The very first translation of the Torah was, according to one early rabbinic opinion, an event as unfortunate as the production of the golden calf. Another resource stated that darkness surrounded the planet for 3 days. These might be extreme sights. But there is no question that the first Holy Bible translation was highly controversial.
In the Second century BCE Aristeas, an Alexandrian Jew, composed a letter to his brother. He described the construction of the terrific collection in Alexandria, where every publication ever before created was to be equated right into Greek. Based on Aristeas, only one content puzzled the translators. It was the Hebrew Torah.
It’s an unlikely case. There was a large Jewish diaspora in Alexandria, almost certainly containing some Hebrew speakers. Investors and vendors crossed between Egypt and Israel constantly, Hebrew would not be unidentified to them. Yet Aristeas recommends that no one in Alexandria could possibly translate it.
Aristeas, who lived a century after the events he is defining, wrote himself into the story. He claims to have actually motivated King Ptolemy to free 100,000 Jewish servants and also to tell Eleazar, the High Priest in Jerusalem, of his magnanimous act. In return Ptolemy must ask Eleazar to send Hebrew scholars to Alexandria, to equate the Torah into Greek.
King Ptolemy took Aristeas’s suggestions and also sent him to Jerusalem, where he persuaded the High Priest to dispatch a delegation of 72 scholars. Seventy-two days after their arrival in Alexandria, the scholars proudly provided a copy of their work, a translation of the Torah into Greek.
Later writers replicated Aristeas’s tale. Each time they did so, the story ended up being a lot more remarkable. In the variation ascribed by Philo, the Jewish theorist that resided in Alexandria from about 25 BCE to 50 CE, instead of the translators working together, they each created their very own duplicate. Yet each copy equaled. In Philo’s story a small wonder appears to have actually occurred. This wonder would come to be a lot more noticeable as the legend established over the coming centuries.
By the second century CE, in both Jewish and Christian sources, the translators were no longer merely generating the same Greek versions of the Pentateuch. They were doing so despite being locked into separate cells, incapable to interact with each other. They were currently 70 translators and the job had actually become called the Septuagint; the Latin word for 70.