THE NEW SEPTUAGINT
It was interesting to learn of the printing of "The Septuagint Bible", launched by the Falcon Wing Press of Colorado. It. is a reprint, partly a revision, of the translation made by Charles Thomas, Secretary of the Continental Congress, which prompted Thomas Jefferson to write to the translator upon its appearance, "I see by the newspapers your translation of the Septuagint is now to be printed, and I write to be admitted as a subscriber".
The Septuagint, which means seventy, is thus named because it is the Greek translation of the inspired Jewish books that was made by 70 Jerusalem Jews selected by the Jewish High Priest, under the direction of two leaders who are said not to have taken part in the translation from the Hebrew. This translation was necessary because Greek was the language of the then known world; and most of the Jews, even those in Palestine, were ignorant of the Hebrew language. That is said to be one of the reasons why all the books in the New Testament, save St. Matthew's Gospel, were written in Greek.
The translators were furnished with Hebrew manuscripts to translate into Greek, by the supreme Jewish ecclesiastical authority, High Priest Eleasar. Vallentine's Jewish Encyclopedia says that "the appearance of the Septuagint (which the Jews of the Christian centuries rejected) was greeted with enthusiasm everywhere; but with the rise of the Christian sect, and its adoption of this version of the Bible, the Jews began to denounce it vehemently, accusing the Christians of falsifying the Greek text here and there" (p. 593).
The Septuagint was an integral part of the Bible canon of Christendom from the beginning of the existence of the Christian Bible, until Luther led the revolt against the Church to which the world is indebted for the existence of a Christian Bible. This religious Benedict Arnold rejected the Second Book of the Machabees because it contained the doctrine of Purgatory; just as he rejected the Epistle of St. James, calling it an "Epistle of straw", because it clashed with his Protestant notion of justification by faith alone.
The canon of Scripture that forms the New Testament part of Protestant Bibles is of Catholic Church origin, as has often been said in this column. It was compiled in the Catholic Council of Carthage, and put forth after being approved by the 38th occupant of the Chair of Peter, Pope Siricius. On the other hand, the canon of the Old Testament part of Protestant Bibles was formed by Rabbi Akiba, an intense enemy of Christ and His Church.
The above statement is attested to in the Jewish Encyclopedia (Vol. I, p. 305), in which it is positively declared that "Akiba was the one who definitely formed the canon of Old Testament books"; that is the 39 books that are in Protestant, and present-day Jewish, Bibles. It is further declared in the Jewish Encyclopedia, that "the definitive act of canonization of the complete (Jewish) Scriptures is known to have taken place in the Synod of Jabneh (90 A.D.-), soon after the destruction of the Second Temple, at the instigation of Rabbi Akiba". Still further, "the motive underlying his (that is Akiba's) antagonism to the Apocrypha (the additional books in the Septuagint, was) namely the desire to disarm the Christians---especially Jewish Christians---who drew their 'proofs' from the Apocrypha"; also to fulfill his "wish to emancipate the Jews ... from the domination of the Septuagint ... used as arguments against the Jews by the Christians" (Vol. I, p. 306).
This Akiba, and the Synod of Jabneh through which he operated, had no more authority to form a canon of Scripture during the century after the Jews ceased to have a High Priest (the Mosaic supreme ecclesiastical authority), Temple, Altar, and Mosaic sacrifices (which marked the end of Old Testament Judaism) than has any Rabbi or group of Rabbis during our 20th century.
This Akiba, maker of the Protestant accepted canon of Old Testament Scripture, who repudiated belief in Jesus being the predicted Messiah, proclaimed a pretender, Simeon, to be the Messiah, whom he named "Bar Kochba", Son of the Star, assuming him to be the fulfillment of the prophesy in Numbers 24:17, "A star shall rise out of Jacob ... and a scepter shall spring out of Israel ... ". Akiba not only "accepted Bar Kochba as the Messiah", but he helped him lead a four year revolt against the Romans for the capture of Jerusalem (131-135, A.D.) in which 580,000 Jews are said to have been killed; and hundreds of thousands of other Jews perished through sickness, starvation, etc. This Bar Kochba-Akiba rebellion fulfilled the prophesy of Daniel (9:26), that Jerusalem would be razed to the ground, which is in the very text wherein the Jews were told of the coming of the Messiah.
The love of our Lord, on the part of Protestants, ought to lead them to the adoption of the Septuagint with its 46 books, from which Christ "drew His proofs and precepts". The Jewish Encyclopedia says that "the quotations from the Old Testament found in the New, are in the main taken from the Septuagint; and even when the citation is indirect the inference of the (Septuagint) version is clearly seen" (Vol. III, p. 186). And Peloubet's (Protestant) Bible Dictionary says, "the Septuagint was manifestly the chief storehouse from which both Christ and the Apostles drew their proofs and precepts" (pp. 604-605).
Perhaps the new edition of the Septuagint will, as we prayerfully hope, will bring Protestants, who insist that the Bible is their only rule of faith, to the realization, the appreciation of the indisputable fact that the Jewish part of their Bible is of anti-Christian origin; that the Septuagint, the Old Testament part of the Catholic Bible, like the New Testament part therein, is, and it only is, Christian in the full sense of the term. Of course, that is too much to expect, as the consciousness of this leads, logically, to Vatican City, in which Peter, the First Bishop of Rome, holds forth in the person of Pope Pius XII.