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Latin, literally, seventy. Greek translation of the Bible made between 250 and 100 B.C.E. According to tradition, the translation was made in Alexandria at the request of the ruler, Ptolemy Philadelphus, by 72 scholars. Working individually, they are said to have produced identical translations in 72 days. The Septuagint was the first translation of the Bible, and it made the Scriptures accessible to large numbers of Jews and Gentiles alike. Because the Septuagint was translated from Hebrew texts now lost, biblical scholars have found it invaluable in comparing translations, as an aid in the recovery of a better Hebrew text and in interpreting difficult Hebrew passages.

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