13 ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεὸς ὁ ὀφθείς σοι ἐν τόπῳ θεοῦ (D silE).   Just. Dial. 58 (cf. 60).   xlviiii. 14 ἐπέβαλεν . . . ἐναλλὰξ τὰς χεῖρας.   Tert. bapt. 8 "sed est hoc quoque de vetere sacramento quo nepotes suos . . . intermutatis manibus benedixerit et quidem ita transversim obliquatis in se, ut Christum deformantes iam tunc portenderent benedictionem in Christum futuram."   xlix. 10 οὐκ ἐκλείψει ἄρχων ἐξ Ἰούδα καὶ ἡγούμενος κτλ.   Justin Dial. 52 οὐδέποτε ἐν τῷ γένει ὑμῶν ἐπαύσατο οὔτε προφήτης οὔτε ἄρχων . . . μέχρις οὗ οὗτος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς καὶ γέγονε καὶ ἔπαθεν (cf. ib. 120).   Iren. iv. 10. 2 "inquirant enim . . . id tempus in quo defecit princeps et dux ex Iuda et qui est gentium spes . . . et invenient non alium nisi Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum annuntiatum."   Cypr. test. i. 21.   Eus. dem. ev. i. 4.   Cyril. H. xii. 17 σημεῖον οὖν ἔδωκε τῆς Χριστοῦ παρουσίας τὸ παύσασθαι τὴν ἀρχὴν τῶν Ἰουδαίων. εἰ μὴ νῦν ὑπὸ Ῥωμαίους εἰσίν, οὔπω ἦλθεν ὁ Χριστός· εἰ ἔχουσι τὸν ἐκ γένους Ἰούδα καὶ τοῦ Δαβίδ, οὔπω ἦλθεν ὁ προσδοκώμενος.

Exod. xvi. 36 τὸ δὲ γομορ τὸ δέκατον τῶν τριῶν μέτρων ἦν.   Clem. Al. strom. ii. ἐν ἡμῖη γὰρ αὐροῖς τρία μέτρα, τρία κριτήρια μηνύεται, αἴσιξσος . . . λόγος . . . νοῦς.   xvii. 16 ἐν χειρὶ κρυφαίᾳ πολεμεῖ Κύριος ἐπὶ Ἀμαλὴκ ἀπὸ γενεῶν εἰς γενεάς.   Just. Dial. 49 νοῆσαι δύνασθε ὅτι κρυθία δύναμις τοῦ θεοῦ γέγονε τῷ σταυρωθέντι Χριστῷ.   Iren. iii. 16. 4 "occulte quidem sed potenter manifestans, quoniam absconsa manu expugnabat Dominus Amalech."   xxxiii. 19 καλέσω ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί Κυρίου ἐναντίον σου (AF).   Amb. 466de Sp. s. i. 13 "Dominus ergo dixit quia in nomine suo vocabit Dominum; Dominus ergo et Patris est nomen et Filii."

Lev. iv. 5 ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ χριστὸς.   Tert. bapt. 7 "Aaron a Moyse unctus est, unde Christus dicitur a chrismate, quod est unctio, quae Domino nomen accommodavit."

Num. xxiii. 19 οὐχ ὡς ἄνθρωπος ὁ θεὸς διαρτηθῆναι οὐδὲ ὡς υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου ἀπειληθῆναι.   Cypr. test. ii. 20 [under the heading "Quod cruci illum fixuri essent Iudaei"].   xxiv. 17 ἀνατελεῖ ἄστρον ἐξ Ἰακώβ, καὶ ἀναστήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐξ Ἰσραήλ.   Eus. dem. ev. i. 3, 6.   Cypr. test. ii. 10 [under the heading, "Quod et homo et Deus Christus," &c.].

Deut. xxviii. 66 ἔσται ἡ ζωή σου κρεμαμένη ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν σου . . . καὶ οὐ πιστεύσεις τῇ ζωῇ σου   Tert. (Jud. 11) quotes this as "Erit vita tua pendens in ligno ante oculos tuos; et non credes vitae tuae," explaining the words of the "signi sacramentum . . . in quo vita hominibus praestruebatur, in quo Judaei non essent credituri."   Cf. Cyril H. xiii. 19 ὅτι ἡ ζωὴ ἦν ἡ ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου κρεμασθεῖσα Μωσῆς ἀποκλαιόμενός φησι κτλ.   xxxii. 8 ἔστησεν ὅρια ἐθνῶν κατὰ ἀριθμὸν ἀγγέλων θεοῦ.   Justin (dial. 131) cites the last three words as κ. ἀριθμοὺς υἱῶν Ἰσραήλ,, adding οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα ἐξηγήσαντο ὅτι Ἔστησεν ὅ. ἐθνῶν κ. ἀριθμὸν ἀγγ. θεοῦ· ἀλλ᾿ ἐπεὶ καὶ ἐκ τούτου πάλιν οὐδέν μοι ἐλαττοῦται ὁ λόγος, τὴν ὑμετέραν ἐξήγησιν εἶπον.   Iren. iii. 12. 9, quoting the LXX., comments: "populum autem qui credit Deo iam non esse sub angelorum potestate."

Jos. v. 3 ἐποίησεν Ἰησοῦς μαχαίρας πετρίνας ἀκροτόμους καὶ περιέτεμεν τοὺς υἱοὺς Ἰσραήλ.   Tert. Jud. 9 "circumcisis nobis petrina acie, id est, Christi praeceptis (petra enim Christus multis modis et figuris praedicatus est)."

3 Regn. xxii. 38 ἀπένιψαν τὸ αἷμα ἐπὶ τὴν κρήνην Σαμαρείας . . . καὶ αἱ πόρναι ἐλούσαντο ἐν τῷ αἵματι:   Amb. de Sp. s. 1. 16 "fidelis ad puteum (Gen. xxiv. 62), infidelis ad lacum (Jer. ii. 13) . . . meretrices in lacu Jezabel se cruore laverunt."

Ps. ii. 12 δράξασθε παιδείας.   Cyp. test. iii. 66 "continete942942v.l. adprehendite. disciplinam" [under the heading "Disciplinam Dei in ecclesiasticis praceptis observandam"]. iv. 7 ἐσημειώθη ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς τὸ φῶς τοῦ προσώπου σου.   Amb. de Sp. 1. 14 "quod est ergo lumen signatum nisi illius signaculi spiritalis in quo credentes signati (inquit) estis Spiritu promissionis sancto943943Eph. i. 13.."   vi. 6 ἐν δὲ τῷ ᾅδῃ τίς ἐξομολογήσεταί σοι.   Cypr. test. iii. 114 [under the heading "Dum in carne est quis, exhomologesin (cf. Stud. Bibl. iv. 282, 290 n.) facere debere"].   ix. tit. εἰς τὸ τέλος.   Hil. ad loc. "intellegendum quotiens qui titulos habent in fine, non praesentia in his sed ultima contineri."   Ib. ὑπὲρ τῶν κρυφίων τοῦ υἱοῦ.   Orig. ad loc. κρύφιά ἐστι γνῶσις ἀπόρρητος τῶν περὶ Χριστοῦ τοῦ ἀληθινοῦ 467θεοῦ μυστηρίων.   Athan. ad loc. λέγει Ὑπέρ τῶν ἀκαταλήπτων μυστηρίων τοῦ υἱοῦ.   xxi. 7. See under Hab. ii. 11. 30 καὶ ἡ ψυχή μου αὐτῷ ζῇ.   Iren. v. 7. 1 "tamquam immortali substantia eius existente."   xxxii. 6 τῷ λόγῳ τοῦ κυρίου . . . τῷ πνεύματι τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ.   See Iren. iii. 8. 3, Tert. Prax. 7, Cypr. test. ii. 3, Ambr. de Sp. s. iii. 11, Hil. trin. xii. 39.   xliv. 1 ἐξηρεύξατο ἡ καρδία μου λόγον ἀγαθόν.   Tert. Prax. 7 "solus ex Deo genitus, proprie de vulva cordis ipsius secundum quod et Pater ipse testatur Eructavit cor meum sermonem optimum."   Marc. ii. 4 "adhibet operi bono optimum etiam ministrum, sermonem suum."   Cf. Cypr. test. ii. 3.   lxxxvi. 4 μνησθήσομαι Ῥαάβ.   Cyril. H. ii. 9 ὦ μεγάλης τοῦ θεοῦ φιλανθρωπίας καὶ πορνῶν μνημονευούσης ἐν γραφαῖς (the LXX. having transliterated רחב and רהב alike).   Cf. Hieron. comm. in Ps. ad loc.   Ib. 5 Μήτηρ Σειὼν ἐρεῖ ἄνθρωπος, καὶ Ἄνθρωπος ἐγενήθη ἐν αὐτῇ, καὶ Αὐτὸς ἐθεμελίωσεν αὐτὴν ὁ ὕψιστος.   Tert. Prax. 27 "invenimus illum directo et Deum et hominem expositum, ipso hoc psalmo suggerente quoniam Deus homo natus est in illa, aedificavit eam voluntate Patris"; cf. Marc. iv. 13 "'Mater Sion' dicet homo, et 'homo factus est in illa' (quoniam Deus homo natus est) . . . aedificaturus ecclesiam ex voluntate patris."; Hieron. comm. in Pss. (ed. G. Morin) ad loc.: "pro 'mater Sion' LXX. interpretes transtulerunt: 'numquid Sion (μὴ τῇ Σ.) dicat homo?' . . . sed vitiose P litera graeca addita fecit errorem944944Cf. the Tractatus in Psalmos, p. 402.." Jerome however retains the interpretation 'homo Christus,' which depends on the LXX. reading ἄνθρωπος.   lxxxvii. 6 ἐν ηεκροῖς ἐλεύθερος.   Cyril. H. x. 4 οὐκ ἀπομείνας ἐν νεκροῖς, ὡς πάντες ἐν ᾅδῃ, ἀλλὰ μόηος ἐν νεκροῖς ἐλεύθερος.   xci. 13 δίκαιος ὡς φοῖνιξ ἀνθήσει.   Tert. res. carn. 13 "id est de morte, de funere, uti credas de ignibus quoque substantiam corporis exigi posse" (cf. Clem. R. 1 Cor. 25, Lightfoot, p. 85 n.).   xcv. 5 πάντες οἱ θεοὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν δαιμόνια.   Just. dial. 55 οἱ θεοὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν . . . εἴδωλα δαμονίων εἰσίν, ἀλλ᾿ οὐ θεοί (cf. ib. 79, 83).   Iren. iii. 6. 3.   Tert. idololatr. 20.   Cypr. test. iii. 59.   Ib. 10 ὁ κύριος ἐβασίλευσεν [ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου].   Just. apol. i. 41, Dial. 73 f.945945See above, p. 424, n., and cf. Deut. xxviii. 66.    Tert. Marc. iii. 19; Jud. 10 "age nunc, si legisti penes prophetam in psalmis: Deus regnavit a ligno, expecto quid intelligas, ne forte lignarium aliquem regem significari putetis et non Christum."   ib. 13 "unde et ipse David regnaturum ex ligno dominum dicebat." Auctor de montibus Sina et Sion 9 "Christus autem in montem sanctum ascendit lignum regni sui."   Cf. Barn. 8 ἡ βασιλεία Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ξύλου.   xcviii. 5 προσκυνεῖτε τῷ ὑποποδίῳ τῶν ποδῶν αὐτοῦ.   Ambr. de Sp. s. iii. 11 "per scabellum terra intelligitur, per terram autem caro Christi quam hodieque in mysteriis adoramus, et quam Apostoli in Domino Jesu . . . adorarunt."   Cf. Aug. ad loc.   cvi. 20 ἀπέστειλεν 468τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰάσατο αὐτους.   Cypr. test. ii. 3 [under the heading "Quod Christus idem sit sermo Dei"].   cix. 3b ἐκ γαστρὸς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου ἐξεγέννησά σε.   Just. apo1. i. 45, dial. 32.   Tert. Marc. v. 9 "nos edimus evangelia . . . nocturna nativitate declarantia Dominum ut hoc sit ante luciferum . . . nec generavi te edixisset Deus nisi filio vero . . . cur autem adiecit ex utero . . . nisi quia curiosius voluit intellegi in Christum ex utero generavi te, id est, ex solo utero sine viri semine?" Cypr. test. i. 17.   Cyril. H. vii. 2 ἄπερ ἐπὶ ἄνθρωπων ἀναθέρειν πάσης ἀγνωμοσύνης ἀνάπλεων.   xi. 5 τὸ ῾σήμερον᾿ (Ps. ii. 7) ἄχρονον, πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων· ἐκ γαστρὸς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου κτλ.   Cf. Athan. or. c. Ar. iv. 27 f.

Prov. viii. 22 Κύριος ἔκτισέν με ἀρχὴν ὁδῶν αὐτοῦ.   Just. dial. 61.   Iren. iv. 20. 3.   Tert. Prax. 7.   Cypr. test. ii. 1 [under the heading Christum . . . esse sapientiam Dei, per quam omnia facta sunt]. Hil. trin. xii. 45 "quaerendum est quid sit natum ante saecula Deum rursum in initium viarum Dei et in opera creari."   Cf. Athan. or. in Ar. ii. 16 ff.   xxii. 20 καὶ σὺ δὲ ἀπόγραψαι αὐτὰ σεαυτῷ τρισσῶς.   Orig. Philoc. 1. 11 (de princ. iv.) οὐκοῦν τριχῶς ἀπογράφεσθαι δεῖ εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ψυχὴν τὰ τῶν ἁγίων γραμμάτων νοήματα.

Job xl. 14 πεποιημένον ἐνκαταπαίζεσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων αὐτοῦ.   Applied to the Devil by Cyr. H. cat. viii. 4.

Hos. xl. 4 (A) EV ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ μου εὕροσάν με.   Tert. Marc. iv. 39 "per diem in templo docebat ut qui per Osee praedixerat," &c. (For the reading of B, cf. Orig. Philoc. viii. 1.)

Amos ix. 6 ὁ οἰκοδομῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνάβασιν αὐτοῦ.   Tert. Marc. iv. 34 "aedificantem illis ascensum suum in caelum."

Hab. ii. 11 λίθος ἐκ τοίχου βοήσεται καὶ κάνθαρος ἐκ ξύλου φθέγξεται αὐτά.   Ambr. in Luc. xxiii. "bonus vermis qui haesit in ligno (Ps. xxi. 7), bonus scarabaeus qui clamavit e ligno . . . clamavit quasi scarabaeus Deus Deus meus"; or. de obitu Theodosii 46 "[Helena] adoravit illum qui pependit in ligno . . . illum (inquam) qui sicut scarabaeus clamavit ut persecutoribus suis Pater peccata donaret."   Hieron. in Abac., ad loc. "quidam e nostris vermem in ligno loquentem illum esse aiunt qui dicit in Psalmo (xxi. 7) Ego natus sum vermis et non homo."   iii. 2 ἐν μέσῳ δύο ζῴων γνωσθήσῃ.   Tert. Marc. iv. 22 "in medio duo animalium cognosceris, Moysi et Eliae."   Eus. dem. ev. vi. 15 δύο ζωὰς (reading ζωῶν in text) τοῦ προφητευομένου δηλοῦσθαι ἔφαμεν, μίαν μέν τὴν ἔνθεον, θατέραν δέ τὴν ἀνθρωπίνην.

Zach. vi. 12 ἰδοὺ ἀνήρ, Ἀνατολὴ ὄνομα αὐτῷ.   Just. dial. 106, 121.   Tert. Valent. 3 "amat figura Spiritus sancti orientem, Christi figuram."

Isa. i. 22 οἱ κάπηλοί σου μίσγουσι τὸν οἶνον ὕδατι.   Iren. iv. 12. 1 "ostendens quod austero Dei praecepto miscerent seniores aquatam traditionem."   iii. 9 f. οὐαὶ τῇ ψυχῇ αὐτῶν, διότι βεβούλευνται 469βουλὴν πονηρὰν καθ᾿ ἑαυτῶν εἰπόντες Δήσωμεν (v.l. ap. Justin., al. ἄρωμεν) τὸν δίκαιον, ὅτι δύσχρηστος ἡμῖν ἐστιν.   Barn. vi. 7, Just. dial. 17, 133, 136 f.   Tert. Marc. iii. 22.   Cyril H. xiii. 12.   vii. 14 ἡ παρθένος.   Just. dial. 43, 67, 71, 84.   Iren. iii. 21. 1 ff.   Tert. Marc. iii. 13, iv. 10.   Cypr. test. ii. 9.   Eus. dem. ev. vii. 1.   Cyr. H. xii. 21.   ix. 6 μεγάλης βουλῆς ἄγγελος.   Hil. trin. iv. 23 "qui Angelus Dei dictus est, idem Dominus et Deus est; est autem secundum prophetam Filius Dei magni consilii angelus."   x. 23 λόγον συντετμημένον ποιήσει Κύριος.   Tert. Marc. iv. 4 "compendiatum est enim novum testamentum et a legis laciniosis oneribus expeditum" (cf. iv. 16).   xxx. 4 ὅτι εἰσὶν ἐν Τάνει ἀρχηγοὶ ἄγγελοι πονηροί.   Just. dial. 79 πονηροὺς ἀγγέλους κατῳκηκέναι καὶ κατοικεῖν λέγει καὶ ἐν Τάνει, τῇ Αἰγυπτίᾳ χώρᾳ.   xlv. 1 οὕτως λέγει Κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῷ χριστῷ μου Κύρῳ [read as κυρίῳ].   Barn. xii. 11, Tert. Prax. 28, Jud. 7, Cypr. test. 1. 21.   Ib. 14 καὶ ἐν σοὶ προσεύξονται   Ambr. de Sp. s. ii. 8 "in Christo orare nos debere Deus Pater dicit."   liii. 3 ἄνθρωπος ἐν πληγῇ ὢν.   Tert. de carne Chr. 15.   Ib. 8 τὴν γενεὰν αὐτοῦ τίς διηγήσεται;   Eus. h. e. i. 2.   liv.15 προσήλυτοι προσελεύσονταί σοι δἰ ἐμοῦ.   Ambr. de Sp. s. ii. 9 "Deus Pater ad Filium dicit: Ecce proselyti venient ad te per me."   lx. 17 δώσω τοὺς ἄρχοντάς σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ τοὺς ἐπισκόπους σου ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ.   Iren. iv. 26. 5 τοιούτους πρεσβυτέρους ἀνατρέφει ἡ ἐκκλσία, περὶ ὧν καὶ προφέτης φησέν Δώσω κτλ.   Cf. Clem. R. I Cor. 42.   lxiii. 1 ἐρύθημα ἱματίων ἐκ Βόσορ.   Hieron. comm. in Isa. ad loc. "quod multi pro errore lapsi putant de carne (בשר) Domini intellegi."   Ib. 9 οὐ πρέσβυς οὐδὲ ἄγγελος, ἀλλ᾿ αὐτὸς ἔσωσεν αὐτούς.   Iren. iii. 20. 4 "quoniam neque homo tantum erit qui salvat nos neque sine carne (sine carne enim angeli sunt)."   Tert. Marc. iv. 22 "non legatus, inquit Esaias, nec nuncius, sed ipse Deus salvos eos faciet, ipse iam praedicans et implens legem et prophetas."

Jer. xi. 19 δεῦτε καὶ ἐμβάλωμεν ξύλον εἰς τὸν ἄρτον αὐτοῦ   Tert. Marc. iii. 19 "utique 'in corpus' . . . sic enim Deus in evangelio . . . revelavit, panem corpus suum appellans."   Cypr. test. ii. 20.   xvii. 9 ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν, καὶ τίς γνώσεται αὐτόν;   Iren. iii. 18. 3, 19. 2, iv. 33. 11; Tert. carn. Chr. 15, Jud. 14.

Bar. iii. 38 μετὰ τοῦτο ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ὤφθη καὶ ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις συνανεστράφη.   Cyril. H. xi. 15 βλέπεις θεὸν μετὰ τὴν Μωσέως νομοθεσίαν ἐνανθρωπήσαντα;

Lam. iv. 20 πνεῦμα προσώπου ἡμῶν χριστὸς Κύριος συνελήμφθη ἐν ταῖς διαφθοραῖς αὐτῶν.   Just. apol. i. 55.   Iren. iii. 10. 11.   Tert. Marc. iii. 6 "Christum, spiritum scilicet creatoris, sicut propheta testatur" &c. Prax. 14 "ergo si Christus personae paternae spiritus est, merito spiritus cuius persona erat (id est Patris) cum faciem suam ex unitate scilicet pronuntiavit." Cyril. H. xiii. 7. Ambr. de Sp. s. 1. 9 "et Christus spiritus dicitur quia Ieremias dixit," &c.



From these specimens it is clear that the Ancient Church was profoundly influenced by the Greek Old Testament in a variety of ways. Two may be mentioned here. (1) The Alexandrian Greek with its daughter-version, the Old Latin, supplied the basis of a practical interpretation which, notwithstanding numerous errors of text and of treatment, ministered to the religious life of the Christian Society. It was from the LXX. version and not from the official Hebrew of the Synagogue that the pre-Hieronymian Church derived her devotional use of the Old Testament, as it is on the whole the Greek and not the Hebrew Bible which still supplies the Roman Breviary and the Anglican Prayer-book with the substance of their liturgical Psalters. The Alexandrian School based its exegetical work upon the LXX., and the errors and obscurities of the version often yielded materials peculiarly adapted to the requirements of the allegorists; whilst the School of Antioch was no less whole-hearted in its devotion to the old Alexandrian version946946For Chrysostom's use of the LXX. see F. H. Chase, Chrysostom: a study in the history of Biblical Interpretation, p. 28 ff. (Cambridge, 1887); and for Theodore of Mopsuestia, cf. H. Kihn, Th. v. Mops., p. 87 ff. (Freiburg i. B., 1880).. This spirit of loyalty to the LXX. continued to the age of the later Greek expositors; it is reflected in the catenae, and it fundamentally affects the traditional interpretation of the Old Testament throughout the orthodox East. Even in the West, through the spread of the Greek exegesis, and the use of the Old Latin version by the earlier Latin fathers, it has acquired a predominant influence. Thus, for good or for evil, the popular interpretation of the O. T. has been moulded by the LXX. rather than by the Hebrew text. (2) The LXX. supplied the Ancient Church with controversial weapons at two great crises in her history—during the early struggle with the rival forces of Monotheism, Judaism, Marcionism, and the various schools of Gnosticism, and in the long conflict with Arianism. Arians 471as well as Catholics appealed to the Alexandrian version. Thus Arius did not hesitate to argue from Joel ii. 25, LXX. (ἡ ἀκρὶς . . . ἡ κάμπη ἡ δύναμίς μου ἡ μεγάλη) that the Son is the Power of God in no higher sense than any other agency by which great effects are wrought upon the face of nature947947Fragment of the Thalia, in Athan. or. c. Ar. i. 6.. Both parties had recourse to Prov. viii. 22, where the LXX. rendering of קָנָנִי by ἔκτισέν με seemed to Arius to justify the statement that the Logos Himself had a beginning of existence, like the created universe948948Ib. ἀρχὴη τοῦ κτίζεσθαι ἔσχε καὶ αὐτός.. Unconvincing as such arguments are now, they had an overwhelming weight in the fourth century, and Hilary speaks as if the cause of orthodoxy might be saved by wresting this crucial passage out of the hands of the Arians (de Trin. xii. "hic hiemis eorum maximus fluctus est, haec tortuosa turbinis gravis unda est, quae excepta a nobis et securo navigio infracta, usque ad ipsum nos tutissimum portum optati litoris prosequetur"). Neither the controversies of the second nor those of the fourth century can be fully understood without an appreciation of the place which the Greek Old Testament occupied in the thought and language of the Ancient Church.


3. Familiarity with the LXX. is not less essential to the student of the devotional life of the Early Church. The Greek Liturgies, especially perhaps in the oldest parts, are steeped in the language of the Greek Old Testament. (a) The prayers of the Psalter are worked into their text, often with little or no change; e.g. St Clement (B. 5)949949The references are to the pages of Mr Brightman's Liturgies, Eastern and Western, i. (Oxford, 1896). δὸς αὐτοῖς καρδίαν καινὴν καὶ πνεῦμα εὐθὲς ἐγκαίνισον ἐν τοῖς ἐγκάτοις αὐτῶν (Ps. l. 12); ib. (B. 8) καὶ ἀποδώσῃ αὐτοῖς τὴν ἀγαλλίασιν τοῦ σωτηρίου καὶ πνεύματι ἡγεμονικῷ στήρισόν αὐτούς (Ps. l. 14); St James (B. 37) σῶσον ὁ θεὸς τὸν λαόν σου καὶ εὐλόγησον τὴν κληρονομίαν σου 472(Ps. xxvii. 9)950950Cf. St Basil (B. 311).; ib. (B. 55) ἐπιλαβοῦ ὅπλου καὶ θυρεοῦ καὶ ἀνάστηθι εἰς τὴν ´βοήθειάν μου (Ps. xxxiv. 2); St Mark (B. 117) ἐξαπόστειλον τὸ φῶς σου καὶ τὴν ἀλήθειάν σου (Ps. xlii. 3) . . . καὶ ταχὺ προκαταλαβέτωσαν ἡμᾶς οἱ οἰκτιρμοί σου, Κύριε (Ps. lxxviii. 8).   (b) Many of their magnificent addresses to God and to Christ are from the LXX. e.g. St Clement (B. 12) Κύριε παντοκράτωρ, ὕψιστε, ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, ἅγιε ἐν ἁγίοις ἀναπαυόμενε, ἄναρχε, μόναρχε (Isa. lvii. 15 + 3 Macc. ii. 2); ib. (B. 24) ὁ μέγας, ὁ μεγαλώνυμος (Jer. xxxix. 19); St James (B. 44) ὁ ἐν ὑψηλοῖς κατοικῶν καὶ τὰ ταπεινὰ ἐφορῶν (Ps. cxii. 5 f.); St Mark (B. 137) ὁ καθήμενος ἐπὶ τῶν χερουβίμ (Ps. lxxix. 2); Sarapion (J. Th. St. i.) θεὲ τῆς ἀληθείας (Ps. xxx. 6); τῶν δυνάμεων (Ps. lviii. 6); τῶν πνευμάτων (Num. xvi. 22).   (c) Passing allusions are made to the LXX., some times difficult to explain without its aid, e.g. St Clement (B. 6) ὁ τὸν ἀνθρωποκτόνον ὄφιν δεσμώτην παραδοὺς ἡμῖν ὡς στρουθίον παιδίοις (cf. Job xl. 14); ib. (B. 15) λόγον θεὸν . . . ἄγγελον τῆς μεγάλης βουλῆς σου (Isa. ix. 6); St James (B. 55) τῶν τὸ ἅγιόν σου θυσιαστήριον κυκλούντων διακόνων (Ps. xxv. 6); ib. (B. 57) ἐν χώρᾳ ζώντων (Ps. cxiv. 9); St Mark (B. 126) εἰσόδους καὶ ἐξόδους ἡμῶν ἐν πάσῃ εἰρήνῃ κατακόσμησον (1 Regn. xxix. 6: Ps. cxx. 8); ib. (B. 133) ἐξ ἑτοίμου κατοικητηρίου σου (Exod. xv. 17; 3 Regn. viii. 39 ff.); St Basil (B. 335) ἡ ἐλπὶς τῶν ἀπηλπισμένων (Judith ix. 11); Sarapion: ὁ θανατῶν καὶ ζωογονῶν (1 Regn. ii. 6).   (d) Much of the technical phraseology of the Liturgies is from the LXX.: e.g. τὰ ἅγια (Lev. xxii. 2), ἀναφορά (Num. iv. 19), δῶρα (Gen. iv. 4), θυσία (Gen. iv. 3), λειτουργία (Exod. xxxvii. 19), θυσία αἰνέσεως (Lev. vii. 3 f., Ps. xlix. 14, 23), πρόθεσις (Exod. xxxix. 18), προκείμενα (Lev. xxiv. 7), προσφορά (3 Regn. vii. 34), τελειοῦν (Exod. xxix. 9).   (e) The same is true with regard to some of the oldest Eucharistic formulae, e.g. the Preface and Sanctus951951The composite quotation in Clem. R. 1 Cor. xxxiv. (Dan. vii. 10 + Isa. vi. 3) is probably an echo of an early Roman Preface. A reference to Dan. l.c. in the same connexion is not uncommon; cf. St Clement (B. 18), St Mark (B. 131), Sarapion (J. Th. St. i. 1, p. 105). 473which are based on Isa. vi. 2—3, the Kyrie eleison (Psalms, passim), the Gustate (Cyril H. myst. v. 20)952952To these may perhaps be added the Ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδε (cf. Clem. R. l.c.). On Kyrie eleison see a paper by Mr Edm. Bishop, in the Downside Review, 1899—1900 (published separately by Walters, Weston-super-mare)..


4. The Greek terminology of Christian Doctrine is largely indebted to the Alexandrian translators. It is true that in this case most of the technical language of theology has passed through the New Testament and received there a fuller preparation for the use of the Church: and the influence of Greek philosophy and of Gnostic speculation must also be borne in mind by the student of the language of dogma. But it is perhaps even more important that he should trace it back to its source in the Greek Old Testament, which was far more familiar to Christian teachers of the first three centuries than the writings of Plato or of the schools of Basileides and Valentinus. The patristic use of such terms as ᾅδης, ἀνάστασις, εἰκών, ἐκκλησία, ἐφόδιον, θυσία, θυσιαστήριον, Κύριος, λόγος, μονογενής, ξύλον, οὐσία, παντοκράτωρ, παντοδύναμος, παράδεισος, πνεῦμα ἅγιον, πίστις, προσφορά, σάρξ, σοφία, ὑπόστασις, φύσις, φῶς, χάρις, can best be understood by the student who begins by investigating their use in the Septuagint.

Indirectly, but not less extensively, the earliest Latin theology drew a store of theological language from the LXX. Such words as aeternalis, altare, benedictio, congregatio, converti, daemonium, eleemosyna, exomologesis, glorificare, hostia, iustitia, misericordia, oblatio, propitiatio, sacerdos, sacrificium, salvare, testamentum, unicus, viaticum, are examples which might easily be multiplied. In the case of some of these terms (e. g. sacerdos = episcopus, sacrificium = eucharistia) the choice contributed largely to the development of doctrine, and it is reasonable to suppose that they entered the vocabulary 474of the Western Church through the Latin version of the Septuagint, and not directly from Pagan use. It is noteworthy that Cyprian, whose own style has been said to shew "small respect for the language of the Latin Bible953953E. W. Watson, in Studia Biblica, p. 194 f.," persistently used these O. T. words in reference to the Christian ministry and the Eucharistic offering.


5. One great monument of ancient Christianity, which still exercises a direct influence over the vast Latin communion, seemed at one time likely to serve as a counteracting force to the Septuagint. It was the deliberate purpose of Jerome to set aside in the West the authority of a daughter-version of the LXX., and to establish in its place, by means of his new Latin Bible, that of the official Hebrew text. Nevertheless, through a variety of causes, the Vulgate, as it is now read by the Latin Church, perpetuates many of the characteristic features of the LXX. (a) The Psalter of the Vulgate, as we have seen, is taken from Jerome's second revision of the Old Latin, and not from his Psalterium Hebraicum, or translation of the Hebrew text; and the books of Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, and 1, 2 Maccabees, are given in the Old Latin forms954954See above, pp. 98 f., 103.. (b) The rest of the Old Testament retains, in the Clementine Vulgate, numerous traces of Septuagint readings and renderings. A few examples may be given: Gen. iii. 15 "tu insidiaberis (τηρήσεις) calcaneo eius"; iv. 8 "dixitque Cain ad Abel fratrem eius Egrediamur foras" (διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πεδίον); vi. 5 "non permanebit (οὐ μὴ καταμείνῃ) "Spiritus meus in homine"; xlix. 10 "ipse erit expectatio (προσδοκία) gentium"; Num. xxiv. 24 "vastabuntque Hebraeos"; Isa. vii. 14 "ecce virgo concipiet"; Lam. iv. 20 "Spiritus oris nostri Christus dominus"; Zech. iii. 8 "adducam servum meum Orientem" (Ἀνατολήν). It must indeed 475be remembered that loans from the LXX. are not always of Jerome's borrowing; some of them have made their way into the text of the Vulgate during the course of its transmission (see Vercellone, Variae lectiones vulgatae Latinae bibliorum editionum, ii. p. viii sqq.). But they hold their place in the authorised Latin Bible of the West, and represent there to this day the influence of the Alexandrian Greek version. (c) Many of the words of the Vulgate are more or less complete transliterations of the Greek words used by the LXX. in the same contexts, survivals in great part from the O. L., where they had familiarised themselves to Latin ears955955Cf. Kaulen, Handbuch zur Vulgata (Mainz, 1870), pp. 83 ff., 130 f., 189 ff.. Thus we have arceuthinus (2 Chr. ii. 8), azyma, azymi (Gen. xix. 3, Exod. xii. 8), blasphemare (Lev. xxiv. 11), cartallus (Deut. xxvi. 2), cataplasmare (Isa. xxxviii. 21), cauma (Job xxx. 30), choerogryllus (Lev. xi. 5), christus (1 Regn. ii. 10), chytropus (Lev. xi. 35), cidaris (Lev. xvi. 4), creagra (2 Chr. iv. 11), doma (Jer. xix. 13), ecclesia (1 Regn. xvii. 47), gazophylacium (Ezech. xl. 17), holocaustum (Lev. i. 3), laganum (Exod. xxix. 23), latomus (3 Regn. v. 15), luter (3 Regn. vii. 17 = 30), naulum (Jon. i. 3), nycticorax (Deut. xiv. 17), sabbatum (Exod. xvi. 23), synagoga (Num. xxvii. 21), theristrum (Gen. xxxviii. 14), thymiama (Exod. xxx. 1), zelotes (Exod. xx. 5), zelotypta (Num. v. 15). If we turn to the books which are directly derived from the O. L., such forms are of course even more numerous; it is enough to specify acediari (Sir. vi. 26), acharis (Sir. xx. 19 = 21), allophyli (Ps. lv. 1), artaba (Bel 2), decachordus (Ps. xci. 4), diplois (Ps. cviii. 29), eleemosyna (Tob. xi. 14 = 22), Iudaismus (2 Macc. viii. 1), neomenia (Ps. lxxx. 4), palatha (Judith x. 5), pentapolis (Sap. x. 6), poderis (Sap. xviii. 24), rhomphaea (Sir. xxi. 4), tympanistria (Ps. lxvii. 26), zelare (Ps. lxxii. 3). Several of these words belong to ordinary post-Augustan Latin, but their use in the Vulgate may fairly be 476ascribed to the influence of the LXX., usually through the O. L. The same may be said of many Vulgate reproductions of Hebrew names, e.g. Moyses, Balaam, Gomorrha, Gabaon, Ierusalem, Pharao, where the LXX. spelling or pronunciation has been retained, no doubt because of its familiarity.

The influence of the other Greek versions over Jerome's great work, if less subtle and widely diffused, has been more direct, and in the matter of interpretation more important. Thus it was from Aquila that Jerome borrowed the following readings956956Field, Hexapla, i., p. xxiv.: Exod. ii. 5 in papyreone (Ἀ. ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ παπυρεῶνος); Deut. xxxiii. 12 quasi in thalamo morabitur (Ἀ. παστώσει); Job xiv. 12 donec atteratur caelum (Ἀ. ἕως ἂν κατατριβῇ ὁ οὐρανός); Amos ii. 13 ego stridebo subter vos, sicut stridet plaustrum (Ἀ. τριζήσω . . . τρίζει); Jer. xlix. (xxix.) 19 ad pulcritudinem robustam (Ἀ. πρὸς εὐπρέπειαν στερεάν). His debts to Symmachus are still more numerous, and only a few can be given here957957For other exx. see Field, op. cit., p. xxxiv.; Num. xxv. 8 in lupanar (Σ. εἰς τὸ πορνεῖον); Jos. x. 42 uno cepit impetu (Σ. ᾐχμαλώτευσεν μιᾷ ὁρμῇ); Jud. xv. 19 molarem dentem (Σ. τὴν μύλην); 1 Regn. ix. 24 quia de industria servatum est tibi (Σ. ὅτι ἐπίτηδες τετήρηταί σοι); 4 Regn. ii. 14 ubi est Dominus deus Eliae etiam nunc? (Σ. καὶ νῦν); Isa. liv. 8 in momento indignationis (Σ. ἐν ἀτόμῳ ὀργῇς); Ezek. viii. 10 in circuitu per totum (Σ. κύκλῳ διόλου). It may be added that not a few of the Greek words retained in the Vulgate are from the later versions and not from the LXX.; e.g. grabatus (Amos iii. 12, Ἀ.), laicus (1 Regn. xxi. 4, Ἀ. Σ. Θ.), lecythus (3 Regn. xvii. 12 ff.), tristegum (Gen. vi. 16, Σ.).

The subject is too large to be adequately handled in a single chapter. But enough has been said to indicate the nature and extent of the influence which the Greek versions and the Septuagint in particular have exercised over Christian thought and letters, both in East and West, and the consequent 477importance of these translations for the student of ecclesiastical history and literature. Bishop Pearson's judgement as to the serviceableness of the LXX. to patristic students will always remain true: "si Graecos patres consulueris, quis eos de rebus divinis disserentes intelliget, qui normam quam semper in animo dum scriberent habuere non ante cognitam atque perspectam habeat? . . . sed ad Latinos patres non minus quam Graecos recte intelligendos LXX. viralis versio frequens utilis est, imo necessaria958958Praef. paraen., ed. E. Churton, p. 25 f. ." He might have added that in the Latin Christendom of to-day the influence of the Greek versions is not extinct; the echoes of their text, their renderings, and their interpretations are still to be heard in the Bible, the worship, and the theology of the Western Church.


LITERATURE (on the general subject of the chapter). J. Pearson, Praefatio paraenetica ad V. T. Graecum (ed. E. Churton, Cambridge, 1855), H. Hody, de Bibliorum textibus, III. iii. sqq. J. G. Rosenmüller, Historia interpretationis librorum sacr. in ecclesia Christiana (1795—1814). W. R. Churton, The influence of the Septuagint version upon the Progress of Christianity (Cambridge, 1861). F. W. Farrar, History of Interpretations (London, 1886). A. F. Kirkpatrick, The Septuagint Version (in Expositor, V. vi. 1896).

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