LXX v Hebrew v English

The Ark of the Covenant,” Gwyneth Leech. Image by Lawrence Lew, O.P., via Flickr; licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Sometime ago, on another blog I wrote an essay on the issue whether or not we do have the True word considering the numerous translations in existence. My conclusion then was that providing the meaning is consistent, we do, or do we?

There is another post to follow because I have somewhere in my mind Jesus reading a clone of himself – not exactly but something weird.

It was just the other day that I happened on an article about Jesus and the Scripture he used, i.e. his quotes.

 The Septuagint [LXX] was the first translation of the Hebrew Bible and was made in the third century B.C. by Jewish scribes, who were direct descendents of those trained in Ezra’s Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. They were complete experts in the text, being very well versed in Hebrew and Greek.


John Barnett, Taken from “What Bible Did Jesus Use?” by Discover the Book Ministries (used by permission).

The reason for the production of the LXX was that the diaspora Jews of Egypt could no longer read Hebrew and so needed a Greek version they could read. There is no Greek equivalent to YHWH, so the LXX replaced this divine name by κύριος, (Kurios), which means Lord. There are some translation errors, the most famous of which is found in Isaiah 7:14, where the “the young woman shall conceive” of the Hebrew text was inadvertently replaced by “a virgin shall conceive”.


Dick Harfield Quora https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-Hebrew-Bible-and-Greek-septuagint

Quora – A place to share knowledge and better understand the world. 2019. Quora – A place to share knowledge and better understand the world. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.quora.com/. [Accessed 27 January 2019].

Just to render you all quoted out we shall now examine Luke’s Gospel and its parallels in both Septuagint and the original Hebrew, not the Masorati

Hebrew – Complete Jewish Bible:


Isaiah 7:14 Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel.

Yeshayahu – Isaiah – Chapter 7 – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible . 2019. Yeshayahu – Isaiah – Chapter 7 – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15938#. [Accessed 27 January 2019].

Esias 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel.

Bible Study Tools. 2019. Esias 7 – LXX Bible – Bible Study Tools. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.biblestudytools.com/lxx/esias/7.html. [Accessed 27 January 2019].

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” NIV


Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,. 2019. Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,. [ONLINE] Available at: https://biblehub.com/luke/1-26.htm. [Accessed 27 January 2019].

It doesn’t take a genius to note that the writer of Luke’s Gospel has used the Greek, rather than the Hebrew, rendering the Maiden,Young woman into a “virgin” therefore leaving no doubt concerning the miraculous nature of the ensuing child!

As Rashi tells us, there is absolutely no doubt of the prophecy except it is not a prophecy referring to Jesus.

on Isaiah 7:14ff


The Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign: He will give you a sign by Himself, against Your will. is with child: This is actually the future, as we find concerning Manoah’s wife, that the angel said to her (Judges 13:3): “And you shall conceive and bear a son,” and it is written, “Behold, you are with child and shall bear a son.” the young woman: My wife will conceive this year. This was the fourth year of Ahaz. and she shall call his name: Divine inspiration will rest upon her. Immanuel: [lit. God is with us. That is] to say that our Rock shall be with us, and this is the sign, for she is a young girl, and she never prophesied, yet in this instance, Divine inspiration shall rest upon her. This is what is stated below (8:3): “And I was intimate with the prophetess, etc.,” and we do not find a prophet’s wife called a prophetess unless she prophesied. Some interpret this as being said about Hezekiah, but it is impossible, because, when you count his years, you find that Hezekiah was born nine years before his father’s reign. And some interpret that this is the sign, that she was a young girl and incapable of giving birth.

Yeshayahu – Isaiah – Chapter 7 – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible . 2019. Yeshayahu – Isaiah – Chapter 7 – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15938#showrashi=true. [Accessed 27 January 2019].

Something to think about – in passing I read that 90% of Jesus’ quotes come from the LXX, whereas, Catholics maintain otherwise.

This entry was posted in Bible, Doubts, Questions and tagged , , , , , , by Andrew Blair. Bookmark the permalink.

About Andrew Blair

Living in Maroubra Australia. Carer for my wife Jessica. Simple web designer and Administrator; photographer, artist and theologian. In 2016 I had been Ordained to the Priesthood by a Celtic Catholic Bishop, I had the mistaken idea that the church might be changed from within. That was not to be. We now attend the Uniting Church in Maroubra Junction where we are very happy. My greatest desire is to serve God in the capacity of an Interfaith dialoguer since this seems to be my calling since 1997.

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