James K. Aitken
The Ptolemaic Setting for the Translation of the Greek Pentateuch
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New finds from Egypt over the past century have revealed the social and linguistic landscape of the Ptolemaic empire. Nonetheless, Septuagint scholarship has been slow to integrate the new data into discussions of the origins and makeup of the Greek translation. Under the Ptolemies, the social and economic advantages of learning Greek and participating in Greek culture meant that we now have 3rd century evidence of Jews identifying themselves as »Greek«. It is in this context that we can trace from the language of the Septuagint the social world from which the translators emerge, most likely working in the administration alongside Egyptians and other immigrants to Egypt. Translating the Pentateuch was not only stimulated by loss of Hebrew but by the prestige of Greek, and Jews alongside native Egyptians were promoting their identity through creating their own Greek literature.