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The Legend of the Septuagint


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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The Letter of Aristeas; 2. The Hellenistic Jewish Tradition; 3. The Rabbis and the Greek Bible; 4. The Ptolemaic Changes; 5. The Church Fathers and the translation of the Septuagint; 6. Among the Christians in the Orient; 7. The Muslims and the Septuagint; 8. Yosippon and the story of the Seventy; 9. Karaites, Samaritans and Rabbinite Jews in the Middle Ages; 10. The Septuagint in the Renaissance and the Modern World; Conclusion; Appendix; Bibliography and Sources; Index.

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A history of the uses and abuses of the Septuagint creation in various cultures around the Mediterranean.

About the Author

Abraham Wasserstein (born Frankfurt am Main, 1921, died Jerusalem, 1995) taught at the universities of Glasgow and Leicester before taking up a chair in Greek at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in 1969, where he stayed until his death in 1995. He had special interests in Greek literature and science, and wrote widely in these fields. His publications include an edition of the medieval Hebrew translation of Galen's commentary on Hippocrates' Airs, Waters and Places (lost in the original Greek). The present book was begun by him and left incomplete at his death. David J. Wasserstein, AW's son, read classics and oriental studies at Oxford (D.Phil. 1982). He lectured in Arabic and Hebrew at University College, Dublin, and was professor of Islamic history at Tel Aviv University, before taking up a chair of History and of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2004. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of the Party-Kings (1985) and The Caliphate in the West (1993), as well as of many articles on medieval Islamic and Jewish topics.


"In assembling and analyzing the transmutations of the colorful Septuagint legend from Aristeas through the present day, this work is a major contribution to scholarship . . . . Anyone with an interest in the legend or the issues it raises about translation, literary transmission and Jewish identity will be thrilled to find this material, in all its linguistic and cultural diversity, collected in a single book." -Naomi S. Seidman, author of A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and Yiddish (1997) --
"Completing a work begun by his father, David Wasserstein has made a significant contribution to the study of the reception history of the Septuagint. This important volume deserves a place in every academic library." -Karen H. Jobes, Wheaton College, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"This book, whose authors demonstrate an extraordinary range of interests and linguistic skills, will surely be the definitive resource for anyone interested in the historical and bibliographic material relating to the story of the creation of the Septuagint, and various religious and secular uses to which it had been put . . . . of inestimable scholarly value." -Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"...readers of W.'s book will find here both good historical scholarship and a fascinating story well told." -Theological Studies

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