In reference to the answer given to Are there any English Bible translations whose primary text for the OT is the Septuagint? some further issues arise:

There's a rather interesting translation called, "The Apostolic Bible - Polyglot" by Charles Van der Pool, published in 2006 by The Apostolic Press. Does anyone know if it's based strictly on the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint)?

Concerning the other possible sources, mentioned elsewhere on this site, "The Holy Bible containing the Old and New Covenant, by Charles Thomson in 1808" is not currently available for purchase ...

And, the revised translation of it, "The Septuagint Bible," by C.A. Muses is not what it claims to be; that is, its a heavily edited version that bears more resemblance to the KJV than the LXX! Changing the accurate rendering of the Greek scriptures to agree with the Hebrew has corrupted the validity of the translation, and made it useless for the purpose of studying the Septuagint.

As for "The Orthodox Study Bible," it uses the New King James Version text in the places where the translation of the LXX would match that of the Hebrew Masoretic text, so, it's questionable if this is really a strict translation of the LXX?

That's more than one question, sorry, but they are directly related.


5 Answers 5


Charles Van der Pool does not specify in the introduction whether his translation included Masoretic influences, but from what he does say, it is doubtful. He makes a concerted effort throughout the introduction to express that there is value in the Greek Old Testament that cannot be had with any other translation. I've included his words below from page v of the second edition. Emphasis is the author's, strong text is mine.

With the incorporation of the Greek Old Testament Scriptures into the Greek New Testament via quotes, surely this puts the Greek New Testament in a unique position, as these Greek Old Testament words have become engrafted into the Divine Word of the New Testament. For hundreds of years after the Christ, during the formation of the apostolic age, the Greek Scriptures were consistently read and quoted by the Church Fathers. These all-Greek Scriptures are still in use in Eastern Christendom today, although the Canon is different. The Apostolic Bible continues this tradition of The Apostolic Age Greek Scriptures, and is this named the Apostolic Bible.

With the fact of the Greek Old Testament partly being grafted into the "inspired" Greek New Testament, it is inconceivable to think one can truly understand the deep meanings of the Greek New Testament without first having knowledge of the Greek Old Testament. For example, consider the following passage in the King James Bible, "he hath made him to be sin for us..." 2 Corinthians 5:31. The word for "sin" is #266 "ἁμαρτία," where in Numbers 6:14, and many other places in the Greek Old Testament, is translated "sin offering." "Offering" denoted by the Italics, is implied by the context, as it was talking of animals as a sacrifice for sin. Jesus becoming the "sin offering" opens a whole new aspect of understanding for this verse. That the Greek Scriptures were designed for the Church is a strong argument, but this is not to demean the Hebrew Scriptures of the autographs. Seeing that God saw fit to communicate mainly through the written Word, it ts to one's advantage to diligently search both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures.

He also states on page xiii that "The translation was done by one person, rather than a group of individuals." This clarifies that this work is his own translation, not another translation printed alongside the Greek OT. He goes on to say that "...a continuity of the English words is attained when one individual is doing the translating of the whole, as compared to a group of individuals in which each may be translating only one book of the Bible."

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    @robin I doubt any modern-day translation is solely based off of either the Masoretic texts or the Septuagint.
    – Zenon
    Dec 19, 2017 at 7:07

I tried putting this as only a comment to your good answer, Zenon, but it really wasn't the proper place; comments are usually just temporary.

The Apostolic Bible has this in their version of Psalm 13:3 "All turned aside together; they were made useless; there is not one doing that which is good; there is not even one" ...and that's it, whereas the LXX reads this verse (differently numbered as 14:3) as "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes. "

Actually, in my on-line copy there's an asterisk right after "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become good for nothing, there is none that does good, no not one. * " ... And, the rest of the verse is footnoted below. I believe this asterisk is intended to be acting as a obelus, which is there to alert the reader of the textual differences between the Septuagint and the Masoretic.

So, in both the TANAKH and the KJV it's just the shorter version, and in the Psalm numbered 14:3 ... as it is in The Apostolic Bible, so even though all that you and I have gleaned from reading Van der Pool's introduction, which does indeed lead one to think it's LXX based, there is, at least one verse, one Psalm that is more MT than LXX. –

But this raises the question, possible question, that this is only a matter of LXX variants, an anomaly; that is, perhaps in some versions of the LXX (and there are different versions of it), this Psalm is only the one-liner, like the MT reading?

So again, to conclude whether the Apostolic Bible is MT or LXX based, we'd have to have some definite definition of just what constitutes THE Septuagint, as well as what constitutes THE Masoretic Text, and only then, after comparing all the variants between them ... only then look at the Apostolic Bible to see which camp it fell into. But again, what if it had instances of variants from both the LXX and MT? Would we then have to make a subjective decision, based on the percentage going one way or the other?

I'm making this harder than it should be ... or am I?


The canon by which we can, at least in part, compare the texts, would be with the DSS manuscripts and fragments. They tended, greatly, to agree with the LXX over the MT. (I think the ratio was 13-1). I love Hebrew but have found that oldest extant copies of the OT are in Greek. The Words of the NT generally agree with the LXX over the MT. I would also point out the the Masoretes, were unfortunately, 'antichristian', their genetic make up notwithstanding. I only say this because the LXX was originally written without that bias; Jesus had not yet come so they had no reason to change the texts, as the Masoretes occasionally did, to 'make sure no one thought it was talking about the Christ'. I have various copies and versions which use both the MT and the LXX, at this stage of my study, I lean heavily on the LXX. In all, for the student of the Word, we should rely even more heavily upon the Holy Spirit for discernment on these matters.


My 2nd edition (2013) Apostolic Bible Polyglot says they started with the Vaticanus-Sistine text family (pg. vi) vi. Wikopedia's article says that is the same text family that was and is used in my Zondervan LXX, "Published by special arrangement with Bagster & Sons,Ltd." in 1970. Perhaps you should gain access to Introduction of that bible: "The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament With an English translation; and with various readings and critical notes" pg. i by Zondervan. The sub title of the "Introduction" is "An historical account of the Septuagint Version." The history of the LXX is complicated. Please read it! The LXX has no kinship at all with the Masoritic text. But there were several revisions of the LXX from the second century. Almost all of the revisions as well as the firsr versions of the LXX WERE BASED ON WHAT CAME TO BE THE MASORITIC TEXT. I don' know the history of Vaticanus-Sistine and can't comment on which revisions of the LXX it could embody.The APB uses it, but in my second edition (pg.vi)it says they aquired a microfilm copy of the 1519 "Aldine texts." I know nothing about that , but they compared it with another edition they had acquired of the 1719 edition edited by theLambert Bos. of the 1518 Complutensian Polyglot additions found in footnotes and another facsimile of the complutension Bible itself. They compared these documents to their original LXX text, and there are footnotes at the bottom of the page to show the variants which they found. All that is said for me to say it follows the Greek text of some of the Manuscripts of the LXX. That is the text they are using. How close that is to the Masoritic text or the Majority text will be for you to find out. The accuracy of how close it is to the MT depends on the LXX itself and the history of the particular LXX family you are dealing with. There is no simple answer. Read the introductions of the two Septuagints which I mentioned for a birds eye view of what is going on. There is also a newer edition of the LXX out that I know nothing about and a old history ot the LXX which is a standard by Swete---I seem to recall Henery Swete.

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    Please edit this answer so that it is not a wall of text. Use paragraph breaks, so that people reading what you wrote are able to follow easily. Nov 30, 2019 at 20:51

I read a dozen of psalms and they are as used in the Greek Orthodox Church, so it is the LXX text for sure. There is no difference. However their numbering is the MT one, but no big deal with this.

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