Welcome to the homepage of the Göttingen Septuaginta-Unternehmen!
The research that is carried out in the Septuaginta-Unternehmen bears on one of the most significant and influential writings among world literature: the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Legend has it that in the second century BCE, seventy-two wise men translated Jewish Scripture into Greek in a period of seventy-two days. In accordance with this story, the translation that was produced was aptly called Septuagint (‘the Seventy’). In reality, the translation project took over three centuries to be completed, and continued well into the first century CE. Throughout its subsequent history, the Septuagint was revised and reworked several times by both Jews and Christians (resulting in so-called recensions of the Greek text).
The Göttingen Unternehmen has set itself the task of reconstructing –in the form of a critical edition– the oldest reachable text of this translation, that is: a text that precedes all recensions. In doing so, it also aims to document all alterations in an apparatus that accompanies the critical text. For over a century, generations of scholars have dedicated themselves to this massive undertaking. At present, up to 2000 Greek manuscripts of the Septuagint are known: they cover a period of time that stretches from the 2nd century BCE to the 16th century CE and are now scattered all over the globe.
The last few decades have witnessed a remarkable increase in research on the Septuagint, which is studied intensively by scholars from around the world: several of them collaborate in the Unternehmen’s editorial project. Against the background of modern interreligious dialogue, interest is growing in having reliable access to a text in which Christianity is rooted. In Germany but also in Canada and the United States, and from Finland to Spain, international Septuagint research is flourishing: the textual basis for all of this research is produced at the Göttingen Septuaginta-Unternehmen.
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