THE SEPTUAGINT VERSION
The Septuagint, the Old Testament books translated into Greek, was completed from about 250 to 100 B.C. It was made in Alexandria, Egypt, to meet the needs of Jews and others who wanted to read the Old Testament but lacked the facility to read Hebrew. Those that have researched the Septuagint believe it "represents an official translation which likely replaced a variety of earlier unofficial translations." (1) Of the Old Testament canon, the following observation is made by appropriate students. "The finalization of the Old Testament canon--the list and arrangement of books first in the Hebrew Bible and then in its translation and expansion in the Greek Septuagint--was not complete in Jesus' day. Most of the Law and Prophets were complete, although many of the Writings (for example, the Psalms) were probably not in their final form (that is, the form in which we have them in the Old Testament today)." 1
Another interesting observation: the Septuagint Version contained several apocryphal books. These were books that have been excluded from our traditional Bibles. Sections of the professed Christian world (Roman Catholicism and The Orthodox Church) have accepted them as Scripture, but ascribed to them less authority than the traditional books. Books include Tobit, Judith, The Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, The Letter of Jeremiah, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and certain additions to Esther and Daniel. The Orthodox Church accepts the canonicity of the same books but adds 1 Esdras and 3 Maccabees. 1
There is a most interesting point made concerning the Septuagint Version. "The early Christians had access to either the Hebrew text or to the Septuagint. When the Septuagint was no longer used by the Jews (about A.D. 90), it was preserved by the Christians and used by them. About half of the Old Testament quotes in Paul are from the Septuagint as are almost all of the quotes in 1 Peter, James, and Hebrews." 1
All of this does have a bearing on our subject. It reveals the absurdity of, and the lack of spirituality in, those that choose to critique the text of Scripture. If Paul, Peter, and James, felt no compulsion to make an issue out of manuscript integrity, I am hard pressed to understand where higher critics have received their authority to do so. The difference between the holy men of old and the unholy contemporary critics is faith. Faith saw no difficulty in this area, and the Spirit sounded no associated warning for us. However sound the arguments of higher critics may appear, we cannot allow them to move our faith away from God Himself!
This does not mean we have questionable Bibles. It DOES mean that men must be brought to rely upon God and a "spiritual understanding" (Col 1:9) of Scripture to assure their hearts. I am careful to again emphasize the danger of allowing the questions and arguments of men to cause us to question God's Word. It may not sound scholarly to reason in this manner, but faith will do so anyway. Scripture assumes that the apprehension of truth enables the believer to "judge all things" (1 John 2:20,27). Remove that premise from the scenario, and there is no hope of developing full assurance.
From the human point of view, all of the liabilities inherent in translation existed in Paul's day, as in ours. However, God will not allow us to view His Word from a human point of view. It is His Word! How did it get from God to us? It was given through His inspiration, and it is completely trustworthy.
1. Holman's Bible Dictionary