The Septuagint (pron.: //), (//), (//), (//), (or "LXX", or "Greek Old Testament") is an ancient translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek, dated as early as the late 2nd century BCE. It is quoted in the New Testament, particularly in the writings of Paul the Apostle, and also by the Apostolic Fathers and later Greek Church Fathers, and continues to serve as the Eastern Orthodox Old Testament.
The traditional story is that Ptolemy II sponsored the translation for use by the many Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew but fluent in Koine Greek, which was the lingua franca of Alexandria, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE until the development of Byzantine Greek around 600 CE.
The Septuagint should not be confused with the seven or more other Greek versions of the Old Testament, most of which did not survive except as fragments (some parts of these being known from Origen's Hexapla, a comparison of six translations in adjacent columns, now almost wholly lost). Of these, the most important are "the three:" those by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion.
The Septuagint derives its name from the Latin versio septuaginta interpretum, "translation of the seventy interpreters," (Greek: ἡ μετάφρασις τῶν ἑβδομήκοντα, hē metáphrasis tōn hebdomḗkonta, "translation of the seventy ". However, it was not until the time of Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) that the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures came to be called by the Latin term Septuaginta. The Roman numeral LXX (seventy) is commonly used as an abbreviation, as are or G.
These titles refer to a legendary story, according to which seventy or seventy-two Jewish scholars were asked by the Greek King of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus to translate the Torah from Biblical Hebrew into Greek, for inclusion in the Library of Alexandria. This legend is first found in the pseudepigraphic Letter of Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, and is repeated with embellishments by Philo of Alexandria, Josephus and by various later sources, including St. Augustine. A version of the legend is found in the Tractate Megillah of the Babylonian Talmud: