The earliest translations of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, produced for the benefit of Greek-speaking Jews. Translation was begun in Egypt in the third century B.C.E. and was completed in the following century.

According to tradition, about 70 Jewish scholars embarked on the project—thus the designation Septuagint from the Latin Septuaginta, meaning “70.” The translation is commonly referred to as LXX, the Roman numerals for 70. Early manuscripts of the Septuagint use either Greek characters or the four Hebrew letters that make up the Tetragrammaton (YHWH in English) to render God’s name. After the translation of the Hebrew canon was completed, apocryphal writings were added to the Septuagint. However, there is no evidence that Christian Bible writers acknowledged the apocryphal writings by quoting from them, though they often quoted from canonical books in the Septuagint. Furthermore, some first-century Christians had a miraculous gift, enabling them to discern which Bible books were inspired.—1Co 12:4, 10.

Today, the Septuagint is an important tool for studying and understanding the text of the Hebrew Scriptures, and it sheds light on the meaning of certain obscure Hebrew and Aramaic terms.