Do we still have a mesora for the translation of the Torah into Greek, and if so, is this the LXX/Septuagint commonly used by Gentiles? Do we still have a mesorah for any other seforim into Greek?

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  • Did we ever have a Mesora? Mesora from whom? Did Moshe write this too?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 5:58
  • @DoubleAA from the 70 Elders in the days of Ptolemy! ;)
    – warz3
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 6:03
  • It's in Megillah, which also discusses the translation by the sages. It would need to still be written in Hebrew script i.e. transliterated, and would have to be exactly the translation those sages made with all their modifications. As we don't know it, we can't write one. Although, who knows, maybe a scroll will turn up sometime in archeological digs and then someone will have to rule.
    – CashCow
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


To the title question, “Is there still a mesora on how to write the Torah in Greek?”:

The Rambam in Mishneh Torah writes that Greek language has been forgotten.

Laws of Tefillin, Mezuzah and Sefer Torah - Chapter One Halacha 19

Tefillin and mezuzot may be written only in Assyrian script. Permission was granted to write Torah scrolls in Greek as well. That Greek language has, however, been forgotten from the world. It has been confused and has sunk into oblivion. Therefore, at present, all three sacred articles may be written using Assyrian script alone.

So we do not have a mesora on how to write the Torah or “any other seforim” in Greek.

You ask in the text, “is this the LXX/Septuagint commonly used by Gentiles?”.

A Wikipedia article writes about the past use of the LXX. It is not commonly used now.

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    +1 for the Rambam, but your last paragraph is not really correct; the LXX was used extensively by non-Jews (if we consider the early Christians to be non-Jews). Jerome, who used the Hebrew as more reliable than the LXX, was heavily criticized by his Christian contemporaries for breaking with tradition. Today, of course, the LXX is not used, and the Vulgate is considered more authoritative Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 15:32
  • @Matt Thank you. I have corrected the last part. Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 16:56
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    @Matt. The LXX is still used in the Eastern Church. The Vulgate still has some influence in the West, but most Western Christians prefer to go back to the original languages.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 17:12
  • @TRiG thanks for that correction, I should've realized that's true about the Eastern Orthodox though I'm less familiar with them Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 17:14
  • @TRiG Since LXX/Septuagint = 70 for the 70 elders, and maybe the RamBam being in the Arab world didnt know that the LXX/Greek Torah was still around?
    – warz3
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 19:34

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