Monday, February 09, 2009

Septuagint Day

One of the really fascinating things about the Septuagint is that the first published translation into English was done in the United States by Charles Thomson and printed by Jane Aitken.

    Charles Thomson was the Secretary to the United States Congress from 1774 to 1789, when he resigned to pursue his scholarly interests. Thomson was fascinated with the early Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and the Greek translation of the Old Testament called the “Septuagint”. He produced the first translation of the Septuagint into English, and the first new modern-English translation of the New Testament in the western hemisphere. Charles Thomson spent twenty years perfecting his translation, and then he sought a publisher.

    The publisher he found was the daughter of the famous Robert Aitken, who had produced the first English Bible printed in America in 1782. Her name was Jane Aitken. On September 12, 1808, in Philadelphia, Jane Aitken published Charles Thomson’s translation of the Bible into modern English in four volumes, making her the first woman to ever print a Bible, and the first publisher of a modern-English Bible since the King James version of two centuries earlier.
I have been reading some of William Loader's book The Septuagint, Sexuality, and the New Testament and hope to blog about it soon.

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